People in South Korea really love onshore web hosting

Where is your website hosted – in the country where you live or somewhere else? Regardless of where you live, chances are pretty good your site is hosted in the United States. According to a recent study, 42% of the world’s top 1 million sites are hosted in the U.S.

But what percentage of sites with a given country code top-level (ccTLD) domain, such as .se for Sweden or .jp for Japan, are hosted in that particular country? As it turns out, people in Germany, South Korea, and Vietnam are the most likely to choose onshore web hosting (hosting your website in the country where you live.)

Onshore web hosting

Following our previous study about where the top 1 million sites in the world were hosted, we were contacted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. It had the idea to see how many sites with a particular ccTLD are actually hosted in the country with that ccTLD. In other words, for websites with ccTLDs, how common is onshore web hosting? Hence this study was born.

Why look at only ccTLDs? Because by selecting a ccTLD for their website, arguably a website owner identifies themselves and their site with that country.

You can read more about our methodology at the end of the article, and you can see the compiled data here. But let’s start off with a summary in the form of a world map (the redder a country is, the higher percentage of ccTLD sites are hosted onshore.)

onshore web hosting map

Highest percentage of sites hosted in country

The number of sites hosted in each country as shown above is interesting but let’s take that one step further. Here is a list of the top 10 countries with the highest percentage of ccTLD sites hosted in their respective country.

onshore web hosting

This means, for example, in the case of South Korea that 97% of websites (in the top million) with a .kr ccTLD are hosted in South Korea, 93% of the sites with a .vn ccTLD are hosted in Vietnam, etc.

Some things worth highlighting:

  • It is notable that Germany and Japan are also on the list of the ccTLDs that have the most sites in the top 1 million (see below.) It would seem that website owners in those two countries really prefer to host websites at home.
  • Comoros (km), North Korea (kp), and Swaziland (sz) actually have 100% of their sites hosted in their respective country, but we’re only talking about 1, 3, and 2 sites respectively.
  • 65 countries have none of their sites hosted in their respective country, biggest one is Tuvalu (tv) with 3,387 sites, followed by Montenegro (me) 2,260 sites, and Cocos Islands (cc) 1,607 sites.

Most number of sites in total

To round off this study, we’re simply listing the ccTLDs that have the most sites in the top 1 million.

onshore web  hosting

To put this in perspective, out of the 1 million sites we looked at in total, just over 509,000 were on the .com TLD.

Is onshore web hosting even an issue?

Arguably the widest selection of different web hosting options is available in the U.S. and the country’s domination in the industry is crushing. But if you don’t live in the U.S. you may want to host your site in the country where you live for a variety of reasons: access, language, legal issues, payment options, latency and performance, etc.

We find it very interesting to see how this varies so much between countries. From the 97% of .kr sites being hosted in South Korea to the 71% of .se sites being hosted in Sweden and beyond. Clearly, on the other end of the scale, that so many sites with ccTLDs are hardly or not at all hosted in their respective country, also tells us something about the global web hosting market.

What about you? Do you host your site in the country where you live, and are you doing that for any particular reason? Let us know in the comments below.

About the methodology: To be able to answer the question posed by this study, we scanned all the sites in the Alexa top 1 million list for where they are physically hosted. All in all, we managed to scan 947,461 sites. From that list, we removed all gTLDs (Generic Top-Level Domains), including. com. We also removed sites for which there was no identifiable country or TLD. That left us with sites using a ccTLD (Country Code Top-Level Domain). This means, of course, that in practice the United States is not included in this study (except the few sites using the .us domain). The primary reason for this is that we were interested in the relationship between country-specific websites and where they are hosted. Including the .com domain would have meant more sites were included in the study but it would arguably also have made the results less reliable. All in all, included in this study are 309,129 sites split up over 230 countries.

Image (Top) via Shutterstock.


  1. i think its safe to say a lot of people and even businesses dont know they are buying foreign hosting worse still, understand the disadvantages of this.

  2. we always ask our clients where they are based and more importantly where the target audience is largely based.

  3. Interesting article but not really surprising S. Korean’s like to host onshore given their extensive network/backbone spanning almost the entire country 🙂 Internal bandwidth must be almost free.

  4. This is not surprising at all looking at the fact that is South Korea we are toking about and the US with 42% is always expected i guess

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