How Many Websites are There on the Internet?
Have you ever thought about how many websites there are on the Internet at the moment? In this post, we will try to find an answer to this question by checking some global Internet and website statistics.
Since the beginning of the Internet, the number of online websites has been growing at an incredible rate. Just a couple of decades ago, there were only a few basic websites users could access and browse. But now, there are hundreds of millions of websites available and their number keeps growing.
First of all, we should take note of the fact that every year, a lot of new websites are being published by individuals or companies around the world. From information websites to news websites, from personal blogs to ecommerce sites and from video sharing sites to social networks, the pool of websites is getting bigger and bigger not only in quantity but also in variety.
(Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc., used with permission.)
Every day, new websites are going online and some old websites are going down, stopping their operation. We can create an analogy between websites and humans in that sense. Similar to us, websites are also born, they grow (in terms of their content and visitor count) and they die after a certain time. Some websites, which are the lucky ones, continue to live, especially because they are still relevant to the users and they are continuously improving themselves as time passes.
As it is also implied from the above points, the number of websites on the Internet at a given time is a dynamic value as new websites are put online and old ones are put offline continuously. Therefore, we cannot give an accurate answer to the question of "how many websites are there on the Internet?". What we can do is to use websites that are authority in domain names, websites and global Internet usage stats and try our best to come up with an approximate number.
How Many Websites are There on the Internet?
All websites are associated with their unique domain names, e.g. example.com, what this means is that for every website, there needs to be a registered domain name. However, not all registered domain names are actively used for a live website. Some domains are idle/empty, some of them are parked, and some others are under construction or shut down.
There is also the exceptional cases such as Blogger.com and WordPress.com, where subdomains can also be counted as a separate website, since the users create their own websites and blogs on those platforms. This all makes it hard to even come up with an approximate number of websites. So, our best option is to check some of the authority sites to gain some insights.
VeriSign Total Registered Domain Name Stats
VeriSign can be considered to be the top global company that operates in the domain names and security fields. VeriSign publishes quarterly reports about the growth of the total domain names registered so far. According to the last report they published in April 2016, there are 314 million registered domain names.
Obviously, some of these domains are not actively in use as websites, and some of them are used as multiple sites due to subdomains. Still, over 300 million domains is a huge number to have considering the population of the world.
You can view VeriSign's report here.
Netcraft Web Server Survey
Netcraft is one of the most well known companies that provide online security services. Every month, Netcraft prepares a report (web server survey) that includes statistical information about web servers and websites.
According to the latest web survey of Netcraft that was conducted in May 2016, there are 1,033,790,346 hostnames and 170,197,310 active websites. This number is a lot lesser compared to VeriSign's registered domains report but still it gives an idea about the number of websites. Also, whether or not they include subdomain sites in their survey is unknown.
You can find the most recent survey of Netcraft here.
Internet Live Stats Real-Time Statistics
Internet Live Stats is a website that keeps track of a number of statistics about Internet usage such as number of Internet users, number of websites and total emails sent based on advanced algorithms that gather data from over 250 sources. On their homepage, you can see the counter for the Total number of Websites, which has an ever-growing value of about 1,037,866,300 as of now.
Though it is not a truly accurate counter, it is a nice indication of the current website count and the growth speed.
You can check Internet Live Stats here.
TIP: If you would like to know the most popular websites among all, you may find the following post to be interesting:
Top 10 Most Visited Websites
As you can see, it is hard to reach an accurate figure about the total number of websites on the Internet, regardless, the above sources provide valuable information that we can use. We can conclude our research by saying that there are currently over 310 million registered websites and over 1,030,000,000 websites (including active and inactive sites, subdomains etc.) and these numbers are growing as we speak.
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