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Total number of Websites

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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 - as attested by this tweet from the inventor of the World Wide Web himself, 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 2015 and to stabilize the count above this historic milestone in 2016. 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)
WebsitesChangeInternet Users Users per
Website
Websites launched
2014 968,882,453 44% 2,925,249,355* 3  
2013672,985,183-3%2,756,198,4204 
2012697,089,489101%2,518,453,5304 
2011346,004,40367%2,282,955,1307 
2010206,956,723-13%2,045,865,66010Pinterest
2009238,027,85538%1,766,206,2407 
2008172,338,72641%1,571,601,6309Dropbox
2007121,892,55943%1,373,327,79011Tumblr
200685,507,31432%1,160,335,28014Twttr
200564,780,61726%1,027,580,99016YouTube, Reddit
200451,611,64626%910,060,18018Thefacebook, Flickr
200340,912,3326%778,555,68019WordPress, LinkedIn
200238,760,37332%662,663,60017 
200129,254,37071%500,609,24017Wikipedia
200017,087,182438%413,425,19024Baidu
19993,177,45332%280,866,67088PayPal
19982,410,067116%188,023,93078Google
19971,117,255334%120,758,310108Yandex
1996257,601996%77,433,860301 
199523,500758%44,838,9001,908Altavista, Amazon, AuctionWeb
19942,7382006%25,454,5909,297Yahoo
19931301200%14,161,570108,935 
199210900%   
Aug. 19911 World Wide Web Project
* estimate for July 1, 2014
Note: Each year's data for "Websites" refers to the total number at the end of June (mid-year)
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

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)

Wordpress (2003)

Linkedin (2003)

Wikipedia (2001)

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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