The evolving IT world has spawned a multimedia revolution, with more and more websites incorporating pictures, audio, video, podcasts, Vlogs (video blogs), along with various other space-consuming features.
Are these ever-growing websites demanding more disk space and bandwidth from their web hosts? If so, service providers may need to adjust their strategy to meet these demands – or have they already?
Aaron Phillips, Vice President of Chicago-based FastServers.Net told TopHosts that websites are indeed demanding more file storage, database storage and mail storage capacity than ever before.
“Absolutely! Blogs, videos, audio and pictures are all part of the social media revolution currently taking place,” Phillips said. “Service providers now have to provide a lot of bandwidth, disk space and resources at an affordable price in order to accommodate the growing demands of these interactive media sites.”
Phillips also described new growth in disaster recovery and business continuity plans, which require extra storage space as well. As businesses recognise the likelihood of natural disasters striking more and more, customers are now demanding more storage for multiple copies of their data, so that they may stay online if a disaster hits home.
Dennis Boyle, Chief Operating Officer for web host Verio, agrees that storage space and bandwidth demands are changing. “We’re noticing many of our small business customers taking a great deal of interest in certain Web 2.0 features such as Blogs, Vlogs and podcasts,” Boyle said. “In this sense, website demands are certainly changing.”
Boyle noted that service providers need to have ample storage in place these days – not just for today’s more sizeable site features – but also for accommodating any kind of customer growth down the road. Verio customers, he mentions, are frequently requesting upgrades to their plans, with some experiencing sudden and rapid spikes in traffic due to national media exposure or business growth.
Large web hosts, like Verio, need to anticipate customer expansion, at all levels, as the Internet and websites progress.
The end of entry level hosting?
So as the Internet evolves, are web hosting customers evolving with it? Have website owners reached a new level of Internet aptitude – marking an eventual end to all basic, entry level hosting plans?
The question arose in our last story (Is Lifetime Web Hosting Worth a Second Look?) where today’s web hosting packages were criticised as being too simple and too small for the average customer, and especially for customers in the future.
Phillips agrees customers are becoming more and more tech savvy and running larger, more complex websites. But he points out that it doesn’t mean entry level, shared or basic hosting will go out of style any time soon. Everyone has to start somewhere and most start small.
“Shared web hosting on the entry level is a commodity and will remain a popular option for people who are just getting on the Internet with a small website of their own,” Phillips said.
Boyle of Verio added that a web presence is now an absolute must for any business. That means more and more will seek out a hosting plan suitable to them. Start-ups, with a limited IT staff and limited funds, can’t make the jump to a large or dedicated hosting plan right away, and as a result, shared basic hosting solutions will always remain an ideal way for businesses to begin their online pursuits.