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LEMP

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nginx.pngYou may not have heard of LEMP, but it is quickly gaining in popularity and addresses one of the major weaknesses of LAMP hosting. That memory-hogging, heavyweight application at its centre: Apache. Some things have to use Apache, but if they don't then LEMP will give them just that bit more spring in their step.

Nginx (or Engine X, to give it its full title) is a fast and lightweight HTTP Server, and you may be surprised to discover it's used to host such notable sites as Netflix and Wordpress.com. Nginx has been written from the ground up specifically to outperform Apache, so it's no surprise that it does exactly what it says on the tin. In fact there are clues to Apache's background in its name: A Patchy Webserver. Not so much written or conceived, but evolved via a myriad of patches it is popular purely because it is ubiquitous.

We're also quite pleased with the security arrangements for PHP hosting in a shared environment. Short of charging every client for their own server, there's got to be some sharing, and it is shocking how easy it is to do it wrong. In fact a standard, out-of-the-box LAMP server is just a series of disasters waiting to happen. You'll be happy to learn we would never dream of doing this, but how sure are you that none of our competitors would do likewise?

If you like further convincing then please read about our personal experience of a badly configured server.

However, there's one thing that LEMP hosting does not support, and that is .htaccess files. Therefore if your site depends on them (and some popular CMS'es do use them, e.g. Drupal) then it may be that LAMP is your only option.