Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in April 2018

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 GoDaddy.com Inc Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.515 0.005 0.028 0.028
2 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.000 0.247 0.085 0.170 0.171
3 Rackspace Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.744 0.007 0.020 0.020
4 New York Internet (NYI) FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.004 0.571 0.062 0.128 0.128
5 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.316 0.073 0.145 0.145
6 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.004 0.234 0.073 0.336 0.336
7 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.182 0.076 0.151 0.151
8 vXtream Ltd Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.239 0.077 0.154 0.154
9 CWCS Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.311 0.107 0.198 0.198
10 Pair Networks FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.009 0.368 0.097 0.192 0.192

See full table

GoDaddy had the most reliable hosting company website in April 2018, with zero failed requests, and also with the fastest average connection time of 5ms. GoDaddy provides a wide range of hosting and domain registration services, including its website builder software which is designed to give small businesses a web presence.

Second place hosting company Swishmail was the only other hosting company website to successfully respond to all requests in April. Swishmail has had one of the top 10 most reliable hosting company websites for the past 3 months in a row. Swishmail offers both managed email & web hosting plans using FreeBSD servers running Qmail SMTP & Apache web-server software.

The next 7 top hosting company websites all had the same number of failed requests; however Rackspace maintained its place in the top 3 for another month with its faster average connection time. Rackspace provides a range of managed dedicated & cloud hosting solutions from datacentres located on 4 continents. Through its multi-cloud solution, Rackspace also provides management services for customers using other cloud platforms such as OpenStack, Azure, or AWS.

New York Internet (NYI) made the top 10 again in April. The hosting company clinched 4th place with a slower average connection time than rival Rackspace. NYI offers bare metal, cloud and colocation services in its US datacentres.

All of the 3 hosting company websites served by FreeBSD web servers that Netcraft monitors made the top 10 in April. The remaining 7 hosting company websites in the top 10 were served by web-servers running on either Linux or SmartOS operating systems.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around thirty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

April 2018 Web Server Survey

In the April 2018 survey we received responses from 1,783,239,123 sites across 214,513,048 unique domain names and 7,387,066 web-facing computers. This reflects a gain of 12.8 million sites and 53,500 computers, but a loss of 261,000 domains.

Microsoft dominated this month's hostname growth, with 25.1 million additional hostnames bringing its leading market share up by 1.15 percentage points to 36.9%. Meanwhile, Apache lost 8.2 million sites and nginx lost 5.7 million.

Microsoft fared less well in most other metrics, however. Despite its large increase in hostnames, Microsoft's domain count fell by 1.4 million, and it also suffered a loss of 5,360 web-facing computers and 51,300 active sites. Nonetheless, its presence within the top million sites grew by 517 sites.

nginx may have lost 5.7 million hostnames, but it showed the strongest growth in some of the most important metrics. This included a gain of 46,700 web-facing computers, 3.8 million domains, and an additional 4,280 sites in the top million. The noticeable uptick in nginx-powered domains this month has increased its market share of domains by 1.81 percentage points to 22.5%, leaving it only 3.5 points behind Microsoft. nginx has demonstrated fairly consistent domain growth since this metric was introduced in 2009, and if these trends continue, it could feasibly take second place from Microsoft within a year.

Apache suffered losses in every metric this month, including a loss of 3.0 million domains and 1.1 million active sites, along with 2,840 sites within the top million. Nonetheless, it maintains a comfortable lead in every metric except hostnames, where its 25.6% market share is 11.4 points behind Microsoft's.

Some of the highest-traffic sites using Apache today include news website www.bbc.com; financial sites like www.xe.com and www.paypal.com; the Steam online gaming store at store.steampowered.com and its community forum at steamcommunity.com; and sites used by ad networks, like ads.pubmatic.com and c.betrad.com.

Apache Tomcat – the hidden backend

More than 450 million websites are currently using the Apache HTTP server, but this is not the only web server product offered by the Apache Software Foundation. The Apache Tomcat project provides an open source implementation of Java Servlet and JSP technologies, but its deployment is hard to quantify.

Tomcat is often used as a backend application server, with the Apache Tomcat Connectors project connecting it to other web-facing servers like Apache and Microsoft IIS. In many of these cases, Tomcat cannot be detected passively, although it may be possible to confirm its use during a web application security test – for example, by tricking the application into returning a Java stack trace.

