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The history of web hosting

The advent of the Internet has created many new opportunities for business and information gathering. One example of this is web hosting, which has allowed people to distribute content and communicate with each other globally. The development of web hosting is an important part of Internet history, and the periodic advances in web hosting illustrate how the Internet has progressed over the years.

Here is a timeline of all the major events in the web hosting history.

1965 – Scientists at MIT lay the foundation for the Internet by having two computers communicate with each other successfully.[i]

1973 – The dawn of the Internet begins, as two European organizations are able to connect to ARPANET, the U.S. Defense Department’s predecessor to the Internet.[ii]

1974 – The First Internet Service Provider (ISP)
Telenet becomes the first ISP by providing a version of ARPANET for the public. Also, Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn make their design for Transmission Control Protocol, or TCP, public.[iii]

1979 – Network Solutions is Founded
Though it was founded as a engineering consultancy company, Network Solutions eventually became the first company to handle the Domain Name System (DNS) and distribute domain names to websites.[iv]

1983 – TCP/IP
ARPANET begins using the Internet protocol suite, or TCP/IP, which is still used today to connect networks through the Internet.[v]

1983 – DNS
The DNS (Domain Name System) is introduced, establishing the standard method for locating where the websites are hosted.[vi]

1984 – Cisco
Future technology giant Cisco Systems, Inc. is founded by Stanford University staff. By 1987, Cisco won the rights to sell their own routers after negotiating royalties with Stanford University.[vii]

1985 – The first domain ( is registered.[viii]

1987 – By this time, there are almost 30,000 hosts on the Internet.[ix]

1988 – Hosting Companies Emerge
1&1 Internet (now known as 1&1 IONOS) is founded in Germany. This makes 1&1 one of the first web hosting companies.[x]

1989 – The World Wide Web is Invented
While working at CERN, Tim Berners-Lee develops a global, interconnected “World Wide Web.”[xi]

1989 – The First Commercial Dial-up Services
ISPs such as[xii] in America and DIALix and Pegasus Networks in Australia[xiii] begin offering commercial dial-up Internet.

1990 – Launch of HTML
Berners-Lee develops HTML, a programming language that allows documents to be displayed in web browsers.[xiv] Today, HTML is still one of the building blocks of the web.

1991 – Linux
TheLinux operating system launches, providing a cheaper, near-identical alternative to Unix. This enabled Linux hosting providers to offer their services for cheaper than previous Unix hosting providers.[xv]

1992 – The Beginnings of Colocation Web Hosting
Metropolitan Fiber Systems (MFS) becomes a pioneer in colocation web hosting through their Internet exchange point known as MAE-East. A few ISPs decide to connect their networks through MAE-East, and MFS provides colocation facilities for them.[xvi]

1993 There are now 623 websites on the Internet,[xvii] and government organizations such as the UN now have their own websites.[xviii]

1993 – Mosaic
Marc Andreesen and Eric Bina create and release Mosaic web browser, which becomes a major part of the 90s Internet boom.[xix]

1994 –, Netscape, & EarthLink Launch
Peter Forman founds Forman Interactive. Forman Interactive eventually grows into a major web hosting provider and domain name registrar, changing their company name to[xx] The ISP and eventual web hosting provider EarthLink is also founded this year.[xxi] Netscape is founded under the name Mosaic Communications Corporation and the Netscape web browser is released.[xxii]

1995 – Free Web Hosting, AIT, Inc., and the Launch of Internet Explorer
Sites such as Geocities and Tripod introduce free web hosting, in hopes of generating revenue from banner ads.[xxiii] Advanced Internet Technologies, Inc. is also founded this year.[xxiv] AIT is known for being the first to develop and offer VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting (not to be confused with virtual hosting)[xxv] and for being one of the largest privately owned web hosting companies in the world.

1996 – Verio is Founded
Verio Inc. is founded, becoming one of the earliest and most prominent dedicated hosting companies. Verio amasses resources and infrastructure elements by purchasing many smaller ISPs and hosting companies and consolidating them under the Verio brand name.[xxvi]

1996 – Microsoft Releases ASP
Microsoft releases the server-side script engine ASP (Active Server Pages), which lets users create compelling interactive pages.[xxvii]

1997 – GoDaddy Launches
The domain registrar and web hosting company GoDaddy Inc. is founded under the name Jomax Technologies.[xxviii] By 2019, they became the largest web hosting provider in the world.[xxix]

1997 – Virtual Web Hosting
LexiConn becomes one of the first companies to offer virtual web hosting, [xxx]

1998 – Content Delivery Networks (CDN), Rackspace, and Hostway Launch
Akamai Technologies, Inc. is founded. Akamai is one of the first and largest content delivery network (CDN) providers in the world.[xxxi] Rackspace, one of the biggest giants in the cloud computing industry was also founded in this year.[xxxii] Hostway, one of the oldest dedicated hosting providers, also begins their business in 1998.[xxxiii]

1999 Yahoo! purchases Geocities.[xxxiv]

2000 – Domain Name Registrars
More domain name registrars start to pop up. starts conducting business and goes on to become another prominent player in the domain name registry and web hosting fields.[xxxv] Namecheap, Inc. is also founded this year.[xxxvi] In the 2010s, Namecheap becomes known as one of the best domain registrars and web hosting companies.

