The internet is a random system of servers, data, and hosts. It gets really complex when hosts are hosted and data comes through a multitude of channels and systems. For users, the experience is simple and generally hassle free. Simply type a URL or click a link and instantly the page loads. Search for a term and receive millions of results in the blink of an eye. Few people ever wonder how it works and what makes the internet tick.
What Makes It Tick?
The truth is that it is common programming languages, communications protocols, and a network of data delivery systems that make it work. There is not one large entity behind the scenes pulling all the strings. There are major players, however, that take an active role in the management of the internet.
One of the largest players in the internet is Google. As the largest search engine, Google has huge influence on the internet. Every time this giant company changes algorithms, website owners and web hosts scramble to quickly adapt. For example, Google’s recent change to search engine algorityms known as Panda reduced the ability of spammers and auto-bloggers to draw traffic. In addition, Google owns and hosts YouTube, Google Drive, and is vetting for a slice of the social media pie with its self-hosted network Google+. Between all of these popular services, it could be said that Google is hosting the internet.
Another huge player in the internet is GoDaddy. As a host, GoDaddy provides every hosting service under the sun. Bloggers, small business, large business, and even government entitities rely on GoDaddy to provide a secure slice of cyber-real estate. Literally millions of sites run on GoDaddy. They are so big that they even sponsor racecars and invest heavily in catchy commercials. GoDaddy continues to grow through its marketing efforts, excellent service, and huge range of tools and features. It could be said that GoDaddy hosts the internet just by sheer volume of websites.
Another huge player on the internet is WordPress. As one of the few free hosts and content management systems available, wordpress is immensely popular. Because wordpress is open source, it is also a favorite of developers. Originally, there was not much to do with the service, besides blogging. Over time, developers have created incredible themes and plugins, many free, that make wordpress compete with expensive CMS and hosts as far as visual appeal and functionality are concerned. WordPress also offers full-service hosting, as well as free hosting. For many website owners, wordpress is a one stop shop. With millions of sites under their watch, it could also be said that wordpress is hosting the internet.
So Who is In Charge?
We could go on and on, because there are so many mega sized hosts and random hubs of information that play a role in controlling the internet. The answer to the question ‘who is hosting the internet?’ is there are many hosts! There is no single entity doing it all.