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NGINX vs OpenLiteSpeed (OLS) honest speed comparison 2022

The web-server battle of the century continues by way of the pandemic into 2022.

  • Who’s sooner?
  • Is speed all that issues?
  • What are the specialists selecting?

Find out as they go head-to-head in one other of my lazy ass write-ups. Just a pair photographs, biased opinions, and hasty conclusions from my 30-minute testing of those two server giants.

Who are NGINX and LiteSpeed?

The largest and hottest excessive efficiency net servers in use at this time.

If you significantly haven’t heard of them, you’re in all probability residing underneath a rock and will get an web subscription.

Not even kidding, these 2 names are talked about in every single place at this time. Back within the days…it was solely Apache and NGINX…and never a lot of a battle (speedwise) as a result of NGINX was manner newer and constructed particularly for speed. But Apache held on as a result of it might a dozen issues NGINX couldn’t.

LiteSpeed (2003) truly launched a 12 months earlier than NGINX (2004) and was quick like NGINX however might additionally do all of the issues Apache. You’d assume LiteSpeed can be mega-popular but it surely wasn’t since you needed to pay for it…whereas Apache and NGINX had been free and open-source. After some years, LiteSpeed determined to launch a free open-source model known as OpenLiteSpeed (2013).

Which takes us to at this time’s webhosting panorama:

  • Many conventional hosts nonetheless providing Apache.
  • Newer fashionable hosts providing NGINX.
  • Boutique hosts (each conventional & fashionable) providing LiteSpeed.
  • Ultra-modern stylish hosts providing NGINX & OpenLiteSpeed (OLS).

NGINX vs OpenLiteSpeed (OLS)

So now we notice the place the battle is de facto at. It’s free open-source OpenLiteSpeed taking up the powerhouse free open-source NGINX.

Questions the noobs asks:

  • Is OLS actually sooner than NGINX? – that’s what my submit will reply.
  • Is OLS newer/cooler than NGINX? – sure, it’s.
  • Is OLS simpler to make use of than NGINX? – sure, it’s. In phrases of htaccess compatibility.
  • Main benefit OLS has over NGINX? – OLS means that you can use LiteSpeed Cache plugin (which is my favourite cache plugin for WordPress).

Questions the professionals ask:

  • Is OLS actually sooner than NGINX? – diehard NGINX devs/admins say no. Diehard LS devs/admins say sure.
  • Is OLS newer/cooler than NGINX? – some professionals assume it’s gimmicky and never as confirmed, not as steady.
  • Is OLS simpler to make use of than NGINX? – not if they like NGINX config.
  • Advantages NGINX has over OLS? – admins at this time are extra aware of NGINX config, and discover it much less problem to config/handle.
  • Advantages OLS has over NGINX? – simple studying curve for professionals, simple interface for non-pros, htaccess suitable, additionally the tremendous highly effective native WordPress cache plugin (LiteSpeed Cache) whereas NGINX doesn’t have one.

NGINX vs OLS speed benchmark charts

Some notes about my testing:

  • I fired up a bunch of low cost $5 VPS (1-core, 1gb ram). One with NGINX, one other with OLS. (Using largely default configs, I didn’t fine-tune them.)
  • NGINX server had recent WP web site with solely Cache Enabler plugin.
  • OLS server had recent WP web site with solely LiteSpeed Cache plugin.
  • Then used free loader.io account to throw 10,000 purchasers/min at HTTPS area utilizing GET technique.

NGINX (un-cached) vs OLS (un-cached)

NGINX (un-cached)
OLS (un-cached)

What this implies:

  • NGINX served 150 requests and averaged 1-sec for every, earlier than failing in 6 seconds.
  • OLS served 383 requests however averaged 9-sec for every, earlier than failing in 16 seconds.
  • Raw OLS is easier weaker to me. I a lot favor uncooked NGINX dealing with fewer requests at cheap response (1sec) earlier than crashing early, than OLS with slower preliminary response after which tries to unsuccessfully deal with extra concurrent hits.
  • But realistically, this comparison doesn’t matter. Because no person of their proper thoughts can be serving 10k requests/min with out caching.

NGINX (cached) vs OLS (cached)

NGINX (cached)
OLS (cached)

What this implies:

  • Don’t trouble common response instances. Both servers run just about on the similar speed as soon as the cache kicks after 2 seconds (~66ms per request). The common is generally affected by the gradual preliminary response being averaged out.
  • But certainly, OLS is quicker by a tiny tiny margin. Initial gradual response was faster (OLS 106ms vs NGINX 137ms) after which the steady response was a tiny bit sooner (OLS 65ms vs NGINX 67ms).

So is OpenLiteSpeed actually sooner/higher than NGINX?

Is OpenLiteSpeed sooner than NGINX?

  • Without caching, I’d say NO.
  • But with caching, I’d say YES however solely by a freaken hair. Difference so small you wouldn’t even discover.

Any different benchmarks exhibiting LiteSpeed being 20-300% sooner than NGINX are foolish to me. I’m a diehard LiteSpeed fan myself however don’t imagine it’s that a lot sooner. OpenLiteSpeed (free model) is like 1-2% sooner at most. LiteSpeed Enterprise (paid model) is possibly 3-5% sooner at most. If even that. And typically, I swear NGINX is quicker.


LiteSpeed can do many issues that produce sooner finish consequence. Caching dynamic requests, security measures (that lower useful resource drain from DDOS assaults), and extra.

What’s the true advantage of LiteSpeed/OpenLiteSpeed over NGINX?

The #1 cause for me is the free LiteSpeed Cache plugin (suitable with solely LS/OLS servers). It’s a freaken wonderful plugin with dozens of efficiency options to speed your web site up in so some ways. This plugin alone is what separates LS/OLS from NGINX. NGINX doesn’t have any native cache plugin for WordPress. Sure, you should use different cache plugins on NGINX however they aren’t as energy because the LiteSpeed Cache plugin.

Of course, NGINX diehards will argue that NGINX can do that too. They’ll declare “NGINX also has micro-caching capabilities to rival LiteSpeed’s ESI dynamic cache”. Which is yeah, it’s true, BUT it’s not as simple to configure for the on a regular basis particular person. With LiteSpeed cache plugin, you simply make a number of clicks. With NGINX, you gotta discover ways to make NGINX configs and manually write out precisely what you want. Yeah…no thanks. Just not sensible until you’re an NGINX skilled managing only some websites.

Let’s not overlook about LiteSpeed’s QUIC.cloud service (which simply integrates with LiteSpeed Cache plugin) and caches your web site on the edge…rivaling cloud-cache companies like NitroPack for a fraction of the worth. NGINX doesn’t have something like that.

How urgently must you change to OpenLiteSpeed?

Well, the vast majority of high-performance net servers on the market are nonetheless fortunately working on NGINX. It works nicely, it’s confirmed, can nonetheless be cached, and plenty of admins are aware of it. You’ll nonetheless get nice efficiency out of it.

But in case you’re curious to strive one thing new…OpenLiteSpeed is price . For that cause, you might have observed many new hosts adopting it.

  • If you’re fortunately on NGINX, don’t sweat it.
  • If you’re searching for a brand new server, LiteSpeed/OpenLiteSpeed are price a glance.
  • If your identify is WPJohnny, you’ve solely used LiteSpeed for 10+ years. 😉

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