When it comes to hosting fast, ecommerce websites and Magento hosting, Apache is the name most people jump at. It’s the most popular web sever in the world.

In fact since 1996, Apache has served more websites than any other web server worldwide. YouTube, Facebook, and Wikipedia all use Apache to serve billions of users. And there’s a reason for this: Apache is a proven, stable, secure and configurable web server.

So why opt for Nginx for Magento hosting? Well it has the same functionality, a simpler configuration and a better performance. Magento themselves even recommend using it over Apache.

So what is Nginx? Nginx is a high-performance web server created by Igor Sysoev for the website www.rambler.ru, Russia’s second largest website. Nginx has been used for Rambler since 2004, and currently serves around 500 million requests per day.

Nginx is also used by some of the largest websites in the US, including WordPress. As of May 2008, Nginx is the fourth most popular web server, currently serving more than 2 million websites, trailing behind Apache, IIS and GFE.

Testing, testing…

In tests, our Nginx server finished more than 4 times the number of requests than our Apache server over the same period of time. That’s fast. And what’s perhaps even more important, is the reduction in resources. Nginx uses far less memory to do the same tasks, and can cope with more simultaneous requests.

So why is Nginx not as popular as Apache for Magento hosting? Maybe it soon will be.