We owe much of our success at NameHero to our high-speed infrastructure that is optimized for blazing fast performance. This makes our customers’ websites load ridiculously fast when compared to the more traditional hosting packages offered by the “Big Box” competitors around the web hosting industry. Our speed comes partly from the enterprise-grade server hardware that we deploy, but just as important is how we leverage LiteSpeed Web Server in all our servers. If your site is hosted at NameHero, you can bet that it’s running on LiteSpeed rather than the more traditional LAMP Stack solutions which rely on Apache Web Server.
Does website speed really matter?
Site speed plays a pivotal role in how Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, and just about any other search engine ranks your pages in their results. Their algorithms are always evolving, but will consistently punish slower sites and reward faster sites by returning the faster sites sooner in the search results. So if your site depends on high ranking search results, let’s face-it: who’s site doesn’t these days? Then speed needs to be part of your consideration when choosing a web host.
We are now well into the age of mobile browsers taking over the top spots as the most used methods for accessing the web. Most people around the world post 2022 are almost always connected to the internet in some form or another. According to statcounter.com, approximately 60% of web traffic originates from a mobile device of some kind.
So It’s far more popular for end-users to access your websites on-the-go versus the days of old where access was obtained predominantly through desktop browsers. This makes it more important than ever that your sites are optimized for speed across the plethora of mobile devices available across the globe.
Whether you are searching for a dedicated or shared hosting solution, finding a web host that ticks all the usual check boxes but also goes beyond the expected, yet remains affordable, is a monumentally difficult task. This is where NameHero’s products outshine the rest of the offerings in today’s hosting ecosystem. Just read the following personal account from Ryan Gray, CEO and Founder of NameHero, which demonstrates the values that NameHero holds dear:
“Personally, this was one of the main catalysts in developing NameHero in 2015. I couldn’t find a reliable, dependable, fast web host for my own websites without building my own Dedicated or VPS server. Not to mention one that was affordable for small businesses like my Dad’s self-storage facility.”
The linchpin in our hosting arsenal is how we leverage LiteSpeed Web Server (LSWS) across our entire fleet of infrastructure. When you buy a hosting plan at NameHero, you will be running on LiteSpeed automatically, no extra charge. The cost is baked directly into our pricing model already so you won’t have to pay for any additional licensing. But what is LiteSpeed really and why do you need it?
What is LiteSpeed?
Developed by LiteSpeed Technologies, LiteSpeed Web Server is a proprietary web server application that serves websites. It can function as either a standalone web server or as a reverse-proxy backed by other web server products like: Apache, or Nginx. Engineered as a drop-in replacement for Apache Web Server, LiteSpeed can easily be dropped on top of an existing Apache configuration without any need for additional complicated setup or migration processes, in fact, switching from Apache to LiteSpeed takes less than 15m and requires virtually no downtime.
The primary focus in LiteSpeed development is improving both speed and scalability. Everyone wants a fast web host and everyone expects and needs growth. Having a solution designed for these key hallmarks is what sets NameHero aside from its competitors. LiteSpeed’s light-weight, event-based engineering makes it a top performance solution in the industry that simultaneously conserves system resources like memory and CPU cycles, without sacrificing speed, security, compatibility, or even convenience when compared to Apache Web Servers.
What is Apache?
Apache Web Server is the grandad of web servers and is renowned the world over as the de facto web server software in-use throughout the industry. It is a no-cost, highly compatible, and versatile product and was the basis for many divergent technologies since its inception such as Nginx and LiteSpeed. Both of which aimed to do exactly what Apache does, just better. Apache will always have its place in the industry, but it truly personifies the old adage:
“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”
Apache just works with most website frameworks and hosting technologies, i.e.: cPanel, Plesk, Direct Admin, Magento, WordPress, Joomla, and hundreds more… However, its high-level of compatibility contributes to a bulky code-base which comes at a performance cost.
Okay, but how is LiteSpeed any different?
LiteSpeed, on the other hand, aims to strip away the bulk of most uncommon features in order to streamline its code-base and position itself as the fastest web server possible. It caters to speeding up the common denominator by leveraging its optimized proprietary caching technologies and performance focused code-base to return pages pre-rendered to target your specific type of device with page content best suited to your devices bandwidth and screen size.
What are the main benefits of LiteSpeed versus Apache
- Double the maximum capacity of your current Apache servers – with a streamlined event-driven architecture, capable of handling thousands of concurrent clients with minimal memory consumption and CPU usage.
- Protect your servers with already familiar ModSecurity rules while also taking advantage of a host of built-in anti-DDoS features, such as bandwidth and connection throttling.
- Conserve capital by reducing the number of servers needed to support your growing hosting business or online application.
- Reduce complexity by eliminating the need for an HTTPS reverse proxy or additional 3rd party caching layers.
Benchmarks – LiteSpeed vs. Apache Web Server
Infographics are an awesome tool for visualizing and comparing data. Check out this one that compares overall server load on the same server when switching from Apache to LiteSpeed. As you can see the average load, which is a general measure of how busy a system is, drops to almost nothing once LiteSpeed takes over the workload.
You no longer see the peaks and valleys common to Apache servers which represent stutters in the performance of the system, while LiteSpeed virtually eliminates those spikes altogether.
LiteSpeed WordPress Cache
LiteSpeed’s development continues to focus on speed and scalability. Each new version provides additional performance gains. One of the largest performance leaps in LiteSpeed’s history was implementing their LiteSpeed Cache software specifically for WordPress.
The ubiquity of WordPress in the industry is unparalleled. According to a 2021 survey by w3techs.com, roughly 40% of the web uses WordPress. That is two out of every five websites. This data and the fact that WordPress is designed to allow even the least technically savvy users to write blogs and publish articles. Its ease of use targets the same end-users that also host their sites on shared-hosting environments like we offer at NameHero.
Our initial testing combined with Cloudflare saw a significant boost with reduced page-load times across the board. LiteSpeed has also done their own internal testing that shows performance much better than Apache running other caching plugins:
All NameHero Shared and Reseller customers have the ability to use the LiteSpeed Cache – WordPress plugin 100% free of charge. You just need to have it installed on your WordPress sites, which is as simple as installing any other WordPress plugin:
While LiteSpeed is just one piece of our infrastructure, it’s a very important one. It helps us deliver our promise of crazy-fast page load speeds so our customers can focus on running their businesses and not have to worry about web server optimization or complicated caching solutions that require technical prowess to use effectively.
Jason Potter is a Senior Linux Systems Administrator & Technical Writer with more than 20 years experience providing technical support to customers and has a passion for writing competent and thorough technical documentation at all skill levels.