The internet as we know it today (i.e., TCP/IP protocol) is roughly 40 years old. As the internet has changed over the years, so have the market shares of the most popular browsers, hosting services, search engines, and CMS providers. If you’re curious about internet trend evolution, this guide is for you.
Continue reading to learn more about the life and death of popular internet titans as they marked their place in internet trend history.
The History of Web Browsers by Market Share
Internet browsers have come a long way since the World Wide Web (the browser, not the ‘world wide web’), which was the only way to access the modern internet in 1990. At that time, an internet browser could only display text but not pictures, videos, or other types of graphics.
Since then, countless browsers have come onto the scene and competed for the number one internet browser worldwide. Check out our historical race chart of internet browsers by market share (based on usage rates) below.
You can’t mention internet trend history without discussing Microsoft’s first browser, Internet Explorer. At one point, it had a browser usage market share of more than 90%.
In many ways, it set the standard for the modern browsers we all use and enjoy today. Here’s a brief overview of the history of Internet Explorer:
- Launched in 1995, derived from Spyglass Mosaic
- Microsoft launched more than 11 versions of IE from ‘95 – 2013
- The first internet browser to support 24 languages
Pre-Safari, the default browser on Mac devices, included Netscape Navigator, Cyberdog, and IE for Mac.
Nowadays, Safari is the default web browser for Mac devices. However, that wasn’t always the case. Pre-Safari, the default browser on Mac devices, included Netscape Navigator, Cyberdog, and IE for Mac.
Thanks to Steve Jobs, the popularity of Macintosh computers, and the introduction of the iPhone, Safari has become an almost irreplaceable titan in the annals of the internet trend evolution. Currently, there are more than 1 billion users. A few notable features of Safari that led to its rise in popularity include:
- The first web browser on a smartphone (iPhone)
- Transformed how we think about extensions and developer tools
In many ways, Chrome is more than a web browser. It’s more like a platform. A few notable features of Google Chrome that have helped facilitate its rise to the top include:
- It was one of the first web browsers to introduce “sandboxing,” which allows users to create separate browser tabs
- It was one of the first web browsers to fully support HTML 5
- Chrome has always been one of the most customizable and easy-to-use web browsers on the market
The History of Web Hosting by Market Share
Founded in Germany in 1988, 1&1 IONOS was one of the first web hosting companies in the world. Since then, web hosting has become far more popular, complicated, and competitive. From GoDaddy to Amazon Web Service, there are now more than 1.6 billion hosted websites in the world. Check out our historical race chart of web hosting by market share below.
Founded in 1997, GoDaddy quickly became a top player in the internet hosting industry. Aside from the eye-catching and sometimes controversial commercials, GoDaddy has solidified its place in internet trend history. A few notable facts about GoDaddy include:
- More than 20 million customers, 84 million domains, and 9,000 employees
- GoDaddy processes more than 350 million emails daily
Founded in 2002, Host Gator quickly became a significant player in the hosting space. It’s not nearly as large as GoDaddy. However, over time, Host Gator has amassed more than 800,000 customers and hosts 2.5+ million websites. A few notable facts about Host Gator include:
- Acquired by Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2012, which is the same company that owns Bluehost, Domain.com, and others
- Some estimates indicate that HostGator hosts approximately 1% of all internet traffic
Amazon Web Service (AWS)
Launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has quietly become the world’s largest web hosting service by market share. Estimates suggest that AWS hosts more than 9 million sites. It doesn’t host as many sites as GoDaddy, but the caliber and scale of the sites it hosts make it such a player. A few notable facts about AWS include:
- AWS earnings grew from $3 billion in 2013 to more than $18 billion in the first quarter of 2022. That includes cloud services and web hosting services
- AWS hosts popular websites like Netflix, Facebook, BBC, and many others
Upwards of 93% of all internet traffic occurs on search engines. Further, 98% of internet users access a search engine at least once per month.
The History of Search Engines by Market Share
The very first search engine was “Archie.” However, since it was created before the modern internet, it was only used for FTP site searches. Since then, search engines like Yahoo and Google have become nearly synonymous with the internet. In fact, estimates suggest that upwards of 93% of all internet traffic occurs on search engines. Further, 98% of internet users access a search engine at least once per month.
In many ways, Altavista pioneered modern-day internet search. Launched in 1995, it was one of the most used search engines. However, it was quickly overtaken by the likes of Google and later acquired by Yahoo in a bid to re-establish its dominance.
Who can forget those iconic Yahoo commercials from the mid-90s and early 2000s? Launched in 1994, Yahoo was initially called “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web,” which was an homage to its founders. As the site’s user base grew, it was initially renamed “Yahoo!”. At one point, it was the most popular search engine until Google eventually overtook it in the early 2000s.
Regarding internet search engines, Google has a more than 91% market share. It’s one of the first companies that became so synonymous with an internet search that instead of saying “I’ll search for information online,” most people just say “Google it.” Estimates suggest that Google processes roughly 5.6 billion searches per day and more than 2 trillion searches per year.
The History of CMS by Market Share
Content management systems (CMS) weren’t always around. Before their invention, most websites were hard coded and didn’t require a CMS. However, that led to many compatibility issues. Eventually, CMS providers like WordPress were born to help people create, manage, post, modify, and monetize content online.
Check out our historical race chart of CMS providers by market share below.
You can’t discuss CMS providers without mentioning WordPress. Since its inception, it has dominated the market and cemented its place in the history of internet trend evolution. Here are a few notable facts about WordPress:
- WordPress powers nearly 65% of all websites created with CMSs in the world and owns more than 64% of the CMS market share
- More than 500 websites are made each day using WordPress
- The WordPress marketplace has more than 55,000 plugins
Wix is a relatively small player in the CMS marketplace compared to WordPress. However, they are nothing to scoff at. Founded in 2006, Wix has quickly amassed more than 200 million users. Nearly 0.55% of the top 1 million websites are created using Wix. That includes more than 600,000 e-commerce sites and 22 million mobile sites.
When it comes to general websites, Shopify doesn’t compete with the likes of WordPress or Wix. However, in terms of e-commerce sites, it is a force of nature. Estimates suggest that Shopify has a market share of 31% of all US-based e-commerce sites, which makes it the largest eCommerce platform in the nation. With more than 3 million active users, Shopify is here to stay.