The hosting provider is an unsung hero, and the backbone of the internet. These are the repositories of the web as we know it, but very few realize the immense work that goes on behind the scenes to render on screen the glitzy websites that are so appealing to customers.
The shape of the hosting industry is changing. From being a mere warehouse storing data, web hosting services are becoming a vital chain in the link that sends petabytes of information streaming across the internet every second.
What are the top web hosting industry trends for 2020? We take a deep dive and discover.
Managed Web Hosting is set to become the most popular service offered by web hosting services. What is managed web hosting? The hosting service provider manages and maintains the hardware and backend, and the client maintains the website.
How is it different from dedicated web hosting? In dedicated hosting, the whole server is leased out, and the IT team of the client configures it according to their needs, installs software and virtual machines, and runs it.
In the case of managed web hosting services, every task related to the server and the Content Delivery Network (CDN) is performed by the hosting solution provider.
Who prefers it? Mostly non-technical customers who have complex websites and do not have the technological know-how or team for back-end maintenance. E-commerce businesses are a typical example of this type of client.
While the site is built using Shopify or Magento, the owner-entrepreneur has a shoestring budget and no understanding of PHP and MySQL required to run it.
Of course, the 24×7 IT support comes at an additional cost. Not only do managed web hosting providers give IT support but also perform regular backup and ensure that the website is running smoothly
Green Web Hosting
The internet is now a matured medium and has outgrown its birth pangs. Everyone accepts that it is here to stay, and provide a readily available interface between us and data whenever and in whichever way we need it, from songs to bank accounts.
This vast content that occupies well over 1 million exabytes (10 followed by 24 zeros), and spans 6.1 billion web pages are stored on servers around the world. Data centres have racks upon racks of servers, hundreds of them grouped together, that instantly provide the blog or video you clicked on.
Of course, it requires massive amounts of cooling. If you have spent time in a closed room with a simple Celeron desktop, you would know how hot computers tend to become. Think about how much heat is produced by a data centre that is a hundred thousand times larger in computing capacity.
Cooling requires significant energy in the form of electricity and of course, that contributes to climate change.
Green web hosting is the latest initiative to mitigate the carbon footprint of servers and is most important among the latest web hosting industry trends. The common ways to reduce carbon footprint includes the use of solar power. However, since a data centre serves more than one customer, it is difficult to dictate terms to the owners.
It is best for web hosting services to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates or REC. These are offset instruments, available in terms of a megawatt-hour (MWh), which certify that the owner has purchased the same from a renewable energy source. Sustainable hosting to reduce the impact on climate is one of the leading trends of the hosting industry.
End of Simple Web Hosting
There was a time when a hosting provider could lease out a server, and the client did the rest. At most, the hosting provider helped to register a domain name.
The needs are far more sophisticated now and growing more so by the day as seen in customer surveys about web hosting trends 2020.
At very least, a hosting solutions provider has to give:
- Website builders
- Access to SSL certificates
- HTTPS domains
- Support for e-commerce sites that have multiple third-party plugins to manage cart, payments, and logistics.
- SEO help for customers who want
In short, there is a demand that a hosting provider gives the whole gamut of services required to build, populate, maintain, and optimize a site.
Hence web hosting services have to change their business almost entirely. No longer is it possible to sell only bytes of storage and bandwidth. The industry is becoming value-driven, and only the most competent who provides a full suite of services will survive.
At one-time computer virus was something that caused inconvenience to the users and usually took a day worth of formatting.
In the past decade, the hackers have changed their approach and turned to data theft (any personal details such as name, address, email, phone number).
It is crucial to avoid DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service through the latest authentication protocols as per web hosting trends 2020. In this type of attack, multiple computers are infected by malware and attempt to access a server at the same time, causing it to crash due to enormous demands.
The best authentication protocols include the use of CAPTCHA chat in some form. It is important to allow only humans to access a server or site and not bots.
Another way for foolproof authentication protocol includes two-factor verification – a login using a password and a second OTP sent through mail or SMS.
It is essential to understand that once such an attack happens, it may spread across all sites hosted, though it entered through one and lead to irreparable damage to reputation.
In Europe, the GDPR legislation has shaped the future of data protection rights. Every bit of personal information stored on servers you provide is, in some way, your responsibility.
The hosting provider is fully accountable for breaches of privacy. This means the latest web hosting industry trends include having a proactive agenda to secure data. It does not matter where the hosting service is located, if it stores the data of any EU national, it has to comply with the guidelines laid down by GDPR.
It is not yet clear how far the hosting provider is liable since the legislation is brand new and being adopted and understood. But this much is sure – new legislations are going to make hosting provider fully accountable for any breach.
Thus the need for the hour is to carry out a thorough audit and discuss with clients if they have data related to EU nationals. If needed, that part of the database has to be moved to a more secure server.
The price is coming down by leaps and bounds. Though the bouquet of services offered is more, the cost of renting a server is a fraction of what it was five years back. The larger companies such as GoDaddy, BlueHost, and Hostgator are in the middle of a price war.
Unless you cut your costs, you are not going to be able to survive the cutthroat industry is the takeaway from web hosting trends 2020. With the price of servers coming down every year, this shakeout was bound to happen sooner or later.
The future of hosting providers is certain since there are no immediate evolving technologies to challenge them. However, there is more significant pressure to offer more bang for the buck. Unless a player changes and adapts to the new and more demanding environment, there is little possibility of survival.
Like every other business, this is becoming one where economies of scale pay, and Amazon Web Services and IBM Cloud provide scale like no other.
To survive, it is necessary to innovate, cut prices, and be vigilant about data privacy.