Domain Registration Remains Hot
By Dana Greenlee,
co-Host WebTalkGuys Radio
Monday, February 23, 2003; 5:00pm EST
The domain name business is hot. So much for the dot-com downturn.
Total domain name registrations reached an all-time high of 60
million, growing 16 percent in 2003. Just during the last three
months of 2003, 1.7 million more domains were registered.
The scramble for the most popular type of domain � one ending
with either .com or .net � comprises 52 percent of all
registrations. When you account for the other four top choices -
.org, .info, .biz and .us � you�ll find that 37 million domains
have been registered with the popular extensions.
Web.com is one of
the worlds top domain registrars � and no doubt the one with the
best domain name for themselves.
Web.com has more than 300,000 customers providing domain names,
e-mail service, Web hosting and e-commerce solutions. They were
a recent pick by
and got top rating at CNET. Web.com CEO Will Pemble took a few
minutes to share his thoughts on his company and the industry.
Q: What is Web.com�s history and what do you
Pemble: Web.com began over five years ago as a domain name
company. Specifically, we began offering �web.com� domain names,
which are sub domains of the web.com second level domain. For
example, if you went to Network Solutions and tried to register
�jewelry.com�, chances are it was already taken. We identified
early on a need for good, short, easy-to-remember domain names
that would work exactly the same way as any dot-com name.
Following that analogy, if �jewelry.com� was taken, chances are
that �jewelry.web.com� might still be available. We essentially
doubled the inventory for good, easy-to-remember domains.
Back in the day, very few people understood how the Internet
works. The dot-net top level domain was useless for the average
consumer. People understood dot-com, as in �I work for a
dot-com.� Dot-web-dot-com still brought with it the �Internet
feeling,� if you will. We began offering this back in the late
90�s as a free service and really quickly registered well in
excess of 100,000 web.com domains. We supported those with
advertising. We�ve now changed our business model � we still
offer the dot-web-dot-com.
Q: Has your core business changed?
Pemble: We are, according to just about any Web hosting
review sites �
WebHostDirectory.com � in the Top Ten, in some cases number
one, Web hosting provider in the world. We came about that
business in response to requests from customers: �Dear Web.com,
I just bought a domain name and now would like a place to host
it.� At the beginning, when we were just a few guys with offices
in someone�s fourth bedroom, we would refer the hosting to web
hosting companies. With service to the customer being our core
value, we found ourselves supporting Web hosting customers of
other companies. We slowly came around to the realization that
if we were going to provide support to them on an on-going
basis, it probably made a lot of sense for us to be collecting
the monthly Web hosting fees rather than just the one-time
Q: I notice you offer domain name registration for $6.95 per
year. That seems to be the lowest price I�ve found.
Pemble: I think I read somewhere that there are as many as
60,000 domain name companies online. I�m not sure if there is a
lower price. Web.com is one of the 15 largest domain name
registrars on the planet. We register tens of thousands of
domains per month. Of those we consider our competitors, we
offer the most competitive price and we add value to each domain
name by providing customers with a completely free one-page
Website that they can use as a sort of online business card.
Q: This past week you announced a new partnership. Can you
tell us about that?
Pemble: Yes, with Name Intelligence (www.nameintelligence.com)
located in Seattle. They collect, parse, sort and understand
super deep information about how the domain name business and
landscape functions on an all-day, everyday basis. A Website
that Name Intelligence runs is
which is one of the 600 busiest sites on the Internet. You would
go to Whois to look up domains names to see what�s available and
see alternatives. Name Intelligence knows what the ranks of all
domain names registrars are on a daily basis.
Q: What is your partnership going to entail?
Pemble: We, along with several of the ten biggest registrars
on the planet, use Name Intelligence to power look-ups, for
statistics and for data mining. Any company that is serious
about being in the domain name business is partners with Name
Intelligence on some level. We use them to power our look-ups.
If you go to Web.com, type in �Webtalk.com� and click �search,�
the results you will see are powered by Name Intelligence.
Q: What are you seeing in terms of new domain registrations?
Is that market growing fast?
Pemble: In 2001-2002, domain registration started to drop
off a little bit. Fewer people we�re renewing domains or
registering new ones. This was part and parcel of the burst of
the bubble. As a whole, there was sort of a lull, but the domain
name business is alive and well. People are registering tens of
thousands of domains per day all over the planet. New businesses
pop up every single day. The Internet is a key piece of any new
business. If you have a business, you need a Website. At the
very least, just a catalog Website or e-mail � and in most cases
you need some sort of e-commerce presence. All of that sits on
top of your domain name.
Q: I think there are 37 million domain names currently
registered. I would think we�d start to run out of usable domain
Pemble: Somewhere in excess of 95 percent of all the words
in the English dictionary are already registered as dot-coms. On
the flip side, something like 95 percent of all the words in the
English dictionary are available as dot-web-dot-com, so there�s
tremendous opportunity for Web.com and its customers.
About Source of Article
Dana Greenlee is producer and co-host of the WebTalkGuys Radio
Show. WebTalkGuys, a Seattle-based talk show featuring
technology news and interviews. It is broadcast on WebTalkGuys Radio,
Sonic Box, via Pocket PC at Mazingo Networks and the telephone via the
Mobile Broadcast Network. It's on the radio in Seattle at KLAY
1180 AM. Past show and interviews are also webcast via the
http://www.webtalkguys.com/. Greenlee is also a member of the The
International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences.