August 2016 Web Server Survey

In the August 2016 survey we received responses from 1,153,659,413 sites and 5,980,524 web-facing computers. This reflects an increase of 80 million sites, but a loss of 78,000 computers.

While the overall number of sites increased this month, this growth was not felt evenly by each web server vendor: Microsoft gained the largest number of sites with an increase of 66 million, while second-placed Apache lost 41 million sites. Tengine, the nginx-based web server from Chinese online shopping giant Taobao, gained 28 million sites.

Whilst there were large changes in total number of sites, these were accompanied by much more modest changes in active sites – a more stable metric designed to ignore automatically generated bulk content. Apache and Microsoft both suffered small drops in the number of active sites, -0.5% and -0.8% respectively, whilst Tengine and nginx gained 120,000 (7.3%) and 81,000 (0.2%).

The majority of this month’s drop in web facing computers were running Apache, with a decrease of just over 107,000 (3.8%) using the open-source server. One of the primary contributors to this drop was the loss of a large number of consumer-NAS devices running Apache. While these devices have steadily increased in number since the start of 2016, this month has seen a marked decline. These devices are mostly connected via home internet lines and are therefore likely to come and go from month to month. As a result, the Apache losses this month are spread over a large number of consumer ISPs. On the other hand, Apache continued to see growth amongst web hosting providers.

A gain of 24,000 web-facing computers for nginx, the largest gain in web facing computers this month, once more boosts its market share, which now stands at 17.0%. Microsoft also experienced a small increase in market share, despite its loss of 4,000 web-facing computers, given Apache’s large loss this month.

Windows Server 2016 — which will be the main platform for Microsoft IIS 10.0 — is edging closer to its official launch at Microsoft's Ignite conference in September. In the meantime, developers can try out many of the new features in IIS 10 by either installing the latest Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5, or by installing the self-contained IIS 10.0 Express on Windows 7 SP1 or later.

More than 11,000 websites are already using Microsoft IIS 10.0, with almost all of these sites using a version of Windows Server 2016.

The previous month saw two new releases of the mainline version of nginx, mostly incorporating bug fixes and feature additions, while the release of Apache 2.4.23 addressed a security issue which could have allowed clients to gain unauthorised access to protected resources if a server was configured to use HTTP/2.

Several web servers were also updated following the disclosure of a set of vulnerabilities dubbed httpoxy. These vulnerabilities can affect web applications running in CGI or CGI-compatible environments.

The vulnerability stems from a simple namespace conflict where the client-provided HTTP Proxy header was placed into an HTTP_PROXY environment variable as is the custom for CGI applications; but where HTTP_PROXY was trusted by the application and used to configure an outgoing proxy.

This type of vulnerability was first discovered in libwww-perl more than 15 years ago, but in July it was found to be still exploitable in PHP and many other modern languages and libraries. Successful exploitation of these issues could allow a remote attacker to proxy outgoing HTTP requests made by a vulnerable web application, which may expose sensitive data.

To mitigate the httpoxy vulnerability, Apache 2.4.24-dev avoids populating the HTTP_PROXY variable from a Proxy header in httpd CGI environments. Similar mitigations have also been implemented in Lighttpd 1.4.41 and LiteSpeed, while nginx and Varnish have published mitigation advice.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

DeveloperJuly 2016PercentAugust 2016PercentChange
Microsoft378,655,75935.26%445,105,75538.58%3.32
Apache340,551,07431.72%300,028,83226.01%-5.71
nginx170,896,71615.92%181,606,29715.74%-0.17
Google22,552,9012.10%22,111,4311.92%-0.18
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Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in July 2016

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.206 0.065 0.131 0.131
2 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.086 0.059 0.122 0.122
3 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.013 0.107 0.063 0.125 0.125
4 Qube Managed Services Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.135 0.059 0.118 0.118
5 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.120 0.062 0.124 0.124
6 Webair Internet Development Linux 0:00:00 0.025 0.147 0.053 0.105 0.107
7 Datapipe Linux 0:00:00 0.029 0.140 0.011 0.024 0.030
8 Memset Linux 0:00:00 0.034 0.146 0.062 0.197 0.322
9 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.038 0.140 0.059 0.118 0.159
10 CWCS Linux 0:00:00 0.038 0.198 0.073 0.146 0.147

See full table

XILO Communications Ltd has moved up the table to become the most reliable hosting company site in July, with only two failed requests. This is the sixth time this year that XILO has appeared in the top ten, including two second places. XILO offers services from shared hosting to dedicated servers and operates from the UK.

