December 2018 Web Server Survey

In the December 2018 survey we received responses from 1,656,556,205 sites, 227,839,033 unique domains, and 8,147,795 web-facing computers. This reflects a gain of 4.37 million sites, 1.09 million domains, and 98.9k web-facing computers.

Whilst Apache's server software remains the market leader in most metrics, its share continues to erode in favour of competing products. In December 2018, Apache's flagship server product, httpd, saw a net decrease of 938k domains (-1.27% from last month), 28.6 million sites (-8.43%), and 848k active sites (-1.49%). Whilst another Apache product, known as Coyote, grew by 151k domains this month (+32.6%), the majority of the increase is attributable to parking pages, rather than sites with unique content. Apache's share of the top million sites has been falling steadily over the past few years, and is now down to 33.04%. Although it still holds the largest share, its margin is rapidly shrinking, and its dominance will likely be challenged by nginx in a year's time. Despite these losses, the number of web-facing computers running Apache software does, however, continue to grow, with an increase of 22.8k (+0.73%) this month.

nginx showed the fastest growth, having increased its domain count by 624k (+1.21%) this month. It also saw a 247k increase in active sites (+0.60%) — whereas Microsoft and Apache both saw losses — and has consistently seen large increases in its web-facing computer count. nginx has now reached 2.28 million web-facing computers, a significant 39.9% growth over the past 12 months compared to Apache's 4.98% and Microsoft's 1.93% over the same period. nginx saw two new releases in during November, fixing three CVEs, as well as introducing a few minor features and bug fixes.

Microsoft's server software holds the greatest market share when it comes to total number of sites. With over 688 million, it now has more sites than nginx (358 million) and Apache (314 million) combined, representing 41.53% of the market. This month Microsoft experienced an increase of 35.9 million sites and 246k domains. Much of the domain increase was seen at Amazon (+146k) and GoDaddy (+189k). Microsoft presently powers 9.33% of the world's top one million websites. Microsoft's top million share has seen some fluctuation over the year, with a slight decrease of 0.13pp this month, but only 0.30pp over 12 months.

Some of the large increase in overall domains this month can be seen at Cloudflare, which predominantly uses its own server software originally based on nginx. 8.20 million domains are currently served from servers identifying themselves as Cloudflare — 373k more than last month. At Google, usage of GSE (Google Servlet Engine) dropped massively from 897k domains down to 228k in favour of another google server, GHS, which is often used purely for redirects.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

DeveloperNovember 2018PercentDecember 2018PercentChange
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Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in November 2018

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
DNS Connect First
1 Inc Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.448 0.006 0.020 0.021
2 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.000 0.237 0.074 0.352 0.352
3 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.179 0.076 0.153 0.153
4 Webair Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.348 0.080 0.161 0.161
5 New York Internet (NYI) FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.005 0.554 0.064 0.128 0.128
6 Bigstep Linux 0:00:00 0.005 0.242 0.073 0.148 0.148
7 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.005 0.245 0.085 0.170 0.172
8 vXtream Ltd Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.363 0.075 0.151 0.151
9 Netcetera Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.206 0.088 0.180 0.180
10 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.244 0.091 0.181 0.181

See full table

In November 2018, GoDaddy had the most reliable hosting company site, with zero failed requests and the fastest average connection time of 6ms. This is the second consecutive month and the fourth time in 2018 that GoDaddy has taken the top spot. GoDaddy provides a wide range of hosting and domain registration services, including its widely used website builder software, which provides customers with a simple way to create a web presence.

Also achieving zero failed requests this month were EveryCity, Hyve Managed Hosting and Webair, with the tie between them broken by their average connection times of 74ms, 76ms and 80ms respectively. EveryCity offers its own cloud hosting solutions, as well as managed third-party cloud hosting services, including AWS and Azure. Hyve offers fully managed colocation services in 35 worldwide locations and has appeared in the top ten for 20 of the past 24 months.

Linux is the most popular choice of operating system in the top 10 this month, used by seven of the ten sites. Among the remaining sites, FreeBSD appears twice and SmartOS once.

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.