Free data sources for researching hosting markets

Web hosting companies often work on an international scale. When doing research on hosting markets that you don’t already know inside and out, you need data sources, and we have collected a bunch of them in this post. We hope you’ll find them useful.

Internet user statistics

Internet infrastructure data

Web technology trends and statistics

  • BuiltWith has a ton of statistics about web technology usage, covering everything from CDN providers, CMSs, Javascript libraries, and much more. They even have stats for hosting providers by country and some other interesting data samples.

Domain name and hosting statistics

Website and web server statistics

  • The people over at Netcraft have been doing their monthly web server survey for ages. Want to see how many websites there are in the world, an estimate of how many web servers, or how popular Apache is compared to other web server software, this is probably your first stop.
  • HTTP Archive keeps track of trends in web technology, mainly the composition of websites. It’s a good resource if you want to find out things such as average website sizes, number of requests per page, etc.
  • Alexa has been ranking websites for a very long time. Here you can find the global top 500 sites, as well as the top 500 per per country. (There’s also a web service, and a downloadable global top 1M list (CSV).)
  • Top sites as measured by Quantcast, by country. Note that you can download the site lists as well.
  • Majestic Million, worldwide top million sites based on inbound links. There’s also a downloadable version.
  • Moz Top 500, the top 500 websites (or at least domains) in the world based in inbound links.

Web browser and OS statistics

Economy and buying power

While this is hardly technical, evaluating the buying power of a population can be highly relevant when considering new markets.

Honorable mentions

  • The CIA World Factbook is a classic and remains a great resource for getting an overview of a country. You’ll find everything from economic factors, communications, population statistics, and much more. Quite comprehensive.
  • Wolfram|Alpha has a ton of data you can query and combine in interesting ways, and this includes internet-related data as well as population statistics, and so on. Some tech-related examples here.
  • Wikipedia. Because it’s Wikipedia. Looking up a country will usually give you a ton of information in a relatively compact format. Not to mention that if you’re looking for a list, any kind of list, someone, somewhere, has made a Wikipedia page. 😉

There is more, of course

Since we’re in the hosting industry ourselves (we make hosting software), we tend to think a lot about the global hosting market and the opportunities that exist. This is the beauty of the internet, isn’t it? It has given web-based companies a reach that would have seemed impossible just a couple of decades ago. We come across interesting resources all the time, so this post was our way of sharing some of that with you.

However, the internet is a vast place and one heck of a resource, so of course what we have listed here is just a drop in the ocean. As the saying goes, Google is your friend.

Do you know of a great hosting-related data source that we didn’t list here? Drop me an email: peter -at- atomia -dot- com.


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