Tomcat also includes its own native HTTP connector that allows it to be used as a standalone HTTP server, and these servers can be passively identified from their "Apache Tomcat" server headers. However, this is not a commonly used configuration: Only 10,300 websites exhibited the Apache Tomcat server header this month, and only 35 of these sites were ranked within the top million.

Several different versions of Apache Tomcat are available, depending which version of Java needs to be supported. Surprisingly, most Tomcat servers that are exposed directly to the internet are running Apache Tomcat 4.1.x, which has not been supported for several years. Actively maintained versions include 9.x, 8.5.x, 8.0.x and 7.x, although support for 8.0.x will end on 30 June 2018. The most recent versions of Apache Tomcat are 8.5.30 and 9.0.7, which were both released on 7 April.

Other new releases

The mainline branch of nginx has seen three new releases since last month's survey. nginx 1.13.10 was released on 20 March 2018, and added a few new features including the ngx_http_grpc_module module, which allows requests to be passed to a gRPC server. nginx 1.13.11 was subsequently released on 3 April, followed by nginx 1.13.12 on 10 April. These releases include a few bug fixes and an improved proxy protocol feature.

nginx also announced the release of njs 0.2.0 on 3 April. njs implements a subset of the JavaScript language, allowing location and variable handlers to be used in nginx's ngx_http_js_module and ngx_stream_js_module modules.

OpenLiteSpeed 1.4.31 (stable) and 1.5.0 RC3 were released on 11 April 2018. This open source server cannot be distinguished from the commercially available LiteSpeed Web Server, as both products use the same "LiteSpeed" server header. More than 12.5 million sites exhibit this header, across 13,600 web-facing computers.

Tengine 1.4.2

Nearly 28 million websites are using Taobao's nginx-based Tengine web server, but 74% are still running a version that was released several years ago, despite later releases including not just new features, but also security fixes. The most extensive user of Tengine 1.4.2 – which was released in November 2012 – is the Chinese cloud computing infrastructure service provider Aiyun Network.

Uptake of new Tengine releases is generally slow across the internet. The latest version, Tengine 2.2.2, was released on 26 January 2018, but only 262 sites are currently using it. Most of these sites are hosted by Internet Vision in Lithuania, while handfuls of other early adopters are hosted on low-cost cloud hosting platforms provided by Aliyun, DigitalOcean and Linode.

The poor uptake of newer releases could be partly caused by their lack of visibility on the Tengine website at tengine.taobao.org. The latest version that can be downloaded from the News section on the homepage is the 2.2.0 development version that was released in December 2016, followed by the 2.1.2 stable version from December 2015. Download links for the much-newer 2.2.1 and 2.2.2 releases can only be found on a separate download page.

cloudflare-nginx still lingers

Cloudflare's migration to its new cloudflare server header is not yet over, with more than 10,000 websites still using the old cloudflare-nginx header. These account for less than 0.07% of all Cloudflare sites in the survey, so the migration is very close to completion.

Cloudflare recently increased the size of its European network to 41 cities, expanding its global network to 151 cities across 74 countries. Its highest data centre is 2.6 km above sea level in the city of Bogotá, Columbia.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

DeveloperMarch 2018PercentApril 2018PercentChange
Microsoft633,719,94135.80%658,800,75636.94%1.15
Apache464,340,53526.23%456,169,33625.58%-0.65
nginx409,124,17423.11%403,381,96122.62%-0.49
Google21,802,6701.23%22,460,5621.26%0.03
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Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in March 2018

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Rackspace Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.690 0.022 0.051 0.051
2 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.318 0.071 0.142 0.143
3 Webair Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.355 0.081 0.161 0.161
4 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.194 0.082 0.664 0.665
5 CWCS Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.332 0.116 0.220 0.220
6 New York Internet (NYI) FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.004 0.579 0.060 0.125 0.125
7 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.004 0.240 0.071 0.317 0.317
8 vXtream Ltd Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.243 0.076 0.153 0.153
9 Memset Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.246 0.083 0.165 0.165
10 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.004 0.253 0.085 0.171 0.173

See full table

Rackspace had the most reliable hosting company website in March 2018, with no failed requests and an average connection time of 22ms—the quickest amongst the top ten. Rackspace provides a diverse range of managed cloud hosting solutions to customers around the globe, with data centres and offices in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Four other hosting company sites also successfully responded to all requests this month, with the tie broken by average connection time. XILO Communications takes second place with a 71ms average connection time. XILO Communications has maintained 99.99% uptime over 5 years, and has appeared in the top ten in each of the first three months of 2018.

