Half of Internet Users to Have Their Own Sites

Almost half of all Internet users will have their own personal Web site by the spring of the year 2000, according to a survey by NPD Online Research.

One-quarter of those polled by NPD already have a site posted online, while 30 percent of those currently without a Web site plan to introduce one in the next six months. Most of the sites already up and running have been online for less than one year, the survey found.

Why do people launch their own Web sites? According to NPD’s survey, the basic desire to learn how to build a site is reason enough. Among those Internet users who have introduced or plan to launch a site soon, almost half reported the main reason as being to learn how. Apparently, they did learn how to do it, almost all survey participants reported building their site themselves. Only 6 percent resorted to using a design company.

The amount of time spent on site construction varied greatly among NPD’s respondents. Thirty-one percent completed their design in a couple of hours, while 27 percent labored for over one week. Among those sites already online, one-quarter used a registered domain name, and most were posted with the help of a shared host.

“It is amazing that so many people want to learn to build Web sites,” said Pamela Smith, VP of NPD Online Research. “This trend really indicates that the public is beginning to understand how important the Internet will be in their lives. They are realizing they better get on board and be a part of the electronic revolution.”

So what do people do with all these Web sites? They discuss their hobbies. Hobbies surpassed families as the most popular topic for personal Web sites. Sixty percent of respondents with posted or soon to be introduced sites reported their site pertained to a hobby. For many, the online venture was a way to bond with others. Almost 40 percent of participants reported they have or are building a personal Web site to connect with others of similar interests.

Family was the second most frequently used theme for personal Web sites. Thirty-eight percent of participants reported their site related to their family. Most of NPD’s respondents considered the Web as an alternative way of staying in touch, as 30 percent reported their site enabled them to stay in touch with family and friends.

NPD found most Internet users with active Web sites are curious about their visitors. Sixty-three percent said they do track the traffic to their site, and most get hits. Thirty-three percent said they receive more than 10 visitors a week, while another 31 percent get between one and five.

The NPD personal Web site survey was conducted as part of NPD’s Online Panel, a Web representative sample of individuals prerecruited to participate in surveys, in late September.

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