Why do most static hosting companies fail?

Yesterday I was looking-into different static website hosting options and what I discovered was pretty surprising. Just about every static hosting company that was recommended in articles online over the last few years has gone the way of the dodo bird. Here’s a quick look at a few attempts at static hosting that were popular for a moment in time and are no more:

posterous-spaces

Posterous Spaces was without a doubt one of the most recommended static hosting services I found and they even so far as to make a pretty cool “we’re no longer around” page.

Static CloudStatic Cloud has to be one of the coolest names for a static website hosting service, alas their site now shows the default Go Daddy landing page.

Static CloudLast but not least is my personal favorite, Forge. An incredibly slick static hosting service made by a company called Riot which also made a couple other very cool products. Forge is actually still up and running but they shut the company down and aren’t supporting it any more so I’m not quite sure why anyone would want to host their site there. That being said, Forge has a beautiful user interface and one of the most streamlined systems I’ve seen for updating content without mucking around with ftp clients.

forge-shutting-down

So why is it that most static hosting companies fail? I think there are two main reasons.

1. Companies like Hostgator and Dreamhost are incredibly inexpensive (with plans under $5/month) and offer a ton of features that support static sites, content management platforms like WordPress, Ruby, PHP, Python, you name it, they support it.

2. While there is a push towards creating fast-loading static sites I do think that ultimately web developers want the freedom to use server-side technologies if they want to without changing hosting providers.

There is one static hosting company that does seem to be doing pretty well – DivShot.

DivShot

I know a few people who swear by DivShot but I think most people use it to host apps rather than a typical 1-5 page static website which is what these other services were going for. Also, unlike solutions like Forge that aimed at making it easy for anyone to host static sites DivShot is definitely for developers who aren’t scared to install node.js via the terminal and who know what CLI is.

Now it’s your turn. What do you think? What do most static hosting companies fail?

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • George G. February 23, 2015, 10:18 pm

    Many of these static site generators are ironically geared towards a highly technical audience & have very specific tricks that only a small minority would appreciate. Want to host your website straight from your Dropbox without a server? There’s Brace.io (to prove your point, they’re gone now as well). Want to drag a .zip file into your browser and have it automatically parsed into a website? There’s BitBalloon for that. Another factor is that if you’re technically literate and want to host a static site, you can do it reliably for pennies a month (Amazon S3) or for free (pages.github.com), which limits any motivation to switch away from these established workflows.

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