Third and fourth place positions were extremely close, with a difference of just 1ms in the sites' average connection times separating them. Webair came in third place, with an 81ms average connection time. Webair provides managed cloud services from its data centres in New York, Los Angeles, Montreal, and Amsterdam.

Hyve Managed Hosting's site takes fourth place with an average connection time of 82ms. Hyve continues its top ten streak, now having had its site in the top ten for 14 consecutive months. Hyve operates its services from 18 different data centres worldwide and has maintained 100% uptime since Netcraft began monitoring it in June 2016. CWCS takes fifth place with a connection time of 116ms, also with no failed requests.

Linux is the most popular operating system among the top ten this month, accounting for seven of the top ten sites. FreeBSD makes a couple of appearances, with SmartOS making a single appearance.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around thirty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

March 2018 Web Server Survey

In the March 2018 survey we received responses from 1,770,411,187 sites across 214,774,438 unique domain names and 7,333,606 web-facing computers. This reflects a gain of 43,000 computers, and 738,000 additional domains. The total number of hostnames fell by 68.2 million, and the number of active sites fell by 3.4 million.

Domain growth this month was shared between nginx and Microsoft; nginx increased its market share by 0.15 percentage points by gaining 482,000 domains while Microsoft gained slightly fewer with 413,000. Market leader Apache lost 568,000 domains and continues to lose market share, its share now stands at 37.6%.

Apache also loses out when looking at the number of web-facing computers, 31,000 fewer computers were seen running the web server software in March leading to a drop in market share of 0.67 percentage points. Microsoft also lost computers, seeing 100 fewer, while nginx continues to gain both computers and market share. Nearly 1.8 million web-facing computers were seen running nginx in March, giving it 24.5% of the market.

New Releases

The Apache Software Foundation announced the release of Apache 2.4.33 on 23 March; this is the first release announced since Apache 2.4.29 in October 2017, the skipped version numbers were not publicly announced due to issues which came to light during the release process. The 2.4.x branch is recommended over all previous releases.

OpenLiteSpeed, the open source software behind the commercial LiteSpeed HTTP server, received releases to both its stable and latest branches in February, version 1.4.30 was released on 14 February and version 1.5.0 RC2 on 15 February, both releases fix the same set of issues.

lighttpd version 1.4.49 released on 11 March, with it the open source web server adds basic support for the HTTP CONNECT method along with several bug fixes. lighttpd is seen in use serving sites on 500,000 unique domains in the March survey; these are served from 21,000 web-facing computers.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

DeveloperFebruary 2018PercentMarch 2018PercentChange
Microsoft634,359,41934.50%633,719,94135.80%1.29
Apache504,701,56027.45%464,340,53526.23%-1.22
nginx447,224,45624.32%409,124,17423.11%-1.22
Google22,022,6331.20%21,802,6701.23%0.03
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Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in February 2018

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.000 0.244 0.069 0.316 0.317
2 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.315 0.070 0.139 0.140
3 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.260 0.086 0.173 0.173
4 New York Internet FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.005 0.575 0.045 0.092 0.092
5 vXtream Ltd Linux 0:00:00 0.005 0.246 0.076 0.154 0.154
6 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.005 0.188 0.085 0.538 0.538
7 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.005 0.255 0.085 0.170 0.171
8 Pair Networks FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.005 0.380 0.095 0.189 0.189
9 Memset Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.252 0.083 0.166 0.166
10 www.dinahosting.com Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.302 0.093 0.186 0.186

See full table

The most reliable hosting company website this month belongs to EveryCity, with no failed requests and a speedy average connection time of just 69ms. EveryCity, which has maintained 100% uptime over the past two years, offers its own cloud hosting solutions, as well as managed third-party cloud hosting services, including AWS and Azure.

