Broadband and Telephone services provider Airtel is now also an Website building (and hosting) service provider. I was thinking why this hasn’t come early from Airtel, as they are no trusted (or reliable) web hosting providers in India. Mind you, Airtel already provides Managed Data center services (co-location), but web hosting for retail purposes is totally a different thing.
Before I dwell into the tariff and features of this service, one thing that you can be sure with Airtel is its world class support. If you have any problems with your website, you can just call the toll free number 121 from your Airtel number.
There are 3 packs, Standard, Professional and e commerce packs.
The Standard pack comes at Rs.250 per month, Professional pack at Rs.500 and e commerce pack at Rs.1000 per month. There is also a setup fee for each one of these which is Rs.500, Rs.1000, Rs.4000 respectively.
Looking at the features, it looks like Airtel aims at reaching the first timers rather than attracting the ‘already hosted’ websites. Clearly, there are no technical specifications about the configurations of the servers, what scripts does it support, and do we have the option to access the root and add any other software, if need be, how many domains, how many sub domains, what about emails, does it support POP/IMAP?
At least there is no information on whether the servers will use a Windows OS or the Linux OS? All these will be asked by ‘already hosted’ customers.
Everything that I see is in layman’s terms that can be easily understood by a newbie. For example, the features like Animated cursors, Hit counters, Guest book, wysiwyg editor(what you see is what you get), Logo incorporation, Banner and footer incorporation etc are easily understood by the first timers, but aren’t actually even a ‘worth to mention’ features for ‘already hosted’ customers.
However, it looks like Airtel provides Unlimited hosting space and bandwidth transfer, even for the standard pack, which is good considering the low cost of these pack, compared to actual webhosting companies. However, it has to be remembered that there is a page limit on each of these 3 packs. For standard pack, you can build a maximum of 5 pages, 20 for Professional and unlimited for e commerce pack.
One feature that tells me that users (except for may be the e commerce pack), will have very limited access to the settings part (or any thing that relates to coding) is the mention of incorporating ‘Paypal button’ on the site for receiving payments.
I really can’t think of a reason why it isn’t possible to implement in the base plans (especially when thy have Unlimited bandwidth and hosting space). It is just a matter of copying and pasting a snippet of html code that you get from your Paypal account.
Visit this page for detailed features.
At last, if you are a newbie into building websites, you may try considering the standard pack (all plans have a 30 day trial period). But if you have any serious intentions of taking your website to distinct heights, then it’s better of starting with a reputed Hosting company (Dreamhost, GoDaddy, HostGator etc)