How the Web Hosting Industry Changed in 2021

Making a website has become a crucial aspect of running a business, starting a freelance career or becoming any kind of creative professional. This has understandably resulted in a bit of a boost with regards to things like web hosting which has now become a pretty massive industry with all things having been considered and taken into account. Just like everything else, web hosting trends have seen a lot of changes in 2021 with many of these changes caused by innovations and other factors.

While 2020 saw a massive dip in the number of hosted websites, the number in 2021 was still at around 1.2 billion. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that out of these host names only about 200 million belonged to actually active websites. This number has remained more or less stable which indicates that host names that did not belong to active websites were being dispensed with while active websites remained where they were.

Another thing to take note of is the size of the industry itself. One way to look at this would be to analyze the number of web hosting services that are currently out there. Back in 1969 when web hosting first became widely available, there were only four companies that were offering services in that regard. Over the course of the next fifty years, the industry exploded and there were 126 million hosts that users could choose from in the year 2001 which indicates the exponential growth that this industry has ended up seeing.

This is a 20 year old statistic which means that the current number could be much higher, although that also suggests that a huge proportion of web hosting services are not doing all that well due to the relatively low number of active websites. Most web hosting providers might only be selling domain names and are not responsible for most of the active websites that users tend to go to. Regardless of that, they seem to be making a profit if you look at the revenue that this industry has started to generate.

What’s more is that the industry is increasing from a financial perspective as well. The latest estimate that we have is from 2019, and it in that year it was estimated that the total size of the industry and all of the companies that operated within it could be approximated to be somewhere around the $56 billion dollar mark or slightly higher than that. Suffice it to say that a fair amount of exponential growth has been seen in this regard as well, with much growth predicted in the coming years.

Experts suggest that the industry will more than triple in value by 2027. Whereas in 2019 it was estimated to be worth $56.7 billion, by 2027 this number is expected to grow to well over $171 billion which might have something or the other to do with the number of websites that people are trying to make on a more or less regular basis. That’s something that would undoubtedly fuel growth, and based on current trends it is rather likely that this number might be attained sooner rather than later.

This projection is based on the assumption that the industry is going to grow at a rate of 15.5% per year. That might seem somewhat optimistic, but it is based on hard data and it would be surprising if this level of expansion is not seen since demand for web hosting is at an all time high and there is a very low chance that it would start to taper off anytime soon.

However, one thing that people might want to keep in mind is that dedicated hosting is by no means the global standard. Quite on the contrary, the biggest chunk of the industry was owned by shared hosting services and the like. In fact, around 37.4% of the total industry revenue was owned by shared hosting providers which is understandable when you consider that shared hosting tends to be a lot cheaper than dedicated hosting and most first time website owners would want to go for that option due to its economic advantages.

We might also start to see some huge changes with regards to the major players in web hosting. Over 35% of web hosting revenue belonged to North America, but the countries that are seeing the biggest growth in this sector are actually the UK and Germany. Hence, it would not be unfair to say that Europe might supplant North America as the home of the most major web hosting companies due to the rate of growth that this geographical location is seeing with respect to web hosting revenue and the like.

Virtual Private Servers is a term used to describe a section of the web hosting industry that has had an especially easy time when it comes to growth. The total value of this sector is expected to cross $8 billion by 2026 so this is an area that most would want to watch.

The pandemic has clearly created higher demand for web hosting with many businesses shifting to eCommerce and other online modes of operation. This might become the new normal as people get used to getting most of their things done online instead of having to go outside which is a trend that has been noted in other industries as well. Take a look at below charts and infographics for more insights, which comes courtesy of FirstSiteGuide.
popular web hosting providers
popular VPS hosting providers
Read next: The Anatomy of a Great Business Website
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