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When on line self build web sites started to appear Microsoft were (unsurprisingly) one of the first on the market with their Small Business Offering. This gave small business es the ability to create and maintain a web site without having to rely on a web designer. This is a fantastic way to get an online presence , and the beauty of the Microsoft tool was that it was absolutely free.

About 18 months ago this all changed. First Microsoft stopped taking new registrations – without notice. Then they announced that existing accounts would be transferred to Microsoft’s 365 tool – a paid offering online access to a range of products on the cloud – including web design and management.

And this has been where we we’ve been at for around a year. Now the change is imminent – all sites must either be transferred to Microsoft 365 by the end of april or they will be closed. The only other option is to build the site again in another tool and transfer the domain name.

It’s a lot of “faff” for small charities and not for profits who have built up sites in Microsoft small office, and even the transfer to 365 isn’t straightforward. I know quite a few who have – I helped them set their sites up, but there is nothing in the Microsoft changeover information to help not for profits with this change.

BT have a great free web tool for not for profits and Moonfruit is a great tool which costs less than Microsoft. I’m recommending all of my contacts change to one of these.

I’m sure Microsoft won’t notice, but ownership of a site is important.

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