While last year didn’t see too many changes in web hosting, there are certainly a couple of trends new and established brands should be paying attention to right about now. What happens in the world of web hosting affects many stakeholders, from bloggers to small businesses that thrive on the web. So, just what are these trends?
- More cloud hosting
The cloud hosting trend has been around for a while, but can be expected to grow even more in 2018. It’s certainly worth mentioning here due to its rapidly increasing relevance. Many IT managers are already dumping corporate data centres for public cloud infrastructure.
The reasons for the trend are not far-fetched at all when it’s considered that cloud computing has become more cost-efficient, as it can perform better in terms of security, redundancy solutions, and performance. Over the next decade, the expectation is for cloud hosting resellers to multiply.
- Shift of focus from standalone hosting services to holistic solutions
While the definition of web hosting has remained the same over the years, the kind of solutions and services customers expect from web hosts has changed or is changing. A customer will rarely search for the term ‘web hosts’ these days. Instead, they are likely to be more specific about the kind of service that they need, whether that is a website creator or dedicated hosting for a WordPress blog.
More people are on the lookout for a complete package and not merely a web host for a website or blog. Customers are more interested in solutions that allow them to create their website without having to ever worry about hosting. Web hosts have recognised the changes and are already started to upgrade what they offer to include a myriad of services, including SEO and ecommerce packages, as well as on-the-fly website creators.
Web hosting companies are increasingly shifting their focus from web hosting alone and are looking at other services in order to exploit more promising revenue opportunities or make their conventional packages more attractive. What does this mean for the future of the web hosting industry?
Over time, we can expect even the most prominent hosting companies to become companies that provide holistic solutions tailored to serve those who want to operate web assets or run online businesses, instead of simply providing web hosting. The faster a web host moves away from the more traditional model, the better for them.
The most successful in any industry are players who are able to adapt to the changing preferences of their customers. In the web hosting scene, they are the ones that are able to come up with innovative services which make it easier for customers to create, run, and maintain their web assets. Of course, this is great for customers, because they will get the solutions they need to help avoid dealing with complexities like having to upgrade their blogging software/platform, amongst other issues.
- Better hosting plans at lower prices
This year, it’s expected that the competition between different web hosts will heat up. What that means is there will likely be more competition when it comes to prices of hosting plans. While lower prices are great, it’s not only about beating down prices to the lowest possible rates, but about providing the most cost-efficient hosting packages.
This is also due to the fact that web hosting customers are getting savvier and more interested in making informed choices about which hosting plan they should get. Of course, people are always going to want to obtain cheap domain names and low-cost hosting, but they are smart enough to check reliable client testimonies and peer reviews before they allow themselves to be swayed by the cheapest offering.
In turn, web hosts will try their best to offer packages that work for their well-informed customers, especially when they know that the competition is always a viable option.
- Better customer support
Another result of the competition between web hosting companies will be better customer support. Customers can expect their problems to be resolved quickly and downtimes to be lower, amongst other benefits.
- Decentralisation of web hosting
In 2018, businesses can expect web hosting to become decentralised due to a number of obvious reasons. Its coming has been obvious for the past few years, with the increase of computing power outside of data centres and mobile devices becoming more powerful. With more decentralised web hosting, data centres won’t have to entirely handle all data processing and web-accessible data.
Instead, client devices will have to share the burden. This could result in the need to make architectural changes in software, particularly when mobile apps are involved.
- Smaller web hosts taking the consolidation route
There is no denying that competition in the web hosting market is fierce, leaving many smaller web hosts by the wayside. If the smaller players are going to have any hopes of competing, they are going to have to consolidate. Tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are already using their reputability and popularity to dominate the cloud hosting space. That positions them as threatening competition to other providers of hosting solutions.
To avoid complete obliteration and extinction, smaller web hosts are likely going to merge into bigger ones eventually. In other cases, forming partnerships will become necessary in order to create more dependable and interlinked services.
- More data centres
Although more enterprises are likely to move to the cloud, data centres will continue to remain relevant, especially for those who have simple requirements for data infrastructure. More businesses are interested in attracting geo-specific visitors to their website. That would certainly be a simple task to complete if more data centres are developed.
Even more, the data centres will improve the capacity of the website whilst providing a more secure framework. This will make it possible for websites to run at faster speeds, translating to better user experience.
2018 certainly looks promising for customers, but not so much for the smaller web hosts, who will likely always remain in the shadows of the hosting giants.