There are too many moving pieces on the board. The advancements in technology, innovations, and unique real-world occurrences, such as the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, are just some of the factors at play.
While various factors make it borderline impossible to calculate the website hosting industry’s market size and growth, there are also hundreds of resources online. If you don’t want to wrap your head around which one is the most accurate and trustworthy, you’ve come to the right place.
A Short History of the Internet
- 1969: ARPANET, the first computer network is developed. It connects computers at the University of California and Stanford University. More connections follow before the end of the year.
- 1971: Email technology becomes available.
- 1973: The first transatlantic connection of ARPANET is established at the University College of London.
- 1976: Development of the TCP/IP protocol, enabling different types of networks to communicate with each other.
- 1978: Creation of the first international network. By 1981, it connects Europe, the US, Canada, Hong Kong, and Australia.
- 1984: Introduction of the domain name system with six available domain endings (.edu, .gov, .mil, .com, .net, .org).
- 1987: The Internet contains nearly 30,000 hosts.
- 1989: Formation of the first Internet Service Providers and the first commercial dial-up service. AOL launches its instant messenger.
- 1991: Creation of the World Wide Web and the first web browser by Tim Berners-Lee, enabling users to access hypertext documents from anywhere on the network.
- 1993: The World Wide Web becomes available to the public domain. Marc Andreessen develops the Netscape browser, which comes out as Netscape Navigator the next year.
- 1995: Restrictions on carrying commercial traffic on the World Wide Web are abolished. eBay and Amazon see their first sales. The web hosting service GeoCities launches.
- 1997: Launch of the company that would become GoDaddy. The term “weblog”, which would later be shortened to “blog”, is coined.
- 1998: Google goes live and 20% of Americans get news from the Internet at least once a week.
- 2002: Brent Oxley launches HostGator from his university dorm room. Around 55 million people go online from their workplace every day.
- 2003: Launch of WordPress and Skype.
- 2004: Launch of Amazon Web Services and Facebook. Mozilla comes out with Firefox.
- 2005: YouTube is founded. The number of broadband connections surpasses dial-up services.
- 2006: Twitter goes live.
- 2007: Launch of the iPhone.
- 2008: Introduction of HTML5.
- 2010: There are 195 million active domains.
- 2012: E-commerce sales surpass $1 trillion worldwide.
- 2014: One billion websites are online.
- 2017: There are more than four billion global Internet users.
- 2019: People worldwide spend more time on the Internet than watching TV.
Key Web Hosting Industry Stats
- As of 2020, there are more than 1.2 billion hostnames registered online.
- 1969 is the year when the first 4 hosts were registered.
- In 2019, the web hosting industry market size was valued at $56.7 billion.
- The shared hosting segment dominated the market, with a revenue share of 37.64% in 2019.
- By 2027, the web hosting industry market size is forecasted to grow to $171.4 billion.
General Web Hosting Industry Statistics
When did the web hosting industry start? How many hostnames are registered online? What are the market sizes of the industry and its projected growth rate? Find answers to all of these questions and discover the most popular web-hosting providers, numbers of websites hosted per provider, and more.
1. In 2020, there are over 1.2 billion hostnames registered online
However, not all of these websites are active. In fact, out of 1.2 billion registered hostnames, only about 191.5 million are online and active. Active websites compose a mere 15.5% of all registered hostnames.
2. What started with 4 hosts is today a 126 million host industry
The web hosting industry’s beginnings were quite modest. It all started in 1969 with only 4 hosts. Over the next 5 decades, the industry went through a quantum leap to a staggering 126 million hosts, 30 million domains, and 28.2 million websites.
3. In 2019, the web hosting industry market size was valued at $56.7 billion
The global web hosting services market size is still growing. In 2019, its size was valued at $56.7 billion. Projections tell us that it is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.5% from 2020 to 2027.
Not all web hosting services (including shared, colocation, dedicated, and Virtual Private Server) contribute to the size and growth projections by the same factor:
- When it comes to revenue, the shared hosting services are absolutely dominant, with a revenue share of 37.64% in 2019.
- If we look at the revenue of global web hosting services by end-user, the enterprise segment had a market share of 90.46% in 2019.
- The revenue share of the North American market was 35.28% in 2019.
- Taking a look at the growth rate by region reveals that Germany and the U.K. contribute the most. In fact, Germany had more than 7 million domains out of all websites hosted online in 2018.
