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  1. #1
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    LiteSpeed vs Apache & SuEXEC vs SuPHP

    I'm currently a HostGator customer (shared cPanel server) who has been quite happy with their hosting for quite a few years. However, I'm now exploring other possible "just in case" options since EIG's takeover. MDDhosting looks like a decent possibility, but with a couple of differences that I'm unsure about. Perhaps someone here could help me to understand better the advantages and disadvantages.

    1) My current HG (The Planet) shared server runs Apache under CentOS release 6.4. It appears that MDDhosting runs LiteSpeed, but I can't seem to find other OS details except a claim that it is "up to 9 times faster than Apache web hosting" and I'm not even sure what "faster" means in any realistic terms. Would it actually be a significant advantage for a personal site (retirement hobby) that serves only WordPress pages from a MySQL database?

    2) HostGator uses suPHP which allows me to set my own php.ini reference (suPHP_ConfigPath) in my main .htaccess file. I'm told by MDDhosting's sales people that they run LiteSpeed with SuEXEC (not SuPHP) so that each individual PHP parameter (override) must be specified within the .htaccess file itself. It was my understanding that cPanel no longer natively supports SuEXEC and that almost everybody now uses SuPHP instead. Is one "safer" than the other or "better" in some other way?

    If anyone chooses to answer either question, please assume that I'm a completely ignorant dummy about web server operating systems. Because I am.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arvy View Post
    I'm currently a HostGator customer (shared cPanel server) who has been quite happy with their hosting for quite a few years. However, I'm now exploring other possible "just in case" options since EIG's takeover. MDDhosting looks like a decent possibility, but with a couple of differences that I'm unsure about. Perhaps someone here could help me to understand better the advantages and disadvantages.

    1) My current HG (The Planet) shared server runs Apache under CentOS release 6.4. It appears that MDDhosting runs LiteSpeed, but I can't seem to find other OS details except a claim that it is "up to 9 times faster than Apache web hosting" and I'm not even sure what "faster" means in any realistic terms. Would it actually be a significant advantage for a personal site (retirement hobby) that serves only WordPress pages from a MySQL database?

    2) HostGator uses suPHP which allows me to set my own php.ini reference (suPHP_ConfigPath) in my main .htaccess file. I'm told by MDDhosting's sales people that they run LiteSpeed with SuEXEC (not SuPHP) so that each individual PHP parameter (override) must be specified within the .htaccess file itself. It was my understanding that cPanel no longer natively supports SuEXEC and that almost everybody now uses SuPHP instead. Is one "safer" than the other or "better" in some other way?

    If anyone chooses to answer either question, please assume that I'm a completely ignorant dummy about web server operating systems. Because I am.
    1). Litespeed is better than Apache and is faster than Apache too.

    2). I've always used SuPHP as I know more about it than SuEXEC but i'm sure someone who has used both here will help you better.

    MDDHosting is well known on the forum and I believe you won't have any issues over there.
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  3. #3
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    LiteSpeed vs Apache & SuEXEC vs SuPHP

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelDance View Post
    1). Litespeed is better than Apache and is faster than Apache too.

    2). I've always used SuPHP as I know more about it than SuEXEC but i'm sure someone who has used both here will help you better.

    MDDHosting is well known on the forum and I believe you won't have any issues over there.
    You would not believe at how many threads there are on LiteSpeed vs Apache - I've done my own internal testing on both, they can be just as good as one another, LiteSpeed has its pros and cons just the same as Apache, really comes down to what is required ... One static page on a single VPS you may as well forget LiteSpeed

    That's an example of course.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arvy View Post
    1) My current HG (The Planet) shared server runs Apache under CentOS release 6.4. It appears that MDDhosting runs LiteSpeed, but I can't seem to find other OS details except a claim that it is "up to 9 times faster than Apache web hosting" and I'm not even sure what "faster" means in any realistic terms. Would it actually be a significant advantage for a personal site (retirement hobby) that serves only WordPress pages from a MySQL database?
    Most of our servers are CloudLinux. Some are 5.X but most are 6.X - we're in the process of upgrading any of our older hardware and in the process moving to 6.X as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arvy View Post
    2) HostGator uses suPHP which allows me to set my own php.ini reference (suPHP_ConfigPath) in my main .htaccess file. I'm told by MDDhosting's sales people that they run LiteSpeed with SuEXEC (not SuPHP) so that each individual PHP parameter (override) must be specified within the .htaccess file itself. It was my understanding that cPanel no longer natively supports SuEXEC and that almost everybody now uses SuPHP instead. Is one "safer" than the other or "better" in some other way?
    LiteSpeed suEXEC is similar to Apache suPHP. All suPHP does for Apache is allow your PHP processes to run as your user - suEXEC under LiteSpeed does the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arvy View Post
    If anyone chooses to answer either question, please assume that I'm a completely ignorant dummy about web server operating systems. Because I am.
    I would worry less about the software on the server and more about maintaining and growing your site. At the end of the day you don't buy a shared plan so that you can manage the server - you buy a shared plan to host a site.