2001 – Linux VPS Hosting
RoseHosting is founded, becoming the very first company to offer commercial Linux VPS hosting to the masses.[xxxvii]

2001-2002 – New TLDs Launch, Including .info and .biz
During this time period, ICANN introduces seven new top-level domains (TLDs) including .biz, .info, .name, and .pro. These were intended to give users more options, due to widespread use of the .com domain name.[xxxviii]

2002 – HostGator Launches
HostGator, one of the world’s leading providers of shared, virtual, and dedicated web hosting is founded by Brent Oxley in Florida.[xxxix]

2003 – WordPress, and BlueHost Launch
WordPress is released by developers Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little.[xl] WordPress was developed for hosting blog sites, but it would go on to become a hosting service for other types of sites as well.[xli] and BlueHost,[xlii] two other major web hosting services, were also founded in 2003.

2004 – SquareSpace and Flickr Launch
Anthony Casalena develops his software for website hosting and founds the company Squarespace,[xliii] which is currently the fifth-largest web hosting company in the world.[xliv] Ludicorp creates Flickr as an image and video hosting service, and many bloggers use Flickr to host the images they post on their blogs.[xlv]

2005 – Yahoo! purchases Ludicorp and takes control of Flickr.[xlvi]

2006 – Cloud Hosting
Amazon Web Services is launched. AWS popularizes cloud computing with the Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud, or EC2.[xlvii]

2007 Hostway acquires Affinity Internet and all of its affiliated hosting brands, such as ValueWeb,, and[xlviii]

2008 – Google Cloud Platform is Launched:
Google launches App Engine, which is developed further over the decade and renamed Google Cloud Platform[xlix]. Google Cloud Platform gives users access to cloud hosting on one of the largest networks in the world.

2008 – Rackspace Acquires Smaller Hosting Companies
Rackspace acquires cloud storage company Jungle Disk and the VPS provider SliceHost.[l]

2009 – GeoCities closes down on October 26th.[li]

2010 – Hostwinds is founded
Hostwinds will go on to be named PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice for best website hosting in 2018, and’s Editor’s Choice for client support.[lii]

2011 – The SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) Bill is Introduced
U.S. Representative Lamar Smith proposes a law that will allow copyright holders and the U.S. Department of Justice to seek court orders against websites with copyright infringing material. A number of major web hosting companies spoke out against the bill for several reasons. The bill would have required them to monitor all of the sites they hosted, it would have exposed them to many unjustified lawsuits, and it would have allowed their domains to be taken down based on one piece of offending content. The bill was eventually declared dead in 2012.

2011 – acquires Network Solutions.[liii]

2012 – A New Generic Top-level Domain System is Instituted
The new system allows users to submit new gTLDs for approval.[liv] These new TLD names tended to be very specific, such as .bike, .clothing, or .plumbing. There were 1,930 applications for new domain names by the end of the year.[lv] Also, HostGator is purchased by Endurance International Group, bringing it under the same management as Bluehost.[lvi]

2013 – Snowden Leaks NSA Surveillance Documents
American whistleblower Edward Snowden exposes the NSA’s surveillance and collection of private data from civilians. Some web hosting providers felt that the Snowden leaks made business more difficult, because potential customers became more concerned with privacy and transparency when dealing with U.S.-based companies, resulting in them seeking web hosting providers overseas.

2014 – FCC Considers New Rules for Net Neutrality
Controversy erupts as the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to allow broadband ISPs to give faster connection speeds to certain companies or customers willing to pay a higher price. Web hosting providers such as DreamHost opposed these plans, because they would make the Internet less open and interfere with business, because they would mean more censorship of hosted sites, more expensive web services, and unwanted variance in site speeds. The rules surrounding net neutrality have been in flux since 2014, and the current FCC enforces no regulations that stop ISPs from favoring certain types of traffic.

2015 – North America Runs Out of IPv4 Addresses
The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), which allocates IP addresses to the United States, Canada, and a number of islands in the Caribbean and the North Atlantic Ocean, runs out of IPv4 addresses.[lvii] IPv4 has been the dominant Internet Protocol since 1983, and IPv4 address exhaustion marked a shift to more widespread use of IPv6 addresses.

