Trying to attract more small business customers, Yahoo has introduced a new domain name registration service and significantly increased the storage space and traffic allowance for its current Web and e-mail hosting services.
For $9.95 yearly, the new Yahoo Domains service lets users register a Web address and forward any e-mail and Web traffic to that domain name. Competing products are offered by many companies, including Go Daddy Software and 1&1 Internet.
In addition to launching the new domain "parking" service, Yahoo on Tuesday enhanced its existing Yahoo Web Hosting products. All packages have been beefed up. For example, the $11.95-per-month Starter package now includes 2GB of Web space (up from 50MB); 2GB of e-mail storage (an increase from 4MB), and a monthly data transfer allowance of 25GB--previously 20GB.
For customers looking for personalized e-mail only, the company now offers Yahoo Custom Mailbox. Customers pay $34.95 per year for a domain name and an e-mail address.
Yahoo has dissolved its enterprise division and dropped several projects aimed at corporate customers. However, the company is bullish about the opportunity in the small business space. Over 10 million of the about 23 million small businesses in the U.S. lack a Web presence, according to Yahoo.
"Our goal is to be the leading provider to make small businesses successful online," says Rich Riley, a vice president and general manager at Yahoo.
Yahoo's Web hosting and domain name registration business today is focused on the U.S. market.
"We think we will have our first international launches next year," Riley says. These will most likely be in the countries where Yahoo is most successful, such as South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and several European countries, he adds.
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