    Just as you would create a php.ini once and be done with it - you would do the same thing with specifying any changes you needed to the php environment in your .htaccess with suEXEC on LiteSpeed.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparrow-Sean View Post
    You would not believe at how many threads there are on LiteSpeed vs Apache - I've done my own internal testing on both, they can be just as good as one another, LiteSpeed has its pros and cons just the same as Apache, really comes down to what is required ... One static page on a single VPS you may as well forget LiteSpeed

    That's an example of course.
    LiteSpeed does just fine for static content - upwards of 25,000 requests/second served in my own testing. On a VPS for a single site - I'd just use the free edition of LiteSpeed - it requires manual configuration but once you set it up you can generally leave it alone.
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  6. #6
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    1.) A little while ago, I was reading about a LiteSpeed vs. Nginx vs. lighttpd experiment that took place. If I remember correctly, LiteSpeed beat the other 2 in terms of max requests per second by about 1.5x, and the whole gang beat out Apache. So, is Litespeed faster? Yes, in many cases, but remember that depends on specs being tested. I wouldn't, however, anticipate an improvement by a multiple of 9 in your case. Also, if you're not noticing any performance issues with your blog right now, making the switch may not even result in any noticeable changes.

    I'd attempt to answer #2 for you, but my experience is primarily suPHP, and I'm sure someone else is far more qualified to discuss this in reference to SuEXEC.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, everybody. WOW! Quick and well informed answers here. Some hosting services could take lessons.

    @Michael Denney: I'm not worrying, neither more nor less, about anything in particular, Michael, and nor have I made any decision ... at least not yet. However, my past experience has taught me that informing oneself as fully as possible in advance of any such decision is never a bad idea. Incidentally, I've already stated at least one difference between SuPHP and SuEXEC other than simply allowing PHP to run as the user. The fact that other differences may not be important to you doesn't mean that I should disregard them entirely myself.

    And your telling me why I buy a shared plan or anything else is just a little bit presumptuous on your part, don't you think? As I said, it's a personal retirement hobby of mine and I like to understand as much about its underpinnings as possible for reasons of my own. Call it plain old curiosity if you wish.
    Last edited by Arvy; 07-10-2013 at 09:58 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arvy View Post
    @Michael Denney: I'm not worrying, neither more nor less, about anything in particular, Michael, and nor have I made any decision ... at least not yet. However, my past experience has taught me that informing oneself as fully as possible in advance of any such decision is never a bad idea.
    I should have been more clear - I was simply saying I wouldn't worry about it - not that you shouldn't ask questions and learn .

    Quote Originally Posted by Arvy View Post
    Incidentally, I've already stated at least one difference between SuPHP and SuEXEC other than simply allowing PHP to run as the user. The fact that other differences may not be important to you doesn't mean that I should disregard them entirely myself.
    Well the biggest difference is that suPHP isn't LiteSpeed suEXEC and vice versa. They are two different ways of doing the same thing. Just as a Lamborghini and a Metro are both cars - they themselves go about getting you from point A to B in a different way. At the end of the day though - you still get from point A to B.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arvy View Post
    And your telling me why I buy a shared plan or anything else is just a little bit presumptuous on your part, don't you think?
    No - it's a simple statement of fact - you do not buy shared hosting so that you can manage a server was the point. If you want to manage a server - you buy a server .

    Quote Originally Posted by Arvy View Post
    As I said, it's a personal retirement hobby of mine and I like to understand as much about its underpinnings as possible for reasons of my own. Call it plain old curiosity if you wish.
    Sure - if you have any other questions at all just ask I'm happy to address them to the best of my ability.
    Michael Denney - MDDHosting, LLC - Professional Hosting Solutions
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  9. #9
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    Really, Michael! Let us please try to understand one another without unwarranted judgemental assumptions.

