Microsoft Office Live provides a free website builder for Small Businesses.
Microsoft is a leader in technology, though they are known to produce products fraught with problems.
Of all of the website builders reviewed, this is the most irksome. Customer support is nonexistent and complaints are ignored. Users are delayed indefinitely before being able to build a site. This is an unprofessional and poorly run application.
Microsoft Office Live requires Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. After registration, users are directed to a home screen with a notice that some parts of the account are not yet fully activated. Users are directed to wait and refresh to get an updated status and when the site is ready to use the message will be gone. During review, using the latest version of Internet Explorer, the page never went live. Reviewer attempted to use Firefox and the result was the same. A search of the user forum revealed that this is a common issue, but Microsoft representatives had not supplied answers. The blog has not been updated since December 2009.
After contacting customer service via email, this response was received: I would like to inform you that it may take up to 72 hours for the provisioning of your account. Therefore, please wait for 72 hours from the date you signed up and then try to access it. If you still face the same problem after 72 hours then please get back to us so that we can further look into the matter.
24 hours after signing up, an email announcing “Start building your Web site with Office Live” was received. It contained a link labeled “Get Started on Your Web Site”. The link led to an error message stating that the webpage is not available. Well beyond 72 hours, the site is still inaccessible.
Registration requires an email address, password, full name, and organization if applicable. Those with Live accounts may sign in through the Live software.
Microsoft Office Live provides a Small Business website free of charge. Domain name registration is $14.95/year, premium email $19.95/ year, and additional storage and users range from $4.95-84.95/month.
This application is not recommended. A 72 hour wait to set up a website is unacceptable when so many website builders offer instant access. With the lack of customer support, users would do well to find another app.