Analysis of Federal Executive .govs (Part Deux)

TL;DR: A quick analysis of the technology and capabilities that power each federal domain such as non-www, SSL, and IPv6 support, or what server/cms they use
1 minute read

In September 2011, in response to the Office of Management and Budget releasing a list of all federal executive domains, I built a small tool called Site Inspector and created a quick analysis of the technology and capabilities that power each federal domain.

Nearly three years later, I resurrected that tool, albeit a bit smarter, and, using the latest list, thought I’d take a look at how things have changed in the time since. Efforts like the Digital Strategy and Open Data Policy have surely moved the needle, right? RIGHT?!

The Highlights:

  • Approximately a quarter reduction in number of .govs (1640 - 1229 = 441)
  • 1000 of those domains are live (about 83%, up from 73%)
  • Of those live domains, about 83% are reachable without the www. prefix, a negligible increase
  • Only 64 sites return an AAAA record, the first step towards IPv6 compliance (up from 10)
  • 250 sites, approximately one in four, support SSL (HTTPS), but only one in ten enforce it
  • 87% of sites use no detectable content management system, about a 5% decrease
  • Of those with a CMS, Drupal is still by far the most popular (100+ sites), with WordPress powering 14 sites and Joomla powering 7
  • One in four sites use Google Analytics (almost a three-fold increase), with a handful of sites using Facebook insights
  • Roughly a third of service advertise that they are powered by open source server software (for example, Apache, Nginx), slightly more than those that are powered by closed source server software (for example, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun)
  • 74 sites are still running IIS 6.0, a ten+ year old server
  • HHS is the biggest perpetrator of domain sprawl with 110 domains, followed by GSA (105), Treasury (92), and Interior (89)
  • 142 domains have a /developer page, 171 domains have a /data page, 146 domains have a /data.json page, roughly 15%
  • 16 domains redirect to, 10 to, 9 to and 8 to

Math’s never been my strong point, so I highly encourage you to check my work. You can browse the full results at or check an individual site (.gov or otherwise) at

Please note: This data is to be treated as preliminary and is provided “as is” with no guarantee as to its validity. The source code for all tools used, including the resulting data, is available on GitHub. If you find an error, I encourage you to open an issue or submit a pull request.

Originally published July 7, 2014 | View revision history

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:


Ben Balter is the Director of Engineering Operations and Culture at GitHub, the world’s largest software development platform. Previously, as Chief of Staff for Security, he managed the office of the Chief Security Officer, improving overall business effectiveness of the Security organization through portfolio management, strategy, planning, culture, and values. As a Staff Technical Program manager for Enterprise and Compliance, Ben managed GitHub’s on-premises and SaaS enterprise offerings, and as the Senior Product Manager overseeing the platform’s Trust and Safety efforts, Ben shipped more than 500 features in support of community management, privacy, compliance, content moderation, product security, platform health, and open source workflows to ensure the GitHub community and platform remained safe, secure, and welcoming for all software developers. Before joining GitHub’s Product team, Ben served as GitHub’s Government Evangelist, leading the efforts to encourage more than 2,000 government organizations across 75 countries to adopt open source philosophies for code, data, and policy development. More about the author →

This page is open source. Please help improve it.