We have been ICANN accredited for quite some time, actually - but due mostly to a lack of time we haven't set up the implementation yet, and are still going through OpenSRS. I'm not sure on the timetable for this, but I'd like to see it soon as we'd save a bit of cash that way.
As for domain name pricing: We've dropped them before, and we'll almost certainly drop them again. We're not especially interested in playing the "loss leader" game (a lot of companies have been sunk by taking that too far), but we'll definitely try to keep pricing fair.
Basically, our pricing is pretty good for those who have just a handful of domains and want everything handled in one place. For those who need to register large numbers of domains and don't need the hand-holding that comes with doing everything with us, using a 3rd party registrar is likely the best way to go.
To some degree we do that, with our free domain registration for the life of an account.
However, there's something to be said for not putting all your eggs into attracting only people whose main criteria for purchasing a service is the price. We have no illusions about competing in the super-duper-cheap hosting/registration market, and are not at all interested in going down that route.
Sign-ups in general aren't a problem, either. We've made a point of trying to grow organically, not taking in too many clients at once. We're actually pretty happy with our sign-ups right now, and while we could always take on more we've found that it's much more cost effective to focus on retention (I read somewhere that it costs about 5x more to gain a new customer than retain an old one in most businesses - I believe it).
Barring the occasional WildNCrrrrazySale™ we run (mostly) for research purposes, we don't really do a whole lot to bring in new customers. Our advertising budget is fairly miniscule these days, and most of our sign-ups come from direct referrals or DreamBook users looking for hosting.
This strategy may seem a bit boring, admittedly, but we're still here and a number of our former competitors aren't. Maybe slow and steady does occasionally win the race! :>
Just a little insight from the wild and wacky world of web hosting...
- Jeff @ DreamHost
- DH Discussion Forum Admin