Litespeed Web Server – Why Apache and NGINX Are Now Obsolete
First of all, what is a web server? In plain language, a web server is a computer that stores, processes, and delivers website files to web browsers.
Web servers consist of hardware and software that use Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to respond to web users’ requests made through the internet. Through this process, web servers load and deliver the requested webpage – such as Google – to your web browser.
There are many different types of web server software. But the most common is Apache.
Apache runs 39% of the top one million websites in the world. Followed closely by NGINX (pronounced Engine X) with 32%, in third is CloudFlare Server holding 14%, fourth is Microsoft IIS at 8% then we have close behind at 6.5% – Litespeed.
It’s that last one, but by no means least, we’ll be focusing on in this article. Why we believe it won’t be long until it takes the top spot and why this should matter to you. Spoiler, you have a a lot to gain from Litespeed and we’ll show you why! So read on…
Litespeed Web Server is highly efficient, this means websites load faster.
Litespeed Web Server, abbreviated as LSWS, is almost a newcomer to the web server ‘scene’ having been founded in 2003. Over the last 19 years, LSWS has gained a vast, perhaps even cult-like, following among web hosting companies due to its efficiency.
With its streamlined ‘event-driven’ architecture, web hosting companies running LSWS could, in theory, double the maximum capacity of the websites on their servers if they switched from Apache.
Imagine if you are a web hosting company with 40 servers running Apache and each server could host 400 websites. The maximum number of websites you could host, theoretically, is 16,000.
But then you hear about this technology called Litespeed Web Server that could double your hosting capacity to 32,000 websites – just by installing it…
Wouldn’t you be tempted?
Litespeed Web Server is the fastest growing web server technology on the planet.
The web hosts certainly were and that’s why LSWS has authorised hosting providers on all 4 corners of the globe. It’s been a monumental success story.
Now that you know what a web server is, a few of the alternatives (NGINX etc) and know what Litespeed Web Server can achieve for the hosting business. Let’s focus on how it can benefit you, a website owner.
Those web hosting companies didn’t just choose Litespeed technology purely for the capacity benefits. They chose it for the performance advantages the technology offers too.
And let’s be honest, everyone loves a fast website so it’s an easy sell.
Litespeed vs Apache vs NGINX – it’s a show down.
Intro’s complete, it’s time we provide you with some examples of just how much faster Litespeed web server is when used with the most common CMS and web frameworks.
So let’s find out by answering the questions:
To keep things as fair as possible, all platforms use recommended caching technology where possible and the performance comparisons will be based on Requests per Second, or RPS. Using the RPS metric for this comparison is sensible because it’s a key performance indicator that accurately measures the throughput of a system. This is why it is commonly chosen to measure the performance of web servers – throughput is everything.
1. How much faster is Litespeed with WordPress?
In order to use Litespeed with WordPress, a plugin is required. It’s called LSCache and is available free of charge from the WordPress plugin directory. It takes some time to configure and isn’t as fast to get up and running as say, WPRocket. But once it’s ready to go – it can’t be beaten.
Here is a direct comparison of the same WordPress website running on all three web server technology:
No contest was it? Even though NGINX shares a similar architecture to Litespeed (both are event-driven) and therefore has much more in-common with Litespeed than Apache. Litespeed still blew it away by up to 12x. Apache was left in the dust, it just can’t compete and was beaten by up to 84x.
What this confirms is, if you are running a WordPress website on an Apache web server in 2022, you need to switch to Litespeed.
This doesn’t even factor in the performance gains from upgrading to HTTP/3 QUIC – Litespeed web server was the first to embrace this new technology and the comparison was only for HTTP/2 to create a more even playing field.
Big names such as Cure, Katy Perry and The White House all use WordPress powered websites – Yes, the President of the United States uses WordPress to convey White House news.
2. How much faster is Litespeed with Joomla?
In order to use Litespeed with Joomla, a plugin is required. It’s available free of charge for Joomla 3 and Joomla 4 directly from the Litespeed website. The implementation is much the same as for WordPress – it takes time. But once its ready to go, nothing else compares.
Once again we see huge gains in requests per second. Litespeed simply dominates by handling up to 428x more requests per second than NGINX. Apache once again, is left behind.
What’s clear is if you are running Joomla, migrating to Litespeed is well worth your time.
In case you were wondering, Brands such as Roger Federer. Pro Beauty Medical Group and How Am I Going? all use Joomla powered websites.
3. How much faster is Litespeed with Drupal?
In order to use Litespeed with Drupal, a plugin is required. It’s available free of charge for Drupal 8 and Drupal 9 directly from Github. Installation is much the same as for WordPress and Joomla, it does take time to configure and optimise. But once it’s complete – nothing beats it.
In this comparison, things changed slightly. Varnish was used as the server caching technology of choice for both NGINX and Apache. But even then, they don’t come close.
Litespeed can handle up to 6x more requests than NGINX with Drupal 8.
Interestingly, Apache isn’t quite so far behind with Drupal than it is with Joomla. This is most likely due to the lower latency and synchronous design of Apache performing better with the two architectures communicating more efficiently. That being said, Litespeed is still able to handle up to 14x more requests than Apache.
In case you were wondering, Brands such as Tesla, UNICEF and Nokia all use Drupal powered websites.
4. How much faster is Litespeed with Magento?
In order to use Litespeed with Magento, a plugin is required. It’s called LiteMage and it is available for Magento 1 and Magento 2 directly from Litespeed. Unfortunately it is not free and costs $2500USD per year – not exactly a bargain. But this does include support, updates and some installation advice.
Migrating your Magento website to Litespeed is definitely worthwhile though, costs aside. Up to 3x more requests can be handled than on NGINX and if you’re running a multi-million dollar online store – which many Magento powered websites are – what is $2500usd to them really? Peanuts.
In case you’re curious, the Brands Liverpool FC, Landrover & Nespresso are all powered by Magento.
6. How much faster is Litespeed with Prestashop?
In order to use Litespeed with Prestashop, a plugin is required. It’s called the LSCache Module and it’s available free of charge for Prestashop 1.6 & 1.7 directly from Litespeed. Installation is faster and easier than on some other website platforms but the performance gains are staggering once all is said and done.
Migrating your Prestashop website to Litespeed is a no brainer…
Expect your website to handle upwards of 1500x more requests than NGINX and 600x more requests than Apache.
Interestingly, Prestashop actually performs faster on Apache than NGINX, more than double too, it’s the only website platform tested that does.
This could be down to the way dynamic content performs similarly on these two platforms with a slight lean towards Apache. Then there’s the latency factor, Apache with it’s synchronous design has lower latency. Either way though, once again Litespeed is your champion.
In case you were wondering, Brands such as Samsung, Theme Forest & El Pais are all powered by Prestashop.
Your next steps.
At VIEWFULE, we encourage all our clients to choose web servers that are powered by Litespeed Technology. It’s clear from the test results above, your website will load faster if you do. All of the major website platforms experience an increase in performance with the increase varying anywhere between 3x and 1500x in requests per second. These are staggering gains and remember, a faster website is a more succesful website.
One webhost we highly recommend partnering with is HostArmada. They offer Litespeed web hosting packages on Cloud SSD servers at affordable prices with data centres located all around the globe – so they are well worth checking out!
But that aside, there are other website platforms that can benefit from Litespeed technology too. Laravel, OpenCart and PHP scripts can all work with, and benefit from, Litespeed Web Server. If you would like to implement Litespeed on your website, reach out for your FREE consultation and we’ll talk you through it.