I recently answered a question on Quora:
Oh boy, this is something I’ve wanted to touch on for a long time!
Two years ago I was operating one of the largest mobile affiliate advertising networks along with a training forum and patent-pending software.
Our annual revenues were in the $20MM range with us quickly climbing to one of the fastest growing companies on the Inc 500.
So why the heck did I leave and start a web hosting company?
After a mutual split between partners I was faced with a decision. Continue with the “rapid expanding” mobile industry or go off and do my own thing.
I went based on my gut-instinct
Like a lot of people, I originally thought web hosting was “old school” and a “dying industry” – you can even confirm this with Google Trends:
But I knew (based on my 5,000 discussion forum members at IMGrind) that this doesn’t mean people no longer need web hosting! There are a lot more people “connected” to the Internet in 2017 than in 2004!
People are getting more specific with their searches
My Dad is the target customer for a web hosting company. He’s in his early 60’s and runs a local self-storage facility.
With the explosion of the Internet he relies on his website each month to collect his payments.
He didn’t do squat in 2004, but in 2017 it’s how he gets 90% of his payments (who even has a checkbook anymore).
Point being, my Dad isn’t going to search for “web hosting.” He doesn’t know what that means.
Look at searches for “get my business online”
As the Internet grows and becomes a more “household” tool, people are becoming more comfortable and are searching for more specific information.
BTW my dad uses WordPress for his website:
Google Trends for WordPress Hosting
The Demand For Traditional Web Hosting
The demand hasn’t been higher than it is right now for traditional web hosting. But it’s more specific and customer-service oriented.
The big corporations saw the massive revenues and sales growth throughout the mid 2000s, gathered a bunch of investment capital, and bought-up all the “startups” to form even bigger corporations.
Once a lot of the “big names” became acquired the “growth” of the industry appeared to have slowed when in reality it has just shifted.
Where I See The Web Hosting Industry In 5 Years
With all those points made, here is my answer to this individual:
The web hosting industry is going to continue to explode over the next 5 years.
Yes, there is a tremendous future for traditional web hosting.
When I started NameHero two years ago, people thought I was crazy.
“The web hosting boom is over, it’s on to SAAS, mobile apps, etc., etc.” is what I was frequently told.
Today, we’re one of the fastest growing web hosts in the industry with continuous month-over-month growth.
In today’s society we’re quick to look at the “next” shiny object and fail to realize industries that are just getting started.
The Internet is advancing every single day. More people around the world are becoming more-and-more connected daily. This only brings opportunity.
As long as the Internet is in existence, there will be a need for traditional web hosting. The main reason goes right back to our first amendment here in the United States: freedom of speech.
Sure, we can move to SAAS platforms, social media, app stores, etc. but at the end of the day individuals, businesses, and organizations are going to want to have a website where they control the data and can freely publish their information.
It’s going to continue to change with the times by getting more mobile optimized and becoming more user-friendly, but at the end of the day web hosting is still the “water” that fuels the life of the Internet.
There is always going to be that individual in their bedroom ready to publish a new blog, a garage startup getting their first website online, and organizations bringing awareness to their cause.
The early part of the industry sold its sole to corporate giants. But this common practice when an industry “blows up.” Fortunately, for Entrepreneurs like myself, these giant corporates only look at their bottom-line and forget what customer service is, hence our explosive growth at Name Hero.
While things aren’t the same today as they were yesterday, industries such as web hosting will continue to grow and expand as long as companies Adapt, Develop, and Progress with the changing times.
And Now I’ll Put My Money Where My Mouth Is:
Onward and upward! Remember, we are hiring 😉
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.