Measuring the Internet (How Many Websites Are There + 19 FAQs Answered)

Apart from the unavoidable questions on how big the internet is and how many websites there are, there are plenty of curiosity-sating tidbits of Internet lore in this article. What came first, the www or the .com? What kind of sites are there? We answer 19 questions, but let you find out much more about the magical, ever-expanding World Wide Web.

How many websites are there in the world?

(Pingdom, CIA, NetCraft)

A simple number would seem appealing, but it could never give us a complete answer. But why?

You must have seen the iceberg Internet metaphor, with the Surface Web being the tip of one. The number we can give you, coming from Net Craft, is the tip of the iceberg. According to this, the total number of websites is a mind-blowing 1.3 billion.

When we zoom in a little, we discover even more interesting facts about the World Wide Web. For example, the number of websites by country shows that the US hosts 505 million websites and 43% of the top 1 million websites. The next hosting leader is Japan, followed by Brazil, Italy, and China.

Big numbers can be hard to imagine, so let’s look at the rest of the questions to get a clearer idea of how many websites there are and what our global interaction with them looks like.

1. How many .com websites are there?

(VeriSign)

The hard, precise number is coming right up, as soon as we answer the .com question from the beginning of the article. While the World Wide Web started in 1992, the first and oldest .com domain name, Symbolics.com, was taken, surprisingly, in 1985. And so, the .com came before the www.

Back in the present-day, .com is still the most commonly used domain. And in 2020, the number of .com domain names has reached more than 148.7 million.  

2. How many websites are created every day?

(Siteefy)

While the exact numbers are hard to calculate, Siteefy has managed to produce a rough estimate of the number of websites created every day. Every minute, the total number of websites grows by approximately 380. Multiplied with 1,440 or the number of minutes per day, the number climbs up to 547,200 new websites every day!

The number of websites by year has grown at an extraordinary rate. From only one in 1991, to ten in 1992, and 3000 sites in 1994. By 1998, when Google joined the stage, there were around 2 million websites. Then, around 2011, the Web exploded and started growing even faster to reach the (at least) 1.3 billion websites it has today.

3. How many web pages are there?

(Google)

While we know that the total count of websites is enormous, the number of webpages, which is what search engines usually look for, is even higher. Sometimes, websites have one long page that you can scroll, as many modern websites do. On the other side of the spectrum, there are sites like ecommerce stores that can have as many webpages as they have products — meaning thousands and thousands of them.

So how do we know how many web pages there are? We ask Google, of course. And even Google stopped counting in 2013, when it said that its search engine had found over 130 trillion pages!

Now, the number that Google states on that same page is simply hundreds of billions. It’s enough to make you dizzy.

4. How many dating websites are there?

(Forbes)

According to the Online Dating Magazine founder, Joe Tracy, there are at least 8,000 online dating websites in the world.  Or at least, there were, in 2013, when that statement was made. What’s particularly interesting is that 2,500 of those websites were US-based. 

Now, many Internet years later, we still have plenty of choice, even if we look at the top few. For example, the most popular online dating website, Match.com belongs to the Match Group, which holds one-quarter of the online dating market. The group even owns Tinder, so the next time you, or a friend, match with someone odd, know it’s at least keeping a whole global business going. 

5. How many websites are there on the deep web?

(The Journal of Electronic Publishing)

The deep web, or the largest part of the Internet iceberg, refers to pages that are not searchable through most surface-web search engines. The deep web contains information that is private, hidden, or not linked to any other website on the surface web.

According to a frequently cited (though a bit old) study from the Journal of Electronic Publishing, the amount of websites data on the deep web is at least 500 times bigger than that on the surface web. 

So if there are around 1.3 billion websites on the surface web, we can only imagine the number we’d find below the surface. 

6. How many active websites are there?

(NetCraft)

Inactive websites make up between 75% and 85% of the internet. So while there are around 1.3 billion sites on the World Wide Web, only around 260 million are active. From these 260 million, only a small fraction of sites such as Google or Facebook, receive billions of visitors every month. This makes up more than 50% of all Internet traffic.

7. How many Amazon websites are there?

(Dispatches Europe)

There are currently 14 Amazon sites. Amazon sites cover the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, France, Indian China, and Australia markets. Since not all countries have all Amazon products available, or the company doesn’t provide international shipping, it is highly useful to have them separated.

8. How many social media websites are there?

(Alexa)

Since social media websites just keep popping up (even for pets) and not all reach their audience or become popular, it is difficult to keep track of them all.  However, an approximate number of reasonably well-known social media websites can be found on Wikipedia. The number currently stands at somewhat above 200 popular social media websites.

