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Wells Fargo offers free domain registration to customers

August 19, 1998
Web posted at: 12:45 PM EDT

by Mike Hogan

(IDG) -- If you plan to be a Web merchant some day but aren't ready to open your virtual doors yet, you can at least stake out a snazzy address on the Web for free by becoming a Wells Fargo Merchant Banking customer.

Wells has teamed up with TabNet hosting services to provide Wells Fargo's 80,000 current merchant customers with a free online starter page where you can advertise your business name, contact information, and other minimal business data. That includes your own top-level domain name, such as "," instead of the usual subdirectory hostings sometimes offered by Internet service providers to their Internet access customers.

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TabNet usually charges $79 for these registration services. This price includes a search on name availability and a template that accept contact information, a graphic, and a short description of your business and its products or services. Not included in the giveaway is the $70 charge imposed by InterNIC (the Internet's authorized naming clearinghouse) to register your domain name for two years.

"Most small-business owners don't have any idea about HTML or FTP and don't have the resources to find out," explains Kathleen Kerrigan, TabNet director of media marketing. "We let them deal with all that in their own time. We give them a template and at least they have a presence on the Net. Then they don't need to feel pressured to get a domain name."

Users of this service can't upload pages of their own design to their sites, but when they're ready for e-commerce, they can convert to one of TabNet's full-blown 30MB sites for the usual $29 per month fee, without incurring additional domain registration fees. TabNet also offers online payment processing services for another $45 a month, and will link both full-blown and business card pages to the top 200 search engines for a one-time fee of $29.95.

The special offer, which will appear in Wells Fargo customers' statements this month, is also available by calling TabNet at 800/388-0800. Wells Fargo Merchant Banking customers are those who have a Wells Fargo business checking account and clear their credit card transactions through the bank.

Napa, California-based TabNet is one of the world's leading domain-name registration and Web hosting services companies with more than 72,000 customers worldwide.

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