Netcraft have provided a new estimate of how many websites there are in the world.
Updated April 2013. It is impossible to be absolutely certain how many there are but UK research company Netcraft have released their latest April 2013 survey of web servers and concluded there are about 649 million websites in the world today – a decrease of 27 million (4%) in the last year.
Interestingly, the number of active sites is only 187 million – so there are 462 million inactive sites. That suggests that 71% of all the websites in the world are not actually being used – but why not?
We think it is because many of these will be domain names bought to cover every possible eventuality e.g. a large company like Apple might buy the Apple .info and .net and .org domain names (and many others) to prevent cyber-squatters misusing them to profit from the goodwill of the Apple trademark.
Others could be speculative domain names registered by individuals e.g. you might register your-own-name.com just in case you ever become famous And the rest are likely to be domain names that have been pre-registered in bulk by domain companies to sell off later.
As shown in the graph below, it’s astonishing that 5 years ago (Apr 2008) the total number of sites (hostnames) was only 165 million – just 25% of the current total. The rise of the internet is further shown by the fact that the total number of new sites added in the whole of 2008 was just 31m – nowadays that rate of increase can be achieved in just 1 month!
In fact the total number of active sites has more than doubled in the last 2 years alone. No wonder that it’s almost impossible to find a good website name still available if you want to create a new online presence – so if you fancy having your own personal domain name (and email address – because having email sent to your own name is quite cool!) now might be the time to buy one!
The full Netcraft report is here and it is updated each month.