Woza set for closure

Google calls time on free website tool for small businesses in SA.

Google is about to shut down Woza‚ its free website tool aimed at startups and small businesses. The service‚ which launched in early 2012‚ was designed to give businesses “the opportunity to create their own websites and develop an online presence – for free‚ and in under an hour”.

Since going live‚ the service – launched with the support of the Trade and Industry Department‚ Vodacom and Human Resources Development Council – has reportedly been used to create about 40 000 websites.

Google SA confirmed the service would be shut down on February 28.

A Google spokesman said all Woza online users would be given 80 days’ notice‚ as well as alternatives that also included free hosting.

On the Woza Online page‚ Google said the service would be replaced by Google My Business.

According to Google‚ anyone who purchased a domain from Vodacom would be able to keep it‚ and the internet giant said it had worked with Vodacom to make sure it was ready for domain owners to call in for help.

“We are really proud to have helped so many people take that first step‚” Google said on the page.

– Stuart Thomas

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