Changes at Google (and North Forty Road)

For years we have recommended Google Apps for Business as a great way for small businesses to get high-quality email services with enterprise features. Google Apps allows you to use your own domain name for email, yet also take advantage of all the great online services Google offers, such as Google Drive and Google Calendar. Until recently, Google offered these services for free to organizations that used fewer than 10 accounts.

Now, however, Google has changed their policy. If you already are a Google Apps for Business user, your free account will continue to be honored. However, new users will have to pay $5/per user/per month or $50/per user/per year. That’s still a great value for any business, considering the services Google bundles together, but it is most definitely not free! To learn more about these changes, visit Google’s Enterprise Blog.

It is fair to say that we would still recommend Google Apps for Business. Think about it: there is no software for you to install, upgrade or maintain.There are no mail servers to worry about. There is not a calendar server or a file server that needs to be maintained. You get a virtual office with file storage, best-in-class email services, and innovative collaborative tools all with 24 hour support. That’s worth the money in our book.

Our business is changing too. We are focusing more and more on making great websites for innovative and expanding businesses. We remain focused on great value, but we are also doing more with websites than in the past. The websites we are now building leverage the latest technologies on the web. We are investing our time and energy in bringing very capable websites to our clients. This means we are not as focused as we have been on other aspects of our business, such as hosting and tech support.

Consequently, we plan in the next year to partner with great service providers who can meet the support and server needs of our clients. We anticipate migrating many of our hosting clients to new hosting providers who will also provide tech support. For our customers, this should be a seamless process. The only thing you’ll probably notice is a new name and address on the billing invoice for your hosting. Rest assured that we will inform you of any changes to your account before it happens.

Also rest assured that we will continue to work to create great websites for our clients. The web continues to provide a fertile foundation for innovation and expansion and we intend to help you utilize the web for your business to the fullest extent possible.

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