The moves also reflect growing competition between registrars and the hosting companies, who traditionally have been their largest resellers. A number of large domain registrars have expanded their hosting operations in the past year, and are starting to gain business. Last month three registrars showed substantial gains in active sites – hostnames featuring multi-page content indicating a web site rather than a parked domain. Go Daddy grew by 235,000 active sites last month, while Dotster added 101.9K and Register.com gained 50.8K.
The Planet has been one of the fastest-growing hosting providers during the past, and now hosts more than 1 million hostnames. The Dallas provider began selling domains to customers on March 22, but the $5.99 offer is only available to customers, and the company has not indicated if and when it will sell domains to the public. Until recently, The Planet was selling .com domains for $30 a year.
EV1Servers’ automated domain registration system has been unavailable since mid-March, and the company is not saying when it will be back. The provider is handling renewals manually for customers, and says an improved online system is coming. “We have consistently reiterated that we have no ETA, but we are both seeking ICANN accreditation and creating an enhanced payment gateway to prevent fraud,” EV1’s Aaron Conklin writes in the company’s customer forum. “Once both are complete an even more robust and advanced version of our domain registration services will be available to everyone.” The company sells domain names for $6.49 a year.