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What is Nginx?

Nginx is a free, open-source, and powerful web server with asynchronous architecture. If configured correctly, it can solve a number of significant computing issues, from HTTP caching to the creation of a reverse proxy

nginx logo

Overview 

Nginx was launched in 2004 by Igor Sysoev to resolve the scalability issue. Initially, it was able to process 10,000 connections at the same time. Recently, Nginx replaced Apache as the most popular web server and now has a market share of about 33%. Thanks to Nginx’s asynchronous event-driven architecture, it is extremely scalable even under the conditions of scarce resources: It processes multiple connections in a single stream. At the moment Nginx is used by WordPress.com, Atlassian, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Microsoft, IBM, and other prominent projects. 

Usage for WordPress

WordPress is highly compatible with Nginx. In fact, some of the largest WordPress websites use Nginx. If your WordPress website is static, then Nginx is definitely the way to go. Just make sure you or your host know how to configure the web server to match your project’s particular demands. Going with a WordPress-specific host will facilitate the process and render a better performing website. 

Main Features

Nginx has a number of significant advantages: 

  • Speed & Efficiency

Nginx’s architecture is speed-oriented, so the requests are processed with high efficiency, especially when it comes to static pages. This makes websites load faster, which in turn positively affects user experience and SEO. 

  • Many concurrent connections handled

The web server can handle up to 1024 concurrent connections, which is significantly more than Apache’s 150. 

  • Resource-saving

Nginx is able to show amazing results while saving memory, time, and power. 

  • Compatible

Highly compatible with all popular web apps, Nginx works smoothly with WordPress, Ruby, Python, Joomla, etc.

  • Support

There’s a thematic forum for Nginx-related issues. Alternatively, users can get support via email. 

But of course, Nginx also has some disadvantages: 

  • Low Productivity on Windows 

While both Nginx and Apache work great with Linux, Nginx’s productivity on Windows is much lower. 

  • Detection of Errors

Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what has gone wrong in the configuration, and Nginx isn’t very helpful. 

  • Additional Software Configuration Needed

With Nginx, you’ll need additional software configuration because it only serves static files out of the box.

Nginx vs Apache

 

Nginx Apache
Connections handled Uses an asynchronous, non-blocking, event-driven connection handling algorithm. This makes Nginx able to scale even with very limited resources. A bunch of multi-processing modules (MPMs) dictate how client requests are handled. This makes Apache’s resource consumption pretty high.
Dynamic Webpages Can’t handle them natively. Can handle them.
Configuration Settings Centralized: Doesn’t allow select access. Distributed: Can allow non-admin users access to certain directories.
Modules Have to be selected and compiled into the core Dynamically loadable