There are two main servers software out there for hosting WordPress powered websites.
According to statistics, Apache heavily rules the server market with powering 45.2% of websites in the digital market. But lately it has been seen that website developers worldwide are showing great interest in the NGINX in last few years. After Apache, NGINX is leading the server market with serving 40% of the websites.
NGINX and Apache are two open source web servers and have been in the market for quite some time. They are both being excessively used by website developers worldwide and it is very surprising that people still confuse the both servers for one another and cannot differentiate between the functions of the two.
This is why in this blog post, I am going to discuss about the two and how similar and different they are from each other. WordPress on nginx or Apache, which one you should use and if it is even possible to use Apache with nginx to get maximum benefits.
Let’s first look at the basic definitions of the two:
Nginx is pronounced as Engine X. It is an open source software which is used for web serving, media streaming, caching, load balancing, reverse proxying etc. It was launched in 2002 by Igor Sysoev whose aim was to minimize memory usage, give high performance and concurrency. Its simple purpose is to give high performance with using little memory resources. It also was developed to cater to a high number of concurrent connections and requests so that a big number of visitors can be handled well at one time without causing any delays. This is why, today WordPress powered websites are extensively using Nginx servers for hosting.
Apache was developed by Apache Foundation in 1995. It is most popular for the compatibility, reliability and features it provides. It supports PHP, Perl, Python and many other server side languages.
Apache is mainly known for the convenience it provides. This is why it is leading the web server market exponentially. Developers love Apache as it is not only easily customizable but it can also be tweaked accordingly to adjust with every hardware set up for technical capabilities.
Downside of both Apache and Nginx:
Although both web servers have their advantages but they also have their downside too. Apache eats up huge hardware resources specially server memory. On the other side, Nginx does not consume much resources but it needs help of PHP-FPM or other modules for serving dynamic content as it is great only with serving static content on its own.
Can you combine Apache with Nginx?
As both have their advantages and downside, it will be great if you can take one server’s speed and other’s power and compatibility with convenience and join them together to load fast websites.
Configure Apache with Nginx:
For hosting your websites powered by WordPress, the best solution is to configure Apache with Nginx so that you can take advantage of the two. When, you configure Apache with Nginx, the former works at the back-end of the site whereas the latter works as a reverse proxy. This therefore permits the WordPress powered websites to use .ht-access file so that it can take full advantage of Nginx’ performance for serving static content. This combination is very powerful and gives both robust front-end and back-end.
When you have Nginx at front on port 80, it accepts user connections and works as reverse proxy and this proxy then passes requests through Nginx to your back-end server if you choose Apache as back-end processor which works as an interpreter of language.
Benefits of combining Apache with Nginx:
Hosting WordPress on nginx and apache combo can provide great benefits.
- The overall consumption of memory and CPU resources of the server decreases to a great extent.
- The overall number of concurrent connections increases for a WordPress website.
- The WordPress on nginx and Apache combo helps the websites with large amount of static content to get maximum effects. This combo helps to run both static and dynamic content in most effective way.
WordPress on nginx or Apache? Many may see this as a continuous debate! Some may say that it is best to use nginx and other says Apache works best with WordPress. Well I think why we need to have this debate? Use both of them at once and host your WordPress site by using a combination of both Apache and Nginx.
Apache is famous for back-end compatibility and power whereas Nginx is fast for static content so why not use both. It is not fair to compare the two as both have their own advantages and disadvantages so use both by combining Nginx with Apache for fast speed, good back-end compatibility and high power.