March 2009 Web Server Survey

In the March 2009 survey, we received responses from 224,749,695 sites. This has brought the total up by more than 9 million sites, with QQ and Microsoft making the most significant contributions. Apache remains in the lead with a total of 104 million sites, while Microsoft-IIS's gain of 3.3 million sites (mostly consisting of new Windows Live blogs) brings its total up to 66 million.

After storming into the survey last month, this month sees QQ gain a further 8.9 million sites. QQ now hosts nearly 29 million Qzone sites under the domain, all of which are served by its own QZHTTP server. Little is known about this server, although people have noticed a similarity that suggests QZHTTP may be a customised version of thttpd.

Although it is generally uncommon for websites to use fake Server headers, there are some cases that stand out more than others. One relatively prevalent example is ZX_Spectrum/1997 (Sinclair_BASIC), which is used by a Russian company to serve 0.02% of the world's websites. The ZX Spectrum was an 8-bit personal home computer released in 1982, but it was discontinued two years before the World Wide Web even existed.

Which servers do the busiest sites use?

With almost a quarter of a billion websites found by this months survey, it is timely to show which web servers run the busiest sites on the web.

Using traffic data compiled by aggregating visits from the Netcraft Toolbar community, we have determined the web servers used by the million busiest websites on the Internet. Examining a fixed number of high traffic sites produces a less volatile view which is uninfluenced by parked domains or the majority of personal sites, shared hosting accounts and blogs.

The clear leader amongst web servers used by the million busiest websites is Apache with a 66% share. It has a 47% lead over its closest competitor, Microsoft-IIS, much greater than on the web as a whole.

Server Share amongst the Million Busiest Sites, March 2009


Total Sites Across All Domains August 1995 - March 2009

Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - March 2009

Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - March 2009

Top Developers
DeveloperFebruary 2009PercentMarch 2009PercentChange
DeveloperFebruary 2009PercentMarch 2009PercentChange
Totals for Active Servers Across All Domains
June 2000 - March 2009

A more detailed list of servers is given here.