2016 – ICANN’s Contract with the U.S. Government Expires
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which has played a vital part in coordinating the Domain Name System and IP address numbers since 1998, finishes its contract with the U.S. government. The private sector is now responsible for ICANN’s IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) functions, such as IP address allocation and DNS root zone management.[lviii]

2017 Rackspace signs an agreement to acquire Datapipe, a worldwide leader in the cloud computing, colocation, and managed hosting industries.[lix]

2018 1&1 Internet merges with cloud computing company ProfitBricks and changes their brand name to 1&1 IONOS.[lx]






























































READ NEXT: 5 cloud computing trends for 2020 that will redefine cloud industry

About the Author
Pierre Zarokian is a digital marketing consultant and CEO of Submit Express, an SEO company for over 20 years and Web Design Express, a web design company in Los Angeles. Zarokian also writes for the Search Engine Journal publication.

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Diadem Technologies joins hands with Plesk, to offer Plesk panel integrated hosting services in India

Diadem Technologies, India’s leading cloud service provider, providing cloud, dedicated and hybrid hosting solutions for clients across the globe, announced a partnership with Plesk, the leading Server, Website and WordPress management platform, proven on servers, sites, apps, hosting and cloud businesses. With this partnership, Diadem Technologies will make Plesk powered hosting services available to its customers.

With Plesk powered hosting services, Diadem Technologies will be able to deliver out of the box, value-added services to their customers. We are very pleased to partner with them for the quickly growing Indian marketplace and we look forward to a long-lasting partnership,” said Nils Hueneke, Plesk CEO.

Also read: Web Werks announces partnership with Plesk to offer fully integrated hosting services across India

With the robust Plesk management platform, we aim to provide our customers with the ability to manage their apps, websites, servers and technologies using a single and secure user interface. This will help them get rid of redundant and time-consuming website and security management tasks,” said Hriday Biyani, Co-Founder and CEO, Diadem Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

This partnership will be empowered by ZNet Technologies Pvt. Ltd. as ZNet is the distributor of Plesk licenses in India.

Also read: CloudLinux announces distribution partnership with ZNet Technologies
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Cloud Leadership Summit 2019 successfully brings together leaders in the Indian cloud and hosting industry

An unparalleled event for the leaders in the cloud and hosting industry in India, Cloud leadership summit 2019 concluded successfully in Goa.  The event that took place at Hotel Le Méridien Calangute, Goa, India from 8 to 10 November, brought together CEOs and heads of the leading multinationals in the Indian cloud and hosting industry together in a relaxed setting.

Cloud leadership summit 2019

There were the following sessions at the event.

1.Panel Discussion: Future of Web Hosting in 2020 and Beyond

Cloud leadership summit

The panelists included Tarun Dua, CEO – E2E Networks, Narendra Sen, CEO – Rackbank and Samir Jhaveri, CEO – XcellHost Cloud.

There was a discussion on the future of web hosting and how web hosting companies have to evolve in order to remain relevant and grow stronger.

There were also discussions on the growth of the Indian datacenter industry and its future. With niche markets still open, what should service providers do to compete with three big public cloud providers?  Further, they discussed how to provide services to customers with open source tools.

  1. The panel discussion was followed by a presentation by the sponsors – Acronis and ZNet Technologies.

In this session, the Acronis team told about how the web hosting, data center, and the cloud industry can comply with the data localization laws in India by offering Acronis cloud services to their customers.

Acronis in Cloud leadership summit

  1. Panel Discussion: Growth hacking with sustainable marketing for scaling up your hosting business

The panelists were Munesh Jadoun, CEO – ZNet Technologies, Danish Wadhwa, CEO – Webdew and Dhanasekar Mani, CEO – OVI Hosting.

As web hosting has evolved to cloud hosting, hyperscale and serverless computing so has the marketing techniques for web hosting services. In this session, there was a deep dive into how effective offline and online marketing is, best practices along with recommended tools for improving SEO and company presence across social media platforms. The points that were discussed:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • SEO and content marketing
  • Offline marketing
  • CRM and tools for tracking leads and opportunities
  • Digital marketing cheat sheet and best practices
  • Outsource vs DIY?

grow hosting business

  1. Panel Discussion: Web Hosting Automation – Tools, Resources and best practices

multicloud services - how to cope

The panelists included Sabarinathan Sampath, COO – ZNet Technologies, Ishan Talahati, CEO – Leapswitch, and Tarun Dua, CEO – E2E Networks.

The discussion was held around how the hosters can automate their hosting business- this covered the tools, resources and best practises of how web hosting companies worldwide are automating the daily tasks for deployment, monitoring and also for support. The points that were discussed included:

  • Virtualization automation tools.
  • Ansible automation
  • Monitoring for VMs and service end points
  • cPanel, Plesk and other control panels for hosters.
  • AV and malware prevention for Linux and Windows
  • Support automation
  • WHMCS – Are there any other viable alternatives
  1. The panel discussion was followed by a presentation by the sponsors – Intel and RP tech India.

