Intuit (makers of the accounting software package QuickBooks) has been heavily promoting their “free” websites on television. Maybe you’ve seen one of their commercials? They show a small business owner struggling with getting a web site started and of course, Intuit “saves the day” with their free website.
Intuit does all this through Homestead – remember them? Homestead.Com was a web site that was very popular in the Dot Com days for being a free web host. In those days, you could build and host your own site at Homestead for free. The free model of course didn’t last forever and they were purchased by Intuit in 2007.
Now, shame on Intuit for calling them ‘free’ when in reality, they are just a free 30 day trial. You pay $4.99 a month after that unless you add on extras – in which case you’ll pay more. In fact, the $4.99 per month website might not be the right option for your home business. These websites are designed to be mostly ‘informational’ sites where you load articles, photos, price lists, etc. PayPal is an option if you need to accept money on these sites.
If you want a real online store, that’s a different kind of website entirely – which they do offer as well. They have several online store options from a “simple store” for $9.99 per month all the way up to an Enterprise online store for $229.99 per month. There are two options in between: $24.99 and $59.99 per month.
So you will need to decide what option is right based on what kind of home based business you have. They do seem to offer everything you might need for just about any kind of website. I was told they have had only 3 hours of downtime in 10 years (that coming from a sales representative). Are they a good option? I have no direct experience, so maybe someone can share their experience with us: good or bad.
To learn more about Intuit web sites, it’s best to go to the Homestead sites directly linked below.