The Future of Web Hosting

Web Hosting has grown from fairly humble roots to become the multibillion-dollar industry it is today, but has it reached its apex yet? Like most technology, there is always room for innovation and it is no different with web hosting. So where exactly is the web hosting industry heading?

The Beginning

It is common knowledge that one needs a server to host a website, however, this proved to be a major problem in the early days of the Internet. Not many people had computers, which meant that owning a single server just for your website would be an expensive venture. It was out of this conundrum that the web hosting industry emerged.

The numbers associated with the very first web hosting companies’ verged on the absurd, with some companies offering just 35 KB of space at an excessive price! This made the prospect of creating a website unappealing, however, the emergence of e-commerce and the subsequent demand it created for web hosts ultimately launched the industry. More and more web host providers began to offer their services, which drove down the price and ultimately forced existing hosts to offer more space in order to stay competitive. This increased competitiveness in the industry played a fundamental role in launching the Internet revolution.

The web hosting industry has grown exponentially and is today a multibillion-dollar industry that is still growing, as more and more people, especially among the developing world, require a host. The web host industry has therefore started to make moves into the developing world as evidenced by the web host GoDaddy’s aggressive expansion into Latin America in early 2014. However, the technology involved in web hosting is changing just as rapidly. Which begs the question, “where exactly is the web hosting industry heading?

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is undoubtedly the future of the web hosting industry as the demand for it begins to outstrip traditional shared server hosting, which has started to become outdated. The scalability constraints and general inefficiency of shared hosting, for example, means you are paying for a set amount of space on a web hosting company’s server, even if you don’t use all of your allotted space. Conversely, due to the scalability issues, if you do need more space it is very hard to leverage from your web host. Thus, the web hosting industry has begun a general shift towards cloud hosting.

The term ‘Cloud hosting’ is characterised by resources distributed over a number of different servers, in differing physical locations, which are connected through the Internet. Cloud hosting, just as web hosting did in its early days, is growing at an exponential rate. The overall worth of cloud hosting in 2010 was $37 billion but is expected to reach a valuation of $121 billion in 2015.

As the web hosting industry begins to embrace this platform, cloud technology is expected to improve with it. The future of cloud hosting should bear witness to a further detachment of software from hardware and a considerable decrease in costs as the technology becomes more streamlined, more accessible and more commonplace. This decrease in price will allow most small businesses to utilise the technology and the perks that go with it, paying only for what they use.

Without doubt, the web hosting industry is in the midst of something akin to a revolution and this accelerated shift to cloud hosting should benefit all involved, especially small businesses.

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