In the December 2020 survey we received responses from 1,228,111,563 sites across 263,413,876 unique domains and 10,553,965 web-facing computers. The reflects a loss of 1.84 million sites, 374,000 domains, and 10,600 computers.
Overall, nginx lost the largest number of sites this month (-3.15 million), while Apache gained most (3.04 million); yet in terms of active sites, nginx gained 411,000, while Apache gained only 100,000.
Microsoft, Apache and nginx each suffered losses in their total number of domains, although nginx's loss was small enough that its market share increased slightly. 30.3% of the world's domains are now powered by nginx, compared with 26.4% powered by Apache. Despite losses affecting each major webserver vendor, the causes were independent in each case; for example nginx’s 34,000 loss resulting from a drop of 387,000 domains at Freenom.
OpenResty is continuing to show strong growth, with GoDaddy's use of the web server for its parked domains. It now powers 71.3 million sites across 36.9 million domains and 84,680 web-facing computers.
The number of web-facing computers running nginx, Apache and Microsoft web server software also fell this month. The largest loss was 38,600 web-facing computers for nginx, which took its total down to 3.63 million and its share down by 0.33 percentage points to 34.4%, leaving it just over one percentage point ahead of Apache. Microsoft lost 14,700 computers, while Apache lost 5,820.
Improvements to the million busiest sites methodology has resulted in a number of market share movements. The biggest drop was seen for Apache, with its share down by 4.3 percentage points. Although it continues to lead this market with a share of 24.6%, nginx is now much closer behind with a 23.2% share of the top million, despite also experiencing a drop, and losing 2.0 percentage points. Cloudflare experienced the largest increase, up 1.4 percentage points to reach a 15.2% market share.
Other vendor and hosting news
- The first release candidate of Caddy 2.3 was announced on 12 December.
- nginx 1.19.6 mainline was released on 15 December. This version includes four bugfixes, including one for a bug that was introduced in the previous release, where a segmentation fault could have occurred when HTTPS was used.
- Apache Tomcat 7.0.107 was released on 23 November, followed by the releases of Tomcat 8.5.61, 9.0.41 and 10.0.0 (beta) on 8 December.
- OpenLiteSpeed 1.7.7 was released on 9 December.
- Microsoft has added new capabilities to its Azure Government cloud, expanded its Azure Government Secret cloud, and announced a new Azure Government Top Secret cloud to handle top secret classified data.
|Developer||November 2020||Percent||December 2020||Percent||Change|
In the November 2020 survey we received responses from 1,229,948,224 sites across 263,787,870 unique domains and 10,564,577 web-facing computers. This reflects a gain of 24.2 million sites and 115,000 computers, but a loss of 310,000 domains.
Apache now powers 28.9% of the world's top million websites, where its presence has grown by 6,431 sites since last month. This has increased its lead over its closest competitor, nginx, which lost 2,563 sites from the top million and is now 3.72 percentage points behind Apache's leading share.
nginx continues to dominate in terms of web-facing computers, where its total rose by 88,700 to 3.67 million (+2.48%) computers and its share has grown by 0.47 percentage points to 34.7%. Although Apache gained 24,400 computers this month, its own share has now fallen to less than a third.
nginx also maintains its lead in two other metrics, with a total of 414 million sites (33.7% share) and 79.8 million domains (30.3%), while Apache still has the largest share of active sites (25.9%).
The number of domains powered by Microsoft web server suffered another noticeable fall this month, dropping by 473,000 to 19.1 million (-2.41%), reducing its share to 7.25%. Some of this decline is still being driven by GoDaddy's parked domains being moved to OpenResty web servers.
More than 36 million unique domains are served by OpenResty, making it the third most commonly used server by that metric, and putting it over 15 million domains ahead of Cloudflare. OpenResty is a scalable web platform based on NGINX and LuaJIT, which is a just-in-time compiler for the Lua language.
Some of the most commonly visited websites powered by OpenResty include Tumblr, Firefox Monitor, Basecamp and a few adult video sites. The 36.6 million domains powered by OpenResty are served from just 81,900 computers.
Other vendor and hosting news
- nginx 1.19.5 mainline was released on 24 November.
- NGINX Unit 1.21.0 was released on 19 November.
- Apache Tomcat 7.0.107, 8.5.60, 9.0.40 and 10.0.0.M10 were released on 17 November.
- OpenLiteSpeed 1.7.6 was released on 9 November, followed by OpenLiteSpeed 1.6.18 Stable on 24 November.
- Microsoft claims it will become the first major cloud provider to track hourly energy consumption and renewable energy matching in a commercial product using the Vattenfall 24/7 Matching solution for its new datacenter regions in Sweden, which will be available next year.