Intel sponsors Cloud leadership summit

  1. Panel Discussion: AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud: Demystifying Multi-Cloud Operations

The panelists were Arun Bansal, CEO – Mantra Tech, Rahul Kukure, CEO – Hostin Services and Bharat Bala, ReadyDedis, LLC

Multi-Cloud expertise is essential for the growth of web hosting providers and in this session, there were discussions around the best practices for managing multi-cloud operations, right pricing your services along with client expectations and the skills required for the team to manage multi-cloud hosting services.

AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud: Demystifying Multi-Cloud Operations

In the end, there was a session on digital marketing best practices by Danish Wadhwa, CEO, Webdew.

Digital marketing - best practices

The attendees were quite elated with the three days sessions where they got to expand their knowledge realm and find solutions to their business problems.

Team DHN is looking ahead to cover Cloud Leadership Summit 2020!

Suggested Reading: Plesk APAC Partner Day 2019 brought together leaders in hosting and the cloud industry

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“HostBill automates repetitive, routine tasks, that cost time and money”– Kris Pajak, Founder & CEO, HostBill

HostBill is a popular billing and automation software for the web hosting industry with thousands of clients (Hosting, Cloud/IaaS/VPS Solutions Providers, Domain name and SSL Resellers) all over the world.

This year in November, HostBill celebrates its 10 years anniversary. We interviewed Kris Pajak, HostBill CEO, and asked him about the changes in the web hosting industry in the past 10 years, how HostBill platform has evolved over the years and what are the plans of HostBill in 2020. Read on…

1. Let’s begin with a brief introduction of yours and an overview of HostBill.

I’m Kris Pajak – founder and CEO of HostBill. HostBill is a powerful and flexible, all-in-one automation, billing, client management and support platform for the web hosting industry. Our software handles all aspects of running a successful online business, from client acquisition, through invoicing and payment collection, automated service provisioning and management, to customer service and support.

HostBill is mostly meant for Hosting, Cloud/IaaS/VPS Solutions Providers, Domain name and SSL Resellers. The company was founded in 2009 and this year we are celebrating 10 years in business.

2. What pain points can HostBill eliminate for web hosts and other service providers?

HostBill core feature is automation – with our software you can automate repetitive, routine tasks, that usually cost not only time but also money. Powerful automation that HostBill provides also has another advantage: it helps to eliminate human errors. And with HostBill, you can not only automate all of the billing operations but also service provisioning and management. With custom automation tasks, you can create your own automation rules and perform certain actions based on criteria that you specify.

Another thing that HostBill can help with is compliance. We provide our clients with the tools that help with compliance with various legal requirements, such as GDPR, PCI, Moss, EU billing and more, so our clients don’t have to worry about looking for multiple solutions. It’s all built into HostBill.

3. Does it also help cloud service providers (CSPs)? If yes, what cloud services can be billed using it?

In short: yes, HostBill is an all-embracing solution to cater to the needs of businesses with diversified product and services portfolio, including cloud service providers.

We provide a number of public cloud integrations for easier reselling of such services. Our integrations are also equipped with advanced billing features and multiple billing models, including metered billing and the tools to measure and control resource usage over time, which can be especially useful to CSPs.

4. Please share with our readers how HostBill has evolved over the years to meet the growing demands of its customers.

HostBill was created in 2009 and since the beginning our approach was “Customer knows best”. When we released HostBill 1.0.0. it was capable of managing invoices, tickets, orders, domains and hosting accounts, but with functionalities much more limited than today.

Now HostBill has evolved into an extremely feature-rich software with a multitude of plugins and most of the features we developed since 2009 were requested by our clients.

End-user feedback is crucial to our success. We value and take into consideration every suggestion to constantly improve HostBill according to our customers’ expectations. We grow as our clients grow and as they bring new products to market and face new challenges, we simply help them to find the solutions they need.

5. What was your motivation behind developing an innovative platform like HostBill?

HostBill was actually born from my and the former co-founder’s experience – I used to work as a software developer in various hosting companies and I actually wanted to create a software that would help people like me. There is a saying in the IT: ‘If you’re doing something more than once = automate it’. Automation became my hobby as it was the ultimate problem-solver in many areas of my daily work. And HostBill is all about problem-solving.

Also, as we’re using HostBill on daily basis ourselves, we wanted to “scratch our own itch” – create something that we know for sure is going to be useful as we will be using it on our own. For example, since 2013 we’ve decided to release every week, we’ve implemented the auto-update plugin to make updates a breeze for both ourselves and our customers.

6. What according to you will be the web hosting trends in 2020? Is HostBill ready to adapt to these trends?

I think in 2020 there will be a strong trend for professionalisation and value-added services as well as managed hosting. Shared hosting alone is barely a thing now, you need to offer hosting, domain, website builder, WordPress and professional services on top of that, at an affordable price. HostBill is ready for that as it connects all the necessary dots with its features and integrations.

