What Is an Apache Server?

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Today, a strong web presence is more important than ever for any aspiring business. To stay relevant and connected in the ever-changing marketplace, business owners need to have their website in tip-top shape. 

How can you ensure a professional online experience with smooth and swift website access for all your customers?

For many, the answer is the server. Here, we will take a look at the Apache server and its role in hosting a great website. 

What Is a Server?

A server is a device that responds to a request. In the online sphere, a server is an entity that provides the user with the content that they have requested via a browser request. 

Every domain entry is a sort of request to a server. A server is, in many ways, a delivery service.

Users often first encounter this word when typing in an incorrect website and receiving the message “the server does not recognize this request.” This message pops up because the software is unable to send back any content based on that search. 

Conversely, any time one visits a favorite website, that access is possible because of a server sending the client its desired web content. 

What Can You Do with an Apache Server?

For the past 25 years, Apache has been one of the most popular web servers in the online marketplace. Apache powers an estimated four out of ten websites globally. Although referenced as a “server,” Apache is essentially a software that runs on a physical server. Many the web hosts we recommend utilizes apache — some names such as SiteGround, A2 Hosting, HostPapa, and Kinsta frequently appear in our best hosting lists:

Its primary function is to connect a website visitor’s browser with an internet server. This software is especially popular among small businesses and solo business ventures. Often, those with no background in tech or who otherwise consider themselves technologically un-savvy will use Apache. 

Ultimately, Apache is a tool created for proper server-to-client communication. Because it an open-source, cross-platform software, you can use it at no cost. For small and local businesses and entrepreneurs, Apache servers ensure professional, corporate-level web access for guests without the exorbitant fees. 

Apache vs. NGINX

Although it is an industry-standard reliable software, Apache does have a few inherent problems. Perhaps the most prominent obstacle is the c10k problem. This issue is prevalent among many servers, though. 

Simply put, Apache can not consistently maintain more than 10,000 connections at any given time. This limit proves to be a problem for larger companies and confirms why Apache is popular among mostly smaller businesses. 

NGINX is another server. It uses different processing methods to fulfill a higher number of requests than Apache. Notably, it is a favorite among internet giants such as Netflix and Hulu. 

For established high-traffic websites, NGINX is a natural choice. However, small businesses should steer clear. The higher traffic software comes at the cost of a more complicated configuration and the possibility of more complications.

For some companies, the best approach is to run both software in tandem. This strategy allows the user to get the best of both worlds, using each software where it is most reliable. 

Apache Tomcat

Apache Tomcat is a server designed explicitly to power java applications. In tandem with the appropriate modules, this server is compatible with other software languages such as PHP and Python. 

For websites running Java apps, Tomcat is a natural choice. For websites using mostly WordPress, Tomcat is not the best choice.

Tomcat will pre-load java apps and libraries on each website, even when these are not required. Accordingly, Tomcat can work with any website. Often, it may not be necessary, and the extra processing only makes it less efficient than the previously mentioned Apache server. 


  • Thanks to the massive user base, any user who chooses Apache joins an extensive support network that can address various questions and concerns.
  • Its lack of cost makes Apache a risk-free endeavor.
  • The company regularly updates its software, leading to the safest and most reliable product possible. 
  • It is perhaps the most beginner-friendly of all server software. Technical matters of the internet can feel quite overwhelming to the average user with confusing jargon. Luckily, Apache is such a well-integrated software that it performs its job in the most straightforward manner possible. 


  • One obvious downside is scale. This software is only an option for small scale businesses and solo entrepreneurs. Most users circumvent this obstacle by running Apache in tandem with other software. 

Bottom Line

Aside from the stress of running a business, the technical complications of hosting a website can be a significant headache. Each website is a highly complex operation. To ensure secure and proper handling of this necessary communication function, you must have a trusted server. 

There is no secret as to why almost half of the world’s websites use Apache. It is simple, secure, and guarantees successful internet correspondence.