Everyone’s heard of Apache and IIS, and sometimes it can seem like those are the only two options available to people looking for a web server. I know I’ve pretty much used Apache exclusively, seeing as my machines are mostly Linux servers, and those in the Windows crowd often opt for IIS as well. I wondered today, however, if there were any other options for hosting a web server on software other than Apache or IIS, and a quick Google search revealed some articles like this one (and, oddly enough, this one which seems to be the exact same article on a different site) that list some web servers that you might not know about.
Of particular interest to me were the light, fast ones such as lighttpd and LightSpeed; for sites that don’t use tons of fancy features and stick with static web pages these web servers might prove hugely useful. Some people even mix the two together- this blog post mentions a way to combine lighttpd and Apache, using the former for static content such as images and downloadable files and the latter to handle the heavier, more complex scripts and resources. I’ll admit I hadn’t thought about that possibility, and it seems like a neat idea; combine it with my earlier post on speeding up servers and it might save you having to buy another dedicated server!
So if you’re looking for ways to speed up your server or simply jonesing for something different, give some of these options a try- you never know, they just might work for you!