Yesterday saw launch of POP.CO, a new platform that helps businesses get online instantly. The company behind POP.CO, .CO Internet S.A.S, is well known for coming up with fresh ideas to help entrepreneurs and start ups establish successful online presence.
POP.CO, the company’s latest endeavor, is a bundle of online services that comes with a .CO domain name, a custom POP Page and an email address powered by Google Apps.
Entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses who’re not tech-savvy enough don’t need to hire a web developer to build a professional web presence or spend extra time finding a Web address, hosting provider, email account, etc. as a central POP account handles all that. It also enables users to add and install proprietary or third-party apps to their domains directly through the platform.
Currently in Beta, POP is free for 15 days. Once the free trial ends, users can subscribe for $5 per user per month for the whole POP package.
We had a quick Q & A with Juan Diego Calle, CEO, .CO Internet, on additional features of POP.CO and the future roadmap. If you’ve any more questions or feedback about POP, you can get in touch with the team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Juan Diego Calle, CEO, .CO Internet.
Q: How much flexibility does POP provide in terms of choosing the hosting provider and third party apps?
A: While the basic POP bundle includes the domain name, a Google Apps account, and the POP page, the user has the ability to use any hosting provider they choose.
POP includes a simple DNS editor that allows the user, with a click of a button, to set the appropriate DNS records to point their domain to a number of popular hosting applications. If the user’s hosting provider isn’t included in the simple editor, POP has an advanced DNS editor where the user can create and manage any DNS record.
Additionally, for those advanced users who wish to use another party’s DNS we provide the user with the means to change their name servers completely. The goal of POP is to provide users with the tools to easily set up and manage their online presence while at the same time offering them the flexibility to use any hosting provider they choose.
Q: Although the official blog post makes a passing mention to it, how exactly can POP platform be customized for new gTLDs?
A: The POP platform has been designed to work with any TLD. Some customization of the business rules may be necessary for some TLDs, but this is to be expected and something we are prepared to handle. We believe POP is excellent fit for many of the new TLDs which will be competing for distribution channels. POP provides them with a simple, fully managed solution for controlling their own distribution.
Q: Once the beta period ends, and the service is available for $5/mo, what additional value will POP provide other than being a centralized app-marketplace?
A: In coming months we will continue to enhance POP in a number of different ways. We’ll be adding additional integrated apps that will provide users with more choices, as well as some new tools and services. The focus will remain on apps that improve the user’s online presence, such as website builders, communication platforms, and marketing tools.
Q: Will a .CO domain (which is relatively expensive) be also available in the $5/mo POP package once the beta period ends? Also, can users choose to retain their .CO and discontinue with POP?
A: Yes. The .CO domain will be available in the $5/month POP package once the beta period ends.
POP.co offers a bundled package that includes the .CO domain name, a Google Apps account, and the basic POP web page. After the free trial, a user can choose to subscribe for only $5/mo. There are no additional costs for the domain name, as the cost is bundled into the monthly fee. This is an excellent value as the retail price of a simple Google Apps account is $5 per month/per user, without any of the extra benefits that come with a POP.co account, including the custom .CO domain name, the POP web page, and integrated access to additional third party apps.
While POP does not support users who wish to simply have the domain name without the other bundled services, users do have the option to transfer their domain name to the registrar of their choice – or to cancel their account at anytime. There are no annual commitments.
Q: What criterion will POP be judging third party apps submitted by developers on for integration in the platform? Also, what additional value can developers expect to derive from submitting their apps at POP than other Self-Serve Marketplaces?
A: We have not yet established a firm set of criteria to be used when reviewing third party apps. In general, we’re looking for awesome apps that directly address the needs of our target market, and can be fully integrated via an API. While the details are still evolving, you can learn more here.
Q: What extra enhancements and features can users expect to be integrated in the POP platform with time?
A: As noted above, we are continuing to enhance POP.co in a variety of ways, including the addition of many more integrated apps, as well as new tools and services to help our users to build and grow their online presence with ease. We will also be focusing on supporting the unique needs of our new TLD clients, as they roll out instances of the POP platform in their own namespaces.