There are hundreds of possibilities when it comes to building a free website. Just recently, Zoho launched their new website builder called Zoho Sites. Just another free website builder?
Not really. We’ve had a look inside this new product and we have to agree with Raju of Weeblyforums in that is has big potential. Not only is it priced extremely competitively (users can choose a free plan, or a paid one for $39 per year), it also enables you to use dynamic content through a database.
Therefore, we are happy to have Zoho’s product manager Arun Prasad answer a couple of questions for us.
Thank you Arun for taking the time to let us get to know your company a little better. Can you please introduce yourself briefly to our readers?
Firstly, thank you very much for the coverage. Zoho has three divisions; ManageEngine, WebNMS and Zoho suite of online business apps. Services from Zoho are categorized under Business, Collaboration and Productivity apps.
We had apps for almost every essential business requirement, but a website builder. Now, Zoho Sites completes our platform.
What is the philosophy of Zoho Sites; where does it stand out?
Zoho is known for business apps that are made to work seamlessly with each other. Zoho Sites is no different. A website being the starting point for any business, Zoho Sites will be at the core, with all the other apps around it, closely integrated with each other.
I think Zoho stands out from the rest by making this communication between apps, a lot simpler. Besides, not everyone else out there have such a wide range of business apps.
Who would be a typical Zoho Sites user?
We are primarily looking to cater to emerging small and home businesses. Apart from them, there are numerous personal uses for a website; as a blog, organize events, create a portfolio, etc. Besides, an online presence would do a great deal of good to anyone, of any profession and any business, regardless of the size.
What can Zoho Sites do as far as dynamic content element when it comes to website?
There would be many pages on a business website, that different teams or departments are responsible for. For instance, the inventory is with the store team, testimonials with marketing, product portfolio with management teams and so on.
If one person is going to co-ordinate with all the teams, and update the webpages, that is going to be extremely chaotic. But if the corresponding dynamic content form is shared to the respective teams, they can add or modify content on webpages under their charge. It is going to make it very easy to frequently update pages on websites.
You’ve probably heard of Microsoft shutting their free website down, replacing it with a paid alternative. Apple recently did the same with their popular iWeb website builder, leaving a lot of frustrated users behind. To me it seems the larger the company the more likely it is that one day they will lose interest in one of their lower income-producing products or services. Zoho offers a lot of different products.
The target audience of Microsoft and that of Apple are totally different from that of Zoho. Our suite of business apps are for small and medium businesses, to whom a website is very essential. We are so optimistic that we are naming Zoho Sites, the center of our universe of apps. So, definitely not Zoho Sites.
What’s does Zoho’s support look like?
Across Zoho services, we don’t charge for support. Free user or paid user, we provide unlimited email support to everyone alike
What’s next? Where are you heading with Zoho Sites?
We don’t want users to just build a business website on Zoho Sites; we want our users to run their entire business on it. So our primary focus will be on integrations. We started off with Zoho Creator and GApps. Next on the list are Zoho Mail, Zoho CRM and Zoho Campaigns (Beta). Other apps will follow suit.
Thank you very much for the interview and all the best for Zoho Sites!
For questions or feedback, please leave a comment!