January 2021 Web Server Survey

In the January 2021 survey we received responses from 1,197,982,359 sites across 262,949,225 unique domains and 10,649,817 web-facing computers. This reflects a gain of 95,900 computers, but a loss of 30.13 million sites and 465,000 domains.

Apache, nginx and Microsoft all lost sites this month. Apache suffered the largest losses with 16.4 million fewer sites, a significant number of which came from a single hosting provider, Enzu. This was followed by nginx which lost 11.9 million sites and Microsoft which lost 7.8 million, both seeing losses across a number of hosting providers. nginx continues to lead in market share with 33.3% (-0.15 pp), ahead of Apache at 26.4% (-0.7 pp).

The number of domains powered by these web servers also fell this month. Microsoft observed the largest drop of 2.2 million domains, while nginx and Apache lost 903,000 and 303,000. This resulted in a small loss of market share for all three, the largest drop being seen by Microsoft which fell 0.8 percentage points to 6.3%. nginx dropped 0.3 percentage points of domain market share, though still powers 30% of all domains. The majority of the domains lost by these largest web server vendors remain in the survey, with individual hosting providers switching large numbers to other server vendors. One such movement involved around 1.2 million domains hosted by Cogeco Cable Canada that previously identified as nginx but now respond with a DOSarrest server banner.

Despite these losses, the total number of web-facing computers for both Apache and nginx grew this month. nginx gained 68,000 computers, increasing its market share by 0.3 percentage points to 34.7%, while Apache’s small gain of 6,200 resulted in a slight drop in market share to 33% (-0.2 pp).

Although both only have a small amount of web-facing computer market share, LiteSpeed and OpenResty both saw good relative growth this month. LiteSpeed gained 3,400 computers (+7.7% compared to last month) and OpenResty gained 5,700 computers (+6.8%).

The number of the top million sites powered by Apache, Microsoft and LiteSpeed all grew this month. Apache observed the highest growth with 4,043 sites, increasing its market share to 25% (+0.4 pp) and maintaining its lead over nginx which lost 105 sites this month. LiteSpeed gained 1,700 new sites, an increase of 9.4% over December.

Other vendor and hosting news

  • Lighttpd 1.4.58 was released on 27 December, after the release of 1.4.57 on 17 December. These updates include a number of bug fixes.
  • Microsoft Azure added support for Availability Zones in its South Central US datacenter region. Availability zones are multiple interconnected data centers within the same region, providing resiliency in the event of a data center outage. This addition means that Microsoft now has 15 public Azure regions with Availability Zones.
  • A number of Google services suffered from a partial outage on 14 December, caused by a failure of Google’s authentication service. As well as affecting a number of Google services such as Gmail and YouTube, the issue also prevented users from authenticating to the Google Cloud Console and managing their infrastructure. Google Cloud Platform services themselves were largely unaffected by the outage.
Total number of websites

Web server market share

Developer December 2020 Percent January 2021 Percent Change
nginx 411,191,213 33.48% 399,330,927 33.33% -0.15
Apache 332,420,092 27.07% 316,046,149 26.38% -0.69
Microsoft 97,532,495 7.94% 89,781,136 7.49% -0.45
Google 46,924,883 3.82% 46,190,660 3.86% 0.03
Web server market share for active sites

Developer December 2020 Percent January 2021 Percent Change
Apache 50,228,552 25.60% 50,341,578 25.23% -0.37
nginx 38,772,690 19.76% 39,263,149 19.68% -0.08
Google 19,779,846 10.08% 20,343,615 10.20% 0.11
Microsoft 7,597,989 3.87% 7,417,375 3.72% -0.16

For more information see Active Sites

Web server market share for top million busiest sites

Developer December 2020 Percent January 2021 Percent Change
Apache 246,298 24.63% 250,341 25.03% 0.40
nginx 232,075 23.21% 231,970 23.20% -0.01
Microsoft 68,507 6.85% 68,908 6.89% 0.04
LiteSpeed 18,612 1.86% 20,361 2.04% 0.17
Web server market share for computers

Developer December 2020 Percent January 2021 Percent Change
nginx 3,627,249 34.37% 3,695,008 34.70% 0.33
Apache 3,509,126 33.25% 3,515,278 33.01% -0.24
Microsoft 1,491,587 14.13% 1,467,760 13.78% -0.35
Web server market share for domains

Developer December 2020 Percent January 2021 Percent Change
nginx 79,810,001 30.30% 78,907,094 30.01% -0.29
Apache 69,652,695 26.44% 69,349,990 26.37% -0.07
Microsoft 18,862,033 7.16% 16,642,606 6.33% -0.83
Google 2,402,849 0.91% 2,499,621 0.95% 0.04

Posted by Contributor