When you are first starting out on the web it can be really confusing. You have to worry about both the hardware and the software side of your project. You have to worry about both sides because usually you cannot afford to hire someone to do it for you. In the past it was a lot easier but these days we have so much alternative software now that we can use that it is hard to pick. You can read tutorials and reviews to see which one is the best for your needs but still it can be hard to figure out until you try them all.
One of the choices that you have to decide on is which programming language you are going to use. Also you have to decide whether you are going to use a CMS or develop the web site from scratch. Once you pick the language that you are going to use, you also have to wonder whether you are also going to use one of the frameworks that are available in the language. All of these choices can be overwhelming to a person just getting started into the business.
The one choice that used to be easy was which web server you were going to use. For a long time there were only two default servers that a person getting into the business would use. Those two web servers were either Microsoft Windows Server or Apache. Most of the people getting into the business would choose to use Apache because it was reliable and it was cheap.
What is Apache and what does a web server do?
As we said earlier, Apache is a web server. So the better question might be “what does a web server do”. A web server allows you to serve web pages from a remote computer. It is the backbone of the whole entire internet. Without web servers you would not be able to go to a web page at all. It is a very simple idea but the execution of a web server can be very complex. That is why there is so much software out there that tries to simplify Apache for the average user.
But while Apache is a great piece of software to use, it is made to be the general case solution. There are times when you are going to want a server solution that will either solve lesser needs or greater. These are the times when the Apache server is not the ideal software to use.
Using alternative server software
If you searched Google and typed in the term “a list of web servers”, you will find several dozens of solutions that you could use for your web site. While it may seem like that everyone uses Apache to get the job done it is actually not the only game in town. You have several other popular servers to try such as lightHttpd, IIS, Tux, Tornado and several more. So if you are looking for something that may suit your needs more all you have to do is to take a look and give some of the alternatives a try.
But what about the security of these servers?
And that is the one thing that you do have to worry about. The security measures of a web server is very important and if you are going to use an alternative to Apache you should at least make sure that it is either safer or as safe as Apache. If not then you will find yourself the victim of a lot of attacks.
When it comes to security the Apache software has a lot of holes in it but they are being fixed all of the time. And that is the advantage of it being an open source project. Anyone who wants to can look at the source code of the Apache project and figure out for themselves if there are security leaks that they need to be worried about. If you do not write code yourself then you still do not have to worry. There is a good chance that the hole will be fixed right away because there are so many other eyes on the source code. And they do not want the project that they work on to be known as a security liability. With the other smaller servers that you are looking at, if they are open source then you have to worry about the size of the community. Are there enough people working on the project to fix any security holes in a timely manner? Also if it is closed source do they respond to security matters quick enough?
When it comes to the security of your project, if you are going to go with an alternative web server to Apache then you need to make sure that it is the right decision. It will only be the right decision if your project can remain safe.