The future of web hosting: 5 things to look out for in 2022

Web hosting
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Alfa Photo)

The year 2021 proved that the online world has the power to keep businesses moving through turbulent times. It played a leading role in maintaining relationships between businesses and their customers and it even sparked areas of growth, highlighting the importance of a strong and resilient online presence.

Now we are in 2022, the world of web hosting, domains and website building is likely going to continue shifting to keep up with changing and growing needs of business. 

From how the function of domains will change, to the future of server centres and sustainability, here is what might be in store for the world of web tech this new year. 

Domains will function differently

Domains are a finite resource and so it’s only a matter of time before businesses are forced to start thinking outside the box. 2022 will be the year in which new domains start to gain popularity. 

The UK domain name market has been overly saturated with requests for .com and extensions for some time. When unavailable, website owners won’t go straight for a secondary extension like .me or .cloud. Instead, they’ll go back and change something about their company name by adding in a dash or a dot between words. It’s only when that compromise isn’t available that they look down the list to changing the extension type.

The way domains are used now has changed drastically from ten years ago and this will only continue to evolve in this new year. Often a Google search will be the fastest route to a website and therefore the specific domain name is far less relevant.

Businesses also need to factor in what kind of audience they attract and how they navigate the internet. Everyone has different behavioural traits online, but more often we want to find the required information as fast as possible. 

Accessibility and simplicity are key. And because of this everything has got to get shorter and faster to access, including weblinks. That’s where these new domains will come in.

We hope to see new domain extensions take off in 2022 including .shop and .cloud, however for this change to take place, the market has to get behind it.

App based website building will come to the fore 

When it comes to the future of website building, web hosting platforms will need to adapt to ensure they are able to provide businesses with the opportunity to add widgets, new pages and update themes, all at the tap of a screen. 

In short, there is going to be much more of an emphasis on convenience and ease than ever before. Website building will be focussed on inputting basic information into an app: and if it’s not easy to use businesses will lose customer interest. 

Take the integration of social shops as an example, with the ever-increasing popularity of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok shops, it’s more important than ever for web builders to offer quick integration that sync with these channels easily. 

Outsourcing will continue to rise 

Businesses don’t want the hassle of managing a website, and so in 2022, web hosting platforms that can provide infrastructure support such as upgrades and admin will be favored, enabling businesses to focus on other key areas, like revenue generation and business management. 

We have many customers that already consume a lot of our underlying support. Demand for server support, as an example, is on the rise as businesses look for ease of use. 

Software developers want to log into a server, install it and be done. Over the next year outsourcing activity such as the management of servers will only grow in importance.  

Cybersecurity will become an even greater concern 

The largest threat to our industry right now is cybersecurity, and this will only intensify over the coming year.  

Conversations around cybersecurity have become part of managing a business and identifying who is responsible for the upkeep of the security of certain areas like email accounts, GDPR adherence among other things is crucial. 

Cybercriminals are out there, and they will continue to grow in prominence. In 2022, greater focus will be placed on security within web hosting platforms. SSL certificates will become increasingly important to provide customers with the confidence that they can operate in a safe and secure space where daily functions won’t be compromised. 

Green servers are the future

Environmental initiatives will be on the agenda for businesses across a range of sectors as the business world turns its attention to how we can build a more sustainable world and reduce carbon emissions.

With stats estimating that data centers are responsible for 1% of the worlds consumed electricity, this is going to become a high priority in meeting environmental business targets: data centers that are run on renewable energy like solar or wind, will rise in popularity. 

Keep up to stay in the game

The key take-outs are simple. Businesses must now pursue the most convenient channels, that add ease to their everyday operations and allow them to focus on revenue generating activities. Traditional uses of domains are going to decline, making way for a search engine focused future. 

We will also see an increase in businesses placing importance on their web infrastructure and outsourcing the support they need to maintain it. Finally, the push to find greener server suppliers has only just begun, and businesses are going to be on the lookout for suppliers that help to contribute to their carbon reduction pledges. 

There is no denying that the online world is changing. Crucially, hosting and web building platforms as well as domain providers must keep up by offering services businesses require to stay ahead of the curve in 2022. 

Frank Ashworth is the Head of Product & Commercial at Fasthosts.