Related read: What makes Plesk the preferred choice of WordPress developers?

7. That’s great! How do you think HostBill has an edge over other billing and automation platforms in the market?

As I already mentioned, we develop based on our customer requests and as such we’re the first with new features that clients really need. What also matters is how fast we react to the changes in the industry, and we release new features every week! That fast release cycle and regular updates helped us build a strong community behind our product.

Another advantage is the multitude of plugins and integrations developed in house, that enable our clients to jump into new markets and service offerings without the need for external integrators.

8. What were the main challenges that you faced while marketing HostBill when it was new in the market?

I think the biggest challenge was being compared to others who are longer on the market. As in any business being an underdog is hard at the beginning, but being small gave us something that bigger competitors were lacking – nimbleness.

9. How did you overcome these challenges?

We kept new releases coming, bringing new features that others did not have or did not listen to their customers to implement.

10. Tell us about the main integrations that your platform provides.

It’s hard to pick one as we integrate every major hosting-related control panels, popular payment gateways and domain registrars. We have hundreds of integrations available in our marketplace and in 2019 alone we’ve released nearly 50 new integrations! Our integrations allow to sell and automate Cloud, VPS Hosting, Shared Hosting, DNS Services, Email Services, Backup and Cloud Sharing solutions, Game and Voice Servers, SSL services, VPN service, website builders, Licenses and much more.

11. What’s in the roadmap 2020 for HostBill?

In 2020, we’re going to focus on new, more robust and transparent billing engine to give admin better control of recurring service prices. We’re also planning to release a refreshed client portal and we’re also working on improved domain and DNS management features. Besides, we want to keep on releasing new HostBill versions every week, with new features and integrations our clients are looking for.

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Plesk APAC Partner Day 2019 brought together leaders in hosting and the cloud industry

The Plesk APAC Partner Day 2019 event kicked off in Singapore on October 11, bringing together the web hosts, tech enthusiasts, and like-minded people in the industry.

With the theme “Drive Digital Transformation Now”, the event explored what’s new in Plesk Obsidian, a look behind the development of Obsidian, WordPress Community insights, valuable marketing tips, and much more.

Plesk Obsidian is a powerful management platform for servers, websites, applications, as well as hosting & cloud businesses. It became generally available this month only. Full details and the new features of Plesk Obsidian are available here.

Along with these, the Plesk APAC Partner Day 2019 also provided a platform to the attendees to meet peers, inspiring speakers, and explore new opportunities to network and connect with experts and leaders in the industry.

There were around ten sessions about Plesk Obsidian, Managed WordPress hosting, the impact of digital transformation on the web hosting industry, expanding business with Acronis, etc.

Plesk APAC Partner Day 2019

These were the key topics discussed at the event:

  • The Rise Of Plesk Obsidian – Jan Löffler, CTO, Plesk
  • A look behind the scenes of Plesk Obsidian Development – Andrey Kugaevsky, Senior Program Manager, Plesk
  • Vickson’s Diaries – Vickson Tan, Graphic web designer and digital marketing strategist, Exabytes
  • Bloggers need Managed WordPress Hosting too! – Liew Cheon Fong, WordPress consultant
  • How to build a WordPress Millenium Falcon with Plesk Extensions – Markus Galler, VP of Sales, Plesk
  • Stranger Things on WordPress Hosting – Sam Suresh, Founder of MU DOT MY PLT
  • Patricia’s Guide to the Galaxy – Patricia Hillebrand, Director of Global Channels, Plesk
  • Automating protection and expanding business with Acronis – Oleg Prosvetov, Technology consultant, Acronis
  • From Complexity to Simplicity – Maik Broemme, Senior Product Manager, Virtuozzo
  • How Digital Transformation affects the Hosting Industry – Gavin Gibson, COO and Co-Founder, Dreamescape Networks, Singapore; Andy Saw, COO, Exabytes Networks; Manoj Dhanda, CEO and Founder, MicroHost
Also read: Web Werks announces partnership with Plesk to offer fully integrated hosting services across India

The Plesk APAC Partner Day 2019 was a great success, with positive responses from the web hosts, partners, and other attendees. If you attended the event, let us know your experience via the comments below.

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Top 6 reasons free website hosting is a mistake

While it might not be at the forefront of your mind, web hosting services play an important part in your website’s success. When it comes to the website development, every little thing matters. While we all know that design and usability of a website directly affect user experience, website hosting is an important component in building a successful online presence too. Of course, it’s a pleasure to save some money but, sometimes, the result is quite the opposite.

The best way to save your budget while building a website is to save on its development. Sure thing, it’s not easy to find an affordable and at the same time professional services. Then again, remote is, probably, the future of work and there’s outstaffing model that is more reliable and efficient. Thus, it’s no longer a surprise that hiring web designers in Ukraine or any other popular outsourcing directions will save some cash. Actually, this is a common way to reduce the price when building a website but, of course, nothing is without flaws.

