Combined searches for free website builders and free web hosting are at their highest level in nearly two years as people begin to grapple with the cost of living crisis and the broader recession.
From May to June 2022 alone, searches for free web hosting doubled, and the number of people looking for free website builder services increased dramatically.
This is reflected in the number of website visits received by some of the top web hosting and website building services.
The shift to free web hosting
There is also some evidence that this shift may have been going on for years.
According to data shared exclusively by Similarweb and TechRadar Pro, GoDaddy lost about 20 million site visits over the past two years, while cheap web hosting provider Namecheap gained about 8 million.
It wasn’t just GoDaddy that was hit; from May 2019 to May 2022, popular hosting providers like Bluehost and HostGator also saw a significant drop in their website visitors.
Along with Namecheap, affordable hosting provider Hostinger also saw an increase in website traffic, as monthly visits steadily increased from just over 2 million in 2019 to 8.2 million in 2022.
Interestingly, searches for cheap web hosting dropped significantly in June 2022 as free web hosting became an increasingly popular search. Although searches for cheap website hosting have increased by 30% over the past 12 months, searches for cheap website hosting have increased by 44% and searches for cheap website builders have increased by 20%.
Last year, our research found Post-COVID traffic to web hosting and website builders. According to World Bank statistics, the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated a slowdown in the global economy, which is entering what could be a prolonged period of weak growth and elevated inflation, reflecting online users’ growing appetite for . Shifts in web hosting needs.