- DigitalOcean has introduced storage-optimized Droplets with NVMe SSDs, and reduced the price of its memory-optimized Droplets.
- Dozens of apps, websites and other online services including Coinbase, Flickr, Roku and The Washington Post were affected by an outage at Amazon's us-east-1 geographic region on 25 November.
|Developer||October 2020||Percent||November 2020||Percent||Change|
In the October 2020 survey we received responses from 1,205,797,275 sites across 264,098,084 unique domains and 10,449,223 web-facing computers. This reflects a gain of 9.50 million hostnames and 111,000 computers, but a loss of 187,000 domains.
nginx experienced the largest growth in domains and web-facing computers, where it leads with a total of 79.9 million domains and 3.58 million computers, giving it shares of 30.2% and 34.2%. However, nginx's growth was beaten by Google in terms of active sites, with Google gaining 1.31 million active sites compared to nginx's gain of 1.06 million. This growth makes Google the only major vendor to see an increase in its market share of active sites this month, which now stands just above 10%. Despite falling by 0.79 percentage points, Apache remains well in the lead with a 25.7% share of active sites.
Contrary to its strong growth in other metrics, nginx saw the largest drop in its presence among the top million websites, with 3,030 fewer sites taking its share down to 25.5% while Apache continues to lead with 28.3%.
Other notable changes this month include an 8.10% reduction in the number of domains powered by Microsoft web servers, which fell by 1.73 million to 19.6 million. Much of this was caused by the continuation of parked GoDaddy domains migrating from GoDaddy's own hosting infrastructure to OpenResty servers in Google Cloud, resulting in the number of OpenResty-powered domains rising by 1.92 million to 36.4 million. The only market in which Microsoft increased its share was within the top million websites, where it gained 319 additional sites to reach a share of 7.20%.
DigitalOcean App Platform
DigitalOcean has entered the Platform as a Service (PaaS) arena by launching its new App Platform product, which can be used to build, deploy and scale web applications and static websites. It is a fully managed service based on DigitalOcean Kubernetes and other open standards, offering much of the flexibility of Kubernetes without the associated complexity.
Competing with the likes of AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Oracle Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure App Service, DigitalOcean App Platform offers a Starter pricing tier that lets customers become familiar with the platform by deploying up to three static sites free of charge, while dynamic apps can be built and deployed from $5/month. App Platform supports several popular languages and application frameworks out of the box, including PHP, Docker, Go, Node.js, Python and Ruby.
All pricing tiers – including the free one – include global content delivery via Cloudflare, which means that applications deployed on App Platform will likely count towards the number of Cloudflare-hosted websites in future Netcraft surveys.
New server releases
nginx 1.19.3 was released on 29 September. This version in the mainline release branch incorporates several bug fixes, some new directives, and a new ngx_stream_set_module, which allows variables to be set in nginx configuration files.
njs 0.4.4 was also released on 29 September. This version of the nginx-extending scripting language includes a new Buffer object as well as several other new features and bug fixes. NGINX Unit 1.20.0 was later released on 8 October, and introduces several new features, bug fixes, and support for ASGI 3.0.
Apache Tomcat 8.5.59, Tomcat 9.0.39 and Tomcat 10.0.0-M9 were released on 9 October. Tomcat 10.0.0-M9 is considered a milestone release, as it switches from Java EE to Jakarta EE following the transfer of Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation. Apache has provided a tool that automatically converts existing Java EE 8 projects that run on Tomcat 9 to Jakarta EE 9 projects that will run on this latest version of Tomcat 10.
|Developer||September 2020||Percent||October 2020||Percent||Change|
In the September 2020 survey we received responses from 1,196,298,727 sites, across 264,284,761 unique domains and 10,338,585 web-facing computers. Compared with last month, this is a loss of 34,277,859 sites and 10,901 web-facing computers, but a gain of 2,463,474 unique domains.
Approximately 15 million domains have switched from Microsoft web server software to OpenResty, a web server which adds LuaJIT support to nginx. This represents a 5.97 percentage point drop in Microsoft’s market share of domains, and, accordingly, a 6.71 percentage point increase for OpenResty. OpenResty now powers 34.5 million domains, giving it a 13% market share and gaining it third place behind nginx and Apache. This huge swing is driven by GoDaddy migrating its customers’ parked domains from GoDaddy’s own hosting infrastructure to Google Cloud.
Microsoft also experienced a large loss of 49,600 web-facing computers (-3.1%), unrelated to the GoDaddy OpenResty migration. The largest increase in web-facing computers was seen for Apache (+19,100), though this was not enough to re-take the lead from nginx, which became the largest web server vendor by this metric last month.
