What Web Server Does PHP Use?


Angela Bailey

What Web Server Does PHP Use?

If you’re interested in web development, you’ve probably come across PHP, a popular server-side scripting language. PHP allows you to create dynamic web pages and interact with databases.

However, have you ever wondered which web server PHP relies on to function properly? In this article, we’ll explore the web servers that are commonly used with PHP.


Apache is the most widely used web server for hosting PHP applications. It is open-source and has been around since 1995.

Apache is known for its stability, security, and flexibility. It supports multiple platforms such as Windows, Linux, and macOS.

When using Apache with PHP, you need to install the PHP module or CGI (Common Gateway Interface) depending on your specific setup. The module approach is more efficient as it runs within the Apache process space.


Nginx (pronounced “engine-x”) is a lightweight and high-performance web server that has gained popularity in recent years. It excels at handling concurrent connections and static content delivery. Nginx can be used as a reverse proxy or load balancer in front of Apache to improve performance.

To run PHP scripts on Nginx, you typically need to install the FastCGI Process Manager (PHP-FPM). It acts as a bridge between Nginx and PHP, processing incoming requests and returning the results to Nginx for delivery.


IIS (Internet Information Services) is Microsoft’s web server software for Windows-based servers. While initially focused on ASP.NET development, IIS also supports running PHP applications through its FastCGI module.

To use PHP with IIS, you need to enable the FastCGI extension and configure it to work with PHP. This allows IIS to communicate with the PHP interpreter and execute the scripts.


LiteSpeed Web Server is a high-performance, lightweight web server known for its efficiency. It is designed as a drop-in replacement for Apache and can typically handle more concurrent connections with fewer resources.

To use PHP with LiteSpeed, you need to install the LiteSpeed SAPI (Server Application Programming Interface) module. It allows LiteSpeed to communicate with the PHP interpreter and process PHP scripts.


In conclusion, PHP can be used with various web servers depending on your specific requirements and preferences. Apache is the most popular choice due to its stability and extensive community support.

Nginx offers excellent performance and works well as a reverse proxy or load balancer. IIS is suitable for Windows-based servers, while LiteSpeed excels in terms of efficiency.

  • Apache: Most widely used web server that supports multiple platforms.
  • Nginx: Lightweight and high-performance server often used as a reverse proxy or load balancer.
  • IIS: Microsoft’s web server software primarily focused on ASP.NET but also supports PHP through FastCGI.
  • LiteSpeed: High-performance, lightweight web server designed as a drop-in replacement for Apache.

If you’re starting with PHP development, consider experimenting with different web servers to find the one that best suits your needs!

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