I’ve blogged about the discontinuing of public websites a while back and I promised that I would write an update, when there was something to update on. And guess what! Somethings updating.

When the changes was announced, there was a small outcry from a few partners, but really nothing major. Then again, it’s not like Microsoft is announcing this out loud yet.

Facts

  • Microsoft is discontinuing the public website feature, that was bundled on an average Office 365 subscription starting March 9, 2015
  • Existing customers that have a public website will be able to continue running that website until March 9, 2017
  • Customers that sign up for Office 365 after March 9, 2015 WILL NOT have the option of a public website.
  • Microsoft is not going to cut prices for any subscriptions
  • Microsoft is not going to refund existing subscribers
  • Microsoft have partnered with some webhosts and they offer webhosting to Office 365 customers at discounted prices
  • Microsoft is not going to help you, move your website

Read more about the changes.

Future options according to Microsoft

It seems for now, that the future lies with either Godaddy or wix.com. I have to be honest and say that I’ve never tried any of them and I really do not have any intentions of doing so. I know the hostingmodel they use. If I had to choose (and I really don’t want to) I would go with wix.com over Godaddy. But I would rather not choose any of them at all.

What I recommend

When it comes to websites in this day in age, I cannot emphasize enough how much it means for your business. And it does not matter how small your business are. If you are serious about your business, you have to get serious about your website.

I fully understand the considerations that many small business owners face, when it comes to prioritizing their time and economy on a daily basis. If the business owner can settle for a few bucks a months and then run a somewhat semi-nice website within the constraints of some pre-made templates, why not? Why should that business owner spend any more than the bare minimum on a website, which no-one is ever going to visit anyway? I know this for a fact, since I’ve been asked that question several times over the years.

If you are serious about your business, you have to be serious about your Website and you have to get serious about your Intranet. SharePoint is a serious platform for running a website, but unfortunately SharePoint Online’s public website has always been a very light version of SharePoint and are not to be compared with a local install of SharePoint, which is far more powerful.

What you should do today

Keep calm. Breathe. Assure yourself that the world is not going to end and you will most likely survive until tomorrow.

What should you do tomorrow

Start making a plan for your new website. Use this opportunity to redesign your website and make better use of it

What you should do within the next 24 months

Rather sooner than later I would recommend you to get a new website. But get a plan together first and if you need it. Get some help.