Which countries are hosting the most websites? North American and European countries dominate the top three, but the fourth is seemingly an underdog: Iran. The Information Technology Organization of Iran (ITC) manager of network development says Iran hosts 65 percent of the top sites most commonly visited by Iranian Netizens. According to Ali Asghar Ansari, who recently spoke with Mehr News about the state of hosting in the country, Iran ranks first of all countries in North Africa and the Middle East. Nipping at the country’s heels are Turkey and Egypt.
Just like website owners around the world, there’s an increased interest in in-country hosting. For Iran in particular, the ITC Ministry policies that support internet servers mean a cost-efficient solution for website owners. According to Ansari, some of the datacenters created by the ITC are connected with the center for internet exchange point (IXP), with many locally active options. “One of the benefits of domestic datacenters for content providers is that they can directly connect to the IXP port,” he says. At the end of December 2014, 57.2 percent of Iranians were using the internet. The 2015 statistics haven’t been released yet, but it is expected to be a bit higher.
Hosting and Patriotism
In some very niche instances, going with off-shore hosting might be in your best interest. However, the “locavore” movement has extended beyond farm to table. In almost every country, savvy website owners are realizing the benefits of choosing a web host who’s in-country (and in some instances in their very own hometown). The upside to supporting a local business owner is the same for hosting as every other industry (keeping the dollars local and bolstering the economy). However, it also goes beyond that karmic do-gooding.
With web hosting, geography can play a big role in service as well as safety. Obviously, there are certain regions that are more secure than others. For instance, you wouldn’t want a web host with a makeshift datacenter smack in the middle of Tornado Alley. However, regions that are largely clear of natural disasters, such as Utah, provide peace of mind to website owners. Some of the larger datacenters/web hosts even offer tours, so you can check out exactly where “your” server is and the security on hand. This goes for dedicated, basic shared, and virtual private server/VPS hosting.
Law Abiding Netizens
National laws vary country to country, and internet-related laws evolve at a faster rate than others. Understanding where your host is located, the laws in their country as they compare to yours (if applicable), and making sure that both countries are on the same table can potentially avoid sticky situations. Beyond poor service due to geographic disparity, this is one of the top reasons why in-country hosting is preferred by many. It’s just simpler.
While Iran has picked up the fourth place, if you’re in North America it’s still likely in your favor to stick with a web host in your own country. Check out some boutique providers to combine the best in service with top notch products.