Second place for July went to Hyve Managed Hosting, with only three failed requests and an average connect time of 0.059 seconds. Also based in the UK, Hyve Managed Hosting offers a wide range of cloud based hosting solutions, and has recently become a hosting partner for the Kentico CMS.

Third place was taken by EveryCity, with a marginally slower average connect time than Hyve of 0.063 seconds. This is the second time that EveryCity has made it into the top ten since its ISO27001 accreditation in March, and its 2-year uptime now stands at 99.998%.

After measurement from multiple geographical locations, UK-based organisations took the top four spots for July. The absence of Windows operating systems from the top ten has also continued, with the last appearance being in June 2015.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty 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.

July 2016 Web Server Survey

In the July 2016 survey we received responses from 1,073,777,722 sites and 6,058,513 web-facing computers. This reflects an increase of 28 million sites and 107,000 computers.

Microsoft and Apache continue to fluctuate between 1st and 2nd places for total number of websites, with Microsoft retaking the lead again this month after an increase of 36 million sites, and the loss of 20 million Apache sites. However, it is only in the hostnames metric that Microsoft leads, with Apache coming out on top by a considerable margin in all other areas - active sites, domains, IP addresses and web-facing computers.

Looking at the number of active sites, a more stable metric created by Netcraft to ignore automatically generated bulk content, Apache leads with a 46.4% market share. nginx is the second most popular vendor, with a 21.8% market share, and is the only major vendor to consistently gain share in recent months. A similar percentage of both Apache’s and nginx’s sites are deemed to be active, 23.7% of Apache sites and 22.1% for nginx. In comparison, only 4.5% of sites using Microsoft server software are considered active, leaving Microsoft in 3rd place by this active sites metric with a 9.8% market share.

Apache, Microsoft and nginx all gained web-facing computers this month; however, nginx once again saw the only increase in market share. nginx gained 46,000 computers, a growth of 4.8% on last month, and now stands just shy of 1 million web-facing computers. Apache and Microsoft gained 31,000 and 11,000 computers.

nginx also continues to gain market share among the top million busiest websites, where it is now used by 27.9% of sites. Apache, while still holding a dominant position, continues to slowly lose market share, falling 0.55 percentage points to 43.2%.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

DeveloperJune 2016PercentJuly 2016PercentChange
Microsoft342,605,66632.77%378,655,75935.26%2.50
Apache360,458,01834.48%340,551,07431.72%-2.76
nginx169,316,54716.19%170,896,71615.92%-0.28
Google21,662,6732.07%22,552,9012.10%0.03
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Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in June 2016

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Pair Networks FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.004 0.231 0.067 0.137 0.137
2 Netcetera Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.087 0.080 0.163 0.163
3 Lightcrest unknown 0:00:00 0.009 0.252 0.005 0.017 0.034
4 GoDaddy.com Inc Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.202 0.012 0.031 0.031
5 Qube Managed Services Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.131 0.057 0.116 0.116
6 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.205 0.063 0.126 0.126
7 Kattare Internet Services Citrix Netscaler 0:00:00 0.009 0.498 0.117 0.230 0.231
8 New York Internet FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.013 0.552 0.037 0.077 0.297
9 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.013 0.137 0.059 0.118 0.159
10 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.013 0.106 0.060 0.121 0.121

See full table

Pair Networks had the most reliable hosting company site in June, with only one failed request. Pair Networks was founded in 1995, putting it among the oldest web hosting companies. Its custom-built data centre is based in Pittsburgh, where it provides a range of premium hosting services.

In second place this month, Netcetera also had just one failed request but with a slightly longer average connection time. Netcetera provides carbon-neutral shared, dedicated, and cloud hosting from its Dataport data centre on the Isle of Man, and recently partnered with vCita LiveSite to offer document sharing, appointment scheduling and online payments.

With two failed requests, Lightcrest took third place. Lightcrest operates its cloud services using its own Kahu Compute Fabric infrastructure, without outsourcing any components to third-party cloud providers. Since Netcraft began monitoring its site in September 2014, Lightcrest has maintained a 99.97% uptime record.

Four of June's top ten hosting company sites ran on Linux operating systems, with a further three using FreeBSD. Also appearing were Citrix Netscaler and SmartOS, powering one site each. Windows operating systems have now been absent from the top ten for a full year, last appearing in June 2015.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty 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.

June 2016 Web Server Survey

In the June 2016 survey we received responses from 1,045,534,808 sites and 5,951,685 web-facing computers. This reflects an increase of 12 million sites, along with a modest gain of 4,700 computers.

