The fact that the internet kept on growing in 2010 is not going to surprise anyone. The interesting part though is how much it grew, almost 50 million new websites were created in 2010, according to data from Netcraft. Also interesting, 43 million of the new websites used Apache, which continues to be the most popular web server software out there.By December 2010, there were 255 million websites online. Of course, these are just the public number of hostnames reported so the actual number may be even higher.
At the start of the year there were slightly over 206 million websites registered, an almost 50 million increase in the last year alone. This is comparable to 2009 in which 47 million new hostnames were added.
The growth is significantly less impressive when comparing to December 2009 numbers, which indicated that there were almost 234 million websites online.
The huge 30 million websites drop in one month is due to the number of blogs and websites hosted by the Chinese qq.com which were removed from the survey since they became unavailable publicly.
The number of hostnames though doesn't directly relate to the number of active websites, the ones actually used, which is significantly smaller.
For example, there were 151.5 million hostnames running Apache in December 2010, but only 56.8 million were determined to be active.
Since January 2010, 13.2 million active servers running Apache have been added. The market share for the popular open source web server went from 52.3 percent to 57.3 percent at the end of the year.
Microsoft IIS, Apache's main rival, lost market share in 2010, going from 17.6 percent of the active websites market to 16.5 percent in December 2010.
The rest of competitors didn't do so well either. ngix was used by 11.54 percent of active websites in January 2010, but only by 8 percent in December. lighttpd went from 0.35 percent to 0.55 percent.