Knowledge Base

VPS & Dedicated Hosting: NginX and Apache

What Is NginX?

NginX, pronounced "Engine-X," is a web server that can also be used as a reverse proxy, used in conjunction with and added on top of Apache, and often installed with Varnish, to handle and improve connections more efficiently. NginX is also used to help high-traffic websites as a load balancer, HTTP cache, and mail proxy. NginX is also used to help high-traffic websites as a load balancer, HTTP cache, and mail proxy.

Utilizing tools such as NginX is for advanced users. There are many resources online that you can find using your preferred search engine.

Note: Bluehost does not provide technical support for the installation or usage of NginX.

NginX and Apache:

Apache and NginX are powerful and flexible. The most popular and recommended method is to use Apache and NginX together on your dedicated server, using NginX on top of Apache. The hybrid approach leverages the performance benefits of NginX along with the flexibility and power of Apache.

NginX versus Apache:

Each with its own strengths and distinct functions, NginX handles static content, but NginX does not have the ability to process dynamic content, this is where Apache comes to work together with NginX.

NginX and Apache are two of the most popular web servers used to host websites, each with its own strengths and distinct operational models. Using NginX and Apache together is strongly recommended if you have a more robust website.

Take a look at the comparative overview below:


  • Architecture — asynchronous architecture, making it highly efficient in handling multiple concurrent connections using less resources.
  • Performance — prioritizes efficiency and prioritizes speed and traffic. Great for high-traffic websites and load balancing.
  • Configuration — NginX utilizes an event-based model to efficiently distribute and perform requests.


  • Architecture — prioritizes ease of use, in addition to reading .htaccess, HTTP cache files, PHP, etc.
  • Flexibility — Apache emphasizes a wide range of modules available, extensive configuration, and many options for customization to fit various hosting needs.
  • Versatility — highly versatile to handle all different types of websites.

Using Apache with NginX together is a frequent practice to handle heavy simultaneous functions with conventional file systems (grouped into directories), keeping the server and your website optimized and performing smoothly with other diverse software with heavy workloads.

Many modern web infrastructures incorporate both NginX and Apache. With this, they can utilize each server’s strengths by deploying NginX as a front-end proxy to handle connections and static content, while Apache handles dynamic content in the background. This hybrid approach leverages the performance benefits of NginX with the flexibility and power of Apache's extensive module system.


Enable Sudo Access On Your Server

You will need to make sure you have Sudo Access enabled.

If you have not enabled Sudo access, please see Enabling Sudo Access to learn how to do so.

Apache Version

You will also need to know your server's Apache version. That can be found through SSH by typing httpd -v and pressing enter.

For more information about NginX, please visit this article: VPS & Dedicated Hosting: Third Party Applications.

How Does NginX Work?:

  • NginX was designed to operate and can handle a variety of algorithms and tasks of features designed for efficient website and server management:
      • Event-Driven Architecture: Utilizes an asynchronous, event-driven approach to manage thousands of concurrent connections with minimal resource usage.
      • Script and Database Request Handling: Capable of handling scripts, database requests, and specific file types (e.g., execute PHP, .htaccess files, HTTP cache) NgniX sends off requests for execution and output. Collaborates with Apache to enhance content processing capabilities.
      • Static and Dynamic Content Delivery: Efficiently serves static content while working alongside popular web server applications, such as Apache, to manage scripts, databases, and specific file types.
      • Load Balancing: Distributes incoming network traffic to prevent a server from becoming overwhelmed, thereby enhancing website and server reliability, speed, and optimization.
      • SSL/TLS Encryption Management: Assists in managing the SSL/TLS encryption process to secure data transmission connections between browsers, computers, servers, and individuals.
      • Reverse Proxy Functionality: Capable of operating as a reverse proxy for HTML and other protocols.
      • Caching Content: NginX can cache content results in reduced load times and server demand by caching content, allowing for the serving of cached content to users without querying the backend servers for every request.



To ensure you have the features you need for your website on your VPS or Dedicated Hosting Server, you can customize it using advanced tools and software. NginX is a web server, added on top of Apache and usually installed with Varnish; it is used to improve connections more efficiently for high-traffic websites as a load balancer, HTTP cache, and mail proxy, and can also be used as a reverse proxy. NginX is recommended for advanced users, and resources and documentation are available online.

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

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You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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