The Internet is shrinking?
The size of the World Wide Web has generally grown exponentially since it’s inception in around 1990. Since 1995 Netcraft have been keeping tabs on how many registered domains there are versus how many active sites.
Generally there’s an upward trend but with noticeable dips in the early 2000’s (following the first dot-com boom) and in 2008/2009 during the global recession. Most recently we’ve seen another small dip in the number of active sites and registered domains, possibly as individuals and small businesses move away from having bespoke sites in favour of pages on social media sites such as Facebook.
As of May 2015 there are around 858 million registered hostnames, compared to around 177 million active websites, down from a peak of around 193 million in August 2012.
It’s important to remember that the chart above uses a logarithmic scale rather than a linear one; tiny changes at the top end of the scale in fact represent millions of registered names and sites.