Large Hosts Ease Domain Discounting, But Others Now at $4

While some providers continue to sell domain names at a loss to acquire customers, the industry's larger players are retreating a bit from their price-slashing ways of 2003.

Go Daddy, the current volume leader among registrars, recently returned to $8.95 after briefly lowering its prices to $7.95 in an apparent response to price cuts by EV1Servers and Hostway. Last month EV1Servers hiked its domain pricing from $5 per year to $6.49, which equals the lowest reseller rate available from its wholesale provider, OpenSRS.

But others are willing to sell domains below cost as a marketing strategy. The newest is MyValueHost, a new business unit of HostMysite.com, which has begun selling domain names for $4 a year.

Retail Domain Name Prices, Jan. 2004
Company One-year
.com price
&nbspPrimary Business&nbsp Primary Region
1&1 Internet AG $5.99 Mixed Hosting Europe
EV1Servers $6.49 Dedicated Hosting America
Hostway $6.95 Shared Hosting America
Web.com $6.95 Mixed Hosting America
GoDaddy Inc $8.95 Domain Registrar America
RegisterFly $9.95 Domain Registrar America
Dotster $14.95 Domain Registrar America
Host Europe $15.20 Mixed Hosting Europe
FastHosts $15.25 Mixed Hosting Europe
Verio $19.00 Mixed Hosting America
eNom $29.95 Domain Registrar America
The Planet $30.00 Mixed Hosting America
Register.com $35.00 Domain Registrar America
Melbourne IT $35.00 Domain Registrar America
Network Solutions $35.00 Domain Registrar America

"We started the offer a couple of weeks ago with very little promotion," said Lou Honick of MyValueHost, which was launched last year. "We register the domain names through OpenSRS and we're obviously taking a loss on every name registered, but the influx of hosting business has allowed us to sustain the offer." Honick said the offer, which has a 10-domain limit, has resulted in 500 domain registrations in its early days.

A number of providers using Go Daddy's Wild West Domains wholesale unit are also selling names below the $6.75 reseller rate, some as low as $4.95. The strategy hasn't yet affected pricing from domain wholesalers, who receive their minimum price even if their clients resell for less or even give them away for free, a strategy used by DotCanada and HostMySite are doing for customers who commit to a one-year hosting plan.