1&1 Internet, The Planet Are 2004 Hosting Growth Leaders

It’s been a dynamic year for the web hosting industry, as the Internet has added more than 10.9 million hostnames in 2004. The list of the year’s most successful hosting companies is populated with familiar names.

Notably, the five hosting providers that gained more than 100K active sites during 2004 did so entirely through organic growth, rather than acquisitions. Leading the pack was German giant 1&1 Internet, which expanded into the American market even as it continued to gain customers in Europe. Next is The Planet, which experienced a huge year as it found a product positioning sweet spot with its customizable menus of managed services atop dedicated servers.

Top Hosting Providers By Active Site Growth, Dec 03 to Dec 04
Hosting Company Dec 03 Dec 04 Growth %
1&1 Internet 1,818,753 2,216,469 397,716 21.9% Europe
The Planet 67,426 398,325 330,899 490.8% Americas
Go Daddy 120,175 326,524 206,349 171.7% Americas
EV1Servers 393,082 556,721 163,369 41.6% Americas
Yahoo 241,022 343,336 102,314 42.6% Americas

Go Daddy continued its phenomenal hostname growth through its domain name registry, but also had strong performance as measured by active sites - those which contain actual content, an approach that excludes parked domains and one-page template sites and is therefore a better barometer of growth for a hosting business. Rounding out the top five are dedicated server specialist EV1Servers and Yahoo, which focuses on shared hosting.

The Planet showed the largest percentage improvement in active sites, with a 2004 gain of 490%. It was one of six providers to at least double the number of active sites between December 2003 and this month. The list showed some international flavor, with Lycos Europe and Komplex reflecting strong growth in Europe, while Japan’s SRS/Sakura fcuses on the Asia/Pacific market. Rounding out the top percentage gainers are Go Daddy and Pegasus Web Technologies, which this year rebranded as Fortress ITX, and includes both the Pegasus shared hosting operation and the DedicatedNow.com dedicated server business.

Top Hosting Providers By Percentage Growth, Dec 03 to Dec 04
Hosting Company Dec 03 Dec 04 %
Growth Primary
The Planet 67,426 398,325 490.8% 330,899 Americas
Lycos Europe 36,098 134,092 271.5% 97,994 Europe
Go Daddy 120,175 326,524 171.7% 206,349 Americas
Pegasus Web Tech 39,038 95,102 143.6% 56,064 Americas
Komplex 64,570 144,234 123.4% 79,664 Europe
SRS Sakura Internet 32,111 68,732 114.1% 36,621 Asia/Pacific

Netcraft’s Hosting Provider Switching Analysis identifies movements of sites from one hosting provider to another on a monthly basis. Please contact us for further details.