To operate a WordPress website, you need a web hosting provider to host on the server. This helps the web browsers to run the website’s data. However, various web server options make the selection task daunting.

On the other hand, there are many web servers to select from Apache and NGINX are the known choice.  These two web servers manage over 50% of all web traffic. They share many similarities & uniqueness and what are those that we will cover in this article?

What is NGINX Web Server?

NGINX (pronounced “engine-ex”) is a free and open-source software that primarily functions as a web server, but it’s capable of much more.

  • Web Server: At its core, NGINX excels at delivering content on the web. It efficiently handles requests for static content like HTML files, images, and CSS. Its event-driven architecture allows it to manage a high number of connections simultaneously, making it faster than some competitors.
  • Reverse Proxy and Load Balancer: NGINX can act as an intermediary between web browsers and your actual web servers. It can receive requests, and then distribute them among multiple servers (load balancing) to optimize performance and reliability, especially for high-traffic websites.
  • Caching: NGINX can temporarily store frequently requested content, reducing the load on your main server and improving website loading times for users.
  • Media Streaming: NGINX can handle media streaming, efficiently delivering audio and video content to users.
  • Low Resource Consumption: Compared to some web servers, NGINX uses fewer system resources like memory, making it a good choice for servers with limited resources.
  • Scalability: NGINX can efficiently handle growing traffic volumes due to its event-driven architecture.

Read: How to Fix the “White Screen of Death” in WordPress?

What is Apache Web Server?

Apache, also known as the Apache HTTP Server, is a free and open-source software that reigns supreme as the most popular web server in the world. Here’s what it offers:

  • Web Server: Like NGINX, Apache is fundamentally a web server, delivering content to users when they request it through their web browsers. It efficiently handles static content like HTML files and images.
  • Dynamic Content Processing: Unlike NGINX, Apache can natively process dynamic content. This means it can interpret and execute scripts written in languages like PHP, which is crucial for many websites.
  • Modular and Flexible: Apache offers a vast array of modules that extend its functionality. These modules can add features like user authentication, security measures, and content negotiation. This modularity allows for a high level of customization to fit specific website needs.
  • Large Community and Resources: Due to its widespread use, Apache has a vast community of developers and users. This translates to an abundance of online resources, tutorials, and support for troubleshooting any issues.
  • Resource Consumption: Being a powerful server, it consumes more system resources than NGINX in case of high traffic loads.

Comparing Performance: NGINX vs Apache

Apache and NGINX are both popular web server options, but they differ in their performance strengths:


  • Faster for Static Content: NGINX excels at delivering static content like images, HTML files, and CSS. Its event-driven architecture allows it to handle a high volume of concurrent connections efficiently, often outperforming Apache by 2-3 times.
  • Lower Resource Consumption: NGINX uses fewer system resources like memory compared to Apache, making it a good choice for resource-constrained environments.
  • Highly Scalable: NGINX can handle growing traffic volumes well due to its efficient architecture.


  • Better with Dynamic Content: Apache is built to handle dynamic content that requires processing on the server side, such as PHP scripts. NGINX itself cannot process this type of content and relies on external applications.
  • More Flexible: Apache offers a wider range of modules and features that extend its functionality. Also, configuring with tools like .htaccess can be easier for some users.

Differences Between Apache vs NGINX


  • Apache: Uses a multi-threaded model, where each connection gets assigned a thread. This can be resource-intensive under heavy traffic.
  • NGINX: Employs an event-driven architecture. It uses a single thread to handle multiple connections efficiently, making it faster and more scalable.

Content Handling:

  • Apache: Can natively process dynamic content like PHP scripts itself.
  • NGINX: Primarily serves static content and relies on external applications like PHP-FPM to process dynamic content.


  • NGINX: Generally faster for static content due to its architecture and lower resource consumption.
  • Apache: Might perform better with dynamic content processing.


  • NGINX: Scales well due to its event-driven architecture, handling high traffic volumes efficiently.
  • Apache: Scalability can be an issue under extreme loads due to its multi-threaded model.


  • NGINX: Generally considered to have a smaller codebase and less complex configuration, potentially offering better security.
  • Apache: A larger codebase and more configuration options might introduce some security considerations.

Use Cases:

  • NGINX: Ideal for high-traffic websites with mostly static content, or as a reverse proxy and load balancer.
  • Apache: Well-suited for websites with a significant amount of dynamic content or for users who prefer a more flexible and modular web server.

Complementary Use:

  • NGINX and Apache can be combined: NGINX can handle static content and load balancing, while Apache focuses on dynamic content processing.

In conclusion, both Apache and NGINX are powerful web servers, but they have different strengths. Consider your website’s needs for static vs dynamic content, traffic volume, and desired level of flexibility when making your choice.

Read: Top UX/UI Trends for 2024 to make an Impact on Visitors


Which is faster: Apache or NGINX?

  • Generally, NGINX is faster for serving static content due to its event-driven architecture and lower resource consumption.
  • Apache might perform better with dynamic content processing since it can handle it natively.

What is easier to use: Apache or NGINX?

  • Configuration complexity depends on your needs.
  • Apache’s .htaccess files can be easier for some users familiar with them.
  • NGINX configuration files might have a steeper learning curve for beginners.

Which is more secure: Apache or NGINX?

  • Both can be secure with proper configuration.
  • NGINX’s smaller codebase might offer a slight advantage in security.

Can I use Apache and NGINX together?

  • Yes! They can be complementary.
  • NGINX can handle static content and load balancing, while Apache focuses on dynamic content processing.

What are some alternatives to Apache and NGINX?

  • Other popular web server options include LiteSpeed, Microsoft IIS, and Caddy.

Where can I learn more about Apache and NGINX?

  • Both Apache and NGINX have extensive official documentation and resources available online.
  • Numerous tutorials and guides exist to help you get started with either web server.

Do any performance considerations for WordPress on Apache or Nginx?

Yes, it includes concurrent connection handling, memory usage, and scalability. Nginx is often good for handling high levels of concurrent connections, making it suitable for high-traffic WordPress sites.

Does any of these web servers are more beginner-friendly for WordPress users?

The perceived ease of use is based on similarity. Some users locate Nginx’s declarative syntax, whereas others opt for Apache’s configuration style. Hence, both servers have extensive documentation and community support.

Leave a Reply