While Yahoo is known more for its funky fonts, mega chat rooms and search features, the internet giant has also made room for web hosting.
As Yahoo is a veteran of the dot-com boom of the 1990s, you might expect the firm to offer a wide range of hosting options given the amount of server space at its disposal. Instead, Yahoo Web Hosting provides only a small number of fairly limited plans suitable for individuals and small businesses.
The good news is that these come at an extremely affordable price. Yahoo has also thrown the full weight of its community behind creating an easy to use support section for beginners. Setup is straightforward and you can start managing domains within minutes.
Yahoo Web Hosting starts at $4.49 (£3.43) a month billed annually. This includes 100GB of disk space, 1000GB monthly data transfer and 10 site pages. The next plan, which is geared more towards business sites, starts at $5.89 (£4.54) per month also billed annually. This comes with everything the Basic plan offers but with unlimited site pages, 500GB disk space and 5000GB monthly transfers.
The Premier plan is as low as $6.79 (£5.20) monthly when billed annually. It comes with unlimited disk space, unlimited data transfer and private registration. Although you do have to pay for an annual subscription upfront, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
After deciding which package best suits your business needs, click on ‘Choose Plan’. From here you will be asked whether you want to use a domain you’ve already registered, or if you want to choose a new one. If going for the latter option, users just need to enter their choice for domain name. Yahoo will then search to see if this is an available option.
In order to progress further you will be asked whether you already have a Yahoo Small Business Account. If not, you can sign up for one at this stage. Once this has been completed you can opt to keep your information private. This will protect your personal data from spammers and identity thieves.
Accepted payments include PayPal, credit or debit card. Once all information has been entered and the terms and conditions have been accepted, your new shared web hosting service is ready to be used. The setup process is simple and can be done in a matter of minutes.
Creating a site
Once registration is complete you can easily create a new domain using the simple menu at the top-right of the page. The drop-down menu also contains options to create websites from templates. These include ‘Websites’, which require no coding, ‘WordPress’ which is easily installed and customizable, or ‘Dev Tools’ which is more suited for experienced users at it requires coding from scratch. You can also access the Web Hosting Control Panel from here.
The control panel is simply laid out and very easy to navigate. On the left-hand side, there are options to ‘Create & Update’, ‘Manage’ and ‘Promote’. You can access site building tools along with learning resources from the main screen.
Yahoo Web Hosting supports a number of themes and walks you through website creation. There are plenty of page tools including new sections, headers, gallery, slideshows and services amongst others. Everything is very self-explanatory and easy to use. There’s even an option to display your website in phone, tablet or desktop view, ensuring your pages appear correctly no matter what device visitors use.
Setting up a WordPress blog is straightforward. You are walked through the steps from the moment you choose ‘WordPress’. From the control panel, you choose to ‘Activate WordPress’. After this, you select a username and password. This takes about two minutes approximately. Once that’s done, you can immediately begin working on your blog.
The process of getting started on your website is quick and painless. As the control panel is so neatly laid out, most users will have no trouble navigating around it. Users can access learning resources from the main dashboard. There is a web hosting glossary along with some ‘getting started’ guides. Underneath this you can choose to see the latest news and resources in Yahoo Small Business.
Yahoo Small Business Community help, which can be accessed via the main dashboard, allows you to view hundreds of answered questions. If you still find this is not enough, you can choose to contact customer support, with live chat or phone support available 24/7. You can also open a support ticket for specific issues. During our tests, we opened a support ticket relating to a Yahoo ID issue. The answer came back in just under three hours, which is a little slower than other popular web hosting providers.
As you’d expect from a major search engine, the Community Search feature is very helpful, displaying multiple useful articles for most queries.
Yahoo warns that it can take up to 24 hours for your site to become active after you choose to publish it. However, the site we published became active in less than two hours.
Yahoo’s shared web hosting plans offer a great deal. However, they are only that: shared web hosting. The company doesn’t offer VPS, dedicated or WordPress hosting.
HostGator, for example, offers a choice of Linux or Windows-based servers. All packages also come with unlimited data transfers and storage. HostGator, DreamHost and Hostwinds are better choices for more advanced users or those who want more variety when it comes to plans. Hostwinds has a range of plans starting at $2.50 (£1.93) per month depending on the duration of your subscription. It also offers VPS, dedicated servers and cloud services.
DreamHost starts at $2.59 (£2) per month with unlimited hosting and free domain registration. It also doesn’t charge a fee to protect your identity online, and offers the choice of VPS hosting, shared hosting, dedicated hosting and cloud hosting.
DreamHost also offers managed WordPress hosting with plans starting at $4.95 (£3.81) a month. Yahoo doesn’t offer a specific WordPress plan, although you can choose WordPress as your foundation, as we noted earlier.
Yahoo Web Hosting is the perfect choice for those who want a simple to use interface that offers a lot of in-house help. It’s advertised for small businesses and it does exactly what it says on the tin. While it does not offer a monthly payment plan, the 30-day money-back guarantee makes signing up worth the risk.
However, the lack of dedicated and VPS servers is the main thing that drags Yahoo Web Hosting down. Considering that these options are offered by other providers such as HostGator and DreamHost at similar prices, some users might find it easier to use their services instead.
For those who are happy with plain shared web hosting, Yahoo is a nifty little offering. Websites are easy to create and the dashboard is simple to navigate. All in all, this is an ideal solution for those looking for ease of use and a neatly laid out control panel.
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from TechRadar - Technology Reviews http://www.techradar.com/reviews/yahoo-web-hosting