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Kicking The Tires On Aabaco Small Biz Websites

Wed, 30th March 2016, 11:27

Late in November 2015, Yahoo completed an Alibaba makeover and rebranded it as Aabaco. As part of the switch, Yahoo also changed its small business hosting service’s name from Yahoo Small Business to Aabaco Small Business. Yahoo Small Business hosting has always had a reputation for being easy to use, and gained a large, loyal customer base during its 18 year run. Does Aabaco Small Business continue that tradition? Let’s find out!

 

screenshot of Aabaco shopping cart

 

The default login page provides simple, minimalistic access to all of the services offered by Aabaco, as well as billing information. There isn’t much to this, just click on the relevant section you want to go to. The services currently offered by Aabaco include email, domains, ecommerce, web hosting, and domains.

 

screenshot of Aabaco 'getting started' window

 

On the creation of a new account, Aabaco tries to simplify the process of getting started by providing a handy walk through. The walk through takes you through setting up your email, designing your site, and promoting it.

 

setting up your email on Aabaco is easy

 

Email is included with even the most basic hosting package, which does help save the customer money on purchasing email services for their domain. Domain specific email simply gets routed through Yahoo’s default servers to a Yahoo hosted account. At $5.99 a month for a basic plan, when most email hosting costs at least as much by itself, this is a huge deal for the business owner that is merely looking for a landing page and domain specific email.

 

screenshot of Aabaco recommended task list

 

Aabaco also presents a list of tasks when you create a new website that helps guide you through setting up all the different sections of the website. These sections include the overall design, a “Home” page, a “Services” page, an “About Us” page, and a “Contact Us” page. The editor provides options for what kind of layout and design you would like to use, but unfortunately we were unable to find a CSS or HTML editor for intermediate/advanced web designers. This means Aabaco Small Business is strictly for the amateur crowd.

 

screenshot of Aabaco layout and design choices

 

screenshot of Aabaco widgets and manage page options

 

Aabaco does do a good job with providing options to novice webmasters so they don’t have to have a website that looks exactly like every other Aabaco customer’s website. There are tons of design options, as well as five layout options to choose from. The widget selection is poor for now. Hopefully Aabaco has plans for adding more widgets in the future. The page management console provides a few more options for how your pages display. You can choose to hide pages from the main navigation bar, or not even publish them at all.

 

screenshot of Aabaco site settings window

 

The “Site Settings” console allows the Aabaco customer to change their contact information, business name, display settings, business category, web analytics, and Norton site seal. This is also the place to go if you want to delete your website and start over from scratch.

Here are some screenshots of what the default website layout and pages look like.

 

 screenshots of what the Aabaco default website layout and pages look like

 

Once you’ve completed the initial design of your site, Aabaco assists even further with an additional walk through that guides you through submitting your website to search engines, sending a grand-opening email to all your contacts, and creating an Aabaco local listing.

Through the business control panel, you can also add additional users and tweak their administrative access privileges.

It is important to note that Aabaco also offers a service called Localworks, which lists your business in over 50 local directories like Yahoo and Yelp for $29.99/month. This service also allows you to quickly update your listings, track their performance, and add additional information to them.

 

Aabaco also offers a service called Localworks

 

This is what the current pricing for Aabaco’s e-Commerce plans looks like. The transaction fee is 1.5% on the Basic plan, and goes down to .75% on the Premier plan. The Premier plan also comes with 30 business email accounts vs. the Basic’s 10. Premier plans also get a designated account manager and priority telephone support. Both the Premier and Professional plans get API access for third party solutions. The Professional plan seems to be the most complete solution for those looking to save money, but you will have to compromise on the availability of support with it.

 

Screenshot of Aabaco e-commerce plan pricing

 

Aabaco Small Business appears to be just as much the perfect solution for the novice small business owner as Yahoo Small Business once was. While Aabaco Small Business has seen a large number of complaints since its opening, one can only hope that with time these issues will be ironed out as is often the case in any new product or service launch. However, the lack of expert tools such as an HTML/CSS editor limits the scope of Aabaco’s audience on their hosting plans, which can go on to hurt their high end plan sales since advanced webmasters aren’t likely to use a high end plan they cannot test out via using a basic plan first.

Another sore selling point with Aabaco Small Business plans is that the website designs are seriously outdated. Aabaco would stand to see a lot more business if they updated their designs to be a little less 1998 and a little more 2016. Due to this, we see little use for Aabaco’s Small Business plans beyond creating a basic landing page for a small business. Ecommerce customers may want to look for a webhost that provides more eye catching designs for their website.

About the author: Jonquil McDaniel is an IT professional in Florida that has been writing and tinkering with technology both personally and professionally her entire life. She has an infectious enthusiasm for all things technical; a gift for creative problem solving and communications of all kinds; and a warm, positive disposition that infiltrates every word she writes.

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