Art on the internet has completely evolved over the last decade, with the invention of motion graphics and now, interactive content. Web hosting design has progressed as well, boasting higher loading speeds and faster reaction capabilities. So what has become of internet art and in what direction are we headed?
In the beginning, there was nothing.
Then, as the internet was in its infancy, a light appeared. You could now host a website on a server. It was a tiny light, admittedly. But it was a ray of hope. Web hosting companies offered only a few KBs of space and, that too, at unimaginably high prices. It was not much. But it was the beginning of a service that would eventually grow into a multi-billion dollar industry.
Web hosting was a giant behemoth that dominated the internet landscape for many years and, in some ways, still continues to do so. But has the golden age of web hosting finally come to an end? Or is this just a start of a new phase? We look at the future of various aspects of the web hosting landscape to find out what the future can look like.
“In the very near future cloud infrastructure will become the default web server environment, and that is a game changer for both local and international companies,” says Ben Uretsky, the Founder and CEO of DigitalOcean, a hot direct selling company.  Cloud computing has brought the biggest transformation in web hosting and it may be, perhaps, the one aspect of the digital landscape worth focusing most of our energies on.
But how exactly does it impact web hosting itself?
Cloud hosting is the answer to many of the debilitating problems shared web hosting is currently facing. It’s more affordable, more innovative, and significantly more efficient. There is not much difference in the principles behind how cloud computing and shared web hosting works, other than the virtualization of servers. This means that, in cloud hosting, the hardware is virtualized and every customer receives their own virtual server.
This addresses the problems of inefficiency that the customers faced with the traditional shared web hosting services. For instance, let’s consider the issue of scalability of the allotted space. In the traditional platforms, each customer is allotted a fixed amount of space and all the customers share the space on a physical server.
But if some customers are under-utilizing their space, they still have to pay for the entirety of the allotted space. And if the allotted space is not enough for some customers, it’s a pain to negotiate the scaling up with their web hosting service providers. It’s a rigid and inflexible system that leaves the customers with many concerns. Since cloud hosting offers each user their own virtual servers, there’s no such competition among the customers. Thus, it is a much more flexible system.
As the cloud hosting market grows, so do the capabilities of what cloud technology can do for web hosting. And the money is pouring in. Since 2010, in just five years, the cloud hosting industry has grown from $37 billion in valuation to more than a staggering $100 billion. Newer markets emerge in Asia. China, India, Japan, and Korea are bustling centers of activity. The future of web hosting lies here.
Trends in web hosting
As the web hosting industry undergoes transformative changes, many current trends suggest how the future might look like. Let’s consider some of these trends.
Creative Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs)
The dot-com movement has already peaked. Decades after it began, it’s understandable that most of the desirable domains are already taken up. And this does not just concern the .com domains. There’s an availability issue even in other domains like .org or .edu. So what’s the way ahead? One solution is to look for other, lesser-known domains like .lt, but who wants to go there? The more desirable option for individuals and businesses is to resort to creative gTLDs.
It’s understandable why you need to go for creative gTLDs. The .com domain is over-crowded and it is hard to find the perfect website name for your organization. But the trend towards creative gTLDs is so strong that many companies have dumped their .com portals to opt for creative names or are using them side-by-side. For instance, barclays.com is now home.barclays.  The Texas-based Sierra Finance couldn’t get sierra.com for their website so they had to contend with sierraep.com. Not anymore. They can now be found at sierra.finance. 
Believe it or not, Facebook has had an enormous impact on web hosting. And it will continue to do so in the future. As Facebook expanded further from being merely a social networking website, it began to swallow many of the customers from web hosting businesses. Today, the web hosting landscape is considerably different, thanks to Facebook. Many companies simply do not feel the need of creating a website or blog since their Facebook page is capable of handling their content and marketing.
Facebook improves the visibility of the company, allows more people to interact with the company itself and offers attractive advertising opportunities. What else could a company need? But there are flipsides to relying solely on Facebook. The social networking giant is known to delete many accounts without notice and offers no alternative to create a backup of the content. It also doesn’t provide fit-for-purpose ecommerce platforms for. But as Facebook continues to expand, and incorporate tools that may enable companies to sell their products, it may bring a second wave of transformation in web hosting.
Mobile friendly website
An overwhelming majority of people surf the internet through their smartphones and other hand-held devices. It seems that creating a mobile-friendly website is the way to go. Since, for most people, first impression is the last impressions, mobile support for your website is essential. Without that, it’ll be hard for your company to survive in a sea of other, better mobile-friendly websites.
The same goes for web hosting companies. Many companies have begun to realize or fully adjusted themselves to the advantages of creating mobile-friendly website. They are, now, scrambling to find the means to provide mobile web support to their customers. And some of the companies that do not have enough capability to do that for their customers may find their business dwindling.