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What keeps apache so popular?

Discussion in 'Server Configuration and Hosting' started by Brent W, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Brent W

    Brent W Well-Known Member

    Everyone I seem to talk to hates Apache for performance and swears up and down for something else. So why hasn't something else topped Apache in popularity?
  2. Luke F

    Luke F Well-Known Member

    To my knowledge, nothing else directly supports .htaccess files and is free

    (People are lazy :p)

    I'm an nginx guy myself, far easier to configure than apache when working from scratch (not to mention more powerful, with basic logic built into the configuration files and even perl, lua, etc. as options) - otherwise obviously nothing can compare to dropping in a htaccess file.
  3. Jeremy P

    Jeremy P Well-Known Member

    Also it's pretty easy for something to stay popular. It's free, pretty simple to configure, ubiquitous, common on shared hosts, supports most people's needs out of the box..

    I switched to nginx 2 years ago though and I don't think I'd go back. A bit more setup work but it's ridiculously simple once you take the time to work with it and its performance is pretty great.
  4. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    Exactly this.

    It's not a matter of flipping a switch to migrate servers, domains, etc. from Apache to something else... when you have to reconfigure every server, every website on that server, every rewrite rule for every website, etc. it's not a simple task. I use Nginx on my dev servers, but my production servers are still Apache simply because it's a massive undertaking just to convert my own websites.

    One can ask the exact same question about operating systems and why Windows is still popular... it's popular because it's easy to *stay* popular and supports most people's needs out of the box.
  5. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    Perhaps you can help me? :)
    Using Nginx, what settings can I use to enforce SSL and http-auth for /admin.php ?

  6. p4guru

    p4guru Well-Known Member

    exactly apache is more set and forget.. not to mention alot of linux distributions include apache by default - sure that helps too :)

    nginx need's tender loving care more often due to lack of htaccess and mod_rewrite support and need to convert to nginx rewrites

    If you tally up all system admin related hours used to setup, configure and maintain apache or nginx over a course of 12 months, you'll find nginx consumes way more of your time than apache. More sites in the mix, the higher that nginx system admin/maintenance time gets :)

    I'd say nginx will overtake apache when native .htaccess and mod_rewrite support are added - I hear nginx 2.x has plans for that ?
  7. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen Nginx being more hours to admin vs Apache once the site(s) are setup... In fact it seems to be less. For example Adding SSL support and SPDY support is less work with Nginx I found. I definitely think migrating from Apache to Nginx would be more widespread if it had a true way to just handle Apache .htaccess and rewrite rules 100% without needing to change anything. I suspect that's the biggest annoyance for people.
    Adam Howard and Jeremy P like this.
  8. Luke F

    Luke F Well-Known Member

    I'd say the effort required to convert rewrites is minimal. Honestly nginx's rewrite syntax is far more sane than apache's - I have to refer to the docs for anything more than the basics in apache, nginx is far simpler with keywords like 'redirect', if statements (rather than awkward cascading blocks of rewritecond) and try_files. The main point of annoyance with regard to converting rules, is that you can't consider a .php file as a folder in the url (for basic seo friendly urls) without explicitly adding a rewrite rule. (There's probably a way of enabling this globally in nginx that I have yet to find)

    The real issue is coming up with a proper automatic conversion for .htaccess files - the config formats are just too different
    Jeremy P likes this.
  9. p4guru

    p4guru Well-Known Member

    Yeah depends, for a web host it would be considerably more i.e. add a new shared hosting account where one client has magento script, another new account with client needing wordpress or a few with different plugins that depend on htaccess i.e. W3TC or super cache, another with xenforo, another with IPB or vb etc etc.. Add the possibility that each client has different custom permalink setups etc

    web hosting world probably has the largest number of apache servers and make up largest portion of apache instances for this reason :)

    look at the numbers http://news.netcraft.com/archives/category/web-server-survey/

    one thing i am curious about though is how much of nginx numbers are in fact just nginx being a reverse proxy to apache ?
  10. p4guru

    p4guru Well-Known Member

    yeah that's the pain in my back side usually :LOL:

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