Introducing LiteSpeed Web Server
On Friday we began introducing LiteSpeed to our shared server network. For those unaware, LiteSpeed is a drop in replacement for the traditional Apache web server software. We have offered LiteSpeed over our cloud and dedicated products since early 2016 after trialling it over a number of internal servers.
Why we are introducing LiteSpeed across all shared / reseller servers
This is a huge investment into our infrastructure. Typically when a server’s performance starts to degrade, the automatic response is to add more resources – RAM / CPU so that it can handle the additional load. Apache creates a new process for each connection, therefore – the busier a server gets then it would need to have more assets available to cope with the extra demand.
LiteSpeed is able to serve all connections on a few processes therefore saving resources. This efficient method of serving connections means we can serve many more connections, at a much higher rate, without needing to upgrade the hardware.
What you should expect as we roll out LiteSpeed
Simply – faster hosting. LiteSpeed can improve page load times and reduce Time to First Byte (TTFB) meaning visitors will browse your site quickly and easily without waiting on lengthy page load times.
For site owners who do not have the expertise to optimise their website, LiteSpeed can improve the scores that are taken into account used in search engine ranking algorithms without any interaction from you.
Introducing LiteSpeed – Performance Improvements
A good free tool for measuring website performance is GTMetrix. It provides scores and indications on items to look at in order to improve load time. Prior to introducing LiteSpeed we selected a number of websites hosted here and took screenshots of their GTMetrix score…
This website hosted on our Bell Server scored as follows:
After enabling LiteSpeed on the server another test was carried out…
The fully loaded time has decreased dramatically and both PageSpeed and YSlow scores have improved to a commendable 84%. Should the site owner decide to optimise images on their webpage and introduce a Content Delivery Network such as Cloudflare we would expect those scores to jump to 90% plus and an ‘A’ rating.
We are delighted with the initial results. We are seeing customer website performance improve whilst our own in-house monitoring is showing server load decrease.
We aim to complete step 1 of the roll out within the next couple of weeks. Once LiteSpeed is enabled on all servers we’ll then be looking to enable LSCache – a caching system that works in conjunction with the new software.