Most of the large vendors saw drops in terms of the number of active sites hosted this month. Cloudflare and LiteSpeed are among the vendors who saw growth in this area despite the overall negative trend. Pepyaka (used by Wix) and Squarespace also both gained active sites (+3.0% and +2.6% respectively), reflecting the growing popularity of website builders.
New vendor releases
This month LiteSpeed released version 5.4.9 of the LiteSpeed Web Server. A small number of new features have been added in this update, including automatic CloudFlare CDN IP detection and support for bcrypt password hashes when using HTTP authentication.
Apache have released three new versions of Tomcat this month – 8.5.58, 9.0.38 and 10.0.0-M8. These releases each add a number of new features and security patches. Notable changes include adding support for the Expect HTTP header, and adding support for setting read and write idle timeouts on websocket connections.
Apache also released version 8.1.0 of Apache Traffic Server. This release focused on improving the stability, reliability and performance of the server’s HTTP/2 support.
|Developer||August 2020||Percent||September 2020||Percent||Change|
In the August 2020 survey we received responses from 1,230,576,586 sites across 261,821,287 unique domains and 10,349,486 web-facing computers. This represents a loss of 3.65 million sites, but a gain of 1.16 million domains and 128,000 computers.
The number of web-facing computers using nginx increased by 83,000 this month, which means that - for the first time - nginx is in use by more web-facing computers than any other web server, including Apache. This is another milestone for nginx, and reflects its impressive growth in recent years.
Apache still serves more active sites than nginx, and a greater proportion of the top million busiest sites, but this month its decline in these metrics continued. One year ago, among the top million busiest sites, nginx trailed Apache’s market share by 6 percentage points. nginx has since halved this gap, and is now less than 3 percentage points behind. If the current trend continues, it won’t be long before nginx overtakes Apache in this area too.
As well as a marked decrease in total sites this month of 22.14 million (-15.8%), Microsoft also suffered in other metrics this month. The number of domains served using Microsoft software dropped by 8.27 million (-18.4%), and 19,000 fewer web-facing computers (-1.2%) are running Microsoft web servers. Microsoft also lost 633,000 active sites (-7.3%).
New vendor releases
Apache released three new versions of httpd this month. Version 2.4.44 fixed several bugs, version 2.4.45 dropped support for the abandoned HTTP2 Cache Digests proposal, and version 2.4.46 fixed three security vulnerabilities.
This month nginx released updates for three of its products. nginx 19.1.2 mainline was released on 11 August with a few minor optimizations and several bugfixes. On the same day, njs 0.4.3 was released, adding support for the querystring module. On 13 August nginx Unit 1.19.0 was released, which introduced several new features, improved performance, and fixed a number of bugs.
|Developer||July 2020||Percent||August 2020||Percent||Change|
In the July 2020 survey we received responses from 1,234,228,567 sites across 260,658,118 unique domains and 10,221,919 web-facing computers. This represents a gain of 9.47 million sites and 180,000 computers, but a loss of 1.75 million domains.
Most of the major server vendors saw gains in total sites this month: Apache gained 9.8 million sites after a loss of roughly the same size last month, while Microsoft and nginx gained 5.4 million and 2.5 million sites respectively. LiteSpeed continued to see strong growth, gaining 1.95 million new sites this month. Although it makes up 2.17% of the market, this represents strong growth from 1.62% at the start of the year.
nginx showed the highest growth in terms of domains, gaining 200,000. Losses of 1.1 million domains for Microsoft and 998,000 for Apache have further boosted nginx’s lead in this metric, and it now stands around 30 million domains ahead with a 29.8% (+0.27 pp) market share.
nginx also showed the highest growth in web-facing computers, with an increase of 97,000 taking its total to 3.5 million and leaving it just 9,000 computers (0.09 pp of market share) shy of Apache, the current leader. Apache has consistently had the highest number of web-facing computers since Netcraft began tracking the metric in 2007, but has slowly been losing market share – primarily to nginx. Microsoft trails in third position with a total of 1.6 million web-facing computers, around half that of nginx and Apache.
New vendor releases
LiteSpeed announced the first release candidate of LiteSpeed Web Server 6.0 on 17 July. This release brings several major new features such as support for conditionals in Apache configuration files, asynchronous execution of the mod_security Web Application Firewall, and sandboxed execution environments for PHP and CGI scripts. It also adds support for the latest HTTP/3 specification, draft 29. LiteSpeed has historically been fast to adopt new draft versions of HTTP/2 and HTTP/3, often implementing support within a month of a new draft’s release.
|Developer||June 2020||Percent||July 2020||Percent||Change|
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