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May 2021 Web Server Research

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In the May 2021 survey we received responses from 1,218,423,991 pages over 259,596,021 unique domains and 11,051,830 web-oriented computers. This reflects a gain of 6.28 million pages and 112,000 computers, but a loss of 4.87 million domains.

nginx received the largest number of hostnames, active sites, and computers this month; but also suffered the largest loss of 4.73 million domains. The most notable profit was from 78,900 computers (+ 2.03%), which increased the leading share to 36.0%. It also continues to lead in the metrics of hostnames and domains, while Apache is top in active sites.

Apache also maintains its position among the top million websites, with a share of 25.4% compared to nginx’s 22.9%. Cloudflare’s share of the top million pages is now up to 17.0% after increasing its presence through a further 3,090 sites, and Microsoft added 1,840 pages to bring its share to 6.85%.

OpenResty saw the biggest decline of 8.10 million hostnames (-9.88%), which took its market share to 6.06% (-0.7 pp). Microsoft also suffered a huge loss of 6.92 million pages (-10.3%), which took its share to 4.95% (-0.6 pp).

One of OpenResty’s most prominent users is Automattic, which uses it to serve millions of Tumblr microblogging websites located under the domain tumblr.com – for example icontherecord.tumblr.com.

Automattic is also responsible for the popular WordPress.com blogging service, where it uses nginx instead to serve millions of blogs. These WordPress-powered sites can either use custom domain names, or free blogs can be created directly under the wordpress.com domain – for example catsbeingcats.wordpress.com.

The underlying WordPress blogging software reached its 18th anniversary this month. Automattic continues to contribute to this open source project, and the software is available from wordpress.org, allowing anyone to download and install the software on other compatible web server platforms. Although Apache and nginx are recommended, any server that supports PHP and MySQL should be able to run a WordPress site. Such is the popularity of WordPress, some hosting providers also provide one-click installers and other tools that make it easy to manage WordPress sites.

Other supplier and hosting news

  • nginx 1.20.1 stable and nginx 1.21.0 mainline were released on May 25th. Both versions include a solution for overwriting a 1-byte memory vulnerability.
  • NGINX Unit 1.24.0 was released on May 27th. This adds several new features, including SSL / TLS configuration commands, static file chrooting with symlink and mount resolution controls, MIME-type static file filtering, and compatibility with Ruby 3.0. It also contains some bugfixes.
  • Caddy 2.4.0 was released on May 10, with more than 110 patches to fix bugs and add features like remote API access, automatic identity management and dynamic configuration loading.
  • Apache Tomcat 10.0.6, 9.0.46 and 8.5.66 were released on May 12th. Version 1.0.0 of the Apache Tomcat Migration Tool for Jakarta EE was released a few days earlier on May 7 – this is the tool by which Tomcat web applications written in Java EE 8 are automatically converted to run on Tomcat 10 which implements Jakarta EE 9.
  • To showcase its new architectural paradigm of Workers, WebSockets and Durable Objects, Cloudflare has released a Doom Port for Multiplayer that can be played at https://silentspacemarine.com. This game shows how application code can be executed on Cloudflare edge nodes instead of just on a client or server.
Total number of websites

Web server market share

Developer April 2021 Percentage May 2021 Percentage Change
nginx 432,167,302 35.65% 440,997,336 36.19% 0.54
Apache 313,948,741 25.90% 314,774,492 25.83% -0.07
OpenResty 81,935,391 6.76% 73,839,970 6.06% -0.70
Microsoft 67,182,740 5.54% 60,265,118 4.95% -0.60
Web server market share for active sites

Developer April 2021 Percentage May 2021 Percentage Change
Apache 50,508,693 25.34% 50,284,331 25.20% -0.14
nginx 39,965,809 20.05% 40,735,597 20.41% 0.36
Google 19,438,838 9.75% 18,772,626 9.41% -0.35
Cloudflare 17,677,430 8.87% 17,045,450 8.54% -0.33

For more information, see Active Sites

Web server market share for millions of busiest sites

Developer April 2021 Percentage May 2021 Percentage Change
Apache 254,934 25.49% 254,358 25.44% -0.06
nginx 228,587 22.86% 228,709 22.87% 0.01
Cloudflare 166,956 16.70% 170,042 17.00% 0.31
Microsoft 66,687 6.67% 68,524 6.85% 0.18
Web share market for computers

Developer April 2021 Percentage May 2021 Percentage Change
nginx 3,897,150 35.62% 3,976,094 35.98% 0.35
Apache 3,533,152 32,30% 3,534,563 31.98% -0.32
Microsoft 1,428,374 13.06% 1,414,160 12.80% -0.26
Web server market share for domains

Developer April 2021 Percentage May 2021 Percentage Change
nginx 80,516,546 30.44% 75,782,888 29.19% -1.25
Apache 69,248,336 26.18% 68,788,737 26.50% 0.31
OpenResty 38,502,619 14.56% 37,501,804 14.45% -0.11
Cloudflare 18,591,275 7.03% 19,083,700 7.35% 0.32
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