FOSS | Top 15 Web Servers 2021

2021-03-29 14:22:30
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Summary : Market share of web servers March 2021

FOSS | Top 15 Web Servers 2021

The term "open source" was introduced by The Open Source Initiative (OSI). in the late 1990s. These software systems do not necessarily address the same issues. In reality, the majority of open-source software is targeted toward specific niche solutions. However, since it is widely available, it is usually very simple to procure and embed into digital solutions.

A web server is a computer system that uses HyperText Transfer Protocol to transmit data from web pages to end users across the Internet (HTTP).

According to W3Techs, the most popular web server is Apache HTTP Server, which is used by 34.1% of websites as of March 2021. The BuiltWith Internet services corporation has 62,624,313 live websites that use Apache. ZenTao uses Apache  to start its server for ALM project management tool users.

NGINX is the second most prominent server, accounting for 33.7% of all active websites (March 2021 statistics by W3Techs). The web server is distributed under a BSD-style license.

Cloudflare Server supports web protocols, including SPDY and HTTP/2 and acts as a reverse proxy for web traffic. It is getting more and more popular over years with 18% this March 2021.

LiteSpeed uses the same configuration format as Apache HTTP Server and is compatible with most Apache features. An open source variant is also available. As of April 2020, LSWS was used by 47.6% of websites using HTTP/3. It also sees an increasing trend and takes 18% of the total web server usage.

Microsoft-IIS supports HTTP, HTTP/2, HTTPS, FTP, FTPS, SMTP and NNTP. It took by about 7% of the total web servers by March 2021.

Node.js is a cross-platform server-side JavaScript environment built for developing and running network applications such as web servers. Node.js is licensed under a variety of licenses. This March, 1.2 percent of applications were running on Node.js.

Google Servers is used exclusively inside Google's ecosystem for website hosting with 1.2% of usage.

Tengine is a web server originated by Taobao, the largest e-commerce website in Asia. It is based on the Nginx HTTP server. By March 2021, it is 0.1% usage and is like Google Servers which is mainly used internally.

Java programs are run using Apache Tomcat. To be more precise, it is a Java servlet – a Java software component that expands the functionality of a web server. Apache Tomcat, released under the Apache License version 2, controls 0.1 percent of websites.

Cowboy is Small, fast, modern HTTP server. Cowboy is the ultimate server for the modern Web with support for Websocket, HTTP/2 and REST. Cowboy and the web servers, ArvanNginx, Kestrel, IdeaWebServer, and Caddy, listed below are comparatively small with only 0.1% of the total usage.

Apache Traffic Server is a fast, scalable and extensible HTTP/1.1 and HTTP/2 compliant caching proxy server. 

Open Source Web Server 2021

Apache HTTP Server

Apache HTTP Server, colloquially known as Apache or httpd in Red Hat distributions is a free and opensource web server developed by Apache Software Foundation under Apache License version 2. Though Apache httpd is most widely seen running on Linux, it can also be deployed on Mac OS X and Windows. Apache also supports virtual hosting, allowing you to access several domains or websites. A single server can host multiple domains with ease and without complexity by configuring virtual hosts. You will have domains like,, and


Pronounced as Engine-X, Nginx is an opensource high-performance robust web server which also double-ups as a load balancer, reverse proxy, IMAP/POP3 proxy server, and API gateway. Nginx is a big plus if you like to design your own web apps. In addition to using Nginx directly to support static files with many optimizations, you can build dynamic and distributed structures with efficient caching, proxying, and load balancing.

Caddy Server

Caddy is a fast and efficient multiplatform web server written in Go that can also act as a reverse proxy, load balancer, and API gateway. Caddy is quick to update and use since it is built-in with no dependencies. Caddy simplifies your infrastructure. It takes care of TLS certificate renewals, OCSP stapling, static file serving, reverse proxying, Kubernetes ingress, and more.

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