Netcraft publishes a list of the web’s most widely used web server software every month. Here is a brief look at each of those top web servers and what they can do.
Microsoft IIS (37% market share) - Microsoft Internet Information Services is the web server designed specifically for Microsoft Windows Server operating systems. It has recently gained popularity due to Windows Azure cloud services and is now the most widely used web server on the web. It is proprietary and requires a license for Windows to legally run.
Apache HTTP Server (35% market share) – Apache enjoyed the top spot for most used web server for over a decade, but that reign has come to an end. The free and open source web server software is available for installation on most Linux distributions, BSD, variants of Unix and even Windows.
Nginx (14% market share) – Nginx is known for being a high-performance web server that can handle high load and traffic. Many extremely popular websites with millions of daily visitors depend on it. It is now the third most popular web server and continues to chip away at Apache’s #2 spot. Like Apache, it is also free and open source.
There are a number of other web servers that make up a considerable percentage of the web, including Google’s own custom web server, but since these are not available to the public, we have not included them.