Without a doubt Apache is the most popular as it’s an open-source, cross-platform web server that powers an estimate of 46% of the top 43% of the websites online. If you don’t know what web server you’re currently running, chances are its Apache.
This is what all of our VPS hosting packages come with by default. Along with PHP-FPM and installing caching software such as Varnish, you can achieve pretty good performance results. Since it’s free and open source the majority of web applications work flawlessly with it and make it many people’s first choice.
Packaged with its own PHP handler and caching system, we’re able to achieve up to nine times the performance of a standard Apache web server. The majority of our competitors don’t use it as it’s more expensive to deploy. This is also why I’ll never consider Name Hero a discount host ;).
Much like LiteSpeed, Nginx is known for its performance benefits. But like Apache, it’s free and open source software. It can also be used as a reverse proxy, load balancer, and HTTP cache.
To offer it alongside Web Host Manager and cPanel, we use the CPNginx plugin, which carries a small monthly fee, but much cheaper than LiteSpeed. It supports many of the same script handlers as Apache such as FastCGI, SCGI, etc. Nginx is also what the majority of the “big brands” use to scale their websites.
Customizing And Tuning
The majority of our customers at Name Hero start with Apache to first measure the performance of their websites and then decide which one they want to use to upgrade (if needed at all).
The good thing about using Web Host Manager is all of the configuration and performance tuning can be done right inside of there.
The same is true about LiteSpeed and CpNginx. Both have plugins that easily allow you to configure and fine-tune from right inside of your browser.
While out of the box, LiteSpeed and CpNginx are going to perform better, you can still optimize based on your specific application needs to achieve the fastest load times for your traffic.
In the following video tutorial I discuss both Apache and LiteSpeed demonstrating where to find these configuration options:
Which Is Best?
It’s really a personal preference. You can easily “test” LiteSpeed by signing up with one of our web hosting packages. If you’re moving from a web host such as HostGator that uses Apache, you should notice a pretty big performance boost.
A lot also boils down to the type of website you’re running. If you’re using a PHP/mySQL application such as WordPress you also have to take into account the database aspect of things.
Feel free to let me know if you have questions, I’ll try my best to point you in the right direction :).
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.