Indian government is pushing hard towards expanding the reach of Internet by distributing tablets for less price and by improving the average speed of broadband connection and wireless Internet connections. Small business owners can see this as a platform to showcase their company’s profile and to reach new customers.
The very basic requirement to start promoting your business on web is to have a website. For SMBs in India, Google in association with companies like ICICI Bank, HostGator and FISME has started a new initiative to give free .IN domain and one year hosting for free. Under this initiative, the target is to provide free domain and hosting to more than 5 lakh small and medium businesses in India in next 3 years. The name of this program is “India Get Your Business Online” where if you own a small business, you can get free domain name with TLD as .in and one year hosting for free. As hosting and domain renewal after one year will be charged at normal rates and to continue after that, you will have to pay these two charges.
Under this program, you will also get custom email addresses for your domain which will help you spread the name of the domain through email address on visiting cards and brochures. For example, if you register for domain name as example.in then you can have an email ID as email@example.com.
Of course the main advantage of this program is that you are getting a free .IN domain on this program which will cost you somewhere between Rs. 600 – 800. Apart from the domain name registration fee, you will have to pay for hosting charges which may cost you in the range of Rs. 1500 – 3000 per year. Under this program, you are getting the hosting service for free for one year.
To register your domain through this program, you need a PAN card. This is required for nationality verification. You also need to enter business phone number and address while registering your domain under this program.
Don’t know why, but the special domain registration page of hostgator is showing error as “Not Available” for every domain name that I tried to register. Even when other places like GoDaddy are showing that name as available. Probably, Hostgator should check the query logic to see if logical problem is there on existing domain name search query. I will update you once their search query will start working properly.
As per the details available on the website, it seems that what Hostgator is offering is a hosting space for few static files. I am sure the first one year free scheme will give a very less access. To install a blogging platform like WordPress, you need access to FTP and install the same and to have database on MySQL. I don’t think that Hostgator is giving that kind of package here. This program is for those who wants to have a small website (10 – 12 static pages) with contact details and company information. So you should not expect the hosting platform for blogs and forums under this package. If you are interested in having that kind of platform and hosting package, you can always choose from different hosting service providers.
You can find more details about the initiative on Google India Blog.