We’ve been very busy at Blacknight since the COVID-19 crisis began. The internet is essential infrastructure – now more than ever – and, as the largest Irish web host, we’ve worked hard to keep it online. The businesses that use our web hosting, email, broadband and productivity tools depend on us, as their customers depend on them.
But it’s not just about business as usual: the world has changed overnight. We’re getting calls from new customers: small businesses who realise that it’s time to go online and survive. Companies whose customers have asked them: where’s your website? How can I buy from you online?
In response, we are announcing two new products to help small businesses get online.
- Build-My-Website is the quick and painless way to get a simple professional-looking website online
- shopBuilder adds eCommerce functionality to any website. Take orders and get paid online.
Can you just build it for me? Yes of course we can
Build-My-Website is designed to get a small business online as quickly as possible. It’s based on our popular siteBuilder platform which lets users build and customise a website by themselves, without technical web-coding skills. But we know that many of the SMEs we’ve talked to lately have enough on their plates, adapting their workplaces, helping their customers. “Can you just build it for me?”, they’ve asked. Yes of course we can.
Build-My-Website includes the complete siteBuilder Basic package: web hosting, a free domain name registration, SSL Security Certificate, a blog and analytics. Along with that, we’ve added a free no-obligation telephone consultation and our developers will build a three-page website to your specifications.
It won’t be the Sistine Chapel or the Mona Lisa, but it will be your website, on your domain name, and you can optionally add email hosting as well.
Your part of the Internet: let your customers find you
It will be your part of the Internet: a place where your customers can find you, check your opening hours, learn about your products and services, and contact you with orders and enquiries. siteBuilder is designed to be easily maintained and updated by the user themselves, or you can buy further development work if needed. All software upgrades occur automatically as required, and are included in the annual price.
For some businesses, that is enough. Others will want to add a store to take payments online. siteBuilder is eCommerce-ready and can be easily upgraded with the addition of shopBuilder.
The Internet isn’t a silver bullet for the problems of coronavirus. As society reopens, technology is just one of the tools we need to employ to keep ourselves and others safe. Irish society has stepped up to the challenge: practising social distancing and hand hygeine; staying at home; protecting the vulnerable.
There is also a recognition that local businesses and employers are essential to our communities. Government support is available for businesses to add or upgrade their eCommerce capability.
Irish people want to support their local business and they want to protect public health by shopping online. Your customers are already online – and they are looking for you.