Top 3 NGINX Shared Hosting Providers

NGINX hosting is hard to find, especially shared hosting. Here are the best NGINX web hosts:

HostArmada 9.9

HostArmada uses a full-fledged NGINX server for shared hosting, unlike other hosts that use it as a reverse-proxy. It has free backups and malware scanning, along with very competitive prices starting at $2.48/m.

  • Pure NGINX servers
  • Static file caching
  • Free backups
  • Free malware removal
  • OPcode cache
  • Free private DNS

75% off!

Learn More About HostArmada

NGINX Server

Offsite Backups

Free Domain

Free Malware Scanning

HostArmada Pros:

  • Pure NGINX servers (Not proxy)
  • 7-21 days of backups
  • Free malware scanning
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Free domain
  • Global data centers in US, EU, and Asia

HostArmada Cons:

  • No unlimited storage

InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting uses a custom UltraStack architecture with an NGINX reverse proxy. This enables features like server-side caching and optimized WordPress configurations. Starting at $2.49/m.

8.5

★★★★☆

  • NGINX reverse-proxy
  • NVMe drives
  • Unlimited storage
  • Free server-side caching
  • Free WAF
  • 90-day money-back guarantee

More Info

InMotion Hosting Pros:

  • NGINX reverse-proxy architecture
  • Malware protection
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Allows two websites on the basic plan

InMotion Hosting Cons:

  • No free backups
  • No free domain on the “Core” plan

Kinsta

Kinsta provides high-end managed WordPress hosting with NGINX reverse-proxy servers. It’s expensive, but you’ll never complain about speed or features. Starts at $29.17/m.

8.5

★★★★☆

  • NGINX reverse-proxy server
  • 30-days of backups
  • Free Cloudflare Enterprise protection
  • Free malware and firewall
  • Static and dynamic caching
  • Guaranteed performance

Kinsta Pricing

Kinsta Pros:

  • NGINX reverse-proxy add-on
  • Very high-quality hardware
  • 30-days of backups
  • Server-side page caching
  • Free malware and hack protection
  • Free Enterprise Cloudflare protection
  • Global data centers

Kinsta Cons:

  • Super expensive
  • Only managed WordPress hosting
  • Restricted WordPress plugins

Summary of NGINX Web Hosting

Web HostPriceRating
HostArmada$2.48/m★★★★★ 4.8
InMotion Hosting$2.49/m★★★★☆ 4.5
Kinsta$29.17/m★★★★☆ 4.3
NGINX Shared Hosting Rating

Table of Contents

What is NGINX Hosting?

NGINX hosting is when a web host uses an NGINX web server instead of Apache or LiteSpeed. There are two scenarios:

  1. As a standalone NGINX web server
  2. Using NGINX as a reverse-proxy to Apache

In the first scenario, NGINX is the primary – and only – server. In the second, the base server is still Apache, but NGINX is the front-end to handle requests and pass them to Apache. This is called a “reverse proxy”, because NGINX is sitting in front of Apache and handling incoming traffic. The reasons for this are many, as seen below.

Benefits of NGINX Hosting

Choosing a web host with an NGINX server has many benefits:

  1. Native support for caching static content
  2. Easy server-side caching for dynamic content
  3. Less bloated than Apache
  4. Able to handle over 10,000 simultaneous requests
  5. Free and open-source like Apache

NGINX was designed for concurrency, with an asynchronous event model that maximizes resource efficiency.

Every web host using NGINX should offer dynamic server-side caching, one of the most essential web hosting features. With so many benefits, you’d think that more shared web hosting providers would choose NGINX over Apache. But this isn’t the case. Why?

Why NGINX Shared Hosting is so Rare

While there are many Apache and LiteSpeed web hosts, NGINX is rare in a shared hosting environment. The reason is that NGINX is harder to configure and maintain. cPanel is the most common server administration panel, and it officially supports Apache and LiteSpeed. So if something goes wrong, web hosts can fall back on cPanel for troubleshooting.

By contrast, NGINX requires careful manual configuration, and the community support isn’t as strong. Also, it doesn’t support standard Apache modules like .htaccess.

