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Total number of Websites

After reaching 1 billion websites in September of 2014, a milestone confirmed by NetCraft in its October 2014 Web Server Survey and that Internet Live Stats was the first to announce (see the tweet from the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee) the number of websites in the world has subsequently declined, reverting back to a level below 1 billion. This is due to the monthly fluctuations in the count of inactive websites. We do expect, however, to exceed 1 billion websites again sometime in 2016/2017, and to stabilize the count above this historic milestone in 2017/2018. From 1 website in 1991 to 1 billion in 2014, the chart and table below show the total number of websites by year throughout history:

By "Website" we mean unique hostname (a name which can be resolved, using a name server, into an IP Address).
It must be noted that around 75% of websites today are not active, but parked domains or similar. [1]

Year
(June)
Websites Change Internet Users Users per
Website
Websites launched
2015 863,105,652 -11% 3,185,996,155* 3.7  
2014 968,882,453 44% 2,925,249,355 3.0  
2013 672,985,183 -3% 2,756,198,420 4.1  
2012 697,089,489 101% 2,518,453,530 3.6  
2011 346,004,403 67% 2,282,955,130 6.6  
2010 206,956,723 -13% 2,045,865,660 9.9 Pinterest
2009 238,027,855 38% 1,766,206,240 7.4  
2008 172,338,726 41% 1,571,601,630 9.1 Dropbox
2007 121,892,559 43% 1,373,327,790 11.3 Tumblr
2006 85,507,314 32% 1,160,335,280 13.6 Twttr
2005 64,780,617 26% 1,027,580,990 16 YouTube, Reddit
2004 51,611,646 26% 910,060,180 18 Thefacebook, Flickr
2003 40,912,332 6% 778,555,680 19 WordPress, LinkedIn
2002 38,760,373 32% 662,663,600 17  
2001 29,254,370 71% 500,609,240 17 Wikipedia
2000 17,087,182 438% 413,425,190 24 Baidu
1999 3,177,453 32% 280,866,670 88 PayPal
1998 2,410,067 116% 188,023,930 78 Google
1997 1,117,255 334% 120,758,310 108 Yandex
1996 257,601 996% 77,433,860 301  
1995 23,500 758% 44,838,900 1,908 Altavista, Amazon, AuctionWeb
1994 2,738 2006% 25,454,590 9,297 Yahoo
1993 130 1200% 14,161,570 108,935  
1992 10 900%      
Aug. 1991 1   World Wide Web Project
Source: NetCraft and Internet Live Stats (elaboration of data by Matthew Gray of MIT and Hobbes' Internet Timeline and Pingdom)

Periodic drops in the total count can depend on various factors, including an improvement in NetCraft's handling of wildcard hostnames. For example, in August 2012, over 40 million hostnames on only 242 IP addresses were removed from the Survey.

Curious facts

  • The first-ever website (info.cern.ch) was published on August 6, 1991 by British physicist Tim Berners-Lee while at CERN, in Switzerland. [2] On April 30, 1993 CERN made World Wide Web ("W3" for short) technology available on a royalty-free basis to the public domain, allowing the Web to flourish.[3]
  • The World Wide Web was invented in March of 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee (see the original proposal). He also introduced the first web server, the first browser and editor (the “WorldWideWeb.app”), the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and, in October 1990, the first version of the "HyperText Markup Language" (HTML).[4]
  • In 2013 alone, the web has grown by more than one third: from about 630 million websites at the start of the year to over 850 million by December 2013 (of which 180 million were active).
  • Over 50% of websites today are hosted on either Apache or nginx, both open source web servers.[5] As of June 2014, Microsoft has got very close to Apache in terms of market share (only a 0.15% difference separates the two). If the trend continues, Microsoft could soon become the leading web server developer for the first time in history.

Popular Websites (launch year & how they looked)

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Pinterest (2010)

Dropbox (2008)

Tumblr (2007)

Twttr (2006)

YouTube (2005)

Reddit (2005)

Thefacebook (2004)

Flickr (2004)

Linkedin (2003)

PayPal (1999)

Google (1998)

Yandex (1997)

AuctionWeb (Ebay, 1995)

Amazon (1995)

Altavista (1995)

Yahoo (1994)

WWW Project (1991)

Sources

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The current estimated total number of Websites is delivered by Worldometers' algorithm, which processes data elaborated through statistical analysis after being collected from the following sources:

References

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  1. "How many active sites are there?" Netcraft Ltd
  2. Noyes, Dan "First URL active once more." CERN. April 29, 2013.
  3. CERN. "Twenty years of a free, open web." CERN. April 30, 2013.
  4. Berners-Lee, Tim, with Fischetti, Mark. "Weaving the Web" Harper. San Francisco, 1999.
  5. Web Server Survey. Netcraft Ltd
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http://t.co/D9pwMXuZOa recently passed a billion websites by their count....

— Tim Berners-Lee (@timberners_lee) September 16, 2014
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