March 2016 Web Server Survey

In the March 2016 survey we received responses from 1,003,887,790 sites
and 5,782,080 web-facing computers. This reflects a gain of nearly 70 million sites, but
a loss of 14,100 computers.

This is the second time the total number of sites has reached more than a billion. This milestone was first reached in
September 2014, although
it was short-lived: By November 2014, the total fell back below one billion, and had stayed that way until the current month.
During the intervening period, the total fell as low as 849 million sites in April 2015.

The total number of websites is typically prone to large fluctuations. Domain holding companies,
typo squatters, spammers and link farmers can cause millions of sites to be deployed in a short space of
time, without any significant outlay, but these types of site are intrinsically uninteresting to humans.
Netcraft’s active sites metric counters the effect
of these by discounting sites that appear to be automatically generated. This leads to a more-stable metric
that better illustrates real, practical use of the web.

The number of active sites currently stands at just 171 million, meaning
around 1 in 6 sites are active.
The total fell by 764,000 this month, but nginx stands out as being the only
major vendor to increase its active site count — by an impressive 699,000. This has increased its active sites
share to 16.4%, while Apache’s loss of nearly a million active sites took its leading share down to 49.2%.

Typifying nginx’s rise amongst active sites, it also showed the only growth in web-facing computers amongst the major server vendors. This month’s survey found
more than 15,000 additional computers running nginx on the web, while Microsoft’s loss of 30,000 computers was the primary
cause of the overall loss in this metric. Thankfully, the majority of this decline consisted of Windows Server 2003 computers,
which arguably helps improve the safety of the internet — this server software is no longer supported by Microsoft.

China accounts for over 30% of all web-facing computers that run Windows Server 2003, making it the largest user of this obsolete operating system; however, more than half of this month’s Windows Server 2003 losses were seen in China, which has helped to bring this share down slightly.

Apache’s computer growth was relatively modest at only 447 computers, but Microsoft’s large loss caused Apache’s
market share to increase by 0.12 to 47.9%. nginx’s gain of 15,000 computers took its market share up by 0.30 to 14.3%,
but Microsoft remains a fair way ahead of nginx with a 26.6% share of the market.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

Developer February 2016 Percent March 2016 Percent Change
Apache 306,292,557 32.80% 325,285,185 32.40% -0.39
Microsoft 278,593,041 29.83% 317,761,318 31.65% 1.82
nginx 137,459,391 14.72% 143,464,293 14.29% -0.43
Google 20,640,058 2.21% 20,790,767 2.07% -0.14

Web server market share for active sites

Developer February 2016 Percent March 2016 Percent Change
Apache 84,790,816 49.50% 83,825,658 49.16% -0.34
nginx 27,327,583 15.95% 28,026,677 16.44% 0.48
Microsoft 17,257,986 10.08% 17,228,197 10.10% 0.03
Google 13,596,295 7.94% 13,545,864 7.94% 0.01

For more information see Active Sites

Web server market share for top million busiest sites

Developer February 2016 Percent March 2016 Percent Change
Apache 456,483 45.65% 455,428 45.54% -0.11
nginx 248,627 24.86% 251,440 25.14% 0.28
Microsoft 115,447 11.54% 113,585 11.36% -0.19
Google 21,008 2.10% 20,266 2.03% -0.07
Web server market share for computers

Developer February 2016 Percent March 2016 Percent Change
Apache 2,771,034 47.81% 2,771,481 47.93% 0.12
Microsoft 1,568,446 27.06% 1,538,375 26.61% -0.45
nginx 809,371 13.96% 824,462 14.26% 0.30

March 2016 Web Server Survey
March 2016 Web Server Survey
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