Nginx vs Apache: Which is best in 2020?

Nginx vs Apache: Which is best in 2020?

Competition between Nginx vs Apache

For running a Website the most important section is web server. Both Nginx and Apache are the two best web server overworld and both are open source. In this article, we will discuss the best two web servers available in terms of caching and request handling. I will also give you my personal experience with both web servers.

Web servers can be summed as a visitor requesting for a web page using a web address with the unique DNS and IP system so that it can request the right computer. The computer which is hosting the requested web page will serve the web page to the visitor.

Apache webserver

Apache was first released in 1995 by Tim Berners Lee. And just after releasing it started gaining popularity over the globe. Even nowadays it holds a good market position. It is developed and maintained by the apache foundation under the Apache license.

Apache and Linux

In popularising apache, Linux played a huge role. Almost all Linux distributions came pre-installed with the apache server. For example Red hat, centos or ubuntu. It uses .htaccess for its configuration. If you work on the website then definitely you had heard about it.

Game changer on Shared hosting

In shared hosting, Apache can Host hundreds of users on the same machine. You can host many different websites on the same server without affecting the other websites.

Apache Modules

Modules are used to enhance web server functionality. Apache allows installing modules on pre-installed apache. Some of the modules of apache are

  • core
  • MPM common
  • event
  • prefork
  • MPM WinNT
  • worker

Nginx webserver

Nginx was first launched on2004 by a Russian Developer named Igor Sysoev.  First Nginx came in 2 versions

  • Open source- BSD type license
  • Nginx Plus with support and additional features

There is no doubt that the Nginx server is faster than apache and mostly used to serve static files and as a load balancer or reverse proxy in front of Apache installation. Nginx uses hardware more efficiently than Apache webserver.  In march 2019 Nginx was acquired by F5 networks for $670 million.

Nginx configuration

Nginx does not have a configuration just like in apache. But it is not bad it is even faster than apache and works great in using resources. You can easily rely on this webserver.

Nginx in a shared environment

Nginx does not perform well in a shared environment as Apache does. It is not built for work in shared environment. For a hosting company, you hardly find nginx but for personal use, it is a great choice.

Nginx Modules

Just like Apache, Nginx also has many modules. But the difference arises at the time of installing. Nginx modules have to be enabled at the time of Build. But in Apache, you can install modules after Apache installation. So you just have to be smart at your work in Nginx.

Caching competition

Caching is the storage of data to serve the requester so that it can serve faster the data. Caching decreases server load and also decreases the website load time.

Nginx has better and powerful tools for caching. Nginx is very efficient in serving static content on its own. FastCGI caching is also a powerful tool for Nginx caching.

Apache has Mod_cache module which is glitchy and conflicting with many other modules.

Handling Request

This is the major place where we can compare both of them. In this, we will see how they handle the request.


Apache processes request with MPM-s or multi-processing-modules, which is responsible for binding to network ports, accepting requests, and dispatching children to handle the request. Apache uses multi-threaded worker MPM and event MPM in older times. But now upgrading to PHP-fpm it still creates competition in the market.


It uses asynchronous, non-blocking event-driven architecture. It can handle requests more efficiently than Apache. Nginx ideally has one worker processes at a time. It can handle thousands of traffic per worker. It can handle almost double traffic than Apache.


Apache and Nginx both are the best web servers in the market. Both are fast and reliable. But if you need a higher traffic handler then go for Nginx and if you need the best multi-account handler server then go for Apache.


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