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Netcraft: Web Still Growing Strong

There are now more than 80 million web sites on the Internet, double the number three years ago, according to the latest survey of the Web by Internet research firm Netcraft.

The company’s April 2006 survey received responses from 80,655,992 sites, an increase of 3.1 million hostnames from March 2006 and twice the number of April 2003 when the survey found 40 million sites, Netcraft said in a statement.

Those numbers are for domains found. Actual active sites totaled approximately half of the total. That figure of roughly half of domains actually being active has held fairly steady since April 2003.

The survey also shows some interesting data on how the Web’s infrastructure battles are going.

“This month's survey brings one of the largest one-month swings in the history of the web server market, as Microsoft gains 4.7 percent share while Apache loses 5.9 percent,” the statement said. That currently leaves the 62.72 percent of all active sites running on Apache versus 25.22 percent running on Microsoft’s Internet Information Server (IIS).

According to Netcraft’s analysis, the shift is driven by changes at domain registrar Go Daddy. It just migrated more than 3.5 million hostnames from Linux to Windows. “Go Daddy, which had been the world's largest Linux host, is now the world's largest Windows Server 2003 host, as measured by hostnames . . . [and] the company said it will shift a total of 4.4 million hostnames to Windows Server 2003.”

Registrars have a large impact on which Web servers are most popular because they host large numbers of “parked” domains.

Go Daddy's migration follows expanded partnerships between Microsoft and other major hosters, including Web.com (Interland), Verio and Rackforce, Netcraft said.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.