The Apache web server is a critical component of cPanel & WHM, but no software can be all things to all people, and that’s why we’re happy to offer alternatives like NGINX and the LiteSpeed Web Server.
We recently wrote about using NGINX instead of Apache in cPanel, and, although we’re working on it, NGINX isn’t yet a fully compatible replacement. LiteSpeed is a different story. It is easy to install, integrates perfectly with cPanel & WHM, and you can make the switch without having to re-learn how to manage your web server from scratch.
In this article, we’ll look at what LiteSpeed is, why you might want to use it instead of Apache, and how to install and configure it on cPanel.
What is the LiteSpeed Web Server?
LiteSpeed is a proprietary web server built as a drop-in replacement for Apache. It supports httpd.conf and .htaccess configuration files, and it works with many Apache modules, including mod_rewrite, mod_security, and mod_cache.
However, under the hood, LiteSpeed has an entirely different design, which in some circumstances, gives it an edge on Apache. Like NGINX, it has an event-driven architecture, so it’s super quick with static content and great for sites that serve lots of concurrent users.
In addition to being blazing fast when serving HTML pages, scripts, and images, it also has a few tricks up its sleeve where dynamic sites like WordPress and Magento are concerned. LiteSpeed has an integrated full-page cache with a plugin system that brings caching to many popular content management systems and ecommerce applications, a feature that would usually require an external application or a plugin managed on the application level.
With LiteSpeed, you can offer hosting clients the compelling combination of Apache compatibility and zero-configuration caching for high-performance. As a server administrator, you benefit from low resource consumption and, of course, excellent integration with cPanel & WHM via a plugin, which includes a comprehensive management interface.
How To Install LiteSpeed Web Server on cPanel
Because it is a drop-in replacement for Apache, the installation process is straightforward. However, there are two prerequisites:
- A LiteSpeed Web Server license. You can buy a license from the cPanel extensions store or use the Free Starter plan on a server with less than 2GB of memory.
- SSH root access to the cPanel server.
We will install the webserver with the official installation script, which you can download and examine here. To run it, log in to your server over SSH as root, and enter this command: