Why We Use LiteSpeed

Every website needs a webserver to power it, and most developers don't stop to think long about their choice - Apache1. However, here at Pinkston Digital, we use a different webserver on the websites we host: LiteSpeed. As its name implies, LiteSpeed's goal is to be a fast webserver with a low memory footprint. It also tries to be as secure as possible, with built-in anti-DDOS protection, automatic buffer overflow detection, and restrained virtual hosts, among other security features.

Some simple tests with Apache Bench to compare Apache and OpenLiteSpeed against each other shows how much better OpenLiteSpeed performs. This wasn't a controlled benchmarking, but should still give a general idea of how the webservers would react under load. Using Ubuntu Server 16.04 inside a virtual machine with 1 CPU core and 1 GB of RAM, I ran this command:

$ ab -kc 100 -n 1000[88]/FILENA...

This simulates 100 users sending 1,000 requests to the server. I chose to send a lot of requests all at the same time in order to increase load, while keeping my test files simple. A normal webpage would make several requests to various images and stylesheets, whereas in my testing each page was only 1 request, and I requested the page a lot of times. Under this load, LiteSpeed was nearly .4 seconds faster in serving a small HTML file:

That doesn't sound like a very long time, but it can be a lot to a business that depends on customers using its website:

Google has calculated that by slowing its search results by just four tenths of a second they could lose 8 million searches per day.

And that effect would certainly be much worse on a smaller company with more competition. LiteSpeed was also the first webserver to implement HTTP/22, and is currently the only mainstream webserver to support QUIC3. Both of these features will help to drastically increase a website's speed. HTTP vs HTTPS gives a clear demonstration showing how much faster HTTP/2 is.

With LiteSpeed's combination of speed, security, and ease of use, we think it's the best choice for us, and are sure that your website will benefit from the increased speed and security benefits LiteSpeed brings.


  1. https://news.netcraft.com/archives/2017/05/25/may-2017-web-server-survey.html

  2. https://blog.litespeedtech.com/2015/05/20/litespeed-web-server-the-worlds-first-web-server-to-offer-http2-support/

  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QUIC#Server_support