July 2018 Web Server Survey

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In the July 2018 survey we received responses from 1,663,673,364 sites, 220,573,018 unique domains, and 7,734,417 web-facing computers. This reflects a gain of 33.4 million sites, 2.80 million domains, and 120k web-facing computers.

In the web-facing computer market, nginx experienced the largest increase (+3.24%), contributing more than half of the overall growth and surpassing two million web-facing computers this month. As a result, it was the only major vendor to experience a gain in market share. nginx also experienced the largest growth in terms of active sites (+7.87%), and top million sites (+0.71%), further increasing its market share in those metrics. Although nginx has slightly fewer domains than last month, it is generally seeing long-term growth in all metrics, and has gained around 10 million domains over each of the past three years.

Apache remains ahead in terms of domains, active sites, web-facing computers, and sites within the top million. However, it continues to see both long and short-term losses in many metrics, with steadily decreasing counts of domains (-0.53%), active sites (-1.15%), and top million sites (-0.98%).

Microsoft's server software leads by total number of sites, of which it had 670 million this month (a 40.28% share), but sits behind Apache and nginx in most other metrics. Microsoft retains second place in total number of domains with a 26.02% market share, and experienced the largest increase this month of nearly 1.4 million domains. This has increased the gap between it and third-placed nginx, which has been steadily gaining on Microsoft, now leaving them 3.24 percentage points apart.

The one metric in which all major vendors continue to see ubiquitous long-term growth is web-facing computers. Since July 2017, the total number of web-facing computers has increased by 1.14 million (+17.3%). This rate of growth is more than double that seen in the year before between July 2016 and July 2017. Although there have been overall increases in the number of computers running Apache and Microsoft webservers, both have continued to lose market share to their faster growing competitor, nginx.

Google's .app TLD takes off


.app is one of many new gTLDs from ICANN's New gTLD Program. ICANN appointed control of the .app TLD to Google after it won the rights in a $25 million auction against twelve other applicants in February 2015. Google hopes that the appropriately named .app TLD will appeal to websites providing applications and application-related services.

The .app TLD only opened for public registration fairly recently on the 8th May 2018. This month's survey found 185k unique domains running websites under the .app TLD. Whilst many of these domains return parking pages, a number of fully-fledged sites, such as cash.app, have already been launched, with the Netcraft survey detecting over 15k active sites.

One of .app's marketed features is its inclusion within browsers' HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) preload lists. The .app TLD is one of only thirteen where an HSTS preload policy has been applied to a whole TLD. This TLD-wide HSTS policy means that modern browsers will only access .app websites over a secure HTTPS connection, protecting users from trivial man-in-the-middle attacks.





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