Hetzner – The Hosting Company

Hetzner - Hosting SpecialistsHetzner is a company located in Germany (EU), that specializes in renting dedicated servers and related hosting products at affordable prices. Those that want to have a dedicated computer connected non-stop to the Internet for the purpose of hosting a website or a multi-player game can use Hetzner and know that they’re getting state of the art hardware at a very good price.

The company has made significant investments in automating its service as much as possible in order to be able to provide such low prices to its customers. Hetzner owns not only the data-center equipment but also the land underneath. In 2011 it received the GreenIT award for being eco-friendly and energy-efficient. There are no discount codes available during the order process which allows them to put the list price closer to the operational costs. A dedicated server’s depreciation is highest during its first month of operation; to cover this, Hetzner charges a one-time setup fee which is designed to offset this; therefore in subsequent months they are able to charge a lower monthly fee.

On 1st of March 2012, the company announced a new site dedicated to dedicated server auctions, www.serverbidding.com, which uses the Dutch auction model – servers start with an initial price which is periodically lowered until someone is willing to enter into a contract for it.

Hetzner operates datacenters in two countries: Germany and Finland. They also announced a partnership via which they can provision cloud services in United States of America.

Flippa – Buy and Sell Websites

Flippa - Buy and Sell WebsitesFlippa facilitates buying and selling websites on the Internet. By using this service, buyers and sellers around the world can transaction fully-fledged websites or only the corresponding domain name, by using an auction-based model where the parties involved can bid up the site’s price during a time period established initially by the seller.

The site accepts PayPal and credit-cards as payment methods, and for some countries an escrow option is also available. To help the buyers do due diligence, Flippa automatically retrieves site data such as whois records, length of time since the domain was registered and search engine rankings data. In addition, the sellers are required to confirm their identity via an unique phone number, and reputation grades from their previous transactions help identify the bad ones quickly.

The site is maintained by a company located in Victoria, Australia. Their traffic seems to have stabilized around 100’000 monthly unique visitors.

The website was founded by Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz; it had revenues of $1.816 million in the 2011 financial year, 10 employees, and in 2012 it received one of the StartupSmart Awards.

Google+ For Businesses and Organizations

Google+ for Businesses and Organizations

Google+ announced on 7th of November 2011 the immediate availability of Google+ Pages, a feature enabling businesses and organizations to create their own “space” on the Google+ network. The name of this feature has the potential to create some confusion among those that remember the now-defunct Google Page Creator, but for most people it won’t be an issue as they probably didn’t hear about it in the first place.

Since the initial launch of the service on 28th of June 2011, the ability of organizations to create their own space on the network has been a saga for corporations and social media professionals as they initially created company accounts only to be disabled by the Google Policy team (by stating that those accounts are forbidden in the initial phase of the service). Now anyone can create a page in the name of his organization, without restrictions.

In connection with this launch Google announced Direct Connect – a feature due to which brand names entered in search queries with the + sign as a prefix will return the Google+ Pages associated with the respective terms. This is currently working only in a limited number of instances but the company plans to make it more universal in the near future.

By enabling organizations to connect with their followers, Google+ addressed one of the service’s main missing features. Its continued success now largely depends on the array of benefits that both organizations and individual users will perceive once they’re connected via their favorite pages. For small business owners, this has the potential to become their first online presence by replacing the need for a website, especially if Google achieves seemingly integration of the feature with Google Maps, Google Sites and its other related services.

Yola – Interactive Site Builder

Yola - Site Creator

Yola allows non-technical people to easily create a professional looking site from within the browser by using an intuitive builder interface. It offers hundreds of site templates, customizable design, online forms and Google Maps integration. Yola also features blog tools, e-commerce support and it acts as a domain registrar.

The site consistently receives hundreds of thousands of visitors on a monthly basis. According to Alexa.com, it is ranked in the top 5’000 sites world-wide.

In addition to the freemium model, Yola offers paid pricing plans with additional features. Yola Silver costs $99.95 per year and offers a custom domain name with private registration as well as additional traffic statistics; Yola Premier costs $499.95 and gives users the ability to have a one-on-one consultation with a professional in order to create a unique 5-page website design that can be expand as needed.

The service was initially called SynthaSite and it was founded by Vinny Lingham in March 2007. It raised $5 million financing in November 2007 from Columbus Venture Capital. An additional $20 millions was raised in Series B funding in February 2009. Shortly thereafter, the company was renamed to Yola (March 26, 2009); Lingham declared that they needed a name which is easy to pronounce and resonates well no matter the language.

Weebly – Create Powerful Websites


Weebly allows users to create a free website using a powerful and intuitive set of online tools. Their builder includes a drag-and-drop interface, hundreds of professional themes, easy blogging, lots of multimedia features as well as fast and helpful support.

Although traditionally their service has been free of charge, in June 2008 Weebly added the paid pricing plans, allowing the creation of password-protected pages and larger file size limits.

Compete.com shows that the site has been visited in the last year by at least 2 million unique visitors each month. The site is ranked by Alexa in the top 500 sites of the world.

The site has been created by David Rusenko, Chris Fanini and Dan Veltri, who met during their studies for an undergraduate degree at The Pennsylvania State University. The company received its initial funding from Ycombinator, a micro-seed funding organization for entrepreneurs.

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