There is a cloud hanging over the web hosting industry. The cloud has many parts, but these parts are mostly billion-dollar companies which once supported web hosts and are now raining on their parade. In what was already a competitive industry, hosts will need to adapt quickly or face shrinking revenues, early buyout (if they’re lucky) or simply closing their doors for good.
It is easy of course to advise adaptation for survival, but how? The answer is actually quite simple: by giving their customers what they want. The majority of hosts’ customers are micro and SMB customers (in fact over 99% of all businesses in North America fit these sizes),yet only 22% of SMBs use hosted services.
In other words, 77% of all SMBs don’t use hosts. Why not? There are many reasons: they don’t want/need a website, lack of funds, lack of trust…but one of the key reasons is that they don’t see enough value. SMBs want hosts who can offer everything under one roof, this is why some of the more forward-looking hosts already offer not just hosting, but SMB ‘solutions’: hosting, site building, site and data security and marketing.
It is time for hosts to take their hosting to the next level and become business solution providers and not just hosting providers. In doing so they will watch as their customers stick with them, their revenues increase and they survive the cloud that is hanging over them and perhaps even help sustain an economy in help of a little support.