Last month the guys from HostAdvice made public the results from their full-scale website hosting industry research. They have analysed the data from more than 1500 hosting providers and 54 million websites. The findings are very interesting and we will focus on the UK hosting industry, but first lets talk about the methodology of the research.
The whole preparation and gathering of data for the research took HostAdvice about 4 years and combines 3 different tools to gather and analyse the data.
First step is to crawl business directories from different parts of the world and catch the domains and business information from there. The importance of this step is to gather as many real business sites as possible and monitor trend shifts. To make the findings more unbiased the HostAdvice team have excluded free hosting platforms like Tumblr, Livejournal, Wordpress, Blogger and so on.
The second step is all the gathered domains to go trough the URL crawler. Every site that is added to the database has its DNS records, Geo and Whois info included and can be identified. The crawler grabs all TLDs global like: .com . org and so on and local like .co.uk .es .de etc.
The final step is a linking script that takes in consideration dozens of factors and links the domain to the web hosting company. To make the research more accurate only 'standalone' sites are considered in the index, which excludes social networks and subdomains.
Global hosting industry findings
As we have mentioned in the beginning, out of the 1500 hosting companies and 54million+ standalone websites, seems like the web hosting market is rather clustered and localized. The top 10 world providers have 20.7% of the market and GoDaddy is the global industry leader with 5.82%. US website hosts are leading the market with 7 of the top 10 global hosting firms and 51.84% of the global hosting market is dominated by US providers. There is no UK owned web hosting company in the global leaders.
If we analyse it by countries though the hosting market is very localized. For example, in USA, France and Italy 9 out of the 10 leading providers are respectively US, French and Italian. In Germany 8 out of 10 are German. In Czech Republic 10 out of 10 are local.
Top web hosting companies in the United Kingdom by market share for 2015
There are many different criteria that can be taken in consideration when applied to a top 10 list. In this one by the methodology used by the guys from HostAdvice, those are the leading web hosting providers by number of domains and businesses registered in the United Kingdom. This is not to be confused with the traffic that those sites generate or the resources they use.
What we can see from the chart is that the UK website host market is also localized but unlike the other countries the leading provider Rackspace is a US based company and Linode, which is another US based cloud hosting provider is also in a leading position.
Maybe we will see a change there in near future because the localization of the web hosting services is a natural thing to do. As we have mentioned many times on top5hosting the site speed is very important both for SEO and user experience and it can affect the conversion rates of any online business. A local hosting is better because they have a much lower ping, have support staff with your working hours and use local optic network that is presumed to be safer in terms of glitches due to distance. With DigitalOcean opening a data center near London we expect the results of the hosting market research next year to be a bit different.