9. How many WordPress websites are there?

(WordPress, NetCraft)

According to WordPress.com itself, over 38% of the Web runs on WordPress. If we take NetCraft’s estimate that there are around 1.3 billion websites in the world, that’s more than 494 million websites run on WordPress.

WordPress owes its popularity due to its global community, open-source software, stability, versatility, and a user-friendly learning curve. It’s reasonable to expect that WordPress will only continue to grow after 2020 as well.

10. How many history websites are there?

(Best of History Web Sites, Statista)

There are thousands of history websites online. Best of History Web Sites alone links to about 1,200 websites in English. Knowing that about 25.9% of the Internet is in English, and comparing that to the rest of the world, there must be thousands more in different languages, dedicated to various national histories.

11. How many social security websites are there?

(Social Security)

The number of social security organizations and agencies with an online presence is growing, so any list you find online may not be complete. However, the US Social Security Site lists links to social security websites all over the world, including over 170 countries.

How Many Websites Are There - Gaming

12. How many game streaming websites are there?

(Esports Charts, Statista)

According to Esports Charts, there are at least 50 game streaming websites and platforms from around the world. There are probably many more, however, as these are the best-known sites. The most popular game streaming platforms globally are Twitch, Youtube, Mixer, and Facebook Gaming.

13. How many websites are there on Google?

(Google, BuiltWith)

It’s a fair question. Unfortunately, it’s really tricky to answer. Google crawls and indexes web pages, not websites. So while we cannot know the number of websites on the internet, we know that the Google Search index contains hundreds of billions of web pages. That makes the index more than 100,000,000 gigabytes large!

And if you want to know the number of Google-hosted websites, the number stands at around 8 million at the moment, according to BuiltWith.

14. How many Squarespace websites are there?

(W3Techs, NetCraft)

According to W3Techs, 1.4% of all websites use Squarespace. That means that there are over 18 million Squarespace websites on the Web. Also, around 20% of all self-hosted websites are run by Squarespace.

15. How many ecommerce websites are there?

(Digital Commerce 360)

There are between 12 and 24 million ecommerce stores around the world. Many ecommerce stores don’t make it and shut down, while new ones open every day. So the number of ecommerce stores keeps changing every day. 

What’s interesting is that while most ecommerce stores are small stores, the top 10 ecommerce stores in the world hold around 60% of the market.

16. How many different types of websites are there?

(Active Business Growth, SpiderWriting) 

There are two basic ways to classify websites: by interaction type and by content type. The first, main division is between static and dynamic websites. 

While they differ in technical ways as well, this is the simplest way to explain the difference: Static websites provide the same content regardless of the visitor, while the content of dynamic websites changes based on various factors, such as location or time.

The other classification can be rather arbitrary, but there are at least 30 or 40 types of websites according to content type and purpose. From the omnipresent social media websites, to corporate websites, different types of blogs, ecommerce websites, gaming platforms, media sites, news and political sites, educational sites, crowdfunding sites, online community sites, and forums — imagination (mostly) is the limit.

17. How many news websites are there?

(Feedspot)

It is difficult to give a precise answer, especially globally. However, we can paint a somewhat clear picture of their plenitude with the help of our good friend Wikipedia. In the US alone, there are at least 295 news websites. But all over the six continents (Antarctica still doesn’t have its Penguin Weekly page set up), there are likely thousands of news websites. 

18. How many online gambling websites are there?

(GlobeNewswire, Grand View Research)

According to the latest (2018) research by the American Gaming Association (AGA), there are around 2,800 online gambling websites. In 2020, the demand for online gambling started rising, and the prognosis for the future of online gambling says that the market is expected to grow to reach $127.3 billion by 2027. 

19. How many education websites are there?

(DomainTools, Class Central)

Educational websites come in many shapes and sizes, from more traditional online university sites, to massive online open courses and sites that offer a personalized learning experience. This is why the exact number of educational sites is hard to pin down.

However, here are the figures from official sites to help you gain a better understanding of the number of online educational sites:

According to Domain Tools, there are 7,523 .edu websites, which are specifically reserved for educational institutions.

On the other hand, Class Centra says that more than 900 universities had launched more than 11,400 massive online open courses by 2018.

Conclusion

It’s easy to see that the Internet, being the greatest collection of human creations in history, often tries to escape attempts at classification and quantification. But we hope that we helped in depicting its magnitude. 

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