Financial Viability of a Domain/Blog/Website Hosting Agency
Ever since I have started writing this little blog of mine (thank you for reading, this is a small experiment on my part), I have been thinking it must be a great business for those who hosts this site. In my case, as you can tell, I am writing the site based on the wix.com platform. A great platform which requires very little technical tweaking, wix.com works just well for me.
Frankly, there were many choices in choosing the platform. They are all different from one another in some ways. But, the overall idea is the same. You start building your digital write-up there, and they can charge you bits and pieces for the extra service, which you will need anyway.
Here, instead of the usual inclusion, we just highlight some numbers so that it is easier to extract some of the essences of the business. (Yes, we are looking at the numbers from a more entrepreneurial point of view, i.e. if you are an entrepreneur, do you want to do this business?)
(data from Google Finance)
The businesses are certainly real and substantial. GoDaddy is certainly a lot bigger in this area. We did not realize until looking at the number that its business is more than US$1.5 Billion in revenue. And, WiX (I am a customer) is doing not bad in revenue growth as well. In 2012, its revenue is US$44 million. In a few years, its business has grown nearly 5 times to US$200M. And, even the giant GoDaddy has grown nearly 80% in a few years.
Unfortunately, despite this being primarily a software business, the Research and Development cost and the Selling/General Administration cost, are still substantial, adding up to more than 107% of revenue for Wix.com and 57% of GoDaddy.com
We do have a few thoughts.
Can this business have any mirror copy in China? There are just so many things to tweak to work in China. Upload not from Youtube, promote not on Facebook, sign on not from Google; etc etc.
Can a University start something more like an OpenSource (yes, there are plenty of Opensource of bits and pieces and WordPress is great) to enable the above business in China? The author is always fascinated by how Berkeley supports UNIX and that it eventually became an enabler to so many technology companies.
And, with something like an OpenSource in this part of the world and things probably done slightly cheaper, is there any possibility of having a business like this and be more profitable and growing? Of course, we do have giants like Tencent here who allows many things to be done in their ecosystem, sort of.. And even in payment.