    Any prospective buyer of either a Lamborghini or a Metro will (if rationally inclined at all) want to know as much as possible about the vehicle prior to purchase. That doesn't imply that he expects to do his own servicing and maintenance. It is very likely, however, that he may need to adjust some expectations and possibly some driving habits accordingly (as with my own PHP configuration methods in this case). I have absolutely no server management intentions, inclinations or interests whatever. I'm only trying to be a well informed decision maker.

    So thanks very much. I will indeed keep on with inquiries for my own learning purposes as you suggest.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arvy View Post
    Really, Michael! Let us please try to understand one another without unwarranted judgemental assumptions.
    If you could let me know where I'm judging you - that would be appreciated. I'm simply answering your questions and being as detailed and elaborate as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arvy View Post
    Any prospective buyer of either a Lamborghini or a Metro will (if rationally inclined at all) want to know as much as possible about the vehicle prior to purchase.
    I know a lot of people that buy cars without even the slightest idea of how they work beyond the keys, the fuel door, the gas and brake pedals, and the steering wheel. To say that everybody looking at buying a car would want to know as much about a car as possible is an assumption of your very own .

    A smart and informed buyer would do said research - but not everybody is a smart and informed buyer. The sheer fact that you do want to know how things work is great, but not required.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arvy View Post
    I have absolutely no server management intentions, inclinations or interests whatever. I'm only trying to be a well informed decision maker.
    Sure - as I said, ask any and all questions you want and I'll be happy to answer them to the best of my ability. If I didn't want to answer them - I wouldn't and it's that simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arvy View Post
    So thanks very much. I will indeed keep on with inquiries for my own learning purposes as you suggest.
    Sure.
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  11. #11
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    Michael, if you can't see that your responses here included totally unwarranted assumptions (both about my reasons for buying a shared plan and about my reasons for asking questions about your company's server setups) then I see little point of further discussion in that area. It's quite irrelevant to what I was actually asking about and gets us nowhere. Let's just drop that part of it entirely, please. Thanks.
    Last edited by Arvy; 07-10-2013 at 11:08 PM. Reason: grammar

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arvy View Post
    Michael, if you can't see that your responses here included totally unwarranted assumptions (both about my reasons for buying a shared plan and about my reasons for asking questions about your company's server setups) then I see little point of further discussion in that area. It's quite irrelevant to what I was actually asking about and gets us nowhere. Let's just drop that part of it entirely, please. Thanks.
    Sure, I only asked so that I could try to avoid doing it in the future and not to perpetuate the issue. If you want to drop me a PM with some details that would be appreciated. I obviously don't interpret things from your perspective so it's helpful when you share your perspective with me.
    Michael Denney - MDDHosting, LLC - Professional Hosting Solutions
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arvy View Post
    I'm told by MDDhosting's sales people that they run LiteSpeed with SuEXEC (not SuPHP) so that each individual PHP parameter (override) must be specified within the .htaccess file itself. It was my understanding that cPanel no longer natively supports SuEXEC and that almost everybody now uses SuPHP instead. Is one "safer" than the other or "better" in some other way?
    I think I see a misunderstanding here. "suexec" is often used as a generic term for setuid, ie. running a process as a specified user. Litespeed runs PHP under their own system called LSAPI (LiteSpeed Server Application Programming Interface), which can be run as the user (setuid / "suexec") or not. The provider chooses which way to run it, but on shared hosting systems setuid is the norm.

    When you say "cPanel no longer natively supports SuEXEC" I guess you're referring to phpSUEXEC, a particular build of PHP that went EOL about 10 years ago, being replaced by suPHP in cPanel systems. (And in passing, suPHP is now going EOL - perhaps to be replaced by fastcgi??)

    So if you think Litespeed is running the obselete phpSUEXEC that cPanel gave up years ago, that's not correct - they have their own system which is similar in terms of safety to suPHP. I think the performance is generally better but I'll leave others to benchmark that - it's hard to get accurate comparisons between different providers with different hardware, users-per-server etc.

    From the user's PoV the main difference, as you've already noted, is that PHP directives need to be placed in the .htaccess file rather than in a user php.ini file.
    Chris

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  14. #14
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    @Michael: PM sent as requested. Let me emphasize that there's no big deal about it and certainly no hard feelings or anything like that. Was just looking for some "techie" inputs to a possible future decision which remains entirely open.

    @foobic: THANK YOU! That explains things perfectly. Much appreciated.

  15. #15
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    Litespeed is amazingly fast.. If I was searching for hosting I don't think I would purchase web hosting from a company that does not have it.

    It also depends on what your hosting. A small static website won't see much of a speed increase.
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