September 2018 Web Server Survey

In the September 2018 survey we received responses from 1,642,339,233 sites, 222,628,534 unique domains, and 7,785,976 web-facing computers. This reflects gains of 1.1 million unique domains and 28,000 web-facing computers, but a loss of 19 million sites.

Despite the overall increase in number of unique domains this month, all of the major web server vendors experienced losses. The largest gains in September came from lesser known server software — Pepyaka increased by just over 2 million domains, and DPS increased by 893k domains — with both returning to previously seen usage levels after a couple of months of near absence from the survey.

DPS (Data Protection Server), currently the 11th largest server by domains, is used exclusively by GoDaddy to host customer sites that have been created with its Website Builder tool. Last month saw a temporary swing on a single GoDaddy IP Address from DPS to Microsoft, accounting for both last month's Microsoft gains, and this month's loss.

Pepyaka, now the 7th largest server by domains, was last seen in the survey in large volumes in June 2018, being primarily used by Wix web development platform on Amazon AWS infrastructure. Wix has been a long-time user of nginx, and originally moved all user traffic to the commercial NGINX Plus product to future-proof its load balancing needs. The version numbering used by Pepyaka (currently 1.13.10) combined with Wix's previous usage of nginx suggests that it could be based on the March 2018 mainline version of nginx. The loss of Pepyaka from the survey two months ago coincided with Wix moving its customers' sites from Amazon to Cogent Communications. The return of Pepyaka in the September survey coincides with a similar movement of its customers' sites from Cogent Communications to a combination of Wix's own and Google's infrastructure.

In the web-facing computer market, nginx was the only major web server vendor to experience a gain this month, with an increase of over 41,000 (+2%). Unusually both Apache and Microsoft saw a small loss in absolute numbers of web-facing computers this month, dropping 4,900 and 9,500, in addition to their on-going gradual declines in market share. This has resulted in nginx's market share rising to 27.0%.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

DeveloperAugust 2018PercentSeptember 2018PercentChange
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Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in August 2018

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
DNS Connect First
1 Bigstep Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.245 0.072 0.145 0.145
2 CWCS Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.294 0.079 0.156 0.156
3 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.000 0.248 0.082 0.165 0.166
4 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.256 0.091 0.181 0.181
5 Pair Networks FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.000 0.367 0.091 0.183 0.183
6 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.178 0.075 0.150 0.150
7 Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.303 0.091 0.183 0.183
8 Inc Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.485 0.005 0.022 0.023
9 Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.346 0.057 0.171 0.171
10 vXtream Ltd Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.240 0.075 0.150 0.150

See full table

Bigstep had the most reliable hosting company website in August 2018, with zero failed requests and an average connection time of 72ms. This is the third time Bigstep has been in the top 10 in 2018 so far. Bigstep offers "bare metal" cloud hosting from datacentres in the UK, USA and Romania; the service aims to provide the flexibility of cloud hosting but without the associated overhead and performance reductions of virtualization.

Taking second place, August marks the sixth time CWCS has appeared in the top 10 in 2018. CWCS advertises a 100% uptime guarantee and responded to all of our requests this month. The UK-based company offers a variety of web and managed hosting services from data centres in Nottingham.

Also making its sixth appearance in the top 10 this year, Swishmail placed as the third most reliable website. Swishmail offers both managed email & web hosting plans using FreeBSD servers running Qmail SMTP & Apache web-server software.

All of the top 5 hosting company websites had no failed requests this month, and so were ranked on average connection time, with ServerStack and Pair Networks taking 4th and 5th positions.

Linux was the most popular operating system, being used by 8 out of the top 10 most reliable hosting company sites in August, with FreeBSD appearing twice.

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