Barrack Obama, John McCain, Joe Biden, Sara Palin, corporate tycoons, middle-class consumers – they will all agree that the U.S. economy is struggling like most of us have never seen. Fuel prices are in a state of turmoil, credit is in shambles, the entire nation is locking down wallets and purses to spare every dollar possible. It has gotten to a point where consumers are crossing off everything but the essentials. Football games at the stadium are now a luxury and suddenly that fancy digital camera isn’t all that appealing. At the same time, strangely, the internet continues to thrive. More websites are going up and more people are getting into the “blogosphere”. So how is today’s unsettling economic climate affecting the web hosting industry. Lets have a closer look.
Tom Sepper of Site5 Hosting notes that the economic decline has placed a strain across various industries, stating that web hosting is no different. Working in the shared hosting sector, he revealed that Site5 Hosting has dealings with many hobbyists creating personal and experimental sites. For most of them, owning a website is an expendable commodity. Sepper added that the consistent rise in fuel prices basically makes the choice a “no-brainer”.
On the other side of the industry, Rodney Giles of Eleven2 Hosting reveals that the staggering U.S. economy has not affected their hosting business. Giles says that the company is actually enjoying a larger growth rate since things started to go downhill for the nation.
Host Gator is another well known entity that doesn’t seem to be in bad shape over the meltdown. With a healthy balance of global clients and many U.S. consumers still looking to emerge online, Chad Bean reports that Host Gator is going strong as if nothing ever happened.
Matt Russell of WebHosting Buzz revealed that the company has observed a “number of things”since the recent credit crisis. As the U.S. economy has essentially had a global impact, WebHosting Buzz has far fewer clients building interactive websites. Their current customer base is comprised of those hosting with a purpose opposed to those just testing out a few features. Russell did however, mention that the company’s international client base was expanding rapidly, stating that the nation’s devalued dollar makes U.S. hosting plans very appealing to those outside of the states. Last but not least, he says the company has taken note that consumers are more price conscious, buying plans with essential features instead of going for all the attractive add-ons.
As you can see, it is a fairly mixed reaction. Seeing that the internet just continues to roll along, one can ask the question, “has owning a website become an essential we can’t live without?” Just think about it – consumers are giving up weekly bowling rituals and romantic dinners with their partners while others refuse to pry themselves from the Joomla community board. Has our obsession with judging the battle between MySQL and the SQL Server really become more important than saving money for hard times? If what we are seeing is true, then the web hosting industry will keep rolling in the dough.