4. By 2027, the web hosting industry market size is forecasted to grow to $171.4 billion
At the same time, this forecast reveals that the industry is expected to expand at a CAGR of 15.5% from 2020 to 2027.
- Europe is a region with the highest CAGR of 16% for the given projected time period.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, internet activity spiked. Businesses saw a solution in online services, and there was a trend of more businesses shifting their processes online. (Source: grandviewresearch.com)
- The sub-sector of Virtual Private Server is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.2% from 2019 to 2026, and its market size is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2026. (Source: alliedmarketresearch.com)
- Out of all sub-sectors, Managed VPS is expected to expand by the highest CAGR of 16.5% from 2019 to 2026. (Source: alliedmarketresearch.com)
- We expect to see a rising trend of the integration of machine learning and AI with VPS.
- Enterprises will also be more concerned about cybersecurity.
5. Web hosting providers with the most hosted number of websites on the entire internet.
It’s logical to see the companies selling data storage space by bigger volumes in the list of hosting providers with the most hosted number of websites online. This list includes all companies that provide web hosting services, sell server space, and data center space, including Cloudflare, Amazon, Google, Unified Layer, OVH, and many others.
6. Top 5 web hosting and data center providers
Data Center Locations. There are currently 269 providers and 2923 data centers in the world. That includes 2832 colocation facilities, 2301 cloud nodes, 634 Internet exchanges (IX), and 924 disaster recovery and business continuity (DRBC) sites. (Source: datacenters.com)
GoDaddy’s network consists of over 37,000 servers located all around the globe. These servers are situated in nine GoDaddy facilities. While the company owns only one of these facilities, the rest of them are leased from wholesale providers.
The facility owned by GoDaddy is located in Phoenix, Arizona. Its size is impressive, covering more than 270,000 square feet.
The company headquarters are in Scottsdale, Arizona, with another leased facility in Mesa, in the same state. The other 6 facilities are located in Singapore, Amsterdam, Ashburn, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Virginia. (Source: datacenterknowledge.com)
The Cloudflare network is vast. The company has servers across all continents. Currently, they are located in over 200 cities, based in more than 90 countries. Thanks to its huge network, the company is able to deliver multiple layers of cybersecurity and enhanced performance.
The success of Cloudflare hosting services lies in the size of its network. The company is continuously growing and optimizing to make the internet safer for end-users and offer reliable services. (Source: cloudflare.com)
With its worldwide network of servers, industry-grade services, and strong security, Google quickly became one of the top web hosting and data center providers. The company currently operates 21 data centers. 13 of those are in the US, 1 in South America, 5 in Europe, and 2 in Asia.
Google is continuously investing in innovations, data and security, efficiency, and renewable energies to make its data centers more energy-efficient, secure, and better performing. (Source: Google)
IONOS (by 1and1)
IONOS currently runs 15 facilities. Its vast network consists of more than 90,000 servers located in 9 countries around the world.
High performance, security, great coverage, and the fact that the company has 8 million customer contracts worldwide make this company one of the top web hosting and data center providers. (Source: ionos.com)
AWS Amazon has one of the fastest-growing networks in the world. It now has servers in 24 geographic regions and offers its services in 77 Availability Zones. The company is planning on expanding its network to additional Availability Zones and geographic regions, including Spain, Japan, and Indonesia. (Source: aws.amazon.com)
7. Most popular global shared web hosting providers
In this list are selected web hosting providers that offer shared web hosting services and more.
To summarize, there are 4 major web hosting providers (and domain registrars) – GoDaddy, 1and1, Endurance International group, and Namecheap.
GoDaddy is the undisputed champion and the owner of the most popular global shared web hosting provider title. It currently has over 44 million subscribers.
1and1 one reaches second place with over 9 million active subscribers, 10 data centers in 5 countries, and 90,000 servers.
Endurance International Group
Endurance International Group unites more than 80 brands. The total number of subscribers throughout all companies on March 31, 2020, was approximately 4.8 million. The number of active subscribers puts it slightly above Namecheap. (Source: GlobeNewswire)
Finally, with 4.4 million subscribers, Namecheap comes in a close 4th. The company’s shared hosting servers, dedicated servers, and VPS carriers are located in its data center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Source: Namecheap)
8. The virtual private server market size is projected to reach $8.3 billion by 2026
The virtual private server market size was valued at $2.6 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $8.3 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 16.2% from 2019 to 2026.
