Presently every Website owner has one common thing going in mind i.e. how to make his/her website load faster. Most of you might know that website loading speed contributes not only in retaining your site visitors but also helps in better rank in SERP(Search Engine Result Page). Through the adoption of several methods such as image optimization, Content Delivery Network(CDN) integration, Usage of the right caching server, and many more. Though all these methods are useful, the main intent of this blog post is to specifically look at caching. Varnish Cache and NGINX Cache are both crucial and popular web caching solutions that will enhance the loading speed of your site.
Though they have their own advantages, a detailed look into each of them and comparison among them might help you in picking one.
Table of Contents
What is Varnish Cache?
A Varnish Cache is a front-end web accelerator that lets dynamic and content-heavy sites to manage high traffic influx. The Varnish Cache is a reverse caching HTTP proxy that improves the site visitor’s experience by caching both static and dynamic content from the server. Eventually, the speed of the website is improved.
In addition to this, the Varnish Cache also allows developers to set rules and policies through the Varnish Configuration Language, generally named as VCL. In short Varnish Configuration Language gives site owners complete control over how and what you want to cache.
Now as you know what varnish is, you can also see this article on how to install varnish on cPanel and speed up your website.
What is NGINX?
NGINX released in 2004, is an open-source web server that can also be used as a proxy server. To improve the performance of the website and reduce the load time, NGINX often utilizes a mail proxy, a reverse proxy, load balancer, and HTTP cache. Several high-traffic websites, particularly with the multi-application environments, are known to use NGINX caching. NGINX is known to be effective in managing cooperative connections.
Varnish Cache vs NGINX Cache
In reality, the fundamentals of Varnish and NGINX are mostly common. Both Varnish and NGINX can be used as a reverse proxy and load balancer for your server. However, there are some aspects of both that make them different.
The most crucial thing one looks for while utilizing a specific technology solution is the flexibility of that solution. And when we talk about the flexibility of solutions, the Varnish cache is one step ahead of NGINX. It can be used to meet the requirements of the website hence it is customizable. Guidelines could be set for controlling incoming requests and alter the user responses.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) support
In July 2019 Google rolled out an official order that stated all websites that don’t have HTTPS will be marked as not secure. This needs to be looked at by the site owners as it will affect search engine rankings.
SSL certificate not only assists in encrypting sensitive data such as credit card details, passwords, etc but also gives assurance that the website you are browsing is trusted. Hence visitors consider such site authentic.
This is the feature where NGINX wins over Varnish cache by giving native SSL support for the site. Similarly, on the other hand, Varnish doesn’t come with integrated SSL support. But some hosting providers offer SSL support while using Varnish Cache.
Static Content Management
In terms of static content management on the web server, NGINX is better particularly when the static files and NGINX coexist on the same server. However, with varnish cache, you are required to add more functionalities for the same content.
However when we talk of purging of content its the opposite, basic NGINX OSS do not provide content purging option but Varnish Cache does.
Now it is quite clear that Varnish gives more advanced features that are particular to the functionality of caching, while NGINX can be used as a caching server. I suggest you opt varnish cache if you have an e-commerce website that loads heavy content else NGINX is enough for you
I hope that this article on Comparison Between Varnish Cache and NGINX Cache will give you some clarity on which caching to choose. Additionally, you can opt for Cheap Linux VPS Hosting plans that provide optimal website speed.