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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 page such as Google Search to your web browser. This browser could be Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge for example.

There are many different types of software that make a web server work. But the most common software is Apache. It runs 39% of the top one million websites in the world. Followed closely by NGINX (pronounced Engine X) at 32%, Cloudflare Server comes in third at 14%, Microsoft IIS in fourth 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 and why we believe it won’t be long until it takes the top spot and why it matters to you.

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, 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? The web hosts certainly were and that’s why LSWS is now the fastest growing web server technology on the planet.

litespeed lsws

Now that you know what a web server is, a few of the alternatives and what Litespeed can achieve for the hosting business. Let’s focus on how it can benefit you, the consumer. 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. We’re going to provide some examples of how much faster Litespeed web server is when used with the most common website platforms.

These website platforms are:

  1. WordPress

  2. Joomla

  3. Drupal

  4. Magento

 

To keep things as fair as possible, all platforms will use recommended caching technology where possible and the performance comparisons will be based on Requests per Second, or RPS. Using the RPS 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 a web server – throughput is vitally important.

How much faster is Litespeed with WordPress?

WordPress website
In order to use Litespeed with WordPress, a plugin is required.
This is called LSCache and it’s available free of charge from the WordPress plugin directory. It takes some time to configure and isn’t as easy or 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 servers.

No contest was it? Even though NGINX shares the same architecture (both 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. If you are running a WordPress website on an Apache web server in 2022, it’s a no brainer, 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 following comparison was only for HTTP/2.

wordpress-performance-server

How much faster is Litespeed with Joomla?

joomla website


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 being able to handle 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. Brands such as Roger Federer. Pro Beauty Medical Group and How Am I Going? all use Joomla powered websites.

litespeed-joomla-benchmark

How much faster is Litespeed with Drupal?

drupal website


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 the example below Varnish has been used as the server caching technology of choice for NGINX and Apache. But even then, they don’t come close. Litespeed can handle up to 6x more requests than NGINX. Interestingly, Apache isn’t quite so far behind with Drupal than it is with Joomla. This is most likely due to efficiencies with the architectures integrating well together. Brands such as Tesla, UNICEF and Nokia all use Drupal powered websites.

drupal-performance-server

How much faster is Litespeed with Magento?

Magento website


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 per second can be handled and if you’re running a multi-million dollar online store such as the Brands Liverpool FC, Landrover or Nespresso (which are all Magento powered) – what is $2500USD to them really? Peanuts.

magento-performance-server

Your next steps.

At VIEWFULE, we encourage all our clients to choose web servers that are powered by Litespeed Technology. Your website will load faster if you do. All of the major website platforms experience an increase in performance. From the test results above, the gain can vary anywhere between 3x and 428x in requests per second. But there are other website platforms that can benefit from Litespeed too. Laravel, PrestaShop and OpenCart 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.

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WordPress – Top 5 Reasons Why This CMS Dominates The World

WordPress is a Content Management System or CMS. It was never intended to become a website building tool or eCommerce platform, it was created for blogging. However, since it was released in 2003 its popularity has soared. From it’s humble beginnings as a fork of Cafelog, it now powers over 43% of all known websites on the planet. It’s a force to be reckoned with but that being said, it isn’t for everyone. Read on to learn more about WordPress and why this platform dominates the world.

 

WordPress offers control, developmental speed and value that few can rival.

 

Here are our Top 5 reasons why you should consider powering your website with WordPress:

 

  1. 100% Free

  2. SEO Friendly

  3. Customisable & Flexible

  4. Highly Scalable

  5. Community Support

 

100% Free
wordpress is open source software

WordPress is open source software (OSS), this means the original source code is made freely available. This is a game changer, there are very few platforms that can be installed and used 100% for free without ever requiring a financial commitment. WordPress is one of them and has been for almost 20 years now. Thankfully there are no plans to change this anytime soon either. For clarity sake, it is worth mentioning that web hosting providers that offer ‘Managed WordPress’ solutions, or the like, do charge. However that is because they are a host and have their operating costs to consider, these costs are not associated with WordPress itself.

As a result of making the source code freely available, there are millions of developers who have seen opportunities to create Themes and Plugins for it. Some are Free, others offer them for a fee. As of 2022, there are over 60,000 free plugins and over 9,000 free themes in the official WordPress Plugin Directory so you won’t be short of options or design inspiration.

