Yahoo! Aabaco Small Business Yahoo! Aabaco Small Business
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Yahoo! Aabaco Small Business Review

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Rating:
Bottom Line:
Aabaco retains Yahoo!'s integrated web builder and other features, making it great for beginners; support quality and newness are small concerns to keep in mind

Full Review:
Satisfied users of Yahoo! Small Business may not be too pleased to learn the service has rebranded into Aabaco Small Business. This change was a result of Yahoo Inc. rolling up some of its services into what is known as Aabaco Holdings. While Aabaco Small Business claims to offer the same great service as Yahoo! Small Business, we did find it to be slightly lacking in some areas such as customer service. That said, for the most part, customers can still enjoy many of the same core features they had as Yahoo! customers.


Pricing


Surprisingly, despite offering many of the same features, Aabaco’s pricing is slightly higher than Yahoo!’s, which had its lowest price set at just $2.62/month. Aabaco has three plans, starting with the Basic Plan, which costs $3.75/month for one year and includes 10 site pages, 250 email addresses, 100 GB of disk space and a 1,000 GB/month data transfer cap. Aabaco claims this plan is the best option for small personal sites. Next is the Advanced Plan, which Aabaco says is the ideal plan for business sites, as it costs $5.99/month for 12 months and includes unlimited site pages, 500 email addresses, 500 GB of disk space and a 5,000 GB/month data transfer cap. Rounding out the options is the Premier Plan, which costs $8.99/month for one year and includes unlimited capacity for storage, pages and data transfer; however, email accounts are limited to 1,000 accounts. Aabaco claims this last plan is best for heavy traffic sites.

It should be noted that all of Aabaco's plans include a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, which promises you a full refund if you’re not satisfied during your first 30 days. Domain costs are non-refundable, and if these costs exceed what you paid for web hosting with Aabaco, you will not get a refund. Finally, after the initial 30 days, all cancellations are non-refundable.


Interface

Off the bat, Aabaco makes it apparent that, like Yahoo!, its service’s focus is small businesses and individuals, which is apparent through its hosting plans, all of which include shared hosting — the most accessible and beginner-friendly hosting tier. However, even with this commitment to user-friendliness, Aabaco’s design feels unintuitive at times. For example, Aabaco says it has 24/7 support all over its site, but the number listed on the front end of the site is not for support. Locating actual customer service contact information can be tricky as you must be logged in and accessing your control panel, as opposed to simply locating a Contact Us page that lists customer care information. Small design choices like this provide mild annoyance that can likely be overlooked, as Aabaco proves a lot of supplementary materials for both bloggers and businesses that are just starting out and building their brand.


Basic Features

Aabaco is a Linux-based shared hosting service. It uses a custom control panel, similar to the one Yahoo! Small Business provided. Aabaco’s advantage is its easy-to-use, What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) website builder and page editor. As a result of its commitment to simplicity, Aabaco lacks a substantial list of scripts and plugins. Unlike other web hosts we’ve reviewed, there is no Fantastico, Softaculous or MOJO Marketplace where you can pick and plug dozens of third-party scripts into your site. That said, several key one-click installs exist, like Zen Cart and PayPal for payments and WordPress for businesses and bloggers. Still, those seeking robust scripts or plugins would be better off with a web hosting package from a more comprehensive service like HostGator.


Aabaco also offers complimentary web services to meet the needs of various types of customers. For example, you can invest in an e-commerce setup for as low as $29/month for one year. Other features include email setup — custom mailboxes are $34.95/month (billed annually) and business mail costs $9.95/month (billed annually) — as well as marketing support to raise the SEO for physical businesses (for as low as $29.99/month) or domains as a standalone purchase (prices vary). One domain name and a handful of subdomains (the amount varies from plan to plan) come free with any of Aabaco’s plans, although you also have the option to purchase additional domain names alongside the standard web hosting packages.


Advanced Features

Outside of Aabaco’s small plug-in library, there isn’t much in regards to advanced features. VPS and dedicated hosting are not available through the service, and neither are content management systems like Joomla or Drupal. Many types of scripting support are lacking as well, however Perl, PHP and MySQL are supported.


Support

To access support, you must first field questions that determine the nature of your problem(s), which you can do on the help search page. Depending on how Aabaco categorizes your problem, the site will either recommend you review the FAQs and tutorials or contact support via 24/7 live chat, phone or email. From what we’ve seen on the help pages, the information is relatively limited — at least in terms of web hosting-related documentation. Still, since Aabaco features a plug-and-play site editor, it’s likely that most users, especially beginners, will get what they want out of the site without a substantial need for support documentation.

If you do find yourself needing some additional help, you can always call or email customer support. Emails are typically answered within 24 hours and phone or chat support are available 24/7, as we noted above. It's important to note that the number given on the home page is for sales and purchasing, which is not available 24/7. In order to get the number for technical support, you must access the support page and first answer Aabaco’s questions about your issue. If you’re not logged in, you’ll get an incident report number which you can use in a call or email to start the support process.

Upon contacting Aabaco by phone, our wait time was around 10 minutes and the entire call took about 15 minutes. Despite asking fairly basic questions about the differences between Aabaco and Yahoo!, the support representative seemed to have difficulty understanding exactly what we needed clarified. As a result, the answers we received were rather vague. Over chat support we received a response instantaneously, but the entire conversation took over 10 minutes despite our small number of questions. The chat associate answered our initial question incorrectly, possibly based on a misunderstanding of what we were saying. We emailed support the same question and our online response wasn’t very comprehensible either. This is likely because Aabaco’s support is outsourced to other countries. We concluded that support appears to be best suited for addressing very specific issues — more general questions are less likely to be answered thoroughly.

Although it’s nice to have customer support available 24/7, we were disappointed by Aabaco’s lack of message boards which are common support features some other hosts have. The absence of a knowledgebase, which nearly all non-custom cPanel and Plesk control panels have, was also a concern.


Conclusion

Aabaco is centered around optimizing the small business owner or blogger’s experience by providing a core set of commonly-used plugins and features, making it ideal for amateurs and beginners. Its powerful WYSIWYG editor and dependability, inherited from Yahoo!, are also solid pluses. The only major blemish appears to be Aabaco's support quality. While Aabaco's support isn't terrible, it is definitely a sore point for the service. Between the outsourcing and the technical nature of web hosting issues, users might find it difficult to communicate their needs and understand responses from customer service. Still, Aabaco is a decent environment for web hosting newbies to get their feet wet, users just need to keep in mind that there are still questions surrounding the exact quality of Aabaco's support given how new the service is.

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Service Details

Cheapest Price:$3.75/mo for 1 year
Storage/Data Transfer:100 GB/1,000 GB per month
Money-Back Guarantee:30 days
Domain:Free for 1 year
Support:Email, Phone, Live Chat

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