We are getting close to the finish line with this series of interview but the wave continues: new partnerships, acquisitions, and services in the web hosting industry—an industry that is undergoing significant change. Emerging technologies and evolving customer expectations have shifted the landscape and many are curious as to what 2020 holds. One of the biggest trends I’ve seen is increased specialization to address the increasingly complex needs of both SMBs and enterprises. To dig deeper into this and other trends, I asked the experts for their thoughts, predictions, and advice on next-gen web hosting.
This is the seventh in a series of Q&A articles with thought leaders within the web hosting industry. My seventh interviewee is Kaumil Patel, Founder & COO of GreenGeeks. GreenGeeks unique value proposition is in putting energy back into the grid while providing hosting.
Robert: We’re seeing a big wave of acquisitions within the web hosting space. What do you thinkthis signals in terms of the new landscape of the industry?
Kaumil: Acquisitions in the hosting space have happened and will continue to happen. Acquisitions of the past have allowed the web hosting industry to become mature. We will see more mergers/acquisitions, potentially from other industries where the customer-bases align and compliment one another.
Robert: What is your big prediction for web hosting in 2020? Who will the big players be?
Kaumil:I think the players will be status quo. Hosting will continue to become better as hosts try to compete for clients.
Robert: What services set web hosting companies apart from the competition?
Kaumil: For a very long time it always has been server Speed, Security, Scalability and Customer Support and that’s what it will continue to be. Web hosts will continue to solidify those key performance factors, and continue to improve them. I can’t speak for other companies, but with us we try to focus on user experience and our commitment to the environment as our differentiator.
Robert: Do you have any predictions in terms of website design trends for 2020? With mobile traffic eclipsing desktop traffic, responsive design/mobile-first is table stakes. But what other projections do you have about how web design trends will begin to take shape in the next year?
Kaumil: With the emergence of web site builder companies that make it easy to get websites started for free, customers expectations of what their websites should look like and do are elevated. Designers will have to pay closer attention to how websites look on Mobile. Good thing is tools like WordPress are also moving in the same direction, making it easier for developers to ensure websites continue to satisfy mobile users.
Robert: How will web hosts need to adapt as website creation gets “easier” and more complex at the same time. Anyone can build a website, but there are a lot of emerging best practices that major companies will be looking to abide by. How can web hosts best serve these enterprise customers?
Kaumil: Web hosting companies have the opportunity to see thousands of cases of poorly built websites which can affect speed, security or both. From that companies expertise, and all we can do is share this expertise via education. By providing documentation of best practices is a great way for Enterprise customers to meet the best practices, but this isn’t only limited to them. Smaller customers, right down to the blogger also benefit from these best practices.
Robert: The digital threat landscape is evolving at a lightning-fast pace. What are the major security concerns that web hosts need to consider to best serve clients?
Kaumil: Security is an everyday battle and it changes rapidly. As the adoption of open-source tools and apps increases, so do the exploit risks. Once again, education is paramount here. In addition to this, making it easier for customers to keep updated software/plugins.
Robert: Have you seen any trends in terms of partnerships or acquisitions in the web hosting space that you think are important to note? What do you think these signify?
Kaumil: Other than companies who have partnered or acquired to compliment one or another, I haven’t seen any thing that I feel are game changers.
As I mentioned, the hosting interview series will be coming to an end soon. Stay tuned for my analysis and I will be interviewing more brilliant experts in the coming weeks to get their take on where hosting, SaaS, and open source are headed — and what can be done today to prepare.