By including these service ‘add-ons’, you are able to create a fully functional website, online store, booking engine or even a membership site – all on WordPress. For a start-up or small business, this could save thousands in upfront and ongoing costs. Leaving the only costs to consider being any chargeable Themes or Plugins required plus the costs of the Domain name(s), Web-hosting package and the skills of a Web Designer and Web Developer to help realise your vision.

 

SEO Friendly
wordpress is seo friendly search engine optimisation

A WordPress powered website can be on the front page of Google, it is 100% search engine friendly. You don’t need expensive website builders to get you on page 1 of Google or Bing. No matter what their fancy pants marketing says. WordPress can do it too and for a fraction of the time and cost. We’ll cover SEO in more detail over the course of a series of separate articles but just know – WordPress has you covered.

With only free plugins, you can assign each page and post on your website a unique meta tag, meta title, meta keyword, and meta description. In addition to generating a sitemap that self-manages. Granted, these capabilities can be expanded upon and become more powerful with some chargeable plugins. But, the free ones do a good enough job in most cases. This all matters because it allows for more precise optimisation and better ranking in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). One plugin that can help achieve this with a lot less hassle is Yoast SEO – we would highly recommend it, the paid premium upgrade is often worth it too.

Customisable & Flexible

wordpress is customisableWhen it comes to customisability and flexibility, WordPress is legendary. Your imagination really is the only limitation with WordPress. From beautiful animation driven websites to lush image-heavy responsive designs, WordPress delivers. One of the major reasons why WordPress is loved the world over, by businesses and developers alike, is because it can be tailoured to meet just about any design requirement. And quite amazingly, it can achieve it fast too. This is all thanks to using what are called ‘page builders’. The two most popular page builders on WordPress are Elementor and WPBakery. They will help to create a unique website that will resonate well with your target audience in a matter of days. If you need any help or inspiration with them – YouTube is your friend thanks to their excellent support base. 

Some of the most successful organisations in the world, from The New York Times, to MTV News and The Walt Disney Company – all use WordPress powered websites. The framework is so flexible, modern and responsive that websites can be created very quickly and be easy to maintain too. Instead of days – think hours. This results in a website that is both cheaper to operate and faster to rectify if, and when, things go south.

Customisability really is King when it comes to websites. Platforms such as Wix and Squarespace have a long way to go in this regard with their highly restrictive and, sometimes, frustrating user interfaces (UI). This translates into a longer development time, higher costs and limited capabilities. With the ongoing monthly costs to consider too, they suddenly become very expensive options when compared to WordPress. This is probably the reason why Wix and Squarespace only power, at most, 6% of all known websites apiece. A far cry from the 43%+ that WordPress powers.

Highly Scalable

wordpress is highly scalableWith the right infrastructure, services and resources, WordPress is highly scalable. It can serve tens of thousands of logged-in users simultaneously and serve millions of page views each and every month without skipping a beat. It has the ability to process page requests immediately and can deliver lightning fast results to search queries too. As a result, WordPress is a highly scalable platform that can support almost any growing business – even multi-million dollar corporations like the ones listed above.

Two of the most powerful features of WordPress are its enterprise integration and multi-site capabilities. It has the ability, with little to no coding, to integrate with a wide variety of disparate enterprise level platforms. Including CRM systems such as Salesforce, custom data synchronization, eCommerce stores and single sign-on systems.

Multi-site is a type of WordPress installation that allows you to create, and manage, multiple websites from one single WordPress dashboard. This makes website management a breeze, making changes and updates all from just one place results in less complication and easier maintenance when you’re running lots of websites.

Community Support

wordpress vast communityWhen more than 455 million websites use the same platform, help is never too far away. There are literally tens of millions of articles and do-it-yourself guides on Google and YouTube showing you how to do things with WordPress. It’s an incredible support base and nothing else comes close.

Sourcing a Developer isn’t a chore either, there are millions of them that are ready to help resolve your issue – from design to integration and everything in between. An expert is quick to find with only a Google Search these days and you’ll be up and running in no time. Remember, no platform is perfect and WordPress is no exception. Problems happen and they often derive from updates. It’s just a matter of when, not if, things go wrong with any website platform. So it’s really important you have support on-hand when you need it and you’ll never be far away from a WordPress specialist.

Your next steps.

At VIEWFULE, we often start our customers on WordPress. Given all our observations above, hopefully you now understand why. But in some cases platforms such as Joomla or the Laravel framework are required, amongst others. These are custom solutions to meet the needs of custom problems. So reach out for your FREE consultation and we’ll talk through your challenges to get you on the right platform that meets your use case and budget.

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