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Announcing our new series: The thinks Website Hosting Tools Review

When customers are looking for you online, your business can’t afford to be invisible. So it’s no surprise that one of the most popular posts we’ve ever run here at thinks compared hosting services for small businesses.

Of course, popularity has its downsides. For one, since shortly after we launched that post, readers have asked for us to review additional sites or update reviews of the original tools. For another, the head-to-head format we used the last time worked well for capsule reviews of a small number of providers. But as the number of tools we’ve been asked to review has grown, neither the capsule reviews, nor the head-to-head comparison made much sense.

Instead, beginning next week, we’re going to review one tool or company each week, with a detailed review that looks at how well the provider can meet basic website needs and how well they handle more advanced items. We’re using each tool to build several basic sites to see how the different tools stack up for different customer types with the sorts of features your customers most commonly look for. These include:

  • Law firm
    • Services
    • Fees
    • News
    • Contact
  • Restaurant/Bar
    • Menu
    • Hours/Directions
    • Entertainment
    • Reviews
    • Simple storefront selling hats, t-shirts and the like
  • Artist
    • Gallery
    • Commissions
    • Appearances
    • Store
  • Guitar shop
    • Store
    • Hours and directions
    • Repairs
    • Lessons

Based on queries, emails and comments, this seems to cover the sorts of features you’re looking for – and, more important, what your customers look for when they’re looking for you.

By popular demand, we’re going to start with an updated review of Weebly, followed each week by a new review until we’ve covered the full set.

If you see any free/inexpensive, simple website building/hosting tools missing that you’d like reviewed, drop us a comment below and we’ll add it to the queue. And, let us know if you’ve used any of the list and would like to offer a comment before the review goes live.

Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

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And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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