Search for free website hosting increases as economic downturn sets in

The combined search for free website builders and free web hosting is at its highest in nearly two years as people come to terms with the cost of living crisis and the broader economic downturn.

From May to June 2022 alone, search volume for free web hosting doubled, with a surge in the number of people searching for free website building services.

This is reflected in the number of site visits that some of the best web hosting and website building services have received.

The transition to free web hosting

There is also evidence to suggest that this change may have occurred over a number of years.

According to data shared exclusively with TechRadar Pro by Similarweb, GoDaddy lost about 20 million visits to the site over the past two years, while cheap web hosting provider Namecheap gained about eight million.

It’s not just GoDaddy that’s taken a hit; popular hosting providers such as Bluehost and HostGator also saw a significant drop in website visitors from May 2019 to May 2022.

Alongside Namecheap, affordable hosting provider Hostinger has also seen an increase in site visits, with monthly visits increasing steadily from just over two million in 2019 to 8.2 million in 2022.

Interestingly, the search for cheap web hosting dropped significantly in June 2022, with free web hosting becoming an increasingly popular search. Although over the past twelve months there has been a 30% increase in searches for cheap web hosting, a 44% increase in searches for cheap web hosting, and a 20% increase search volume for cheap website builders.

Last year, our research revealed that Web Hosting and Website Builder Traffic Dropped Post-COVID. The coupling of the damage from the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has amplified the slowdown in the global economy, which is entering what could become a prolonged period of low growth and high inflation, according to World Bank statistics, which is reflected in the changing web hosting needs of online users.