May 2004 Web Server Survey Finds 50 Million Sites

We now find more than 50 million web sites on the Internet, as the May 2004 survey received http responses from 50,550,965 sites. The milestone caps a period of revived growth for the Internet, coming just 13 months after the survey crossed the 40-million mark in April, 2003. By comparison, it took 21 months for the Web to expand from 30 million to 40 million sites.

May was the 16th consecutive month of growth for the Web after a two-year shakeout to absorb the collapse of the dot-com and telecom industries. The upward trend resumed in February 2003, when we detected 35.8 million sites; about the same number as the Dec. 2001 survey.

The rebound in total sites tracks the recovery of the larger Internet economy, as viable companies and business models have emerged from the wreckage of the Internet bubble. Common to the Internet Economy 2.0 is a focus on efficiency and cost management that was largely absent during the boom years of 1998-2000. Recent months have seen reports of strong growth for online ad spending, paid subscription sites, online retail spending, and even modest revivals in venture capital investment and dot-com hiring. On the M&A front, TechDealmaker reported 35 Internet-related acquisitions for the week of April 22-28, valued at $1.5 billion. And, on Thursday Google announced its long-awaited stock offering, leading a pack of web companies readying IPOs.

The first Netcraft survey in August 1995 found 18,957 hosts. Previous milestones in the survey were reached in April 1997 (1 million sites), February 2000 (10 million), September 2000 (20 million) and July 2001 (30 million).

Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - May 2004

Top Developers
Developer April 2004Percent May 2004Percent Change
Apache3332987966.993389281767.050.06
Microsoft1069168321.491085816821.48-0.01
SunONE16612293.3416444123.25-0.09
Zeus7633021.537540141.49-0.04
DeveloperApril 2004PercentMay 2004PercentChange
Apache1574775769.011606482169.260.25
Microsoft530793223.26532836822.97-0.29
Zeus2626711.152631241.13-0.02
SunONE1972040.861898540.82-0.04
Totals for Active Servers Across All Domains
June 2000 - May 2004


SunONE is the sum of sites running iPlanet-Enterprise, Netscape-Enterprise, Netscape-FastTrack, Netscape-Commerce, Netscape-Communications, Netsite-Commerce & Netsite-Communications.

Microsoft is the sum of sites running Microsoft-Internet-Information-Server, Microsoft-IIS, Microsoft-IIS-W, Microsoft-PWS-95, & Microsoft-PWS.

Platform groupings are here.