Let’s get back to choosing a reliable website hosting provider that follows your business needs. Since there are many ways the web host you choose can impact your website (business), you should educate yourself on well-known mistakes you’ll want to stay away from. Wondering what’s at the top of the list? Choosing free web hosting is the most common mistake most businesses make when developing their online presence.

Why hosting matters when you build a website?

There’s a lot of work you need to do to plan a website. There are many ways different ways to create your perfect online image, but one fact remains the same regardless of what route you take. Finding a reliable web hosting company is an important step in delivering the best user experience to your customers. And this is something free web hosting services don’t offer.

After you decide on a website design, the development process begins. To successfully deliver your content to viewers, you’ll need a place to store your files. That’s where hosting comes in. Remote computer servers serve as a source of storage for your information. Your host keeps your files safe and accessible, so your website can deliver the information you want viewers to see when someone opens your website.

Business success is often measured by profit margins and a company’s ability to maximize their profits. This being the case, many businesses avoid anything that can negatively impact their overall profit gain. Because most businesses today are competing for the most effective, most well-liked online presence, choosing the right hosting solution for your business is important. When you do not take the time to research the right fit for your web hosting needs, you run the risk of losing revenue, negatively affecting your SEO ranking, and facing potential security issues and malware attacks. So, how can you ensure you are making the right decision for your web hosting while still making a sound financial decision?

Top reasons free website hosting is a mistake

Free sure is tempting. With all the expenses businesses face today, it may seem like a breath of fresh air to see that you can get a web hosting service for your website for free. The problem with falling for the temptation of choosing a free website host is that it ends up costing you more money in the long run. You also risk the integrity of your website, can ruin your online reputation and can lose revenue and customers while facing these negative repercussions of choosing “free.”

One of the major problems with free web hosting is the amazing marketing tactics hosting companies use to draw you in. It’s almost as if you can’t say no! The great news is that you can turn down free offers and you don’t have to spend an inordinate amount of money to get what you need. There are many managed and shared hosting options available that offer affordable premium hosting. These companies can save you money long-term, but they can also save you a headache and mess of making the mistake of choosing a free website hosting service in the first place.

So, what is it exactly about free website hosting that has created such a fuss throughout the world of internet and online business? Here’s what you really get when you choose a free website hosting and the top reasons for making that decision is a mistake for your business.

1. Is anything REALLY free?

Think about it. Anytime you have signed up for something “free” in your lifetime, has it truly been free without a surprise gimmick or some way of paying down the road? When you ask if something is really free, you should also consider the other end of that question. What about limitations?

The problem with free website hosting is that there are often serious limitations that come with it. Once you discover these limitations and realize you need to reach beyond them, you are left with one of two scenarios to face. You either need to pay an excessive service fee to get what you need, or you are stuck with what you have and hinder your business’ success.

Most free web hosting services limit the amount of storage available to your website, the bandwidth of your service, and do not allow FTP access. Since you probably signed a contract that says you are locked into a long-term commitment, you will be forced to upgrade your services for a much higher fee than most premium hosting providers offer. And if you failed to read the tiny, tiny print in the terms of services, it’ll be near impossible for you to safely get out of your contract with your website in tow and intact.

2. You forfeit reliability

Many of the most highly marketing free web hosting providers are new companies themselves. The offer free web hosting to try to draw in customers to pay for their other services. Since premium hosting can easily be offered at an affordable rate, these new companies draw you in by giving it away and focusing on charging you for some of their most expensive services.

The major risk you face when you choose to host with a new company is that you forfeit reliability. So, what happens if that company is unsuccessful and ultimately folds? You will lose everything. If they shut down, so does your entire website. Everything you have worked so hard to create can be lost for good. You will likely have no backups of your website. If you purchased, or renewed, your domain through the company you will lose your domain as well. And this will hit your SEO ranking right where it hurts. All the time and money you put into your website services will be permanently lost.

3. You can’t transfer your website

Most free hosting solutions have a way of working some tricky wording into their terms of service. So, while you think you own your website and your domain, you don’t. In addition, your hosting provider will likely own all your content. That means you can’t sell your website, you can’t sell your content, and you can’t republish any of your works. Just think about being a photographer or artist who publishes their images on their website to show their customers their work. Once you put that up, your “free” web hosting services go to work and you no longer own rights to that content.

To make matters worse, once you realize you need better services, it’s nearly impossible to transfer providers. So, if you can’t afford the upgrades needed from your free hosting provider, forget looking for a more affordable, reliable company. Since you don’t actually own your website, your content, or even your domain, you can’t transfer to a better provider. It’s that simple.

