March 2018 Web Server Survey

In the March 2018 survey we received responses from 1,770,411,187 sites across 214,774,438 unique domain names and 7,333,606 web-facing computers. This reflects a gain of 43,000 computers, and 738,000 additional domains. The total number of hostnames fell by 68.2 million, and the number of active sites fell by 3.4 million.

Domain growth this month was shared between nginx and Microsoft; nginx increased its market share by 0.15 percentage points by gaining 482,000 domains while Microsoft gained slightly fewer with 413,000. Market leader Apache lost 568,000 domains and continues to lose market share, its share now stands at 37.6%.

Apache also loses out when looking at the number of web-facing computers, 31,000 fewer computers were seen running the web server software in March leading to a drop in market share of 0.67 percentage points. Microsoft also lost computers, seeing 100 fewer, while nginx continues to gain both computers and market share. Nearly 1.8 million web-facing computers were seen running nginx in March, giving it 24.5% of the market.

New Releases

The Apache Software Foundation announced the release of Apache 2.4.33 on 23 March; this is the first release announced since Apache 2.4.29 in October 2017, the skipped version numbers were not publicly announced due to issues which came to light during the release process. The 2.4.x branch is recommended over all previous releases.

OpenLiteSpeed, the open source software behind the commercial LiteSpeed HTTP server, received releases to both its stable and latest branches in February, version 1.4.30 was released on 14 February and version 1.5.0 RC2 on 15 February, both releases fix the same set of issues.

lighttpd version 1.4.49 released on 11 March, with it the open source web server adds basic support for the HTTP CONNECT method along with several bug fixes. lighttpd is seen in use serving sites on 500,000 unique domains in the March survey; these are served from 21,000 web-facing computers.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

DeveloperFebruary 2018PercentMarch 2018PercentChange
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Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in February 2018

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
DNS Connect First
1 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.000 0.244 0.069 0.316 0.317
2 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.315 0.070 0.139 0.140
3 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.260 0.086 0.173 0.173
4 New York Internet FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.005 0.575 0.045 0.092 0.092
5 vXtream Ltd Linux 0:00:00 0.005 0.246 0.076 0.154 0.154
6 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.005 0.188 0.085 0.538 0.538
7 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.005 0.255 0.085 0.170 0.171
8 Pair Networks FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.005 0.380 0.095 0.189 0.189
9 Memset Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.252 0.083 0.166 0.166
10 Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.302 0.093 0.186 0.186

See full table

The most reliable hosting company website this month belongs to EveryCity, with no failed requests and a speedy average connection time of just 69ms. EveryCity, which has maintained 100% uptime over the past two years, offers its own cloud hosting solutions, as well as managed third-party cloud hosting services, including AWS and Azure.

Two other hosting company sites also successfully responded to each of Netcraft's requests this month, and were therefore ranked according to their average connection times. Second place was earned by XILO Communications, which was, on average, only a millisecond slower than first-place EveryCity. XILO Communications has maintained a 99.99% uptime over 5 years. Third place goes to ServerStack with an average connection time of 86ms and 99.98% uptime over 5 years.

Hyve Managed Hosting continues its top-ten streak, making February 2018 the 13th consecutive month its website has appeared in the top ten most reliable hosting company sites table. Hyve has maintained a consistent 100% uptime since Netcraft began monitoring its site in July 2016.

Linux is the most popular operating system this month, being used by six of the top ten most reliable hosting company sites. FreeBSD makes three appearances. SmartOS — a specifically cloud-oriented platform based on OpenSolaris and Linux KVM virtualisation — is the OS of choice for EveryCity, which had the most reliable website this month.

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.