Despite being the run up to the holiday season, there was plenty of activity in December. Showing that web hosts are now right up there with the big multinationals, OLM.net got into sponsoring a racing driver, and showing that web hosts have some clout these days, AIT announced it was seeking a class action against Google. Regularly in the news, Go Daddy promoted a happy workforce by giving employees end of year 'rewards, bonuses and prizes' totaling $750,000, and a couple of more offbeat stories did the rounds -- a web development company announced it would give $10,000 to the Internet's worst business site and revisiting a story that emerged in November, Webhostinglink decided it would adopt a boy rather than a girl under its corporate name. In addition, extending the concept of web hosts helping the environment, ThinkHost announced it was now powered by renewable energy, and in what might be an industry first, E-Insites introduced 'negotiable web hosting' - a very novel approach to pricing.
There were a few appointments in December including Jim Collins who became CEO of Affinity Internet, a former web hosting CEO establishing SWsoft's new London office, and as ever, there were plenty of web hosts enhancing their service offerings in December. Yahoo added WordPress to its hosting, Host Color increased its storage and bandwidth, as did 1&1, while GoDaddy.com offered its customers web-based email encryption . Blogging once again proved a hit, with Internetters adding blogging to its offerings, while MaximumASP's customers benefited from BrowserHawk 9.0. Verio took a different direction by extending data protection and storage and DiscountASP.NET partnered with ComponentOne to offer free products to Microsoft ASP.NET developers and Deep Software launched an enhanced web analytics solution.
Plenty of activity also in the world of domain names with EnCirca offering free web hosting with '.Pro' domain names and the name 'Blogster.com' purchased for a whopping $100,000 - the most expensive of the year. UK provider netnames launched in Germany and even a free web hosting company got into the act of offering a domain name with a hosting account. At Go Daddy new domain holders now get blogging and Australian web hosting provider HostingOZ has lowered prices of Australian domain names. IPOWER, however, has offered additional domain name privacy as part of its package.
December has also been a month of acquisitions. A leading domain name registrar and web hosting provider acquired an e-commerce solutions provider, Interland bought Web.com and Liberty Global went for Inode.
December was also a month when companies launched a number of new packages, plans and products. HostingKC announced an online file storage solution while AIT offered 'Server Six Pak' multi-server offerings. WSXHosting.com also offered a number of new plans Host Color LLC launched a new reseller program. Always up to something, Go Daddy introduced free hosting, TycoonServer.com offered 4 different levels of new reseller hosting plans, and Host Gator offered new dedicated server plans.
Obviously, with the holiday season, December had to be a month of promotions. Plutomic Hosting doubled bandwidth for the holidays while Gearworx offered an iPod promotion. Netfronts were involved in seasonal giveaways and Host Color added 6 months to their plans. Other companies with promotions worthy of note included