A:

GoDaddy (GDDY) is the leading domain registrar in the world. The company also offers Web hosting and has millions of websites on its platform. It also provides various e-business services such as SSL certificates and related software.

The company, which is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, was founded in 1997 by Bob Parsons but is now publicly traded on the Nasdaq and had revenue of $1.13 billion in 2013. As of 2015, the company was valued at $4.5 billion.

Despite its phenomenal success, GoDaddy has some formidable competitors that pose a threat to its continued market dominance in the coming years.

Namecheap.com

Namecheap is a Los Angeles-based company that was founded in 2000 by Richard Kirkendall. The company registers domain names and offers Web hosting services.

Namecheap has been gaining market share in recent years and has been pursuing an aggressive competition with GoDaddy. In December 2011, it publicly voiced its opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act, which GoDaddy was supporting. Namecheap declared Dec. 29, 2011 to be Move Your Domain Day and offered to donate $1 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation for every domain transferred to it. The company then accused GoDaddy of putting technical barriers to frustrate its customers from transferring their domains to Namecheap in breach of ICANN rules. GoDaddy denied the accusation.

Namecheap's services are fairly priced. It offers shared hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers and private email hosting.

Hostgator.com

HostGator, which is headquartered in Houston, was founded by Brent Oxley in 2002 and sold to Endurance International Group (EIGI) in 2012. The company offers both shared and dedicated Web hosting. It also offers reseller hosting services as well as virtual private servers. The company has been growing steadily, opening offices in various U.S. cities and one in India.

ENom.com

ENom, Inc. is a domain registrar that was founded in 1997 in Washington. The company also offers Web hosting services, website building software, SSL certificates and a variety of email services. In 2006, the company was bought by Demand Media (DMD), a Santa Monica-based company that is now publicly listed. The same year, eNom bought BulkRegister, one of its competitors.

DreamHost.com

DreamHost is a domain registrar and Web hosting company based in Los Angeles. The company, which is owned by New Dream Network, LLC, was founded in 1996 by four friends who were students at Harvey Mudd College in California. DreamHost offers affordable shared, virtual private server (VPS) and dedicated hosting packages. It introduced cloud storage and computing services for businesses and developers in 2012.

The company has a wide range of offerings. Customers who purchase shared hosting can host unlimited domains and set up an unlimited number of email accounts as well as reseller accounts.

Gandi.net

Gandi is a French domain registrar based in Paris that was formed in 2000. The company introduced Xen-based VPS cloud hosting service in 2008. Two years later, it established a U.S. subsidiary based in San Francisco with data centers in Baltimore, Phoenix and Arizona.

Gandi has grown steadily and was the 25th largest registrar by number of domains by 2011. The company promotes open-source software and has provided free domain registrations and renewals to Creative Commons since September 2010.

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