The Sad State of Web Hosting in India

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There’s a weird imbalance between India’s reputation as an IT hub, and the lack of native web hosting options. On the one hand, we have corporate behemoths like TCS and Infosys, and on the other hand, the local Bluehost and Hostgator India branches languish in service and infrastructure. So why is India’s web hosting scene so dried out?

Even Indian Businesses Host Elsewhere

We keep hearing about how you must host your website closer to your customers. This sounds great in theory, but it doesn’t really work out that way in India. Over here, people prefer to host their servers elsewhere – like Hostgator.

How do I know this? My Hostgator coupon code page gets a huge number of Indian visitors. Here’s a screenshot of my Google Analytics:

Hostgator Coupon Code Page Indian Visitors
Indian Visitors to my Hostgator Coupon Code Page

You can see that after the United States, Indians take up the largest number of visitors. And Hostgator’s servers are located on the other side of the world. That’s about as far as you can get! So what’s happening here? Why do Indians trust Hostgator from another country, and not inside their own?

Why Are Indians Not Hosting Locally?

I’ll be blunt. Hosting your server locally in India is unreliable. While it’s true that a company like GPX has just opened their second Tier IV data center in Mumbai, the fact remains that data centers need supporting infrastructure in order to be reliable.

India servers are notorious for going down repeatedly. DigitalOcean for example, once suffered an outage of their Bangalore datacenters when the cyclone in 2016 disrupted their operations.

This is why my personal recommendation is to choose Singapore instead, when you want to host your website close to your Indian customers.

Indian Hosting Companies Don’t Own Their Infrastructure

Another problem with web hosting in India, is that none of them own the data centers in which they house the servers. This isn’t their fault of course – it’s just a matter of scale. Owning a data center is a massive cost, and comes with huge operation overheads. Even the largest EIG owned companies like Hostgator India don’t own their own hardware.

But why should this matter? The reason it matters is that if something goes wrong, I like web hosts to have reliable access to the hardware to fix things on the ground. Reputable colocated data centers abroad don’t have this problem, because they’re much more professional in the way they go about it.

When SkyNetHosting was hit with a malicious DDoS attack, their colocation data center partners in India simply didn’t bother to deal with it. As a result, SkyNetHosting was forced to ask its own customers to move to the US datacenters instead. Here’s a screenshot of the relevant thread:

SkyNetHosting Asking Customers to Move to the USA Location
SkyNetHosting asks its own customers to move to the USA location

With this kind of service, it’s not surprising that people don’t view India as a reliable hosting location. You expect that if you don’t own the datacenter which houses your servers, at the very least you have access to reliable tech help. But that kind of service is simply missing in India for the moment.

So What do Indians do For Cheap/Quality Web Hosting?

They do the same thing everyone else does, without bothering too much about location. For now, Hostgator still has the cheapest prices for basic hosting without any gimmicks. For customers seeking a good value deal, I suggest you check out NameHero for their LiteSpeed servers and excellent customer service.

Another (slightly expensive) option is SiteGround’s Singapore data center which is closer to India than the others mentioned above. Heck, find whatever hosting suits you – but try not to host locally in India!

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

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