This is even more problematic for shared hosting providers operating on thin margins because they need to train support staff knowledgeable about NGINX. It’s cheaper to find technical support for Apache. And because of the manual configuration, they need to spend more time maintaining the NGINX environment. Since this cuts into their already sparse profits, shared hosting providers usually stay away from NGNIX.

What is an NGINX Reverse-Proxy?

Because NGINX is so hard to configure, many web hosts prefer to use it as a reverse-proxy to Apache instead of a standalone NGINX installation. This means that NGINX sits in front of Apache and handles whatever requests it can while passing on the rest to Apache.

Benefits of an NGINX Reverse-Proxy:

By placing NGINX in front of Apache, web hosts gain the following benefits:

  • Native caching of static and dynamic content
  • Better security as NGINX can hide the Apache endpoint
  • Load balancing capabilities as NGINX can direct traffic between multiple servers

At the same time, web developers don’t need to restructure their applications to adapt to NGINX, so they can use all their familiar configuration files like .htaccess. Using an NGINX reverse-proxy in front of Apache brings the best of both worlds.

NGINX vs Apache: Pros and Cons of Each

Here are the pros and cons of Apache vs NGINX from a web hosting perspective.

NGINX

Pros

  • Inbuilt server-side caching
  • Less RAM consumption
  • Built for concurrency

Cons

  • Harder to configure
  • Apache modules like .htaccess don’t work
  • Fewer plug-in modules

Because of these differences, NGINX is very popular on VPS installations where customers manage their own configurations.

Apache

Pros

  • Configuration is well-documented
  • Familiarity with common modules
  • Wide selection of plugins

Cons

  • Slows down under heavy load
  • Uses a lot more RAM
  • No support for caching

Due to the ease of maintenance, Apache is the preferred web server in shared hosting environments. For a more detailed overview of the differences between the two, check out this DigitalOcean article on NGINX vs Apache.

Alternative to NGINX Web Hosting: LiteSpeed Hosting

If you’re having trouble finding an NGINX hosting provider, you might consider LiteSpeed hosting instead. Unlike NGINX, LiteSpeed has a paid license, so it’s far less common than Apache. But LiteSpeed is a drop-in replacement for Apache, which means it’s easier to configure, and the support is excellent. It also comes with server-side caching for static and dynamic content, allowing you to utilize Edge Side Includes (ESI) for caching even frequently updated pages.

My recommendation for LiteSpeed web hosting is NameHero:

NameHero.com (LiteSpeed)

$2.24/m

  • LiteSpeed web server
  • Server-side caching
  • Free backups and restore
  • Free malware scanning & WAF
  • NVMe drives

Rating:

4.9

★★★★★

NameHero Review

Expert Review:


All NameHero plans come with server-side caching, thanks to the LiteSpeed web server, including the cheapest plan starting at $2.24/m. Higher-tier plans bring NVMe drives, more RAM, and CPU cores. Visit the NameHero coupon page to see all the deals.

Disk Space

Unlimited

RAM

1 GB- 4 GB

Webserver

LiteSpeed

Domain Name

Free for 2+ years

Here’s a list of the best LiteSpeed hosting providers to get you started.

NGNIX Shared Hosting is More Expensive

Because of the additional maintenance and technical support training, NGINX shared hosting is more expensive than usual. Ordinary Apache web hosting costs as little as $2.64/m as you can see on this Hostgator coupon code page. But a properly configured NGINX server with caching costs at least $4.99/m before discounts, and $14.95/m at the renewal price.

HostArmada, which uses an NGINX web server, doesn’t offer server-side caching for dynamic content and switches to the LiteSpeed webserver on the highest-tier “Speed Reaper” plan. InMotion only implements advanced caching on their “Power” plan, even though the lower-tier package uses NGINX. And Kinsta is a lot more expensive than either of these two.

You might as well choose LiteSpeed shared hosting at these prices instead of NGINX.

Final Thoughts on NGINX Hosting

NGINX is usually installed on VPS servers instead of shared hosting. The few web hosts that use NGINX charge a lot more for advanced functions like server-side caching. Instead of that, I suggest you look at LiteSpeed web hosting. That way, you’ll get all the benefits of NGINX hosting at lower prices.

I hope this article has helped you make an informed choice. Happy hosting!

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

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