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Yahoo unveils Web hosting services

Continuing in its quest to find new sources of revenue, the Web portal brings together tools and services to help small businesses promote themselves online.

Yahoo on Monday launched a new Web hosting service that will target small businesses looking to promote themselves online.

Called Yahoo Web Hosting, the product brings together tools and services to allow small businesses have a Web presence. All subscribers will get 24-7 customer service, domain name registration, a business version of Yahoo Mail, access to Yahoo's e-commerce storefronts and the ability to be promoted on Yahoo. Subscribers also get Web site publishing tools, design templates for different types of businesses, PHP scripting and MySQL database services.

The launch is Yahoo's latest effort to sell Web services to business with fewer than 100 employees. Yahoo has been trying to diversify its sources of revenue since online advertising collapsed and has added fees to existing services and launched new premium services as well.

"We want to be the place for small businesses to go online," said Rich Riley, vice president of Yahoo's small business division.

Although Yahoo has offered Web hosting for five years, this is the first time it has marketed it to small businesses. Up to now, Yahoo's Web hosting services have fallen under the umbrella of its Web publishing site GeoCities and through its Broadcast.com service. In March, Yahoo began charging for beefed-up versions of GeoCities while pulling some features into paid-only versions.

GeoCities will continue to offer a free service with extra premium tiers and will be geared more toward casual Web publishers, Riley said. Yahoo will no longer offer "GeoCities Advantage," its most costly tier, and it will migrate these users over to Yahoo Web Hosting.

As part of the launch, the company will also discontinue Broadcast.com's Web Site Services, which also hosts sites. The company will give existing Broadcast.com customers the option to switch to Web Hosting.

Yahoo Web hosting be priced in three monthly subscription tiers based on varying service perks.

"Business Starter" tier costs $11.95 a month with a $15 setup fee, 10 personal e-mail accounts, 50MB of storage and 20GB of data transfer. The "Business Standard" level costs $19.95 a month with a $25 setup, 25 e-mail accounts, 100MB of storage, 25 gigabytes of data transfer and priority toll-free customer service. The "Business Professional" tier costs $39.95 a month with a $25 setup, 35 e-mail accounts. 350MB of storage, 35GB of data transfer and priority toll-free support.