April 2016 Web Server Survey

In the April 2016 survey we received responses from 1,083,252,900 sites
and 5,800,222 web-facing computers. This reflects a gain of nearly 80 million sites and 18,100 computers.

This is the largest number of sites the survey has ever seen, beating the previous maximum of 1,028,932,208 in October 2014. The number of web-facing computers is also at its largest, although this total has generally risen much more steadily than the number of sites.

Microsoft was the only major vendor to gain sites this month, and so it was solely responsible for this month’s total reaching its highest value ever. Apache lost 33 million sites, while nginx and Google suffered much smaller losses. Many of the 124 million additional sites using Microsoft IIS are aimed at a Chinese audience. Several million are served from just a handful of IP addresses, using either IIS 6.0 or 7.5.

However, this proliferation of new Microsoft-powered websites is largely driven by automated processes. Many are “spam” sites that use link farming techniques to attract traffic. Although Microsoft’s website count grew by a remarkable 38.9% in April, it lost 12,100 web-facing computers. High quality websites that attract genuine repeat traffic tend to have a very low number of sites per computer compared with the computers that are involved in link farming, which sometimes host millions of automatically-generated sites each. Corroborating this further, Microsoft suffered a loss of 341,000 active sites this month, taking its total down by 2.0%.

Meanwhile, nginx continued its relentless growth. It gained 19,500 web-facing computers this month (+2.4%), was the only major vendor to increase its active sites count, and increased its share within the top-million websites by 0.49 percentage points.

nginx is particularly prominent at Amazon and DigitalOcean, with the two hosting companies accounting for more than 25% of all nginx computers. In particular, nginx is the most commonly used server at DigitalOcean, being used by just under half of its web-facing droplets. At Amazon, despite its large share of all nginx computers, Apache is more than twice as common, with nginx only used on a quarter of EC2 instances.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

Developer March 2016 Percent April 2016 Percent Change
Microsoft 317,761,318 31.65% 441,470,894 40.75% 9.10
Apache 325,285,185 32.40% 292,043,548 26.96% -5.44
nginx 143,464,293 14.29% 143,349,439 13.23% -1.06
Google 20,790,767 2.07% 20,597,605 1.90% -0.17

Web server market share for active sites

Developer March 2016 Percent April 2016 Percent Change
Apache 83,825,658 49.16% 82,446,619 49.15% -0.01
nginx 28,026,677 16.44% 28,196,262 16.81% 0.37
Microsoft 17,228,197 10.10% 16,887,242 10.07% -0.04
Google 13,545,864 7.94% 12,968,162 7.73% -0.21

For more information see Active Sites

Web server market share for top million busiest sites

Developer March 2016 Percent April 2016 Percent Change
Apache 455,428 45.54% 451,872 45.19% -0.36
nginx 251,440 25.14% 256,361 25.64% 0.49
Microsoft 113,585 11.36% 112,604 11.26% -0.10
Google 20,266 2.03% 20,413 2.04% 0.01
Web server market share for computers

Developer March 2016 Percent April 2016 Percent Change
Apache 2,771,481 47.93% 2,780,859 47.94% 0.01
Microsoft 1,538,375 26.61% 1,526,227 26.31% -0.29
nginx 824,462 14.26% 843,926 14.55% 0.29

April 2016 Web Server Survey
April 2016 Web Server Survey
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