How Many Websites Are There?

Last Updated: 05/28/20

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It’s estimated that over 1.7 billion websites exist, but this number fluctuates daily, as websites are launched or lost. Despite the ebb and flow, the Web is massive and 4.5 billion people across the world contribute with online interactions. 

576,000 New Websites Per Day

By the time you’re done
reading this article:
By the time
your day ends:
0 new websites100 new websites

Just over 30 years since it was born, the World Wide Web has completely transformed our lives. With a few clicks of your mouse or a simple voice command, you can have essentials delivered straight to your door or connect with a friend all the way across the globe. 

Have you wondered what makes up the complex infrastructure of the Internet or interconnected World Wide Web? What sites dominate our online searches? And, just how vast is the network that we use and rely on daily for information?  

To attempt to answer these insurmountable questions, we’ve compiled everything to know about what makes up the Internet and Web and why this information matters for you and users around the world as these systems grow.  

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How Big is the Internet?

Even for complex data analysts, it’s difficult to get an accurate picture or truly understand how big the Internet and World Wide Web is. 

Beyond the ever-changing “surface” web is the unquantifiable dark web or invisible web. The dark web is estimated to be a thousands times larger than the surface web, and each is growing by the day. Just think: in the minutes it takes you to read this, hundreds to thousands of new sites may be born.  

We use the Internet in real-time now more than ever, whether it’s with streaming content or video calls. Meaning, the networks we use have become more aware of how to operate, deliver, and prioritize information than ever before. 

Will we ever reach full capacity? While the answer is impossible to predict, there are ways to attempt to quantify how big the Internet is with the questions below. 

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How Much Data
is on The Internet?

To estimate the size of the Internet, we can evaluate how much data there is in the world. Cisco’s Visual Networking Index states that the annual global IP traffic will reach 4,800 zettabytes (ZB) per year by the year 2022. 

TechTerms defines a zettabyte as “1021 or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes.” On a grander scale, one zettabyte is “approximately equal to a thousand exabytes, a billion terabytes, or a trillion gigabytes.”  

If you compare how many terabytes are in a zettabyte, you can get a picture of just how large a zettabyte is and in turn, the size of the Internet. A Cisco analyst calculated that “if each terabyte in a zettabyte were a kilometer, it would be equivalent to 1,300 round trips to the moon and back.”  

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How Many Web Pages Exist?

According to statistical research by WorldWideWebSize, the web contains over 6 billion indexed web pages as of 2020. This accounts for all pages, whether active or inactive.

Web page vs. website

A web page is any single page on the Internet that can include a range of content from video to text, while a website is a collection of web pages under one domain. 

Let’s consider an example. Nike is one of your favorite brands to shop online, but the women’s running shoes product page is the page you frequent the most. The Nike site as a whole is the website, while women’s running shoes is one of the web pages that makes it up. 

Person holding a cellphone

How Many People Use the Internet?

InternetLiveStats estimates that over 4 billion people search the web every day. That’s over half of the global population. This estimation in itself is telling of how massive the Internet is, since from your computer at home, you can browse and peruse sites endlessly.

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How Long
Would it Take to
Download The Web?

According to Physics.org, it’s estimated to take “three million years to download all the information currently on the internet, assuming a download speed of 44 megabits per second.” 

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Facts About the Internet

How much do you really know about what powers our digital world? The Internet and Web have truly revolutionized how we connect with each other. Let’s take it back to the beginning and define some of the most important milestones and terms to know. 

World Wide Web vs. Internet

While the Web and Internet are intricately connected and many people use the terms interchangeably, they are actually two different things. 

Think of the Internet as a network consisting of infrastructure and technologies that you use to connect whether it’s at your office, home, or a coffee shop.  

The World Wide Web (or Web) is the system that enables the exchange of information over the Internet through HTTP, essentially what powers the technology.

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When Was the Internet Created?

The Internet was created in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee, who’s now considered the inventor or “Father” of the Internet. He now leads the W3C which is the organization that oversees the development of the World Wide Web.

How Was the Internet Created?

Berners-Lee developed hypertext, the method of instant cross-referencing that supports communications on the Web, making it easy to link content on one web page to content located elsewhere. The introduction of hypertext revolutionized the way people used the internet. With that, he introduced the first browser and editor, as well as HTTP/HTML protocols. 

What Was the First Website?

The very first website was info.cern.ch and went live in 1991 to provide information on the World Wide Web Project led by Berners-Lee.

Did you know the first website is still live today? You can check it out here:
https://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html

How Many Websites are Created Everyday?

While there is no final or concrete answer, Mill For Business estimates that if “every 24 hours we get 547,200 increase in the total number of websites worldwide,” there are “over 380 websites are created every minute”.  

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Internet Statistics

In one day across the world, it’s estimated that there are:

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Over 4 billion
Internet users

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More than 3 billion
Google Searches

Website locked on computer screen

70,000+ websites hacked

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Around 120 billion
emails sent

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Over 4 billion gigabites Internet trafic

Internet Users by Country

While it’s shocking, it also comes as no surprise that internet users spend an average of 6 hours and 43 minutes online each day. 

Our daily lives center around logging in online, regardless of the device. Below is a breakdown of the top 5 countries with the most internet users.

China

854

million+ users

India

560

million+ users

U.S.A.

300

million+ users

Indonesia

171

million+ users

Brazil

149

million+ users

Source: InternetWorldStats

How Many People Use Google?

Google accounts for an estimated 2.5 trillion searches per year. The popular search engine dominates online search, ranked first for the most visited multi-platform websites in the U.S., bringing in over 250 million unique visitors in the U.S. alone. 

