MS Office Live Small Business gets destroyed with hammerMicrosoft used to offer a neat website builder called Office Live Small Business (OLSB). It was never perfect but it was free, easy to use and the name Microsoft promised a solid company behind it.

In late 2010 Microsoft announced that the service would be discontinued leading to more than 100 mostly very angry comments. The funny thing is that Microsoft has since repeatedly claimed: “we have been listening to your feedback”.

They obviously haven’t.

OLSB blog
Screenshot taken from OLSB blog

April 30, 2012 will mark the end of OLSB. I have no idea why they need to shut the whole thing down – to annoy this many customers simply makes no sense at all. Even when you are Microsoft.

20 pages to self-transition your site to Office 365

The replacement product is called Office 365. I guess everyone thought that at least it would be an easy process to get the old site into the new system. After all, both OLSB and Office 365 are Microsoft products. Chances are that once you’ve read the 20 page self-transition guide (Word doc) you won’t find it easy at all. Every single step involves doing things manually.

The nature of website builders

A hosted site builder comes with a lot of benefits but also with one major disadvantage: Your provider has to stay in business or at least keep the product in their portfolio. Microsoft is far from going out of business, but they decided to do away with it anyway.

Office Live Small Business alternatives

We have always been advocates of online website builders. However, we only recommend specialized site builders from companies who are truly dedicated to their mission. That’s why we look at how they are financed and we also have met in person with some of the providers to get a feel for the respective companies.

So if you want to continue with a hosted site building service, please take a look at our comparison chat. Here you can also find recommendations suited particularly to small business websites.

In case you are looking for a different solution, for example an Open Source CMS, you could check out and hire someone on Elance to help you create it. Make sure you check the ratings before choosing a provider.

If you have any comments about Microsoft’s move, please let me know!

 Image: © Sean Gladwell –

About Robert Brandl, BA (Hons) Munich University MUAS

robert brandl

Hi, my name is Robert Brandl, and I am the founder of Tooltester. I used to work in a digital marketing agency where I managed website and email marketing projects. To optimize my client's campaigns, I always had to find the optimal web tools. Tooltester (founded in 2010) opens this knowledge to you, hopefully saving you endless hours of research. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. You can also find me on LinkedIn.

Your comments

Back to top