Apache regained the lead from Microsoft this month, with a large increase of 60 million sites taking its total up to 360 million, while Microsoft lost 24 million. Microsoft enjoyed a brief foray at the top in April and May, thanks to a proliferation of link farming sites, but now stands 18 million sites behind Apache.

Apache's net growth included only 14 million new websites – the remainder consisted of existing websites that switched to Apache after previously using other web server software. Most notably, 52 million sites switched from Tengine to Apache, while 12 million switched from Microsoft. The number of websites using Tengine fell by more than 60%, largely as a result of the migration to Apache. Most of the sites involved in this switch were hosted by OVH in Canada, and not only changed server vendor, but also moved to a different hosting company—Data Foundry—in the United States.

Although the number of Tengine websites fell to 29 million, the number of active sites using Tengine actually increased slightly to 1.8 million. In a similar vein, the number of active sites running Apache fell by 630,000, even though the total number of sites grew by more than 60 million.

Out of the largest vendors, Microsoft has the lowest proportion of active sites, with only 4.8% of its 340 million sites being active, while Tengine's proportion has crept up to 6.3%. Both are significantly lower than Apache's proportion of 22.3% and nginx's 21.6%.

Newer versions of web server software generally attract a much higher proportion of active sites. For example, 56% of sites running on Microsoft IIS 10 (which will be included with Windows Server 2016, but is already available for Windows 10) are classified as active, while 23% of sites running IIS 8.5 are active, along with 14% of IIS 8.0 sites. This proportion dwindles to only 2.8% by the time we consider IIS 6.0, which remains a very popular choice of server in China despite no longer being supported by Microsoft.

nginx also demonstrates this trend, with the largest number of its active sites running on the latest 1.10.x stable branch. More than half of all sites using this version are active.

Across all versions, nginx continues to muscle its way into the market with confidence. This month it gained almost a million active sites, along with an additional 31,000 web-facing computers, giving it the largest growth in these important metrics. Conversely, Apache lost 26,000 computers, while Microsoft lost 4,500.

nginx has also continued to grow its presence amongst the top million websites, where it is now used by 27.6% of sites. Apache continues to lead with a 43.7% share of this market, although its share has generally been on the decline since 2011. If current trends continue, nginx could possibly take the lead from Apache within the next couple of years.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

DeveloperMay 2016PercentJune 2016PercentChange
Apache300,447,47029.06%360,458,01834.48%5.41
Microsoft366,964,00935.50%342,605,66632.77%-2.73
nginx163,902,97115.85%169,316,54716.19%0.34
Google21,567,2522.09%21,662,6732.07%-0.01
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Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in May 2016

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Datapipe Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.142 0.012 0.024 0.030
2 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.206 0.064 0.127 0.127
3 GoDaddy.com Inc Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.226 0.016 0.037 0.037
4 Anexia Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.180 0.088 0.186 0.186
5 One.com Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.201 0.037 0.108 0.108
6 dinahosting Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.230 0.083 0.165 0.165
7 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.025 0.112 0.064 0.129 0.129
8 Aspserveur Linux 0:00:00 0.025 0.301 0.077 0.327 0.484
9 LeaseWeb Linux 0:00:00 0.029 0.303 0.028 0.055 0.055
10 Webair Internet Development Linux 0:00:00 0.029 0.156 0.054 0.108 0.109

See full table

May is the second month in a row that Datapipe has had the most reliable hosting company site. Its own site once again has lived up to its 100% Network Uptime Guarantee, as has been the case during over 10 years of monitoring by Netcraft. Datapipe has 25 data centres globally including locations in key technology and financial hubs: New York, Silicon Valley, London, and Hong Kong.

In second place in May was XILO Communications Ltd with just two failed requests. XILO’s website has maintained 100% uptime over the past two years, and 99.990% since October 2011. XILO offers services from shared hosting to dedicated servers and operate from the UK.

GoDaddy reached third place in May, marking its twelfth consecutive appearance in the top 10. Since May 2015, GoDaddy has had excellent connection times ranging from 5-16ms. GoDaddy recently enhanced its offering to small businesses by acquiring FreedomVoice, a cloud VOIP provider, with the aim of accelerating the delivery of communications services.

During May, Anexia ranked fourth in our top 10 and had just three failed requests. It was narrowly beaten by GoDaddy who had the same number of failed requests but a faster connection time. Anexia also placed impressively in the Inc. 5000 Europe, ranking as the 517th fastest growing company in Europe.

For the second time in 2016, all of the top 10 hosting company websites were powered by Linux. The last time a site using Windows appeared in the top 10 was June 2015

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty 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.