Yahoo (Yahoo.com) has changed their small business targeting approach by offering domain names for $9.95 as part of an aggressive move to expand its presence in domains and small business web hosting. Yahoo is also beefing up its shared hosting accounts, offering 2 gigabytes of server space and 2 gigabytes of e-mail storage with its $11.95 a month ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œstarterÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â hosting package.
The domain name pricing change will help Yahoo compete directly with low cost domain registrars such as GoDaddy Hosting and Register.com.
With an estimated 304,000 active sites and 600,000 hostnames, Yahoo is already a major player in small business hosting, with its turnkey online stores proving popular with e-commerce beginners. It previously sold domains for $35, an inflated price when comparing the simplicity of registration and number of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œless than $10ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â³ domain registrants on the market.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe think domains are an important on-ramp to the (small business) market,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Rich Riley, the vice president and general manager of Yahoo Small Business. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIn looking at the domain market, we realized there was a great opportunity to increase our market share in this important sector.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
A record 4.7 million domain names were registered in the first quarter of 2004, suggesting to many industry observers that small businesses without an Internet presence are finally starting to come online. Riley says Yahoo views domains and hosting as more than add-ons to its portal-driven advertising revenue. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re focused on being the leader in this product,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Riley. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re the only major branded provider in the space, and we want to offer the best value as well.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â