Apple continues to climb through the top 50 online website charts.

Figures released last night by comScore Media Metrix confirm the company drew 17.438 million visitors in July, driving the company to 32nd place in the top 50 online properties charts.

The only other computer hardware manufacturer in the chart, Dell took 44th place.

iTunes traffic up 13 per cent

iTunes continues to draw traffic, the report said: "In all, 5.4 million people visited iTunes in July, up 13 per cent from June 2005. The growth of iTunes also helped push the Retail - Music category up 7 per cent to 30.1 million visitors".

In July, consumers were drawn to the Web by historic events such as the Discovery Space Shuttle launch and Lance Armstrong's record-setting ride to a seventh Tour de France victory.

NASA traffic gains

NASA.GOV shared the title as the Internet's highest-gaining property in July 2005 as traffic increased 60 per cent. Over four million people visited NASA.GOV in July.

"Through the integration of video and other rich media into Web content, audiences can increasingly interact with world events, rather than just sitting back and watching," said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of comScore Media Metrix.