June 2018 Web Server Survey

In the June 2018 survey we received responses from 1,630,322,579 sites, 217,776,658 unique domains, and 7,614,764 web-facing computers. This reflects a gain of 45 million sites and 162,000 web-facing computers, but a loss of 98,800 domains.

Apache currently leads by most metrics, with the largest market share of domains (35.23%), active sites (41.13%), computers (40.28%), and top million sites (35.54%). However, it continues to gradually decline in market share, losing out to continued growth elsewhere, particularly by nginx. Most of Apache's figures fell this month, with the exception of a small 35k (+1.16%) rise in web-facing computers. Despite this gain in web-facing computers, its share fell slightly, by 0.4 percentage points.

The only metric where Apache does not retain the lead is web sites: Microsoft's server software has held the lead since July 2016. Although Microsoft web servers now account for 601 million sites, or 36.9%, relatively few of these are active sites. Microsoft servers account for 11.8 million active sites, a 6.62% share of the entire active site market, placing it behind both Apache and nginx. Internet Information Services (IIS) accounts for 97.8% of all domains using Microsoft server products, with Microsoft's light-weight HTTPAPI making up just 2.2% of Microsoft's domains. Only 8.0% of the web-facing computers running Microsoft IIS run the latest version available, IIS 10.0, released in October 2016 as part of Windows Server 2016. A greater proportion, 10.1%, are still running IIS 6.0, which reached end-of-life along with Windows Server 2003 almost 3 years ago.

nginx continues to rise in popularity, growing faster than its Apache and Microsoft competitors in all metrics except web sites. Although nginx's 23.35% domain share is still behind Microsoft's 25.73%, its continued growth has it on track to overtake Microsoft in a few months, and potentially even bring Apache within its sights in a couple of years. nginx holds second place in terms of active sites (21.64%), computers (25.84%), and the number of sites within the top one million (24.68%). This month, nginx had the largest gains in all metrics with the exception of overall web sites. Apart from its original distribution, nginx also comes in two other popular variants: Openresty, which is based on an nginx core with additional Lua-based modules, was seen on 2.0 million domains this month; and Tengine, an nginx fork maintained by Chinese ecommerce site Taobao, was seen on 1.2 million domains.

The LiteSpeed web server, which currently accounts for 1.27% of all domains, has also been slowly but steadily gaining adopters. It experienced the 3rd largest increase in domains this month, gaining 125k, giving it a larger relative increase than Apache, Microsoft, or nginx servers. LiteSpeed has a slightly higher market share of 1.50% of the top million sites and 1.86% of all active sites.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

DeveloperMay 2018PercentJune 2018PercentChange
Microsoft518,826,52432.73%601,258,60536.88%4.14
Apache396,463,72325.01%361,165,37822.15%-2.86
nginx359,163,59922.66%336,529,38220.64%-2.02
Google22,427,7521.42%22,946,3071.41%-0.01
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Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in May 2018

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Netcetera Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.221 0.089 0.178 0.178
2 One.com Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.376 0.060 0.176 0.176
3 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.275 0.094 0.187 0.187
4 Pair Networks FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.004 0.414 0.094 0.188 0.188
5 www.viawest.com Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.503 0.009 0.261 0.262
6 Rackspace Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.788 0.009 0.020 0.021
7 www.choopa.com Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.328 0.009 0.226 0.226
8 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.013 0.252 0.075 0.346 0.347
9 vXtream Ltd Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.260 0.077 0.154 0.154
10 Webair Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.367 0.083 0.164 0.165

See full table

Netcetera had the most reliable hosting company website in May 2018, being the only site to successfully respond to all of Netcraft's requests. Netcetera provides carbon-neutral hosting solutions from its data centre in the Isle of Man, and has managed to maintain a 99.98% uptime over the last 10 years.

There were three hosting company websites with only one failed request in May. Out of these, One.com had the fastest average connection time of 60ms, granting it second place. Founded in 2002, the company was established in Denmark, and offers a variety of internet services including a no-code website builder, 1-click WordPress installations, domain registrations, email hosting, and Office 365. Third place was very close, with ServerStack claiming the position with an average connection time of 93.5ms—just half a millisecond faster than Pair Networks in fourth place. ServerStack has maintained an impressive 99.98% uptime since Netcraft started monitoring its website 5 years ago.

ViaWest, Rackspace, and Choopa all had very fast average connection times of around 9ms, but only achieved 5th, 6th, and 7th place respectively due to each having failed to respond to two or three requests.

Both EveryCity and vXtream's websites have managed to achieve a top ten position in every month of 2018 so far.

Linux was the operating system of choice on 8 out of the top 10 most reliable hosting company sites in May, with FreeBSD and SmartOS each 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.

May 2018 Web Server Survey

In the May 2018 survey we received responses from 1,584,940,345 sites, 217,875,435 unique domains, and 7,452,628 web-facing computers. This reflects a loss of 198 million sites, but a gain of 3.36 million domains and 65,600 web-facing computers.

nginx saw moderate growth this month, gaining 1.17 million unique domains. This has increased its market share of domains by 0.19 percentage points, even though it lost 44.2 million sites.

The nginx ecosystem has continued to evolve over the past month, with some notable software releases:

  • nginx 1.14.0 was released on the 17 April, which adds HTTP/2 server push support to the nginx stable stream (the recommended release stream for production web servers). HTTP/2 server push can improve the performance of some websites by pre-emptively pushing assets to browser clients, avoiding the need for the client to explicitly make additional GET requests for assets on a page such as images, stylesheets & JavaScript.
  • The first production-ready release of NGINX Unit 1.0 was released on the 12 April, ending the product's beta period. NGINX Unit is a web application server that can serve sandboxed Go, Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby applications on the same server. It is unique in allowing dynamic reloading & remote configuration via a REST API rather than individual configuration files. A bugfix release, NGINX Unit 1.1, was subsequently made available on 26 April.
  • MySQL monitoring support was added to NGINX Amplify on 23 April. This commercial SaaS monitoring product from NGINX Inc. could increase the appeal of transitioning MySQL & PHP applications from Apache-based stacks to nginx-based ones.

Despite losing 59.7 million sites this month, Apache still powers sites on the largest number of unique domains. Apache is also running on 36% of the world's top 1 million websites – 12 percentage points ahead of its closest competitor, nginx.

There was also a 21% reduction of the number websites running Microsoft web server software this month, with the majority of these losses (77%) coming from hosting provider Raksmart, which lost 107 million of these sites. Despite this, the hosting provider gained 49,600 domains that point to Microsoft web servers. Many of the lost websites featured automatically generated content, and so were not counted as Active Sites.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

DeveloperApril 2018PercentMay 2018PercentChange
Microsoft658,800,75636.94%518,826,52432.73%-4.21
Apache456,169,33625.58%396,463,72325.01%-0.57
nginx403,381,96122.62%359,163,59922.66%0.04
Google22,460,5621.26%22,427,7521.42%0.16
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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.