The market is dominated by the global virtual private server players such as Amazon Web Services Inc., DreamHost LLC, Endurance International Group, GoDaddy Operating Company LLC, IBM, InMotion Hosting, Liquid Web, OVH, Rackspace US Inc., and United Internet AG. (Source: alliedmarketresearch.com)
9. Most popular VPS web hosting providers
GoDaddy dominates the VPS web hosting market. With a market share of 23.33%, GoDaddy is light years ahead of its closest competitor, DreamHost hosting, which currently has a market share of 1.46%. The other popular VPS web hosting providers include Digital Ocean and 123-Reg with a market share of 1.23% and 1.20% respectively. (Source: Builtwith)
10. Most popular WordPress hosting providers
When it comes to content management systems (CMS), WordPress is definitely the most popular one. WordPress holds 44% of the market share for CMSs. Joomla, another popular CMS, is fifth on the list, but with an unthreatening 2.6% of CMS market share.
WordPress is not just limited to being used for blogging, and is popular in other industries as well, such as eCommerce. Out of all of the websites on the internet, WordPress powers a whopping 39%. (Source: w3techs)
The most popular WordPress hosting provider is BlueHost, with almost 2 million hosted WordPress websites. They are followed by Automattic and DreamHost hosting, with less than half the number of websites hosted by BlueHost.(Source: Builtwith)
11. Most popular hosted website solutions
Hosted website solutions are also gaining in popularity. The website builders market was worth $1.65 billion in 2019. Projections tell us that this market will reach $2.16 billion in value by 2025 thanks to a CAGR of 7%. (Source: DecisionDatabases)
Inside the website builders market, distribution remains the same as it has been for the last couple of years. Wix dominates the market with a 31.05% market share, followed by Squarespace and Shopify with an 18.92% and 13.34% market share respectively.
On this list are the most popular hosted website builders’ solutions with the most hosted websites.(Source: Builtwith)
Top 5 hosted website builder solutions
Since website builder solutions are so popular, we had to examine them more closely. Below you will find the basic information and main statistics for each one of the most popular website builder solutions.
Wix was founded by Giora Kaplan, Nadav Abrahami, and Avishai Abrahami. After experiencing how hard and costly it can be to build a website from scratch, the trio decided to create an easy-to-use website builder. The company as we know it was established in 2006.
- Number of websites global – 3,800,881
- Number of websites in the US – 27,111
- Market share – 31.05%
Squarespace started out as Anthony Casalena’s dorm room project at the University of Maryland in 2003. Today, Anthony is the CEO of Squarespace, one of the most popular website builder platforms globally.
- Number of websites global – 2,270,402
- Number of websites in the US – 1,788,627
- Market share – 18.92%
Shopify dates back to 2006 when a young man from Germany who was living in Canada decided to build an eCommerce platform to sell snowboards online. He found that his platform could be modified so that other people could use it to sell goods online as well.
- Number of websites global – 1,481,590
- Number of websites in the US – 1,201,572
- Market share – 13.34%
WordPress.com is owned by Automattic. It was founded in 2005 in the hopes of making people with no technical or coding knowledge comfortable using WordPress CMS. Today, it’s one of the favorite hosted website builders of people across the world.
- Number of websites global – 1,057,001
- Number of websites in the US – 845,610
- Market share – 8.63%
Founded in 2007, Weebly is a website and eCommerce builder. Weebly is based in San Francisco, California. While the company was acquired by Square in May 2018, its scope of services only expanded, bringing more enjoyable site-building tools to end-users.
- Number of websites global – 935,216
- Number of websites in the US – 758,640
- Market share – 7.72%
The Future of web hosting
From natural coolants to cloud-based computing, the web hosting market isn’t what it once was. To say the web hosting industry is flourishing is a huge understatement. As you can see, its market size is currently valued at $56.7 billion and is projected to continue growing at a CAGR of 15.5% until 2027. This CAGR value places the overall market value at $171.4 billion by 2027.
- SSL certificates
- DDoS attack prevention
- CloudFlare CDN
- SEO and marketing tools
- E-commerce support
- Free domains
- Anti-phishing protection
- Frequent backups
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited storage
- DIY features such as website and page builders
- User training
Hopefully, all of these numbers paint a clear picture of the strong state of the website hosting industry. Stay tuned, as we will continuously update these statistics in our efforts to be your number one resource for trustworthy and accurate information.