HOSTSEARCH: Nate thanks for giving us your time like this. For the benefit of our visitors, perhaps you could just introduce yourself and let us know your role at Go Daddy.
NATE CURRAN: I am the General Manger for Domain Registration Services, which basically means I am responsible for analyzing Industry trends and adjusting our registration business (think pricing, positioning and marketing) to leverage opportunities.
HOSTSEARCH: Go Daddy manages more than 32 million domain names and is regarded as the world's largest domain name provider. Has the "credit crunch" had an impact on business yet?
NATE CURRAN: Go Daddy is definitely recession resilient! Our whole business model is about providing affordable prices and industry-best customer service. This puts us in a good position.. as a resource in a time people are looking to save money and time. We've been fortunate too, in that we are still registering, renewing or transferring domain names at a good clip, about one every second of every day. And our host provider business is quite healthy.
There is another telling stat in terms of ecommerce too. Many of our customers who use Quick Shopping Cart for their ecommerce Web sites are doing very well. Consider this, this last quarter was considered a rough month for businesses in many sectors, right? But when we look at the number of transacting merchants from the third-quarter of this year.. and compare it to last year... we see a 100 percent increase for Go Daddy customers. Additionally, during that same time period, the dollar volume being processed through Go Daddy's Quick Shopping Cart has actually increased by more than 103 percent. Given the times we are in, we believe that's a significant statistic.
HOSTSEARCH: What sort of impact do you ultimately expect the crunch to have on web hosting and related industries?
NATE CURRAN: We will see the Web hosting companies with solid business plans and good balance sheets pull through and even flourish in this environment. At Go Daddy, we have found times like these tend to remove much of the noise in the industry and companies with quality products, services and world class customer support will have an opportunity to further enhance their position.
HOSTSEARCH: The economy goes up and down - what will it take to turn things round this time, do you think?
NATE CURRAN: Let's put it this way. I don't envy the next President of the United States.
HOSTSEARCH: And as ever, Go Daddy is one of the first companies to make a stand. You recently announced a series of measures designed to ease people's financial burden a bit. Can you talk us through them?
NATE CURRAN: Sure. We just reduced and simplified our bulk domain pricing at a time when our registry costs are increasing. Our customers can now get special bulk discounting with as little as 6 domains on an order.
We also revamped our Discount Domain Club so you can get our best domain price no matter if you buy 1 or 100 domains. We also offer $1.99 domains with any non domain purchase like hosting or our web site builder, Web Site Tonight.
Our customers are looking at alternate ways to supplement their income and for many that means starting with the Internet. We just made it more affordable to do that.
HOSTSEARCH: In a recent press release, Go Daddy suggested it wants "domainers to feel free to choose the tlds that best fit their needs, so the bulk pricing discounts are available when six or more domains are registered in any combination of tlds". What will that mean in practice?
NATE CURRAN: It means that any combination of TLDs will count toward the bulk discounts. So you could buy five .COM and one .NET and get the bulk discount on all six domains. r buy 25 .COM, 25 .NET, 25 .MOBI and 25 .ME and get our best price on all 100 domains.
HOSTSEARCH: I know it's early days, but what other measures does Go Daddy have in the pipeline to help people out during this difficult time?
NATE CURRAN: We recently launched a series of products based on customer suggestions that address their biggest concerns, saving time and money.
Our most exciting and latest addition is SmartSpace. It is a prebuilt Web site where all of the technical set-up has been completely automated. This means, you can have a Web site up and running in minutes with your own content. Definitely a time saver. And for people like my brother, who aren't all that tech savvy, well, he's finally going to be able to set-up and maintain his own Web blog and photo site.
HOSTSEARCH: And along with providing discounted pricing for bulk registrations Go Daddy is offering free private registration with bulk purchases?
NATE CURRAN: Yes, with a purchase of five domains or more you can get free Domains By Proxy private registration for each domain.