4. You have no server control.

Free website hosting means you get what you pay for, and since you didn’t pay, you are limited to what you get. Chances are your website is not scalable. This means if your business grows, your website can’t grow with you. Most free hosting services cannot handle lots of traffic, so if business starts booming, your website can’t handle the influx of visitors. This translates to slow website speeds and lots of downtimes. When it comes to business, downtime means you’ll lose readers, visitors, and customers. Loss of customers obviously means you’re going to be losing money.

The great news is that premium hosting is not that expensive. When you invest in hosting, you invest in security for your website and you invest in your business’ future. If you exceed your limits with a premium hosting provider, you can easily upgrade your services at a fair and affordable price. And you don’t run the risk of slow website speeds that can turn away visitors or even downtime that can result in the loss of customers!

5. Your website won’t look professional.

I think by now we have established that nothing is free! Free hosting means you are only able to use basic themes for your design. You may be able to make small changes, but you won’t’ be able to customize your website or make improvements as your budget allows. You will also be dealing with unprofessional domain names because you will likely be using a subdomain.

WordPress hosting is a great example of a free hosting provider that limits your capabilities and prevents you from looking as professional as possible. Clients who use the free WordPress hosting services often have a domain like A professional hosting provider can get you a top-level domain at a low cost and you can implement professional .com emails that enhance your business.

Since many functions require plugins, and free hosting excludes plugins, your website won’t be capable of executing common, important website functions. Just think, no selling and no mailing list. In addition to limitations, you will likely have to deal with forced ads that are placed on your website and have no relevance to your business. After all, your free hosting provider needs to make their money somewhere.

6. Your SEO ranking will suffer.

Since we’ve now established that your webpage can face slow site speed, increased downtime, and look unprofessional, there’s a more serious impact this can have on your business. SEO is a science. If you have invested in SEO, you’ll understand that it takes time to build a solid online presence. You can not only lose all you’ve worked for if your free hosting provider takes down your website, you can face many negative impacts on your ability to rank in the first place.

Google has created high standards to allow websites to rank at the top. All the negative impacts listed above regarding free hosting make your website harder to rank because of its low quality when it comes to Google Standards. You won’t be able to get your business on the map when it comes to search engine results. This is a major preventative of growth for your business.

If you want to create an online presence that can bring your business growth and success, free hosting is not the way to go. While it may look like a way to save money as you start out, it will cost you customers and revenue in the end. Your business website should be professional.

Professional, premium hosting providers offer you full control over your website, better SEO, a real, professional domain, and a scalable website that will grow with your business. When you choose a reliable web hosting company, you contribute to your brand. And this means a greater chance of success as you continually exceed your limits and grow to your full potential through your professional online presence and your supportive, premium web hosting services.


Guest Author:  Alka Parti, Digital Marketing Consultant

Hosting News

DigiState expands its activities to Lithuania

DigiState, provider of web hosting and managed services with customers throughout Europe, opens an office in Vilnius to expand its activities to Lithuania. DigiState focuses on offering its e-commerce specialization here. In the current hosting market of Lithuania, there is still room in this specific market segment.

DigiState has been offering a wide range of hosting services for more than 10 years, including web hosting, managed services and security. DigiState’s main focus is on e-commerce and webshop hosting. According to founder and owner Marin Heideman, Lithuania offers a lot of market potential here: “Lithuania is not an unknown region for me. I have been coming here for four years and have therefore been able to form a good insight of the hosting market and the players that are active in this particular market segment. We have had a market study carried out into the possibilities for e-commerce services. The results confirm my view that there are still lots of opportunities in this niche of the market in Lithuania. For example, there are few hosters who deal with Magento websites, something that DigiState specializes in.”

Because Heideman has been exploring the market in Lithuania for some time, he has also built up quite an extensive business network. “Over the years that I have been coming to Lithuania, I have had many interesting contacts,” he says. “As a result, I know with which local parties we can work together to offer our service. Of course, we ensure that the quality of this service is just as high as our services from the Netherlands.”

The website has been fully translated into Lithuanian and DigiState has opened its first office in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Marketing and PR activities are coordinated from here. The data center services are also offered from Lithuania. To be able to offer this, DigiState works together with local parties. For the provision of hosting services, DigiState has also entered into partnerships with Lithuanian data centers. The management of these servers is incidentally entrusted to the DigiState team in the Netherlands.

To support the start in Lithuania, DigiState is organizing a launch party in Vilnius this fall. “By organizing an event we want to make sure that the Lithuanian market gets to know us,” explains Heideman. “We therefore invite prospects to a launch party to present DigiState to them as a reliable provider of high-quality e-commerce hosting.”

READ NEXT: Online businesses taking the world over by storm with domain name registrations crossing 351.8 million

Hosting News

DreamHost Brings Staging Environments to Managed WordPress

DreamHost, a global leader in web hosting and Managed WordPress services, has today launched a new version of DreamPress – its powerful managed WordPress platform.

In addition to countless under-the-hood performance improvements, DreamPress, DreamPress Plus, and DreamPress Pro now include access to an isolated website staging environment.

