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What is NGINX and How Can It Improve the Performance of Your WordPress Site?

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WordPress has simply no competitors when it comes to web application delivery and website creation. It is a one-man army. Hence, all the major brands like New York Times, MTV, CNN, etc., are using WordPress.

The simplicity is the most appealing thing about WordPress. Both in terms of implementation and end-users.
Advancement and Speed are the pioneer things that are required in this computer age. Performance is the legitimate brother of user experience in the online domain.

Nginx is a widely used web server. It is used by the business for steadiness and to deal with substantial traffic.

Even is powered by Nginx.

What is Nginx?

It is a reverse proxy and lightweight HTTP server. It is open source and has been prominent in the market for a decade. This server has a market share of 58.4% and secures the second position after Apache.


Nginx acts as a reverse proxy and is used to provide static content. It acts as a mediator between your website and users. The HTTP requests from the user’s end will be handled by the reverse proxy server before escalating them to your website. It will handle everything, right from improving security to fastly serving static content.

Working of Nginx

Nginx is widely known for its lightweight and fast response. It is a proxy and Linux web server. It is an ideal solution for small VPS as it operates with API and back-end applications. It can also be used with large websites.

It is perfect for handling many requests quickly and simultaneously. It has the ability to work with APIs and back-end applications.

When a user raises the request for a web page that is hosted on Nginx, it goes through many steps. Some requests are handled by other servers or programs while some are directly handled by Nginx. It is entirely dependent on the configuration file of Nginx. This file encloses all the guidelines that instruct Nginx to do what in different scenarios.

It tells where to check for static content such as HTML. Apart from it, it guides the send requests that must be processed by another server or program.

When you do the installation of Nginx in your server you can find its configuration file in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf. The diting of this file can be done directly.

You also get the privilege to build more configuration files directly. It is then linked to the configuration file i.e default.

Nginx as the load balancer

It is necessary to have a load balancer for WordPress users. Application level proxy also known as hardware appliance is the common type of load balancer.

Cisco Application Control Engine is the prominent hardware appliance that is used to improve the speed of WordPress websites. It is done by distributing requests and caching copies in RAM across multiple CPUs.

You can use software solutions like “Layer 7” or “Load Balancing” that can improvise the performance. It is done by splitting the HTTP requests that are incoming across multiple web servers.

These solutions work over software named FastCGI. This software forwards the PHP code of the webserver to application servers. This will take place over TCP port 2016, TCP port 443, or TCP port 80 in the cloud.

You can do their configuration to employ web servers (specific). This can be done as per the geographical location or according to the resource number’s requirement.

Performance and High Availability with Nginx

Nginx can do load balancing other than serving content. It can scale your applications and achieve high availability.

This server does this by acting as a reverse proxy. It will distribute the requests of the client on multiple servers. Thus, it increases the reliability and performance of applications or websites.

In a more simple language!!

The requests from the server are forwarded to the reverse proxy server. It then escalates it to another server. This is based on parameters like request numbers in the queue, CPU usage, etc.

This improvises the performance of the site & reliability and scalability of applications. It will distribute the workload across various back-end servers.

Nginx and Micro caching

Any cache system works better when the request numbers are cut-that reaches a server.

Even if you operate a small site, you will receive huge requests per second. Simply huge for a single server to tackle. This is where Nginx takes its turn.

This magnificent server uses micro caching. This will help to speed up your website because it caches the frequently requested content in the memory. It is also known by the term “millisecond caching”. It will save the results of the frequent request in the memory. Hence, servers can instantly retrieve them.

It will help you to speed up your website and reduce the round trips between the component and user. You can see the load time improvement if you are using Drupal or WordPress sites.

Please remember

This will only work great if Nginx is installed.

Performance Comparison of Nginx with competitors

1. Nginx vs Apache

The major difference between Nginx and Apache is in the design architecture. Nginx employs event-driven architecture whereas Apache goes for a process-driven approach.

These platforms share numerous qualities but differ in many areas. Each has its own scenario and uses. They excel in their own ways.

The architecture of Apache causes the consumption of heavy resources. It leads to server issues like slow speed.

Nginx vs Apache

Nginx uses an event-driven non-blocking connection to handle the algorithm. It can manage thousands of requests in one processing thread. Hence, it works more quickly.


Nginx can be used to operate under heavy loads and on low-power systems.

Enlightening more on Nginx vs Apache, both web servers process dynamic and static contents differently. Nginx is a savior for processing static content. Both Apache and Nginx are best in the case of dynamic content.

The transfer rate(speed) is excellent in Nginx in comparison to Apache.


Nginx gives the core feature and does not sacrifice the high-performance and lightweight qualities. Both servers are fantastic in terms of security

Apache gives community support via Stack Overflow, IRC, and mailing lists. Nginx also gives community support through the same mediums. It also has one addition, i.e forum.

The creators of Nginx also provide commercial products named Nginx Plus. This product gives support for extra features regarding monitoring, media-streaming, and load-balancing.

2. Nginx vs OpenLiteSpeed

OpenLiteSpeed is the same as Nginx. It is rumored that it is the drop-in replacement of Apache. It is because it can load and read files like .htaccess.

Still, this server does not hold the grip like Nginx.

Why should you go for Nginx for your WordPress site?

In opposition to other servers, Nginx is asynchronous. It handles all the running processes concurrently rather than sequentially.

One thread can handle plenty of requests simultaneously. It employs an event-driven system. This system only uses the threads whenever required. The rest of the functionality is placed in a non-blocking event loop.

This is the reason why Nginx works magnificently under heavy loads and consumes less memory. It is because there is no pending request in line. Nginx also provides a web application firewall. You can also integrate Nginx in prominent control panels like DirectAdmin, Plesk, and CyberPanel.

In a conclusion

Nginx is the best solution to improvise a website’s performance. It has amazing features and code design. It is an excellent choice to handle huge traffic.




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