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What is LiteSpeed Server Hosting?
The Litespeed Web Server from Litespeed Technologies is a completely compatible Apache drop-in replacement. This means that it can be used to replace an existing Apache server, without changing any other programs or operating system details, and without breaking anything. It even reads Apache configuration files.
What is a web server?
A web server is a computer application that receives requests via HTTP (and other protocols) and then delivers files and other assets back in response. The web server sits on a computer system and stands between the internet and the rest of the files and processes of the computer.
The most popular web server software is the Open Source program called Apache. Litespeed Web Server is a direct, drop-in replacement for Apache.
Litespeed Web Server Overview
Litespeed is the most popular commercial web server available, and the fourth most popular overall (after three Open Source solutions).
It offers increased speed and performance as compared to Apache, through a number of performance-enhancing modifications. Notable among those is its Event Driven Architecture, which greatly reduces the number of new processes launched by the web server.
Another noteworthy performance boosts comes from the way Litespeed handles scripting languages like PHP, Ruby, and Python. The Litespeed Server API increases script interpretation performance by up to 50%.
Key Features of Litespeed Web Server
- Runs on Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OSX, and Solaris.
- HTTP 1.1, with backwards compatibility for HTTP 1.0
- HTTPS support, including TLS (v1.1 and 1.2), SSL, SNI, and OCSP stapling. Can be configured for PCI compliance.
- SSL Acceleration speeds the delivery of secure content.
- Event-driven architecture conserves resources and serves more connections, faster.
- Full support for scripting languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, Perl, and Java through ultra-fast Litespeed Server API (LSAPI).
- IPV4 and IPV6
- Unlimited IP-based and name-based virtual hosts.
- Unlimited concurrent connections
- GZIP compression
- Faster HTTP throughput with SPDY 2 and 3
- Websockets and Websocket Proxying
- Full compatibility with Apache httpd.config and .htaccess files, with added .htaccess caching.
- Compatible with mod_security features.
- Supports all Apache-based control panels, including cPanel, Plesk, and Direct Admin.
- Control panel plugins allowing for web server administration from the control panel.
- Drop-in replacement for Apache from the control panel.
- Compatible with all Apache modules.
- Optimized memory use.
- Asynchronous input/output processing to reduce latency.
- Shared hosting PHP reduces overall number of PHP processes, conserving resources.
- Automated and highly configurable caching.
- Edge Side Includes to allow sections of a single resource to be delivered differently. This can significantly speed up the loading of templated content management systems like WordPress.
- Web Application Buffering.
- CPU process binding in multi-CPU deployments, allowing increased use of CPU caching.
- Connection and Bandwidth throttling, to stop attackers or others who make too many connections and requests.
- Detailed HTTP Request Validation, including denial of requests for hidden files, and configurable settings for maximum URL, Header and Body lengths.
- suEXEC mode for PHP, Ruby, CGI, and FCGI.
- chroot jailing.
- No-downtime configuration changes and entire upgrades, through a piecemeal process restart feature.
- Auto restart of interrupted processes.
- Graphical Web Admin console.
- Virtual host templates that offer pre-configured setups for a number of general and specialized virtual host situations.
- Robust, real-time statistics on usage, performance, speed, and diagnostic checks.
- Multiple, concurrent versions of PHP, configurable all the way to the level of individual files.
- Geolocation by IP address.
- Piped loggers to stream log data to a remote location.
- Automatic and configurable load balancing.
- Video Streaming.
Litespeed Web Server Editions
Litespeed Web Server is available in three editions: Open Source, Standard, and Enterprise.
The Open Source edition is fully-featured and free, but is not supported or compatible with web hosting control panels. The Open Source edition is most appropriate for self-managed hosting environments, where the servers are owned by the people using them, and a hosting control panel is not required.
The Standard Edition is free, but with some performance and use limitations added in. It is, however, supported and compatible with web hosting control panels. The Standard Edition is most appropriate for self-administered web servers running in a cloud environment, where the end-user is managing a single web server, but the servers themselves are owned and managed as cloud infrastructure.
The Enterprise Edition is fully featured, fully supported, and has no usage limits. It is available with premium Service Level Agreement (SLA) contracts, to ensure a high level of support. The Enterprise Edition is the most appropriate choice for web hosting providers who sell hosting services to others.
Many web hosting companies offer Litespeed Web Server as a premium add-on feature to replace the default Apache web server that comes with a hosting plan. Other hosting plans include it automatically. Be sure to check.
LiteSpeed Hosting Frequently Asked Questions
What is LiteSpeed?
LiteSpeed is an Apache server drop-in replacement with different features. Hosting providers that use LiteSpeed often have less crowded servers, which may be a benefit for shared hosting customers, since it can result in better speeds.
What are the system requirements for LiteSpeed?
LiteSpeed requires a Unix-based operating system such as Linux, Solaris, OS X, or FreeBSD. It requires a minimum of 200MB of disk space to install. A minimum 300MB of disk space must be available in runtime to operate LiteSpeed.
Is LiteSpeed offered on shared hosting plans?
Yes. LiteSpeed can be used in shared hosting environments. Websites run on a shared hosting platform powered by LiteSpeed generally are hosted on servers that require less CPU and storage than Apache, run applications faster and operate with predictable CPU and memory usage.
Do I have to know how to program to use LiteSpeed?
Yes. You need to be comfortable using the command line, and you'll need root access to your server.
If you can't get root access, you can install LiteSpeed using the sudo command line, but you can only control LiteSpeed from the sudo command line thereafter.
What are the disadvantages of LiteSpeed?
Apache is free, whereas LiteSpeed is not. This can push up the price of hosting. Additionally, some developers complain about LiteSpeed licensing because it directly impacts the types of software you can host on the server.
What are the alternatives to LiteSpeed?
There are two main open source alternatives to LiteSpeed, and they are the most commonly used web servers on the internet: Apache and Nginx. Apache is the most commonly used web server on the market, and has been the market leader for at least 20 years. Nginx is an event-driven alternative to LiteSpeed; both LiteSpeed and Apache are process-driven.
IIS is another popular web server that can be considered an alternative. However, it only runs on Windows-based systems.