Web hosting as an industry hasn’t been around all that long. In fact, if the web hosting industry were a human being, it wouldn’t even have attended its 10th high school reunion yet. That’s what makes it pretty amazing – websites were a new medium to share and spread information that quickly took off in popularity. That’s why web hosting became essential for companies and organizations, in turn increasing demand and making prices more competitive.
But before we get into that, let’s go over the beginning of the web hosting industry as we know it.
The year was 1991. Grunge was just beginning, jeans were torn and tattered, hats were a big thing, and the internet began connecting our world in ways we’d never known before.
(We never would have guessed we’d one day use the exciting connectivity of the internet to look at pictures of aggravated cats and argue with strangers. But I digress.)
When the internet first came into widespread use, if you wanted to host a website, you had to own your own server to do so. Servers are expensive and challenging to maintain, so for the web hosting industry to get its start, the first order of business was making servers (and resulting web hosting capabilities) available to more people for a lower cost.
Making web hosting accessible to more people
The more innovative and resourceful people among us quickly spotted a golden business opportunity (and in retrospect, don’t you really wish you’d have been one of them?).
What if we purchased servers and rented the space at a lower cost to others without technical know-how that still want to build their own website?
What if, indeed. The web hosting industry was born of this notion, and the rest is history. But keep reading.
While most people are familiar with the term “web hosting” today, it hasn’t always been so recognizable. For a while, there was very little demand for web hosting because:
a) Not many people were online
b) Web hosting was new and still obscure to the public
c) Web hosting was expensive in the beginning
Web hosting demand increases
But Father Time worked his magic, and as the internet became a bigger part of our daily lives, so did the web hosting industry. Suddenly, big web hosting companies became household names. More people knew what web hosting was. And most importantly, more people were looking for web hosting companies to build their website and internet presence through.
Things began to change because of the advent of web hosting. The entire marketing industry had to shift to adapt once websites became a core branding destination for businesses and the focus moved from print to digital.
And as the demand for affordable web hosting rose, the high costs of the early days of web hosting gave way to unbelievably low prices. Some companies began offering free web hosting – something that sounds like a great deal, but is actually the scourge of the internet – and market competition encouraged hosting providers to adopt competitive, user-friendly prices and features.
Web hosting today
Today, every serious company, freelancer, blogger , and nonprofit organization has a functioning website. Without one, users don’t take you seriously.
Web hosting did that–from making it possible for a select few to own space online to opening it up for anyone with an idea and an available domain name. That’s pretty amazing.
In the future, the web hosting industry will continue to see new improvements, developments, and even disruptions. Cloud hosting is an example of a recent update to the industry, and we’ll see more like it in the future.
That’s the history of web hosting in a nutshell. If you have any questions about web hosting, click here.