A survey by 1&1 Internet finds 40 percent of midmarket companies do not yet have an online presence.
A survey conducted by 1&1 Internet, a subsidiary of United Internet,
found small to medium-size business owners risk unnecessary spending due to
confusion over the cost and effort involved in Web hosting and 84 percent of
SMBs pay too much for Web hosting.
The results from a study of more than 1,800 U.S. SMBs suggest that most SMB
owners are misinformed about the cost of owning a business Website, the company
The study discovered that 40 percent of SMBs do not yet have an online
presence. Of those businesses without a Website, 53 percent stated they had no
idea what a Website would cost each month. Of those SMBs already online, 83
percent report that their Website was essential to their company's success, but
cost remains an issue. The average respondent without an online presence
guessed that a business Website would cost a whopping $67 per month. Ninety-one
percent of those same respondents thought it would cost more than $10 per
month, which is the average cost for a professional Web hosting package.
The survey revealed cost was a major factor even for SMBs with an existing
online presence. The average SMB spends $45 per month for Web hosting, and 84
percent said they spend over $10 per month. Cost has become such an issue that
when choosing a Web host, 64 percent agreed that an inexpensive monthly fee is
important, actually outranking service by 33 percent and quality and
reliability by 25 percent.
1&1 Internet CEO Oliver Mauss said
while many small companies today leverage the Web with increasing proficiency,
too many businesses remain excluded from the online world. "Although an
online presence becomes more and more important for the acquisition of new
customers, small business owners are still unaware of the true cost of Web
hosting," he said. "They overestimate the necessary business
investments for being online and underestimate how simple and affordable it is
to source a Website."
SMBs can significantly lower Web hosting costs by creating and updating
their own Website, Mauss said, noting easy DIY Website packages are a way for
SMBs to create and maintain an online presence. Currently, 28 percent of SMB
owners create their own Website themselves and 37 percent hire a professional
Web designer from outside the company.
Once the initial Website is created, future work is completed in-house, the
survey found. Forty-four percent of SMB owners cut costs by updating the site
themselves, while only 22 percent still employ an external professional
"There are now solutions that are designed for all levels of Web
expertise," Mauss said. "At 1&1, for example, the 1&1
MyBusiness Site is the ideal DIY site builder for every SMB owner-even those
with less Web experience. When prepared with knowledge and ambition for
success, every business can have a fully functional Website without exceeding