Exclusive: Web hosting and website builder traffic slumps post-Covid

Web hosting and website builder traffic declines as lockdown eases
(Image credit: Shutterstock/SFIO CRACHO)

The number of page visits across almost all top web hosting and website builder providers has fallen dramtically as lockdown restrictions continue to ease across the globe.

TechRadar Pro used SimilarWeb data over the months of March to May 2021 to track the page visit performance of the top 40 web hosting and website builder companies, and found a significant drop.

Firms like Bluehost, GoDaddy, Wix and Squarespace all saw a drop in monthly page visits from March to April, with traffic slightly picking back up from April to May.

An anonymous source at a major web hosting company alluded to the fact that Covid-19 lockdown restrictions easing in heavy traffic countries like the US could be one of the main causes of the drop - along with warmer temperatures meaning people are outside more and not inside in front of their computers. 

Not all downhill  

Despite the majority of declining numbers, our research found that some companies have seen an increase in page visits like Zoho Sites, BigCommerce and FastHosts between March and April 2021.

A Hostinger spokesperson told us: “First of all, we observe the same trend - with lockdown restrictions easing, the least thing people are willing to do is spend time in front of their computers starting or developing their websites. 

“We expect the market to continue to slowdown during the upcoming summer because of the same reason - lockdown restrictions will continue to be eased and people will simply want to go out and celebrate life. This may result in stronger than usual and Q4, when the holiday season and post-lockdown celebrations will come to an end. 

“So on a yearly perspective we plan to keep our pace of 2x year on year growth, with no slow-down. The only thing we plan is a bit different quarterly demand distribution, due to lockdown restriction changes.”

Hostinger's monthly page visits from March to April remained the same as the company dodged the drop that other web hosting service providers experienced.

Geoff Clawson, GoDaddy Vice President of Product, Websites + Marketing told TechRadar Pro that the sector is beginning to see new website building return to pre-COVID levels as the world emerges from the pandemic. 

“This doesn’t mean websites are any less of a foundational component to establishing and growing a business though. While they may evolve and their form may change, the job that a website performs is still essential - it’s a primary hub of the brand experience that can be owned and customized,” he added.

“Now and in the future, businesses will need an intuitive way to manage that hub and connect their online points of presence, like social platforms and business listings.”

Abigail Opiah
B2B Editor - Web hosting & Website builders

Abigail is a B2B Editor that specializes in web hosting and website builder news, features and reviews at TechRadar Pro. She has been a B2B journalist for more than five years covering a wide range of topics in the technology sector from colocation and cloud to data centers and telecommunications. As a B2B web hosting and website builder editor, Abigail also writes how-to guides and deals for the sector, keeping up to date with the latest trends in the hosting industry. Abigail is also extremely keen on commissioning contributed content from experts in the web hosting and website builder field.