When the average person thinks of web hosting, they think of a place to upload their files and little more. While this is indeed the primary purpose of web hosting, it is important to realize that technology and its trends are steadily marching forward. We are over halfway through 2016, and while the year has not brought anything spectacularly new to the hosting market, it has solidified several trends in the field. Let’s explore some of the standards that web hosts should adhere to if they want to keep up with the competition.
One-click installations of popular apps, widgets, and content management systems such as WordPress is nothing new, which means that it is to be expected when webmasters purchase a hosting package. On today’s Web, bloggers and business owners alike expect to be able to set up a functional website in minutes. It is almost unthinkable to hear of a hosting provider that does not offer simple installation of popular apps. A company that does not offer this service is bound to be left in the dust.
Low-Priced Companies are Edging Into the Market
Similar to the way that budget airlines began making more of a mark in the aviation industry in the past few years, smaller companies are beginning to pop up that offer great service at comparatively low prices. Big names such as GoDaddy and HostGator aren’t going anywhere, but do not be surprised to see smaller, lesser-known companies being mentioned in webmaster circles. Companies such as HostClear are offering competitive prices and excellent service, making them well worth looking into for webmasters on a budget. Some of these companies are run as small businesses by hosting resellers, so they are backed by the bigger names while offering their own unique hosting packages.
Many hosting providers are also in the business of providing domain names these days. This is a great way for first-time webmasters to save some money since there are several companies that offer domain names free with the purchase of a hosting plan. Some companies even offer unlimited domains for free. This sounds too good to be true, so always read the fine print. For example, a domain may be free for the first year, but after that the costs can ramp up.
Domain transfer is also a popular service offered by web hosts in 2016. Webmasters that want to migrate their sites to other hosts are in luck since there are multiple companies to choose from that offer free migration services. With all of the sales deals for webmasters starting plans, it may be possible to save money by continuously migrating to different web hosts every year.
Aside from quality service and one-click installs, webhosts are offering additional services and benefits for their clients these days. These include SEO services, website templates, additional cloud storage, and even ad credits for popular search engines. Many webmasters overlook these added benefits, but they are great for marketing and good for a web hosting company to have in their pocket to sweeten the deal.
Money Back Guarantees
The old marketing ploy of ensured customer satisfaction is still going strong on the Web. The majority of web hosting companies offer some form of money back guarantee, whether it be for the duration of the contract, the first thirty days, or some other period of time. It is natural to be skeptical of these claims, especially when dealing with lesser-known or less reputable companies.
Environmentally Friendly Hosting
Web host companies are becoming more environmentally conscious. It is not uncommon to hear of “green” hosting methods such as wind powered hosting, where servers are powered by electricity generated from wind turbines. This is something that many webmasters probably do not stop to think about, but if there is ever a reboot of the Captain Planet cartoon from the Nineties, it can be hosted on an environmentally friendly server.
Cloud hosting is another environmentally friendly trend that is on the rise. Since resources are only allocated when they are needed under this web hosting model, it is by default better for our planet. Not to mention that it can be more cost effective for small companies that are expecting growth.
While 2016 hasn’t brought anything completely revolutionary in terms of web hosting trends, many of the trends from years past have grown stronger. This year has seen the advent of smaller web hosting companies that can compete with the big names of the industry in terms of pricing and services. Environmentally friendly is continuing to rise in popularity, appealing to business owners that want to reduce their carbon footprint.
All of these trends and fads may sound appealing, but as always, It is best to do your research on different web hosts before pouring your money into one. Make sure that your website’s needs are met first before trying to joint he online in crowd!