We live in an age of websites and smart phones and yet there are still hundreds of thousands of Australian businesses out there without a web presence. Many businesses simply don’t realise the importance of having their own website as a promotional and marketing tool. Luckily for Aussie businesses, Google and MYOB have teamed up to provide a FREE (initially) website building tool to get all Australian businesses online.
The website is very simply called www.gettingbusinessonline.com.au and it allows Australian businesses to sign up and very quickly create their own website for free.You basically get your own .com.au domain name for free for the first 2 years. After that time it will cost you $30 for every additional 2 years which is fair enough. You also get a year’s free access to the MYOB Atlas website building tool, which allows you to create and customise your own website via a simple interface. They even throw in $75 Adwords credit to help you get some traffic to your new website.
Like with most do it yourself website builders, the templates aren’t great as you can see below. They’re quite plain and unpolished with little room for customisation. They’re not bad for a free website but there is definitely room to improve on the templates. So it looks like us web designers won’t be out of a job just yet.
Google and MYOB are targeting small business’s like tradies, hairdressers and accountants as these are the businesses that currently don’t have a strong web presence. I think the biggest challenge will be educating this largely offline audience on the importance of having a website. Then they need to teach them how to actually create the site. Easier said than done (I can already see my dad having some trouble putting his site together).
It looks like do it yourself websites are the way of the future with more and more of them popping up each day. Does this mean the end of web designers?