NGINX vs LiteSpeed: Which web server should you choose?

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NGINX and LiteSpeed are two of the most popular web servers on the planet. Developers around the world love to use them because of their high performance and robust security features. But which is the better option? Is LiteSpeed faster than NGINX? Which one allows you to migrate from Apache easily? You will find all the details right here.

What is NGINX?

NGINX is one of the most popular open-source web server software. It has been designed to deliver high performance and stability. By utilizing an event-driven and non-threaded architecture, it provides less CPU computation per request served. Also, NGINX can reduce wait time for clients significantly. Besides, it is very fast. It manages to outperform most of the rivals in the benchmark tests frequently.

What is LiteSpeed?

LiteSpeed is one of the fastest web servers available online. With the unique event-driven architecture, it can serve thousands of clients simultaneously with minimal resource consumption. Also, it is the fastest web server on the planet in terms of processing PHP codes. It is up to 40 times more effective with PHP code than the average Apache server. In most of the benchmark tests, LiteSpeed tops the chart by delivering super-fast performance.

NGINX vs LiteSpeed: Which is the best web server?

Both NGINX and LiteSpeed promise to deliver super-fast performance and high-level security. But which is the better option? Let’s dive in to find the answer.

NGINX vs LiteSpeed: Performance

The very first thing that comes to your mind while choosing the best web server is the performance. You don’t want to experience any sluggishness. The best way to determine the best-performing web server is to analyze the result of the benchmark test.

Plesk has performed numerous benchmark tests for NGINX and LiteSpeed. Both of them showed an impressive performance. However, LiteSpeed performed better than NGINX. The transfer rate was faster while the CPU and memory consumption was minimal.

The difference is more evident while putting NGINX and LiteSpeed in a variety of verifiable public benchmark comparisons. In terms of requests for the 500K media file, LiteSpeed delivers 1.55 times faster performance than NGINX. When it comes to WordPress homepage requests, the difference is huge. LiteSpeed delivers 10 times faster performance than its rival.

So, in terms of performance, LiteSpeed is the clear winner. It performs better in most of the benchmark tests.

NGINX vs LiteSpeed: Caching

Caching is the process of creating and serving a static version of your website to the visitor. It can boost the speed and performance of your site significantly, which leads to a better user experience.

LiteSpeed comes with a built-in caching module to accelerate dynamic content. It is known as LiteSpeed Cache (LSCache). On the other hand, NGINX features a FastCGI caching module. It contains directives for caching dynamic content efficiently.

WordPress developer Johnny Nguyen performed a test to analyze the caching performance of the two web servers. He found that OpenLiteSpeed (OLS), which is the open-source edition of LiteSpeed, performed better than NGINX by a tiny margin. The average response times of OLS and NGINX were 66 ms and 68 ms respectively. So, the difference was only 2ms.

LiteSpeed is just slightly ahead of NGINX. However, there is only a little difference. As a result, it’s hard to determine the real winner here.

NGINX vs LiteSpeed: Security

With almost 70% of WordPress websites being affected by malicious software, you need to look for ways to strengthen the security. You never want your site to get hacked easily. You need a highly secure web server to fight against all sorts of attacks and malicious software.

Both NGINX and LiteSpeed support ModSecurity, which is an open-source Web-based Firewall Application (or WAF). It comes with a flexible rule engine to fight against all sorts of security threats, including trojans, SQL interjection, and cross-website scripting. It can strengthen the security of your site significantly.

However, while utilizing ModSecurity, the performance of NGINX is degraded significantly, as revealed on the performance comparison test. LiteSpeed doesn’t have any similar issues. It utilizes ModSecurity without compromising the performance of your site. Also, it comes with reCAPTCHA support, WordPress brute force attack protection, and other cutting-edge anti-DDoS measures.

So, in terms of delivering the best security without compromising the performance, LiteSpeed is the clear winner.

NGINX vs LiteSpeed: Apache Migration

Apache is widely used on Shared hosting solutions. It supports a huge number of third-party libraries and plugins. However, they can add bloat to your site, which can affect the loading speed. So, you might have to migrate to NGINX or LiteSpeed to offer your clients the best shared hosting experience.

LiteSpeed works with Apache migration really well. It is designed to understand all the Apache config files effectively. So, there is no need to configure a file from scratch. It can save you a lot of time. However, when it comes to NGINX, things can be very challenging. It doesn’t understand the Apache config files. As a result, you have to configure everything from scratch.

When it comes to Apache migration, LiteSpeed is a much better choice. It allows you to avoid extra hassles.

The Verdict: Which web server should you choose?

LiteSpeed has shown better performance in different key areas. It is faster than NGINX in different benchmark tests. Also, LiteSpeed provides the best security without impacting the performance. It supports pre-configured Brute Force protection technology. Besides, you can migrate from Apache easily. So, LiteSpeed is the best web server to use right now.

How to Install and Configure LiteSpeed on WordPress Using Togglebox

Togglebox makes it very easy to install and configure LiteSpeed for WordPress. While installing the standalone WordPress kit, you will find the option to install the LiteSpeed. Simply follow these steps:

How to Install LiteSpeed on WordPress Using Togglebox

1. Sign into Togglebox
2. Click on Marketplace

3. Hover on WordPress Standalone Kit. Then click the Install button.

4. Select your options.

Make sure to check the box of Install LiteSpeed High-Performance Web Server. Set the name of the environment. Select the region that provides the highest availability and redundancy for your configuration. Once you are done, hit the Install button. The installation process will take just a few minutes.

That’s it! You have installed LiteSpeed with the WordPress Standalone Kit. As you can see, the process is very simple. There is no extra hassle.

How to Configure LiteSpeed on WordPress Using Togglebox

1. Expand the WordPress Standalone Kit.

2. Hover on AppServer. You will find several options. Click on Add-ons.

3. Under LiteSpeed License Manager, hit the Configure button.

4. Choose the number of workers and domains.

If you want to host unlimited domains, you should keep the workers setting at 1. While putting in your preferred specifications, you will see all the different pricing options. Once you are done with everything, click the Apply button.

That’s how you configure LiteSpeed using Togglebox. The great thing about LiteSpeed is that it is free to use up to 16 cloudlets. You can use one kit per site. So, you can set the domain to the max cloudlet limit and effectively have free LiteSpeed.

Wrapping Up

LiteSpeed is the fastest web server on the planet. By using it, you can enhance the loading speed and performance of your site significantly. Togglebox has made it very easy to install and configure LiteSpeed on WordPress. The whole process takes just a few minutes. So, it can save a lot of time and help you to boost your productivity effectively.
Togglebox provides high performance WordPress hosting that automatically scales to meet your needs effectively. Try it now for free.


Dave Sonnie

All stories by: Dave Sonnie