LiteSpeed Cuts Load on WordPress Sites

SigmaWeb turns to LiteSpeed Web Server to host high-traffic WordPress sites


I have been in the hosting business since 2003 and have tried various solutions, like nginx. This is the first time I've seen something like this.

Stratos V.Owner, SigmaWeb

The Challenge

  • 2 high-traffic WordPress sites.
  • 70 requests/second.
  • 1,000,000 page views/day.
  • Loads of 8-12 with Apache.
  • Anticipated traffic increases soon.

The Solution

  • LiteSpeed Web Server 4-CPU license.
  • Load drops below 1.
  • Memory usage decreases by 71%.
  • Installed in minutes via LiteSpeed's cPanel plugin.

SigmaWeb is a medium-sized Greek hosting provider with a sterling reputation. ("Search on Google," Stratos, the owner, will say. "You won't find a negative comment.") They provide both shared and dedicated web hosting, domain registration, and web development services, but SigmaWeb had generally avoided the high-traffic market until recently.

Load Changes with LiteSpeed
load graph
Click to see full graphs
Server Environment
  • Dell R510 server with 2xE5620 CPUs (12 cores)
  • 16GB RAM
  • 4x300 SAS 15k drives with RAID5

Then they were approached by the owner of two popular WordPress sites — seriouslyforreal.com and sarcasticcharm.com. The customer had been disappointed by a few well-known hosts, and the challenge was daunting: the two WordPress sites average of 80,000 unique visitors/day and about 70 requests/second for a total of about 1,000,000 page views/day. SigmaWeb set them up trying first with Apache 2.4.6, then Apache 2.2.25. The load numbers, though, showed these Apache setups weren't going to cut it — especially since the customer planned to run a promotion that would increase traffic further.

"At that point, my old friend Jones, from JoneSolutions.Com, tells me: 'Only LiteSpeed can do the job for this project.'" Stratos tested a trial license, then installed a 4-CPU license via LiteSpeed's cPanel plugin. It was Stratos' first experience with LiteSpeed, but installation only took a few minutes. The difference was remarkable:

Load dropped from 8 (with spikes to 12) down to below 1. Memory usage dropped from over 14GB to below 4GB. LiteSpeed's event-driven architecture (and optimized code) were dramatically dropping the number of processes the system had to run, from 150-200 with Apache to under 10 with LiteSpeed Web Server.

Since switching, the site owner is ecstatic — they've found their host — and Stratos is happy as well: "I have been in the hosting business since 2003 and tried various solutions, like nginx. This is the first time I've seen something like this. Thanks to LiteSpeed Web Server, I will seriously consider entering the heavy-traffic market here in Greece, a market which I had been afraid to approach. Congratulations. You guys have done a great job!"


SigmaWeb's experience shows how LiteSpeed Web Server's event-driven architecture and optimized coding can cut the load for popular web applications like WordPress. LiteSpeed slashed the number of processes the server had to create, reducing overhead — and this improvement was available in minutes through our cPanel plugin.

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