Automattic, the company behind the WordPress.com blogging service, appears to have been granted an ICANN registrar accreditation, which would allow it to start selling domain names direct to its users.
The development seems to put a question mark next to the company’s reseller relationship with Go Daddy subsidiaries Wild West Domains and Domains By Proxy.
Currently, WordPress.com allows users to buy domain names and map them to their wordpress.com blog directly through their blog’s interface. The company charges $17 a year, with optional privacy.
It’s my understanding that the company currently acts as a Wild West Domains reseller, with the privacy protection service offered by Domains By Proxy. Both are Go Daddy companies.
Recently, WordPress.com started offering an Offsite Redirect service, enabling users to bounce visitors to example.wordpress.com to example.com after they’ve switched hosts.
Go Daddy used this as an opportunity to encourage WordPress.com users to migrate to its own hosting service in this blog post.