You can configure both LiteSpeed and NGINX for server-side caching. Apache doesn’t allow caching stored HTML files, so if you want to enable this feature without resorting to application-level plugins, you need a different server. LiteSpeed and NGINX are the leading candidates. But which one is better? The answer is LiteSpeed for the reasons listed below.
I’d written an earlier article comparing LiteSpeed to NGINX, but I didn’t fully explore the difference between them in terms of caching.
LiteSpeed is Much Easier to Configure for Server-Side Caching
While you can configure NGINX to cache static and dynamic content, the configuration isn’t easy. Just take a look at the number of tutorials on the web for configuring NGINX. Any NGINX caching implementation will require constant upkeep and tweaking.
LiteSpeed on the other hand implements server-side caching by default. They even have a plugin that integrates with your CMS – WordPress for example. This allows LiteSpeed to intelligently flush the cache whenever you update a post or change a theme. With NGINX, all this has to be configured manually.
There’s a reason why so few web hosting providers use NGINX. And even when they do, they install it as a reverse proxy to Apache. It takes a lot of technical expertise to make NGINX run smoothly while utilizing all its caching features. It’s for this reason that LiteSpeed is far superior to NGINX for caching.
Buy Why not Use a Plugin Instead?
But what’s the big deal about server-side caching? Everyone knows that you can just install a plugin like W3 Total Cache for WordPress and voila! You’ve enabled caching on your website. While it’s true that plugins can cache your pages, it’s far less efficient compared to when the server does it.
Any WordPress plugin like WP Super Cache or WP Rocket operates on the application layer – in the case of WordPress, that’s PHP. And this slows down your server. Moreover, it contributes to your resource usage. There’s a reason why some high-performing web hosts restrict caching plugins on their WordPress installations.
Server-side caching is the most efficient way to cache webpages and causes the least performance problems.
LiteSpeed Integration with QUIC.cloud is Huge
The next evolution in web technologies is pushing more and more content out to the “edges” – the servers closest to your customers. We already do this with CDNs, but only now are we seriously developing the technology to push dynamic cached content to the cloud as well.
With the LiteSpeed web server, you can sign up for QUIC.cloud and instantly get a minimum of 5 GB worth of traffic for free, and a maximum of 200 GB free if your web host is a QUIC.cloud hosting partner. This takes caching to the next level and pushes your pages to servers around the world. And thanks to the integration, you can update your themes and content, and the LiteSpeed server will automatically flush the pages from the edge servers as and when necessary.
Support for Edge Side Includes (ESI)
Even in dynamic pages, most things are static. The content will be largely the same for everyone. It’s a shame that these pages can’t be served from traditional caches. And that’s where Edge Side Includes come in.
ESI is what enables LiteSpeed to serve even dynamic pages from the cache. If your web host has a premium license for LiteSpeed, you can designate certain parts of pages as “dynamic”. LiteSpeed will serve those pages from the cache but generate the dynamic portion separately. You can designate all your shortcodes as dynamic content, for example, and your visitors will see those sections with the latest version from your server.
This kind of support and these caching features are only available with LiteSpeed and not with NGINX. And it’s for this reason that LiteSpeed is superior to NGINX for caching.
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!
Cloudflare APO caches html throughout the CDN network. No matter from which region page is accessed. It will create cache to all edge servers.