What is LiteSpeed Web Hosting?

LiteSpeed web hosting is web hosting that uses the LiteSpeed server instead of Apache. This typically makes web hosting a little more expensive since LiteSpeed is a paid product, unlike Apache. But in exchange, you get a lot benefits as explained below.

Best Hosting Provider for LiteSpeed

There aren’t many hosting providers that offer LiteSpeed. But among the ones that do, I recommend NameHero because it has:

  1. LiteSpeed for all its plans (Not just some)
  2. Has free backups/restore via JetBackup
  3. Free malware scanning and repair
  4. Excellent customer service

Here’s a list of NameHero promo codes that you can apply. But this is the best one for standard web hosting:

NameHero Coupon: WPTWEAKSSTARTER 60

A better discount (60%) than the default pricing on the NameHero webpage.

More Less
60% Off!
Doesn't expire

So what’s so special about LiteSpeed, and why is it better than Apache?

Why Doesn’t Everyone Use LiteSpeed?

The main reason that most web hosts don’t offer LiteSpeed, is because it’s expensive. Apache is free, in addition to being open source. So hosting providers can cut their costs and add to their bottom line. In order to offer LiteSpeed as an option, web hosts will have to either:

  1. Reduce their profit margins, OR
  2. Increase their prices

Neither of these are attractive options in a competitive industry. Which is why web hosts that do use LiteSpeed are uncommon. A2 Hosting is one example of a web host that offers LiteSpeed only on its premium “Turbo” plans, which distinguishes it from NameHero in this regard. Here’s a detailed A2 Hosting vs NameHero comparison.

3 Reasons to Use LiteSpeed Instead of Apache

LiteSpeed has the following advantages over Apache.

Biggest Reason: Server Caching

Server caching is the feature where a web server stores copies of generated pages and serves them to users, instead of creating the web page from scratch. This is particularly valuable for CMSs like WordPress, which are dynamic and database heavy.

Ordinarily, WordPress users rely on 3rd party plugins for caching like W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, or WP Rocket. But it’s far more efficient if the caching functionality is handled by the server itself. This is because plugins are one layer “up”, and rely on PHP handlers to do their work. This counts against your site performance.

When the LiteSpeed server handles your caching however, the whole process is much faster. Here’s a list of hosting providers that offer server caching.

Can Handle Far More Requests

The LiteSpeed web server uses an event-drive architecture, which allows it to be 12 times faster than NGINX and 84 times faster than Apache. This is because it doesn’t spawn a new process each time a visitor comes to your site. Instead, it runs just one (or a few for high-traffic sites), and uses a completely different model for handling requests.

Here’s a graph showing the number of requests per second for LiteSpeed as opposed to NGINIX and Apache:

What is LiteSpeed Web Hosting - Requests per Second
LiteSpeed Requests Per Second vs NGINX vs Apache

The upshot is that your website scales well under load, and can handle a lot more traffic. This means faster page loads, and the ability to stay with your chosen plan for longer before needing to upgrade.

QUIC.cloud Integration

While still in beta, this has the potential to be the most game changing feature of LiteSpeed. QUIC.cloud is a special CDN that caches dynamic content instead of just static files like images, JavaScript, and CSS.

They’re able to do this because the LiteSpeed web server knows when the pages have changed, and is able to signal the CDN to purge them on demand. As of now, the manual configuration for QUIC.cloud is still pretty complicated, and I don’t recommend it for beginners.

But as this feature matures, it will be the only web server that integrates directly with a CDN, and is able to leverage page caching to warm or “prime” its EDGE nodes. Not even Cloudflare can do that!

Bottom Line

The LiteSpeed web server is a paid offering, unlike Apache. But in return, you get far superior performance, server caching, and a global CDN that’s able to cache dynamic content instead of just static resources. As long as Apache remains free, it’ll always remain the web server of choice for the vast majority of hosting providers out there. But for a few (like NameHero), it’s worth the extra cost.

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!

Comments

  1. I’ve been looking for information about LiteSpeed for a while now as I am currently in the process of creating a new WP site. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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