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Apache vs Nginx Web server

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Apache vs Nginx Web server

Nginx and Apache are Linux based web servers that serve as backbone for websites in transferring data and running programming scripts and languages. Historically, Apache has been the most popular web server since its launch in 1996, and in 2009, it became the first server to exceed 100 millionth website mark. As of 2009, over 45% of the websites were hosted using Apache as their web servers.

However, since 2011, 2 years after the launch of Nginx (pronounced as Nginx), a steady downfall has been observed in the adoption rate of Apache. This downfall has been reported to be from as high as 63% to below 40%, a sharp decline of 23% over since 2011. Here are some differences between both servers, and which one serves to be better in terms of speed and performance:

  1. Architectural differences

Apache and Nginx have difference in their architecture designs. Nging is an event-based, whereas Apache is a process-based server. Both have their own set of features. However, the steady dropfall in the adoption rates of Apache has been observed due to the fact that Nginx is a much faster server than its counterpart. Moreover, since it is event-driven, Nginx server is best known for its scalability and does not allow the server RAM to be consumed heavily under heavy loads. Apache on the other hand does the opposite and hence results in degraded server performance. Nginx only requires the minimal amount of server resources to run and avoids heavy consumption of resources.

  1. Performance

Due to the event-drive process, Nginx is faster than Apache and is best used for serving static content with optimum memory consumption of server resources. It does not need to request new threads to load a process, unlike Apache. Nginx is an excellent servier for doing reverse proxies of millions of HTTP websites. However, it only uses minimum amount of resources, compared to over-consumption of resources by Apache.

  1. Ease of use

Apache has dramatically improved itself over the last few years in terms of bug fixes, and ease of use. On the other hand, Nginx is also fairly easy to use with lesser amount of time and effort required in deployment as compared to its counterpart.


Both servers are great in terms of their own features. However complete reliance just on the servers for speed and performance is just not a wise option. In the internet of things, web servers, server resources, cloud/shared/VPS/dedicated, all choices combined make a logical decision of determining performance of websites.

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Guest Thursday, 22 March 2018

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