Since all websites need hosting to get online, and the number of websites on the internet is increasing by approximately 600 per day, it’s no surprise that one of the biggest and most competitive online industries is web hosting. In order to stay competitive, hosting companies are having to step up their research and development fast, getting on board with the latest trends as soon as they become profitable.
As a result, we’re seeing better and better services being launched all the time. It can be confusing for customers who simply want reliable and straightforward hosting, but ultimately the competition and fast pace of this niche means that services are getting better and prices are being driven down. Here are just a few examples of emerging trends that we think are going to be huge over the next 12 months.
Growth of free web hosting
A massive portion of the market is for free web hosting. Many website simply don’t have huge requirements and the marginal costs for hosting providers of hosting these websites is negligible. As pressure is on prices to go down, it’s no surprise that many firms offer completely free hosting services. These aren’t necessarily completely basic offerings, either, as many of them include a range of benefits, free website builders, technical support and more.
Hooking customers in with the offer of a free hosting service is a great way for companies to get in contact with customers, provide good value and start learning about any up-sells they might be interested in. It’s a long term business model that relies on saving customers money in the short term so they are willing and able to pay for upgrades later. As such, it’s worth attracting clients with the best free offering, and we can expect these services to keep improving throughout 2017.
Seamless digital experiences
What exactly does that mean? In essence, people are getting more savvy about using multiple channels to communicate with each other. That includes businesses like web hosts, so it’s more important than ever to stay active and consistent across different social media and other communication channels. Customers expect to be able to get in touch with the right person to help them, on the platform of their choice, at the touch of a button.
If you’re able to deliver this service, you can build up a relationship with that customer more easily in a subtle way. A never-ending series of digital interactions will increasingly shape overall customer experiences.
SEO matters more than ever
Being found on search engines is increasingly essential for all successful websites, given that so many people rely almost completely on their smartphones to access information over the internet as and when they need it. There is a decreased emphasis in society on actually knowing and retaining information, because it’s so easily accessible, and technology is only increasing this effect.
Until we reach the point that humans really do become mindless drones and the world around us reaches true science fiction status, competing and succeeding in this context is still important for online businesses. Web hosting providers will be taking this seriously if they want to do well, making it easier than ever for their customers to take their websites to the next level and easily implement search engine optimisation strategies in order to help them reach a wider audience.
Individual apps are being killed off
There was once a time when mobile applications were suddenly the next frontier, and businesses with the budget to do so were clamouring to be featured on app stores in an effort to reach more customers. Now, as smartphones have infiltrated our daily lives over the course of a decade, it has become clear that the majority of people spend most of their time interacting with online a few core apps. They use their internet browsers and a handful of social media apps to facilitate all their engagement with most brands.
The result of this is that having dedicated apps becomes a waste of time and money for businesses who do not rely on app functions with their primary service delivery method. Therefore, increased emphasis is transferred to the existing mobile internet presence of the brand, which is led by a website in almost all cases. Web hosting providers will be increasingly supporting businesses as they adopt this approach, as well as providing those customers with newer and easier ways to interact with their own audience.