Recently Getting British Business Online (GBBO) launched it’s 2012 campaign, with the help of Google, in Cardiff. The focus remains the whole of the UK but with an emphasis on welsh businesses.
GBBO has been around for several years and is built on top of Google Sites, a free web service (choose a template and input content). The aim is to get as many British Businesses online as possible, with a simple web presence a business can grow. GBBO offer a Free Website (with a free domain), low-cost training services, business workshops and some great tools. Already interested? Get Started Today.

Advantages of using GBBO

    GBBO is backed by big names like Google, BT, Regus and Pearsons.
    That means it isn’t going to disappear overnight like some free solutions could.

    A FREE Domain
    Free for the first year, then low cost renewal (as with all domains).

    Quick and Easy to Setup Website

    Easy to Update Content Areas

    Simple Integration with Google Places & Maps

    Possible Integration with PayPal (for usage as simple online store)

Disadvantages of using GBBO

    Google Sites / GBBO has a limited number fairly bad templates
    Templates that aren’t the best for SEO and nor the best web design

    Very Limited Actions on Site
    Basically you can only do so much to change the template
    You can’t use javascript or flash, the only work around is with Google Widgets.

    Your domain is locked for 60 days
    So if you decide you don’t want to use Google Sites you have to wait. 

    If you move host you need to start over

    GBBO can only do so much.
    As with all free solutions, you are very limited in what you can do.

Should You Use GBBO?

As you may expect from someone who is a web designer, I can’t really say “yes yes, GBBO is amazing” but I think you gathered that much. However, I do think GBBO is a much better solution than almost all other free website solutions, and even the cheap ones. So if you are thinking of using a free solution other than GBBO don’t, if you are thinking £50 that is not bad for a website – don’t in this case just use GBBO is much better than these ever will be.

Basically, if you can’t afford a few hundred quid for a website that will be built professionally and do what you want (ok online shops cost a bit more) then this is perfect for you. If you can afford a few hundred pounds for a website check out my specialised small business package (which includes stationary and logo design).

In researching this post I read hundreds of blog posts, forum threads and discovered not many people happy with GBBO. There were maybe 3 or 4 happy with what they received, but most in essence settled as it was free. Complaints revolved around the limitations mentioned above along with it being quite hard to contact GBBO when things went wrong (in terms of getting support not the sales line). If however, you are happy with your GBBO website please do let us know.

Written by Andy Kinsey SEO Consultant
For over ten years I have been working with all kinds of clients big and small, start ups to multi-nationals, helping them to make the most of their online assets and ensure they can grow.