Fasthosts offers Microsoft design solution

Independent hosting company for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), Fasthosts, has partnered with Microsoft, to offer exclusive dedicated server and web design packages, to enable enterprise-class websites for UK small businesses.

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can now achieve affordable enterprise-class websites thanks to a new partnership between Microsoft and the UK’s largest hosting provider, Fasthosts, launched today. The first 300 customers to purchase a Windows DS600 or DS800 Dedicated Server from Fasthosts will receive Microsoft’s Expression Web design software for free.

The combined package gives SMEs all they need to exploit the potential of the web. The special dedicated server packages provide online businesses with tools for success, including unlimited bandwidth, a high speed virtual data pipe, and a secure private network. Now added to this is Microsoft’s Expression software, empowering SMEs with professional design tools to easily build dynamic, interactive websites for a compelling user experience.

Stephen Holford, Director of Product Marketing at Fasthosts explained, ”This is the perfect package for aspirational UK businesses. The technical capabilities of our high-end servers means that all the boxes for back end functionality are ticked, while the Expression software means the shop front has access to the latest in web design. We’re not just giving businesses the tools to build their online business; with this exclusive deal, we’re giving them the means to set out their stalls too. With no bandwidth limits and a high speed connection, this range of servers is excellent value for money.”

Small business productivity has been historically hamstringed by server downtime. A 2005 Fasthosts study found that the average downtime for a small business was two weeks. In recognition of this, Fasthosts dedicated servers possess a unique feature that allows users to control their servers remotely and reboot them online as required by simply clicking a restart button on a control panel.

Fasthosts’ dedicated servers offer the user permanent keyboard, video and mouse control by using a self-powered on board card, meaning that the customer is given complete control over their dedicated server. This includes changing BIOS configuration access, hardware reset and remote desktop (Windows) as well as SSH (Linux). Customers can also benefit from guaranteed bandwidth through the allocation of a virtual data pipe connected directly to their server. This means that SMEs do not have to share resources and bandwidth with other companies on the same unmetered, unlimited connection and they don’t have to pay for additional bandwidth.

Expression Web is a professional design tool to create modern, standards-based sites with superior quality. Its built-in support for the latest Web standards means SMEs can quickly and easily build accessible websites with cross-browser compatibility, without needing in-depth technical knowledge. The visual designers, art design tools and intuitive lay out features, are designed to enable SMEs to design eye-catching, creative sites for a compelling user experience, while easily incorporating and building XML data.

John Allwright, Head of Web Design at Microsoft UK offered, ”Microsoft Expression Web has really raised the benchmark for standards based website design. We chose to partner with Fasthosts for this offer because we wanted to provide small businesses with both the tools to design an enterprise-class website and the IT infrastructure to enable it as well. Fasthosts were an obvious choice with their reputation for excellent customer service and support.”

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