DreamPress’ staging environment is a private WordPress installation that allows WordPress designers, developers, and content creators to safely preview their website changes and additions before copying those alterations live to a public, production environment.  This provides a private website preview buffer for the “move fast and break things” crowd, and brings a virtual safety net to WordPress website development.

DreamHost now also includes automated backups, created on each staging push to production.  In the unlikely event that live content doesn’t match its staged counterpart, changes can be rolled back at a moment’s notice.

“DreamPress’ latest release sets the stage for our users to do great things!” said John Robison, DreamHost’s Director of Product, Managed WordPress, emphasizing the word ‘stage’ in a way that would cause any dad joke enthusiasts within earshot to start high-fiving each other.  “WordPress’ most passionate users have told us that the safety and security of a WordPress staging environment is essential to their workflows, and we’re proud to deliver it today as a standard feature of all our managed WordPress packages,” he added.

DreamPress hosting plans start at $16.95 per month and can scale quickly, with options to handle over a million monthly visitors while providing a top-tier managed WordPress hosting experience.

ALSO READ: DreamHost launches new managed WordPress hosting offerings for advanced WordPress users

Image Source: DreamHost

Cloud Cloud News Hosting News

Hostway and HOSTING merge, creating one of the largest global managed cloud services platforms

Hostway and HOSTING today announced the merger of the two organizations, combining to create one of the largest managed cloud services platforms in the world. Both companies are known for secure, compliant managed hybrid cloud solutions and together will have an unmatched set of products and services with the ability to scale for their clients’ growing needs.

The combined organization has 14 world-class data centers in five countries across three continents and will be led by Emil Sayegh as CEO and president. Investors Littlejohn & Co., LLC and Pamlico will stay on to equally back the combined entity.

“Both Hostway and HOSTING have always had an uncompromising commitment to customer service and an incredible history of pioneering leading-edge solutions into the market. This merger is a natural progression of the two companies’ focus on providing solutions for CIOs and IT leaders to reduce costs, mitigate risks and increase business agility,” said Sayegh.

“Our combined strengths benefit all our customers by delivering even more product sets and the scalability to adapt to clients’ changing needs. We will be in a unique position to help customers every step of the way as they make the journey to hybrid cloud environments while protecting them against ever-emerging threats.”

“Both Pamlico and Littlejohn came together to back this merger because we believe the combination makes for an undisputed leader in IT transformation solutions for mission critical applications, and provides opportunity to dominate the market,” said Michael Kaplan, Managing Director, Littlejohn & Co.

“Collectively the organization is even better positioned to address the top enterprise IT challenges of security, costs, lack of IT resources, governance and multi-cloud complexity. Both Pamlico and Littlejohn are prepared to fully support the company into its next phase of growth,” said Scott Stevens, Partner at Pamlico Capital.

Also read: Hostway continues expansion with new data center in Austin, new offices in Chicago and San Antonio

HOSTING and Hostway will continue to operate under two separate brands and operational models for a limited period during the interim integration. The company intends to fully merge all functions and operate under a single brand within the next twelve months.

Acquisition Cloud News Domain Hosting Newss Web Hosting

Cinven acquires European web host for undisclosed amount

Leading web hosting services provider,, which has more than one million customers globally, is getting acquired by the private equity firm Cinven.

Founded in 2002, is based in Europe and serves domain names and web hosting services to small and medium businesses to customers all around the world, with a focus on Northern Europe.

With an increasing number of small and medium enterprises establishing their presence on the web and using web applications, the web hosting market is growing at a vast pace. is a renowned company in this industry with a huge customer base globally. This opens a door of opportunity for Cinven in the hosting industry.

Another reason for Cinven’s investment is the attractive business model of that generates high recurring revenues, and strong cash flow. The private equity firm can accelerate the growth of with acquisition.

“We have more than 15 years’ experience in web hosting services and are today one of the leading companies in Europe in the sector. The pride we have in our achievements to date is matched by our growth ambitions for the future and, in Cinven, we have a partner whose expertise in the sector and financial resources can support our compelling growth strategy,” said Jacob Jensen, founder and CEO of

It is not the first time that Cinven is investing in a web hosting company. In August 2013, it had acquired HEG (Host Europe Group) which was also a leading provider of web hosting services in Europe. Cinven experienced significant profits with platform investment in HEG. In January, Cinven eventually sold HEG to its strategic partner GoDaddy.

“We are very excited to invest in alongside Jacob. It is a high-quality business with an attractive brand and scalable technology platform, operating in a market with structural growth drivers. This is a subsector we know well through Cinven’s successful investment in HEG in Fund 5, continuing to invest in both the organic growth story and targeted acquisitions,” said Thomas Railhac, Partner at Cinven.

Also read: Top 6 reasons free website hosting is a mistake

The companies didn’t reveal the financial terms of the deal.

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