Will free hosting completely displace paid hosting?

2008-07-28by Daniel Briere

So here's a question for you: is it possible that free hosting will ever completely displace paid hosting as the solution most personal and small-business users turn to? Is it possible that 10 years from now, a large majority of hosting accounts will either be on free shared hosting servers or dedicated servers? Yes and no. The Web hosting industry has lost its edge. If you could find a reliable, free, ad-free, shared hosting service (these do exist, in fact), why would you not choose it over paid, shared hosting? There is no difference between two services such as this today - and there may not be in the future. Here's why. Where is the innovation in this industry? Where are the solutions tailored to the real needs of small businesses? I think we've all seen our fair share of "extreme" disk space and bandwidth allocations and $50 PPC vouchers - now, can we please see something new and beneficial? So what reasons do exist to choose a paid, shared hosting plan over a quality, ad-free, free, shared hosting plan? For one, you usually get phone support - but we know how dreadful this can be. Many hosts don't run professional call centers - instead, a few techs with the least seniority answer phones when they can. Or, even worse, phone support is viewed as a "bonus" - even for paid customers. There are a few paid hosts that do phone support really well, however - so count this as reason one to choose a paid host. What other reasons are there? None that I can think of. The shared hosting industry is stagnant - there have been no new, real innovations in the past five years. With the exception of updated control panels, we have nothing to show for the past few years. So will free hosting displace paid hosting? Possibly - if paid, shared hosting providers can't get their acts together and start introducing useful features again, they should start praying for mercy. D B Daniel Briere just sold two hosting companies and is looking for something exciting in the Web hosting industry again. He has been in the Web hosting industry since August 2004.

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Daniel Briere

Daniel Briere


Daniel Briere is the President of iHostingX.com, a full-service cloud hosting and domain registration provider. He has worked in various capacities in the Web hosting industry since 2004. Daniel can be reached via email at ceo@ihostingx.com.

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