2009 First Half Domain Name Registrar Scorecard

A look at winners and losers in the domain race in the first half of 2009.

The first half of 2009 was tumultuous for many domain name registrars. But a few — including GoDaddy — continue to grow their registration base.

Here’s how the top 10 registrars (plus a couple others popular amongst domainers) fared in terms of domain registration base from January 1 through June 30, 2009. This data is from RegistrarStats, and only covers .com, .net, .info, .org, .biz, .us, and .mobi. They are listed in order of size from biggest to smallest.

GoDaddy – up 8.42% to 34,453,064 domains. This includes Wild West Domains, GoDaddy’s reseller unit. Bob Parsons has proven that marketing is simple: girls and low prices. Works for everything else, so why not domains?

eNom – up 2.6% to 9,039,185. Will it break through the 8 figure barrier? The last million is always the hardest.

Tucows – up 3.3% to 7,432,309. Started adding ItsYourDomain domains in late 08/early 09. Reseller channel working well. Will new direct-to-consumer Hover brand boost volume?

Network Solutions – down 1.1% to 6,563,744. Given that many of its customers pay $35 a year for domains, I’d be willing to put up with a bit of churn as an investor.

1&1 – up 3.9% to 4,797,417. “Take our domains. Please!” Cut rate prices and big ad budget.

Melbourne IT – down 3.5% to 4,798,615.

Register.com – down 0.7% to 2,726,896. Another registrar getting away with murderous pricing.

Moniker – down 2.4% to 2,587,695. Loyal customer base trimming portfolios, but sticking around.

PublicDomainRegistry – up 2.75% to 2,331,684. Directi’s army of resellers is working hard.

Fabulous – down 13.7% to 1,110,624. Big drop likely due to culling its own portfolio, but surely doesn’t account for 176,000 domains lost.

Dotster – down 2.8% to 1,036,550.



  1. says

    Fabulous owned approximately 585,000 domain names as of June 30, 2008. In a PR release dated July 17, 2009, Fabulous indicated total ownership of approximately 400,000 domain names. So it appears the sharp decline in domain registrations is from their own portfolio, which means they have been failing to renew about 507 domains per day.

    Thus seems they had a very slight gain in the number of third-party domains under management.

  2. anonymous says

    You have to take these stats with a grain of sale.

    For example, register.com only down 0.7% and still list 2.7 under management?

    They have several hundred thousand domains in “house accounts” parked that they never delete.

    They have hundreds of thousands in their wholesale business unit which you cannot count (rcomexpress.com).

    They sold off their corporate registration years ago to CSC, but I am pretty sure they still share the same registrar credential because they are so incompetant they could not figure out how to split the domains.

    If i were to guess their main retail division has closer to 1.5 million and the rest is

  3. anonymous says

    i hit enter too soon..

    basically my point is that register.com shares their registrar credential and all the names are not theirs, or not sold at the $35 price point because they are wholesale.

  4. says

    Dotster AKA Domain.com is the absolute worse to purchase a domain through. They do not respond to emails. Worse still they do not change name servers so they can advertise at customers expense. Unbelievable Bad! Use anyone but them!

  5. says

    I work for Dotster. Craig, I can assure you we do respond to emails from customers, and we definitely change name servers for customers all the time. That’s a major part of the basis of our business – what good is a domain if you can’t point name servers? If you’ve got a specific issue regarding our products or services, please contact us directly rather than simply badmouthing us on Domain Name Wire. Thanks.

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