Number of websites grows at record pace

Netcraft said that it has counted 85,541,228 websites at the beginning of this month. The number represents a gain of 3.96 million sites over the previous month - the highest ever one-month increase recorded by the web analytics firm. Last months gain surpassed the growth in March of 2003, which was about 3.3 million.

Microsoft continues to eat away Apache's shares in the web server market. According to Netcraft, 31.5% of web servers are currently running Apache - a sharp drop over the 48.2% the software had held just three months ago. One of the reasons for the strong shift towards Microsoft can be tracked back to web hosting firm Go Daddy, which moved more than 1.6 million host names from Apache to a Microsoft IIS platform over the past month alone. Netcraft said that these "parked domains" were a major factor in Microsoft's gains, but Microsoft apparently saw gains in active sites as well.

Microsoft is currently listed with a 29.7% market share, up from 25.5% one month ago.

Another interesting number in Netcraft's report was the growing popularity of blogging sites. For example, Google Blogger added about 660,000 new hostnames.