How can I make Nginx Faster?

Nginx is considered one of the most commonly used web servers today. The reasons behind preferring this webserver over other web servers available in the market are as follows: 1) It does not create a separate worker thread for each incoming request; rather, its single worker process is capable of catering to multiple requests at the same time. 2) It loads the static content immediately as soon as the user requests for it because it keeps that content in its cache.

However, there are still other hacks available out there, with the help of which we can make the performance of this webserver even better. Therefore, in today’s article, we would like to share with you some of the most efficient tips with which you can make your Nginx web server all the faster.

Ways of Making Nginx Faster:

Although the Nginx web server is still better in performance as compared to many other web servers, however, with a little more effort, it can be made even more powerful and faster. The ways of speeding up your Nginx web server are discussed below:

Optimize the Performance of Nginx Web Server with a Hardware Upgrade:

At times, when your hardware is problematic, i.e., it does not have sufficient resources to run your web server smoothly, then you might face performance-related issues, and you may feel the need to optimize your web server. The best thing that you can do in this regard is to upgrade your hardware on which your Nginx web server is supposed to run. You can either add in more components, such as extra RAM and extra hard disk, or you can even change your computer system entirely. This will greatly affect the performance of your Nginx web server.

Secure your Nginx Web Server:

Sometimes, your web server might slow down because of certain security attacks on the applications running on it. These attacks can be prevented altogether by securing your Nginx web server. You can add the HTTP Strict Transport Header (HSTH) to your Nginx web server’s configuration file to prevent XSS (cross-site scripting) attack, protocol downgrade attack, clickjacking attack, and all other types of code injection attacks. You can also make use of the limit_req flag within the Nginx configuration file to restrict the number of allowed requests at a time. This will prevent the Nginx web server from Denial of Service (DoS) or Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

Use a Load Balancer:

As its name implies, the job of a load balancer is to handle the distributed load of the actual web server. Whenever you want to increase the performance and capabilities of any machine in general and a web server in particular, you can adopt any two of the following approaches. 1) You can add more components to your existing server to make it more powerful. 2) You can also add a load balancer so that the workload can be distributed across two or more servers. The second approach is more practical as it can drastically improve the performance of your Nginx web server.

Keep your Data Compressed:

The data that is stored on the webserver, as well as the one that your Nginx web server sends and receives, should be in compressed form. This will not only optimize the performance of your web server but will also conserve the bandwidth because of the small size of the compressed files that will be transmitted through the network.

Monitor your Nginx Web Server:

Server monitoring plays a very vital role in ensuring the proper working of your server. It enables you to fix the issues right on time and also prevents most of the things that have the potential to go wrong as you can take all the precautionary measures well in time. This significantly improves the speed of your Nginx web server.

Disable the Access Logs if you do not need them:

Nginx saves the information regarding every event that takes place on that web server in the form of access logs. These logs are a good way of tracing the issues within your web servers; however, these logs also occupy a handsome amount of space that can cause your web server to slow down. At any point in time, if you feel like you do not need these access logs anymore, then it is highly recommended for you to disable these access logs. This will save a lot of your web server’s resources hence making it faster.

Keep Your Software Up to Date:

Whenever you use any software, it is always advised to keep it up to date. Similarly, you also need to keep the applications running on your Nginx web server up to date. Doing this will fix all those issues that can possibly impact the working of your Nginx web server and result in poor performance.


By following all the tips provided to you in this article, you can easily get the best performance out of your Nginx web server, and hence you can fulfill all your desired goals very efficiently.

About the author

Karim Buzdar

Karim Buzdar

Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. He blogs at LinuxWays.