Two other hosting company sites also successfully responded to each of Netcraft's requests this month, and were therefore ranked according to their average connection times. Second place was earned by XILO Communications, which was, on average, only a millisecond slower than first-place EveryCity. XILO Communications has maintained a 99.99% uptime over 5 years. Third place goes to ServerStack with an average connection time of 86ms and 99.98% uptime over 5 years.

Hyve Managed Hosting continues its top-ten streak, making February 2018 the 13th consecutive month its website has appeared in the top ten most reliable hosting company sites table. Hyve has maintained a consistent 100% uptime since Netcraft began monitoring its site in July 2016.

Linux is the most popular operating system this month, being used by six of the top ten most reliable hosting company sites. FreeBSD makes three appearances. SmartOS — a specifically cloud-oriented platform based on OpenSolaris and Linux KVM virtualisation — is the OS of choice for EveryCity, which had the most reliable website this month.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around thirty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

nginx, Nginx, NGiИX, or NGINX?!

While nginx capitalizes on the demand for its high performance, recently overtaking Microsoft with its install base, its own name has also had a tendency to be capitalized. Originally called nginx, the server is today used by several commercial products that have rebranded it as NGINX. This has led to much confusion over how the name of this server should be stylised.

nginx is consistently written in lowercase on the nginx.org website – even when it is used to start a sentence, like in this paragraph. The original author of nginx, Igor Sysoev, also writes the server's name in lowercase on his own website; but most notably, the name also appears in lowercase in the HTTP Server headers of the 447 million sites that run nginx today:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: nginx/1.13.7
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2018 11:45:38 GMT
Content-Type: text/html;charset=utf-8
Content-Length: 287521
Connection: keep-alive
Vary: Accept-Encoding
Content-Language: utf-8
Last-Modified: Tue, 20 Feb 2018 11:45:38 GMT

Conversely, NGINX Inc. – which provides commercial support for nginx – stylizes the name of the open source server as NGINX. To add an earlier alternative into the mix, the company previously clarified that its own name was Nginx and that the server was NGINX; but it has since adopted the NGINX stylization for the name of its company, too.

To add further confusion, both nginx.org and NGINX Inc. use the same NGiИX logo, which uses a mixture of uppercase and lowercase Cyrillic letters:

"NGiИX" logo

"NGiИX" logo

The fully-capitalized NGINX name could become a more prominent term as time goes by, especially with the new NGINX Unit product being announced on nginx.org. Similarly-branded products supported by NGINX Inc. are NGINX Plus (a software load balancer, web server and content cache built on top of the open source nginx server), the NGINX Controller monitoring and management platform, the NGINX Amplify SaaS-based monitoring tool, and the NGINX WAF (web application firewall).

nginx has also been referred to as nginx, Nginx and NGINX by Cloudflare, which uses a modified version to optimize the delivery of its customers' websites; but notably, the most recent articles on the Cloudflare blog have trended towards using the fully-capitalised name. Cloudflare also ditched the lowercase nginx from its server name recently, renaming it from cloudflare-nginx to just cloudflare, although this change was merely intended to reflect the lesser role that nginx now plays in Cloudflare's software stack.

Also bear in mind that the fully-capitalised NGINX Inc. was co-founded in 2011 by nginx's original author, who currently serves as its CTO. This could be viewed as tacit approval of the uppercase variant, but the lowercase nginx name remains far more visible today: Wix, WordPress, Groupon, Zendesk, Adobe, OpenDNS and Buzzfeed are among those listed as NGINX customers, but all of their NGINX-powered sites exhibit the lowercase nginx in Server headers.

However you write it, nginx's strong growth has turned it into the second most commonly used server on web-facing computers.

However you write it, nginx's strong growth has turned it into what is now the second most commonly used server on web-facing computers.

NGINX Inc. further dilutes its branding by calling its annual NGINX user conference nginx.conf, mimicking the name of nginx's main configuration file. These lowercase legacies of nginx are likely to manifest themselves for some time yet.

With no canonical naming conventions apparent, Netcraft will continue to use the lowercase nginx to refer to the open source nginx server, as well as the group of products closely based on it (including NGINX Plus and, until recently, cloudflare-nginx). The uppercase NGINX will be used to describe products and services that are exclusively provided by NGINX Inc.