site design software, promotional tools and statistical analysis to monitor site performance.
Support. Support issues frustrate
many site owners: Support may not be available, or understandable, when they need it.
Affinity has two dedicated support centers in
the United States, offering 24/7 toll-free
phone support at no additional cost. Others
may charge for it.
What if my business grows?
Many businesses are stunned to learn how
a Web presence can expand their business.
They quickly outgrow their initial Web
site and discover their current host can’t
meet their needs or the price to upgrade is
enormous, cutting into profits. ValueWeb
hosting provides room to grow while keeping
By Steve Fisher
BIG BUSINESSES MAY have the budget to
hire expensive consultants or in-house staff
to design, build and maintain Web sites.
Small businesses often have to do it themselves. It can be daunting for the cyber-rookie
or the technologically challenged. But
Costco, in partnership with Affinity, offers
Value Web, a Web hosting service that makes
it easy and affordable.
How much is that Web site
in the window?
While the features offered are compelling,
the price is even more so. The Value Web fee is
$14.95 a month (plus a one-time $10 setup
fee) for Costco Executive Members, $17.95 a
month (plus a $20 setup fee) for Gold Star and
Business members. Affinity offers a comparable package elsewhere for $99.95 a month.
Why a Web site?
An old advertising slogan stated, “Let
your fingers do the walking through the
Yellow Pages.” Bona fide businesses without
an ad in their local Yellow Pages risked losing
credibility. Today, the same risk applies to a
Web site. Proof positive is the fact that even
the Yellow Pages has one.
A Web site helps businesses:
Establish a credible presence.
Virtually operate 24 hours a day, seven
days a week, with or without a “
Provide an inexpensive form of continual marketing.
Expand their customer base, revenue
and, one would hope, profits.
together, pay a company to register your
domain name (Web address) and then set
about to find a proper host for the site.
This approach can add up to wasted time
Or you can find a host that offers all the
necessary components in one bundled package and price. That’s the key component of
Value Web’s offering for Costco members.
What does Value Web offer?
ValueWeb Web offers Costco members
more features than other hosts.
Web site address. Free the first year;
other Web hosts may charge.
Disc space. 100 GB (gigabytes) of
4,000 GB per month.
E-mail. 200 mailboxes with unlimited
aliases, forwards and auto-responders.
Software and services. More than
$1,500 worth of design and e-commerce software, including easy-to-use CreateIt! online
What about e-commerce?
Tools for e-commerce are part of the
package. (An SSL Certificate, to protect user
data, is available at the Costco member price
The package does not include the use of
credit cards. But, in a separate service, Costco
has partnered with NOVA Information
Systems to make accepting credit cards
affordable. (For more information on this
program, see the September 2006 article in the
Online Edition at costco.com under “Costco
What makes a Web site?
You can buy expensive software, learn the
ins and outs of site design, put your site
The host with the most
Satisfied members Carol and Bill Brown
of Brown Dental Lab in Issaquah,
Washington, say, “We are saving up to $360 a
year in monthly fees alone. There are no hidden fees or surprise charges, and the customer service has been incredible!”
To learn more about Costco’s Web hosting service through Affinity, visit costco.com
and click on “Services,” then on “Small
Businesses,” or call toll-free 1-800-821-6312
and mention priority code 4233. C