Strong Hostname Growth for Domain Registrars

March was a banner month for domain registrars, as Dotster, Go Daddy and eNom were the fastest-growing providers in our Hosting Provider Switching Analysis, adding more than a half million hostnames between them.

Go Daddy and eNom may be benefiting from speculative purchases amid growing awareness of improvements in the domain resale market. The planned sale of (a porn site often confused with gained widespread media notice in the U.S. last month, with many stories noting the sale of for $1.3 million in December. In the first quarter of 2004, at least 24 domains changed hands for $25,000 or more at auction, according to domain industry observers.

Top Hosting Providers By Growth, Feb 04 to Mar 04
Hosting Company Feb 04 Mar 04 Growth %
Dotster 336,369 597,290 260,921 77.6% America
GoDaddy Inc 1,918,182 2,056,278 138,096 7.2% America
eNom 5645,544 782,411 136,867 21.2% America
1&1 Internet AG 3,731,277 3,833,086 101,809 2.7% Europe
Global Media Online 78,610 134,265 55,655 70.8% Asia
MCI 708,444 763,557 55,113 7.8% America
The Planet 191,466 229,877 38,411 20.1% America
EV1Servers 711,035 743,089 32,054 4.5% America
AboveNet/MFN 212,439 244,107 31,668 14.9% America
Deutsche 354,780 385,772 30,992 8.7% Europe

Two of this month's gainers are demonstrating that bankruptcy need not be a barrier to growth - provided you can successfully jettison a damaged brand. Scandals don't get much larger than the collapse of WorldCom, but the renamed MCI is showing strength, gaining 55K in March after adding 14K in February. Also making our leaderboard is the former Metropolitan Fiber Network, which rebranded as AboveNet when it emerged from bankruptcy last September.

1&1 Internet AG continued to gain momentum with paid accounts in its U.S. unit, gaining 21,705 hostnames in March. Almost none of that gain came from other American hosting companies, however, as 19k were new registrations and another 650 were transfers from Go Daddy, and Network Solutions.