LiteSpeed Web Server: Your Best Bet for Fast Web Hosting
Open source web server Apache controls most of the Internet, but is it the best solution for your website?
Many companies have decided that alternatives such as Nginx (pronounced engine-x) offer better features, but these may come at the cost of compatibility in an Apache-centric web world.
While both Apache and Nginx are free options, free doesn’t always mean cost-efficient. Could a commercial offering provide the same, or better, cost-efficiency? Would such an offering provide features that make it worth using over more popular alternatives?
LiteSpeed Web Server is one such commercial offering, and the answer to both of those questions is a resounding yes.
In this post, we’ll examine what makes LiteSpeed an attractive option in the web server world.
Free isn't always free
With Apache, scalability is an issue. When your website outgrows its current limits, you have several choices.
Upon reaching the limits of Apache, some companies decide to switch to Nginx. While this is a free option, it requires significant retraining of staff and quite a bit of work if you have an Apache-heavy setup that needs to be transferred over.
Buying better hardware is another option, albeit an expensive one. As you’ll see in the rest of this post, LiteSpeed aims to solve both of these problems.
Best of all, there is a free tier, so an already affordable solution scales nicely with the growth of your business.
Compatible with industry standards
Your staff is currently well-trained in administering your web server with cPanel, Plesk, CyberPanel, DirectAdmin, or one of the many other well-known control panels for Apache.
Much of your hand-tuned setup is likely directly tied to the Apache way of doing things. Switching web servers usually involves learning an entirely new control panel, as well as new syntax for the various scripts and configuration files that control the web server.
As a direct replacement for Apache, LiteSpeed allows you to reuse all the knowledge you already have so you are up and running quicker with fewer mistakes.
You also benefit from most of the vast knowledge that has been accumulated by the Apache community. As the most popular web server in the world, Apache has a very large repository of knowledge that you can draw from if you make the switch to LiteSpeed.
As scalable as Nginx
Most people switch from Apache to Nginx because of scalability issues.
Nginx is fantastic in that regard. LiteSpeed could have all the compatibility with Apache in the world, but if it doesn’t solve the scalability problem, it doesn’t make for a very attractive alternative.
Thankfully, it does solve that problem, and it does it beautifully.
Apache creates a new processing thread for every connection that comes in. This is what leads to the world’s most popular web server being comparatively poor at scalability.
Having a lot of users results in a lot of processes, leading to a huge performance hit on your website.
LiteSpeed uses an event-based connection system that keeps your processor cycles working efficiently and allows for unlimited connections.
This means no more ‘the server is too busy’ messages for your visitors.
‘Speed first’ design methodology
Speed is important for many reasons. First, consumers expect websites to load quickly — and search engines demand it.
A slow-loading site is penalized heavily in the search results. This is for good reason, as 53% of mobile users will abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. With mobile making up larger percentages of all web traffic, this is a big deal to search engines who want their visitors to be happy with search results.
It’s also a big deal to you if you want your potential visitors to stick around.
Knowing this, LiteSpeed Web Server has several technologies in place to make your site load faster than ever.
The built-in LiteSpeed cache allows for web pages to be delivered quickly, and plugins for sites built with WordPress allow you to take that benefit and apply it to even larger parts of your website.
LiteSpeed also features the fastest PHP available, as well as an instant speed boost to Ruby and Python apps.
These features result in fast web hosting, leading to a smoother experience for your users and an increase in organic search traffic for you.
Security without the performance hit
LiteSpeed utilises the ModSecurity standard to ensure that your data and that of your customers are safe.
While the web server puts a huge focus on speed, it doesn’t come at the expense of security.
You’ll still get the peace of mind you expect from ModSecurity, but with speeds that far exceed those of Apache and Nginx.
Other security measures are included too, such as server-side reCaptcha support. By shifting reCaptcha to the server, you can guard your site against DDoS attacks more effectively. You can even deploy the technology selectively to minimise the annoyance to visitors.
For example, you can make the site show a reCAPTCHA when load is high (and a DDoS attack is possibly underway) and turn the verification off when traffic slows down.
HTTP/3 is the newest iteration of the Internet protocol that uses UDP instead of TCP for a smoother site experience.
LiteSpeed was the first to implement a product-ready version of the new protocol.
The web server has also announced its dedication to stay current with changes as specifications evolve.
In addition, LiteSpeed is one of the few providers that implement the new Edge Side Includes (ESI) protocol in full. ESI is an improvement over Server Side Includes (SSI) that reduces the amount of back and forth that a server and client must engage in while displaying a website.
This translates to a decrease in loading time and allows for more dynamic content on your website
For all of the reasons listed above, at Standout we strongly believe in the superiority of LiteSpeed Web Server — which is why all of our hosting plans are built on it.
If you are looking for top-quality web hosting with a state-of-the-art server that can keep your website up and your revenue flowing, we invite you to check out our hosting plans.
We think you’ll find there’s something for every budget in there.
If you have any questions about hosting with us, please feel free to contact us at any time.