Can We Use NGINX as Web Server?


Heather Bennett

Can We Use NGINX as Web Server?

NGINX is a powerful and popular web server that can be used to serve web content efficiently. It offers numerous features and benefits that make it a preferred choice for many developers and system administrators.

What is NGINX?

NGINX is an open-source web server software that was first released in 2004. It quickly gained popularity due to its ability to handle a large number of concurrent connections while consuming minimal system resources. Originally designed as a reverse proxy server, NGINX has evolved to become a versatile web server capable of serving static and dynamic content.

Advantages of Using NGINX as a Web Server

High Performance:

NGINX is known for its exceptional performance, especially when it comes to handling concurrent connections. It uses an asynchronous, event-driven architecture that allows it to efficiently process multiple requests simultaneously. This makes NGINX an ideal choice for high-traffic websites or applications that require low latency and fast response times.


The lightweight nature of NGINX allows it to efficiently utilize system resources, making it highly scalable. It can handle thousands of concurrent connections without putting excessive strain on the hardware or impacting performance. Additionally, NGINX supports load balancing, which enables distributing traffic across multiple servers for even greater scalability.

Reverse Proxying:

One of the core features of NGINX is its ability to act as a reverse proxy server. This means that NGINX can sit between clients and backend servers, forwarding requests from clients to the appropriate servers based on various factors such as load balancing rules or URL mapping. Reverse proxying can help improve security, performance, and simplify the overall architecture of a web application.

Static Content Serving:

NGINX excels at serving static content such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and image files. It can efficiently deliver these files directly to clients without the need for additional processing or resource consumption. This makes NGINX an excellent choice for websites that primarily serve static content, reducing the load on backend servers.

Configuring NGINX as a Web Server

Setting up NGINX as a web server is relatively straightforward. Here are the general steps involved:

  1. Install NGINX: Begin by installing NGINX on your server. The installation process may vary depending on your operating system.
  2. Create Configuration File: Next, create an NGINX configuration file where you can specify various settings and rules for your web server.
  3. Configure Server Block: Inside the configuration file, define one or more server blocks to specify how NGINX should handle incoming requests for different domains or subdomains.
  4. Test Configuration: Before starting NGINX, it’s essential to test the configuration file for syntax errors using the `nginx -t` command. Fix any issues that arise.
  5. Start NGINX: Once the configuration is error-free, start NGINX using the appropriate command for your system (e.g., `systemctl start nginx`).

An Example Configuration File

To give you an idea of how an NGINX configuration file looks like, here’s a simple example:

    http {
      server {
        listen 80;

        location / {
          root /var/www/html;
          index index.html;

        location /api {
          proxy_pass http://backend-server;

This configuration defines a single server block that listens on port 80 for requests to the domain “”. It serves static files from the “/var/www/html” directory and redirects requests to “/api” to a backend server.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, NGINX is an excellent choice for serving web content due to its high performance, scalability, reverse proxying capabilities, and efficient handling of static content. By properly configuring NGINX as a web server, you can ensure optimal performance and reliability for your applications or websites.

Note: When using NGINX as a web server, it’s important to consider security best practices and regularly update NGINX to protect against potential vulnerabilities.

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