According to Netcraft's most recent web server survey, the amount of hostnames on the Internet has doubled within the past three years. At the end of March, Netcraft said it identified a total of 80,655,992 websites, which represents an increase of 3.1 million since the end of February. In March of 2003, Netcraft reported the existence of about 40 million websites.  As of 2005, North American Internet users represent 69 % of the population, a growth of 110 % over 2000.

The foundation concepts for what we now know as the Internet were defined in the 1960’s.  The commercialization of the Internet, as represented by the proliferation of websites and supporting infrastructures, began in the early 1990’s, leading to the “dot.com” boom, and the subsequent “bust”.

Obviously, from the above growth statistics, the Internet is alive, well, and continuing to explode.  Why do people continue to build websites and why do more and more people use the Internet to make purchases?  Recent surveys indicate that over 75 % of businesses feel that a website is a necessity.  Over one third of website owners receive all of their revenues from their website.  In today’s hectic world, the Internet is a comfortable and convenient method of shopping, and the shoppers are global.

In addition, for many people, the Internet represents an accessible method of establishing a new business, and a source of revenue.  With announcements of corporate layoffs regularly hitting the business pages, the Internet offers business opportunities for new entrepreneurs, leveraging their personal experience, knowledge, and special interests into a new revenue stream.

If you’re a business owner, the continued growth of websites means the growth of competition for your products or services.  If you already have a website, consider whether it needs a redesign in order to remain on the same level as the new competition.  If you don’t have a website, every day you wait to build it represents lost sales.