How often do we talk about ways to promote online business offline as an extra incentive. But have you ever thought how good it will be for an offline business to have an online presence too? You will be featuring your service/product/Manufacturer/Restaurateurs’ in front of unlimited people around the globe. Your business will expand from one small town to globally with just one Website.
India, which is said to be land of opportunities and we have seen tremendous growth in online business in last couple of years but still it’s way behind the place it should be. In India, there are 8 million people with small and medium business.
In order to give a boost to such local and offline small businesses, Google, Hostgator India, ICICI and FISME has come up with an initiative to offer you an online Website + Domain + Email absolutely free for 1 year to boost your business online. This initiative is coined as IndiaGetOnline and name itself shows the enthusiasm of brining more Indians small & medium businesses online.
What is IndiaGetOnline?
As mentioned above, it’s an initiative by Google to provide free .in domain to small business owners and free hosting in partnership with Hostgator India. Any small business owner can apply for this free domain + hosting + free Email account and use site builder to built his website. A PAN card is mandatory to avail this service. Here is launch video of IndiaGetOnline to get more information.
How to create free Website using India Get Online?
To get started, go to this page and select your domain name. In case if you not sure, what domain name you should be selecting, read:
Also remember, you will be getting only .in domain for free and not any other TLD’s. Click on check to see domain availability and Once you selected the domain name, click on next.
Next is registration form where you need to add your company details like category, name and most important PAN card.
Once you fill out all the field and enter CAPTCHA, click on next and you will be done signing up. You will get an Email with your domain name, login name and password. Use this link to login to your control panel.
Once you are logged in, first screen will look like this, which will give you URL where you can preview your site.
Click on edit Website to start editing your Website. This step is easy and you just need little bit of creativity and imagination. There are already pre defined template and you can select any of them based on category.
Once you have selected the template, click on create site to edit the content and make it professional and add valuable information related to your business. Once you are done, hit on publish button and site will go live.Similarly you can create Email account, submit your site to Google and also sign up Google analytic and integrate it with your site. I suggest you to do all the three steps as getting an Email address like [email protected] will add professional touch. By submitting your site to Google, you will be getting more traffic to your site from search engines and analytic will help you to analyze how much traffic your site is getting and many important details like what Keyword is sending you traffic and other important details. Do remember total storage of your site is 5.0 GB.
Key points regarding this free service:
- Free domain and hosting is valid for 1 year only.
- After 1 year, you can renew domain and hosting by paying a price.
- Storage of your site is 5.0 GB
- For any inquiry or support regarding India Get Online you can call at 1800-266-3000
- Free Adwords Credit worth 2500
Here is an introductory video about this free Website service:
How you can contribute to this Initiative to bring India online?
Now this is indeed a great initiative by Google, ICICI, HG India and other partners to bring more Indian business online. But at the same time, it’s our role to help those small businesses to go online. Obviously, everyone won’t be that tech savvy to edit and publish the site. You can help anyone around you who is running a small business like your Dad, your neighbor, relative. You can tell them about the service or be a nice guy and create a site for their business. For any tech savvy guy, it will not take more than 1-2 hours to make site live. Isn’t this a great deal?
Well, if you are completely out of money, I would say it’s a great deal as you don’t need to do much, apart from signing up, selecting your template and adding/editing information. Also most of the small business needs just couple of pages of static site. Though, they have not made it clear how much the renewal cost will be. But as they mentioned it will be discounted price and usually .in domain renewal cost is $10-$15 for a year and hosting should cost around 2-3K. Anyways, above renewal price is just a speculation by me. In case, if you your online site is not helping your business in any ways, you can always choose not to continue and you need not need to pay anything. If you are looking for a serious website for your business, I would rather suggest you to create your own Website in WordPress, as it offers more flexibility and instead of going for .in domain, it’s always good to go for .com or .org domains.
Anyways, In the end, it’s a win-win situation for all the SMB’s and if you don’t have a website for your business, it’s a good place to start for free. Do let us know, if you are planning to help anyone around you by creating a free Website for them using GetIndiaOnline?