Not only do Internet users favor Google but it dominates the search engine market, with a market share of 92.46% as of 2019.

Mobile Users

Mobile devices dominate 52% of global Internet traffic. People across the world are more “on the go” than ever, using their smartphones for a quick search, to make a purchase, or to connect through social media. 

As of 2020, over 3.5 billion mobile users exist around the world, and mobile devices alone account for more than half of the time we spend online.

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Number of Active Websites

While over 1.7 billion websites exist, less than 200 million of those websites are active. Websites become inactive for a number of reasons ranging from technical issues, server problems, or late and unpaid registrar payments.

How Many Domains are There?

Verisign reported 362.3 million registered domain names as of the fourth quarter of 2019. This number has grown 3.9 percent year over year, with .com domains topping the list as the most widely used. 

Types of Domains

Every domain name operates under a Domain Name System (DNS), which directs visitors to your website by translating the name into its related IP address and locating where the resource is stored. 

Top level domains (or TLDs) are at the highest level in the DNS structure of the Internet. Check out the very first TLDs to be introduced and which are most commonly used today.

DomainShort forHow it’s used
.comCommercialAll types of businesses, most popular and widely used 
.netNetworkCommonly used for various businesses or organizations
.eduEducationColleges, universities, and other educational institutions
.orgOrganizationNon-profits, various communities, and schools
.govGovernmentGovernmental agencies, programs, states, cities, and more
.milMilitaryMilitary branches
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Types of Websites

Websites are separated into two different types: static and dynamic. 

static website

Static Websites

A static website is the most basic and easiest type of website to create. It’s made up of pages that have fixed content coded in HTML. It displays the same information to its site visitors. 

Unlike dynamic websites, static websites don’t require programming or database design. A static site can be built by simply creating a few HTML pages and publishing them to a server.

Static sites have:

  • No users or comments
  • No interactivity

Dynamic Websites

Dynamic websites contain web pages that access information from a database and are generated in real-time. Compared to static websites, a dynamic site is more functional. 

These pages include Web scripting code, such as PHP or ASP. When a dynamic page is accessed, the code within the page is parsed on the Web server and the resulting HTML is sent to the client’s Web browser. 

Most content management systems (CMS) run on systems such as WordPress can create a dynamic site. Dynamic sites are helpful for large sites that may have hundreds to pages to manage, since different users can update content without editing the layout of the pages. 

Common examples include:

  • E-commerce sites
  • Blogs
dynamic website
Static
Types of website icon

Basic, fixed number of pages

HTML Website icon

Can be built in plain HTML

No database website icon

No use of database

Dynamic
Interactive website icon

More interactive and functional

Scripting language website icon

Based on HTML and CSS, with server-side scripting

Website with database icon

Database used

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Most Visited Websites

Which site do you frequent the most? It’s no surprise that there are commonalities in the most visited websites around the world. 

Big names dominate online queries, and they likely bubble to the top of your mind or search box without a second thought. Want to put yourself to the test? See if you answered correctly and check out the top 10 websites in both the U.S. and around the world. 

Most Visited Websites in the US

DomainMonthly traffic
Youtube icon YouTube1,625,928,544
Wikipedia icon en.wikipedia.org1,032,257,682
Twitter icon Twitter535,672,329
Facebook icon Facebook512,517,207
Amazon icon Amazon492,468,801
Yelp icon Yelp189,284,057
Reddit icon Reddit184,283,420
IMDb icon IMDb168,686,113
Fandom icon Fandom168,358,254
Pinterest icon Pinterest160,008,934

Most Visited Websites in the World

DomainMonthly traffic
Youtube icon YouTube8,564,946,885
Facebook icon Facebook3,483,131,264
Wikipedia icon en.wikipedia.org2,223,668,855
Twitter icon Twitter2,008,820,315
Amazon icon Amazon618,747,155
Google Play icon Google Play594,678,708
Instagram icon Instagram525,400,578
Wikipedia icon es.wikipedia.org450,521,278
Pinterest icon Pinterest419,840,135
Live.com icon Live.com419,057,040

Source: Ahrefs

How have some of the most popular sites we know and love evolved over the years? Let’s take a look at what the top five sites looked like 10 years ago, compared to now. 

YouTube

Facebook

Wikipedia

Amazon

Twitter

Source: Internet Archive

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Future of the Internet

The Internet is one of the fastest growing and transformative technologies. Still, history is in the making as digital life continues to advance and evolve each year, making even the wildest dreams become reality. What’s in our future?

Think Virtual Reality

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Merge augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to create a new user experience

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Experience life on Mars with a new interactive VR experience from NASA

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Interact with VR through handheld devices, instead of motion sensing devices

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Transport healthcare patients to conflict situations to help resolve phobias or fears

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Revolutionize shopping experience with VR changing rooms and AI shopping assistants

New Forms of Technology

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Rise in predictive technologies such as omnipresent autocorrect

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Use of neutral avatars for hiring and employment selection

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Beginnings of neuro-engagement such as gesture and gaze tracking

AI brain graphic

Artificial intelligence (AI) will take over labor tasks leaving people with more time for leisure

What will the next decade hold and how will it change our lives? Wired stated, “At its core, if the 2010s have been all about software,” then the “2020s might be the moment when infrastructure reclaims centre-stage.” The Cisco EVP and GM David Goeckeler stated it best, “The key promise of the Internet of the future is that no one gets left behind this time.” 

Sources: Ahrefs | Cisco 1, 2 | DataReportal | InternetLiveStats | TechTerms | TechTarget 1, 2  | Pew Research Center 1, 2 | Statista 1, 2 | WayBackMachine