March 2021 Web Server Survey

March 2021 Web Server Survey

In the March 2021 survey we received responses from 1,187,527,949 sites across 263,355,616 unique domains and 10,847,682 web-facing computers. This reflects a loss of 16,724,462 sites, but a gain of 313,561 domains and 81,076 computers.

nginx gained 3.7 million sites this month and holds 35.3% of the market with a total of 419.6 million sites. By contrast, Apache lost 8.5 million sites and accounts for just over a quarter of all sites with 308.5 million. Microsoft lost 9.6% (-7.5M) of its sites this month and ceded third place to OpenResty which in turn gained 1.2 million (+1.6%).

OpenResty is a web platform based on nginx which integrates Lua-based modules and has been the third-largest server by domains for several months. Despite this, it trails the competition in terms of web-facing computers, with only 105,800 computers compared to Microsoft’s 1.4 million.

nginx, Google, OpenResty, and LiteSpeed all acquired significant numbers of domains this month. nginx gained just over a million domains (+1.3%), while Google, OpenResty, and LiteSpeed gained 250,000 (+11.0%), 212,000 (+0.6%), and 68,600 (+1.3%). nginx’s domain growth came primarily from Freenom with 1.3 million domains using the server, while OpenResty’s growth came from its increased use on Google Cloud. Meanwhile, Apache and Microsoft lost -540,000 (-0.8%) and -585,000 (-3.7%) domains.

nginx and Apache both gained web-facing computers this month with nginx gaining a substantial 74,000 additional computers and a gain of 0.4 percentage points of market share and Apache gaining 3,300 – though losing 0.2 percentage points of market share due to nginx’s comparative higher growth. Other vendors also saw market share losses, with Microsoft losing 24,200 computers (-0.3 pp) and OpenResty losing just over 200 computers (-0.01 pp) despite its gains in sites and domains.

Looking at which web servers power the million busiest sites, only Cloudflare saw its count increase this month with a gain of 3,200 sites (+0.3 pp). Cloudflare’s growth came at the expense of nginx which lost the most with 1,570 fewer sites (-0.2 pp), along with Apache and Microsoft which both lost around 250 sites. The top spot remains hotly contested between Apache and nginx – Apache leads, but less than 2.5 percentage points separate the two.

Other vendor and hosting news

  • A major fire at OVH’s Strasbourg datacenters resulted in around 3.6 million websites across 464,000 domains being taken offline at the start of March. While this was not captured by this month’s Web Server Survey, additional investigation by Netcraft found that nearly 20% of the IP addresses attributed to OVH stopped responding during the incident. One of the four data centers at the site, SBG2, was completely destroyed, and OVH is now provisioning thousands of new servers to replace those lost.
  • Windows Server 2022 is now in preview and will be made generally available later in 2021. The features added in this release focus on adding new layers of security, integrating more tightly with Microsoft’s Azure platform, and improving Windows Containers. The current major release, Windows Server 2019, was made generally available nearly two and a half years ago in October 2018.
  • nginx version 1.19.8 and njs version 0.5.2 were released on the 9th March. Both updates add minor new features and bug fixes.
  • OpenLiteSpeed, the open-source variant of LiteSpeed Enterprise, received several updates through February and March, with versions 1.5.12, 1.6.20, and 1.7.9 containing primarily security updates and bug fixes.
  • Apache Tomcat was updated to versions 9.0.44 and 10.0.4. Both updates include a variety of fixes, including improvements to asynchronous error handling.
Total number of websites

Web server market share

Developer February 2021 Percent March 2021 Percent Change
nginx 415,900,479 34.54% 419,637,923 35.34% 0.80
Apache 316,992,638 26.32% 308,509,042 25.98% -0.34
OpenResty 76,623,440 6.36% 77,819,490 6.55% 0.19
Microsoft 78,331,379 6.50% 70,826,342 5.96% -0.54
Web server market share for active sites

Developer February 2021 Percent March 2021 Percent Change
Apache 50,562,247 25.48% 50,506,614 25.38% -0.10
nginx 39,371,901 19.84% 40,111,872 20.15% 0.31
Google 19,538,140 9.85% 20,086,396 10.09% 0.25
Cloudflare 17,699,568 8.92% 16,932,600 8.51% -0.41

For more information see Active Sites

Web server market share for top million busiest sites

Developer February 2021 Percent March 2021 Percent Change
Apache 255,765 25.58% 255,542 25.55% -0.02
nginx 232,133 23.21% 230,565 23.06% -0.16
Cloudflare 161,038 16.10% 164,235 16.42% 0.32
Microsoft 68,746 6.87% 68,493 6.85% -0.03
Web server market share for computers

Developer February 2021 Percent March 2021 Percent Change
nginx 3,763,569 34.96% 3,837,524 35.38% 0.42
Apache 3,521,831 32.71% 3,525,111 32.50% -0.21
Microsoft 1,467,939 13.63% 1,443,725 13.31% -0.33
Web server market share for domains

Developer February 2021 Percent March 2021 Percent Change
nginx 79,977,570 30.40% 80,999,556 30.76% 0.35
Apache 69,361,703 26.37% 68,822,067 26.13% -0.24
OpenResty 37,823,957 14.38% 38,035,992 14.44% 0.06
Cloudflare 18,726,697 7.12% 18,657,944 7.08% -0.03

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