Gauging the Future of the Hosting Industry from Existing Data
- Nov 13, 2015
- Supriyo Das
We tend to forget how the web hosting industry is doing. It’s not our fault. We are bombarded with information on how the SEO industry is doing, how the web development industry is performing, whether the mobile OS developers are fixing the glitches and so on.
Hence, we have become somewhat unreceptive to the trends and happenings in the web hosting industry.
2015 is about to end and Google, according to third-party data, leads this industry with the highest share (8.13%) of the market, followed by 1and1.com (7.79%). Hostgator.com occupies the third spot with 5.92% market share.
Another interesting finding apart from this is the top three companies hosting nearly 22% of all sites on the web. The report from sitegeek and similar ones from others help us identify some trends. It’s not about who is trailing whom, it’s about the trends that the hosting industry is showcasing.
Customers love packages
The majority of customers love services that enable them to host as well as publish their sites. The name that invariably comes in mind is WordPress. It happened to power almost a quarter of sites on the web. It also made blogging all the rage by offering users a seamless publishing interface and all the essential tools.
WordPress was primarily for end users. Businesses went for CMSs like Drupal, Joomla and Magento. But as the survey by w3techs points out, a new CMS called Squarespace is now in the rage. And guess what, many businesses are now using Squarespace.
What made Squarespace famous also marks a new beginning in the web hosting industry – Squarespace gained popularity by offering customers all-in-one subscription-based packages. Those packages include software help to publish a website as well as hosting plans. Understanding the platform’s potential, investors have started to pour money on it. Squarespace’s last year’s funding spree settled at a whopping $40 million.
Cloud as the de facto standard
The potential of cloud computing for the hosting industry was recognized a long time back. In 2015, cloud computing is no longer sought after but on the brink of becoming the de facto hosting standard.
Surveys done by third party services can give us a heads-up again. One such survey found more than 60% of profit mongering organizations are already using cloud to host their websites. On top of this finding, they are using cloud to carry out the following tasks:
- Corporate communication
- Product development
- Generating revenues
- Managing internal workflow
Cloud also hosts more than 90% of business applications. Such observations force us to change our lenses to look at the internet. Will applications, instead of websites put together its future? Thanks to Cloud being non-discriminatory between websites and apps, we are bound to come across more questions similar to this.
The footsteps of IoT
It’s hard to establish a direct link between Internet of Things (IoT) and hosting because there’s none. The IPv6 doesn’t serve as a link.
But they do add up, in ways that you may find difficult to apprehend.
The biggest benefit of IoT is it can assign an IP address to anything under the sun. It leads to an integrated and thoroughly connected web. As more and more components will get connected to each other, the accumulation of data will go past the ceiling.
The existing hosting services will prove inefficient to manage such large chunks of data. Bear in mind today’s data centers have already earned the wrath of the environmentalists for burning coal and other non-renewable energy sources. Green data centers score high on sustainability scale, but moving to them is not that easy. The data centers to accommodate IoT data will have to be energy efficient, yet of more capacity than their predecessors.
Hence, we need more robust hosting solutions to be in tune with IoT.
Let’s refer back to the survey done by sitegeek once again. The top three hosting service providers are all big companies. Shelling out a couple of millions is nothing for them. Squarespace, as we have discussed, has secured a few rounds of venture funding and is all set to join the ranks of the big players.
This indicates a consolidation.
This consolidation will probably throw the small and medium sized businesses off the fence, reselling services will be hard to find. And the hosting industry will be a playground of the web giants, who have the money and other resources to embrace the trends that we’ve discussed.
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