In the September 2006 survey we received responses from 96,854,877 sites, an increase of 4.2 million (4.3%) from last month's survey. This continues the accelerated pace of Internet growth in recent months, as the survey has gained 15.5 million sites since June.
Growth is being driven by two trends: the popularity of blogging services, and the heated battle between Microsoft and Google for new users for their web platforms. Huge growth continues at Windows Live Spaces, Microsoft's free blogging/networking service, which added 1.3 million hostnames last month. Google had a gain of 459K hostnames, primarily at Blogger, its free blogging service.
Significantly, the free hosting offerings appear to be attracting new users. In the first five months of the year, the Internet added an average of 2.75 million new hostnames per month. Since June, that average has more than doubled, to 5.4 million sites per month. The number of new sites created will always exceed the net monthly gain, as some sites are discontinued or see their domain names expire.
The recent gains at free services have begun to outstrip growth at paid web hosting providers. It may seem unfair to compare free and paid hosting, and the markets attract different kinds of users. Nonetheless, the success of these services in recent months represents a growing challenge to traditional hosts, especially as they gain usage among small businesses, typically a key target market for paid hosting.
The large growth at Microsoft continues to influence the market share for web server software. Microsoft gains 1.1% share this month, while Apache declines by 0.9%.
Sun is the sum of sites running SunONE, 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.