Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in March 2021

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
DNS Connect First
1 Inc Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.348 0.006 0.031 0.033
2 Rackspace Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.421 0.007 0.017 0.017
3 CWCS Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.285 0.081 0.161 0.161
4 Swishmail Linux 0:00:00 0.006 0.212 0.094 0.188 0.188
5 New York Internet (NYI) FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.011 0.519 0.055 0.110 0.110
6 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.011 0.124 0.076 0.151 0.151
7 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.011 0.205 0.094 0.188 0.188
8 Pair Networks Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.336 0.110 0.219 0.219
9 Multacom Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.381 0.124 0.250 0.250
10 Linux 0:00:00 0.023 0.230 0.099 0.199 0.199

See full table

In March 2021 GoDaddy had the most reliable hosting company site, with no failed requests and the fastest average connection time amongst the top 10 of 6ms. GoDaddy provides services that allow customers to build their own web presence, which include hosting solutions, domain registration, and a website builder focused on ease of use. In February, GoDaddy acquired Poynt to accelerate its strategy to provide a complete suite of commerce and payment services.

The top three sites each had no failed requests and were separated by average connection time. Rackspace came in second place with an average connection time of 7ms, just 1ms slower than GoDaddy. Rackspace provides a wide variety of cloud services from its global network of over 50 locations in five continents. CWCS Managed Hosting wraps up the podium places, in third. CWCS supplies a wide range of hosting services from their ISO 27001, ISO 9001 accredited and Cyber Essentials certified UK data centres, powered by 100% renewable energy.

Whilst Linux continues to dominate the top 10, FreeBSD makes an appearance in March with NYI in fifth place.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around twenty leading hosting providers’ sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

From a customer’s point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies’ own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

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

DeveloperFebruary 2021PercentMarch 2021PercentChange
Web server market share for active sites

DeveloperFebruary 2021PercentMarch 2021PercentChange

For more information see Active Sites

Web server market share for top million busiest sites

DeveloperFebruary 2021PercentMarch 2021PercentChange
Web server market share for computers

DeveloperFebruary 2021PercentMarch 2021PercentChange
Web server market share for domains

DeveloperFebruary 2021PercentMarch 2021PercentChange