September 2013 Web Server Survey

In the September 2013 survey we received responses from 739,032,236 sites, 22.2M more than last month.

nginx gained 7.4M hostnames this month, and the web server is now used by more than 15% of the web. Within the Million Busiest websites, however, nginx's market share dipped slightly but remains just under 15%. Seeking to capitalise on nginx's success (usage of nginx has almost doubled in the last two years), Nginx Inc. has launched nginx Plus, a commercial variant of the nginx web server. nginx Plus provides additional services not available in the open-source version including on-the-fly configuration which has drawn mixed feedback from the community.

Apache contributed most to this month's growth, with a net gain of 9.7M hostnames; however, for the second consecutive month, Apache's market share remains below 50%. Apache's market share has been falling steadily since June 2012 (when it had a 64% share of the market) — despite its current downward trend, Apache is still the most commonly seen web server, its market share is greater than nginx, Microsoft, and Google combined. Microsoft, on the other hand, had the largest drop in hostnames this month, 2.4M, and lost market share across all sites and within the Million Busiest sites. Microsoft is getting closer to the official release of Windows Server 2012 R2 on the 18th October 2013. Even before the official release, IIS 8.5 is seemingly in use already — more than 300 sites reported using IIS/8.5 during this month's survey.

At the end of August, ICANN signed 13 new generic top level domain (gTLD) agreements with a number of private organizations. The agreements define new gTLDs including .estate, .guru, .voyage, .holdings. These agreements follow the first set, published in July, that have been signed since ICANN decided to drop a number of restrictions on top level domain name registrations. Netcraft has not yet seen any domains within the four TLDs agreed in July (all of which use non-latin characters encoded using the punycode representation).

In a study published earlier in August by ICANN assessing dotless domain security and stability a number of key risks have been identified that ICANN will need to mitigate before dotless gTLDs (e.g. accessing http://com/ directly) can be safely implemented. This puts on hold Google’s intentions to run .search as a dotless domain (http://search). The .home and .corp gTLD applications are also on hold, and identified as high risk after a study was published addressing the consequences of name collisions.

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