Question

Nginx vs Litespeed for WordPress performance

I have noticed across US and Europe WordPress communities there are some rumors getting popular recently, ex. Litespeed is “faster” than Nginx and that .htaccess is “required” for WordPress functions.

Well I am using Nginx around 7 years already and NEVER saw any problem without .htaccess files. Actually, I find it nicer because my WordPress plugins cannot secretly change my config settings.

And for Nginx we can simply enable FastCGI cache without installing additional software package, and no Wordpress cache plugin is required, another nice thing for me so that my customers are not messing with the caching settings all the time.

Here is what I do not understand… if OpenLitespeed has LS Cache then WHY do they force WordPress sites to install a cache plugin? And if they want to compare with Nginx than WHY do they include .htaccess files which are very insecure and can be hacked by WordPress plugins.

And why do every Litespeed hosting company use cPanel? If they want to be lightweight and secure like Nginx than why is no web host using OpenLitespeed + (no WP cache plugin) + (no .htaccess files)… isn’t that really the better comparison with Nginx?

Not 2005 anymore. Why the bloated WP cache plugins are still so common?

Subscribe
Share

.htaccess only part of the problem with Litespeed, you also must pay money for the license too (free version OLS is not stable).

And, LS cache plugin can very slow TTFB speeds–

https://wordpress.org/support/topic/nginx-vs-litespeed-for-wordpress-speed-ttfb/

next I will try Nginx FastCGI WordPress in Arch Linux also (v)Y


Submit an answer
You can type!ref in this text area to quickly search our full set of tutorials, documentation & marketplace offerings and insert the link!

These answers are provided by our Community. If you find them useful, show some love by clicking the heart. If you run into issues leave a comment, or add your own answer to help others.

Hi there,

Indeed, I agree with you. I’ve been using only Nginx for a while now and I’ve been extremely happy with the performance and the reliability.

But I still think that a good caching plugin like WP Rocket with a good configuration could be beneficial in order to reduce some of the backend load.

Best, Bobby

Hi @travistar,

I think that’s just the meta and user are used to it, no other reason. I had a friend which asked me to help him with some configuration, he is your average user. I configured Nginx for the exact same reasons you’ve mentioned above. My friend’s reaction was ‘How do I use this’, people are just not that used to use Nginx with WordPress or any website/app that doesn’t require some proxy.

Having said that, I fully agree with your statement. Nginx is so lightweight and works so fast but as said I think that’s just the meta.

I have noticed across US and Europe WordPress communities there are some rumors getting popular recently, ex. Litespeed is “faster” than Nginx and that .htaccess is “required” for WordPress functions.

There appears to be a coordinated “marketing” campaign between Litespeed Tech and some of their bloggers/affiliates to distribute the same misleading benchmarks where Nginx FastCGI was disabled during the tests resulting in Litespeed appearing to be much faster:

https://www.digitalocean.com/community/questions/openlitespeed-vs-nginx-benchmark-wordpress

Here is what I do not understand… if OpenLitespeed has LS Cache then WHY do they force WordPress sites to install a cache plugin? And if they want to compare with Nginx than WHY do they include .htaccess files which are very insecure and can be hacked by WordPress plugins.

Good questions, my conclusion is that Litespeed Tech has decided going after the WordPress community is the easiest target (probably because the users are considered less tech-savvy). Openlitespeed does have server-level caching (Apache and Nginx do too of course) but it seems the vast majority of Litespeed users are not aware of this and rely on the provided free WordPress plugin “LS Cache”.

I believe .htaccess files can be removed from Openlitespeed if you prefer (or edited in a central location instead of per-user files) but again they seem to be catering to the WordPress and shared hosting industry i.e. cPanel crowd with that.

What makes it even weirder is the Litespeed affiliates go around web forums saying things like “Nginx is so difficult to configure, they don’t even have a plugin for WordPress” which apparently is designed to scare less tech-savvy users away from trying Nginx.

The truth is that there are several free WordPress plugins that allow you to clear/purge the Nginx FastCGI cache… however some Nginx users don’t use these, and simply configure auto-clearing rules in their FastCGI cache configuration.

Again, there are so many rumors going around about Litespeed vs. Nginx because it seems there is a coordinated effort to confuse WordPress users while making them believe Litespeed is a magic fix to all of their web technology problems and confusion. Nothing could be further from the truth, any web server is either going to require you to understand the basics of configuration or hire someone (or a web host) to manage that server for you on your behalf.

The main difference is because of the strong open source community, Nginx has a lot more free setup scripts than Litespeed. You can find many free “LEMP stack scripts” for WordPress specifically that will auto-configure FastCGI cache and other components of your stack, in contrast with Openlitespeed (I don’t know any free scripts for OLS).

Hi,

You asked why the plugin is needed. Technically, it’s not. You can use OLS’s LSCache module alone and not use the plugin at all, but the plugin allows you to manage the cache in such a way that more objects may be stored for a longer period, and with unparalleled accuracy. This is because the plugin understands how WP works, and can communicate that to the server cache module. This is also why the nginx-helper plugin born. It helps make better caching rules.

As for performance, OpenLiteSpeed WordPress with LSCache can be launched from the marketplace easily, so you can run some benchmarks to compare with your servers if you’re curious.