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What to Use – Nginx vs Apache?

Approx. read time : 4 min

For a good user experience of your website, you need to ensure that your servers are fast. There are plenty of programs that you can use for this purpose. Nginx and Apache are the most popular ones. This article will explain you the detailed comparison of the two for helping you to select the one that fits your VPS project best!

Nginx

Nginx is a high-performing web server which is lightweight. Its open source nature makes it easy to customize. It is highly popular as Apache as both practically govern the complete market of web servers.

The development of Nginx started in 2002 when the need for increasing the number of simulated requests per server arose.

When it comes to the technical level, Nginx uses a non-existing sub-process architecture. This indicates that when a request is generated, a new process isn’t created in the server processor. This ultimately increases the performance of the server.

Additionally, in recent years, Nginx is the fastest growing web server. You will find that there are 375 million websites running on Nginx server. You will find it available on all your preferred Linux flavors like CentOS 7.

Apache

Apache is highly expert web server which was created in 1995 and today it is the most popular in the world. Being an open source, you can examine, improve and adapt the source code as per your needs. Similar to Nginx, it is available for almost all Linux distributions along with Ubuntu 18.04 and CentOS 7.

Apache basically aims at providing a secure, stable and flexible web server. For example, the multi-process modules are managed by Apache for maintaining the same connection in different ways. Due to this, administrators can apply criteria for each connection which is the biggest benefit.

But, the more the consumption of Apache server occurs, the more it requires resources.

Nginx vs Apache: Can They be Compared?

In short, the answer is yes. No doubt both perform their function properly but they are a bit different. So, it is important for you to know in which areas it is or is not suitable for your server.

1. Nginx vs Apache – Popularity

Being popular is not a technical term, but surely it has an impact on the level of community support the server may have. Both Nginx and Apache are quite popular and so, you can almost say that they are one.

However, Apache gets greater support from the open source community, making it an ideal platform for educational projects and individuals.

In addition, Apache stands as the most popular web server in the world, even though there isn’t much difference between Nginx and Apache.

2. Nginx vs Apache – Security

In term of security, both web servers offer good security policies. The development teams of both the servers, frequently, publish security patches to avoid DDos attacks.

Moreover, you get quite active developments and constant updates.

3. Nginx vs Apache – Performance

In case you have a website then the web server should be faster. If it isn’t, it might lead to server collapses and at worse, a lack of visitors.

When performance comes into the spotlight, the sub-process management of Nginx responds better to customer requests. Additionally, since it is event based, only the server responds with requests, not allowing it to spend memory unnecessarily.

Apart from this, Nginx efficiently consumes computer resources. In simple terms, it requires less RAM to keep running.

One more important thing is that Nginx follows multiple requests in a better way. Hence, when several clients access your server at the same time, Nginx proves superior to Apache.

4. Nginx vs Apache – Flexibility

There are multiple different situations which a sysadmin has to deal with. So, applications must be highly flexible to adapt to what is required.

Being a highly flexible web server, Apache supports over 60 different modules, further extending its functionality.

Also, the customization of connections is supported by Apache via the .htaccess tool, while Nginx does not.

As a result, Apache is more flexible and customizable as compared to Nginx.

What to Use? Nginx vs Apache – Bottom Line

Lastly, whether to use Nginx or Apache completely depends on your needs. In general, Apache is perfect when it comes to customizing connections. Also, using it isn’t a bad idea if you need a lot of documentation. The reason is that Apache offers more community support.

On the other hand, if your web server receives high traffic, you might need to use Nginx because it can handle the traffic in a much better way.

Finally, you can use both on the same server. Remember, this isn’t possible frequently as you think, but is possible for different websites. Websites that require more customization use Apache, while websites that are accessed by more clients, are served in Nginx.

The closure point is that you need to decide what is more important to you and select between them accordingly.

Pallavi is a Digital Marketing Executive at MilesWeb and has an experience of over 4 years in content development. She is interested in writing engaging content on business, technology, web hosting and other topics related to information technology.
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