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This article states:

If you aren't already using a PHP opcode cache and WordPress caching plugin, nginx will do squat for your WordPress-based website's performance.

Could someone elaborate on what the author means. I'm currently running a vanilla install of wordpress on my Apache2 webserver. I'm considering migrating a number of my other sites (non-wordpress) to Nginx and think whilst I'm at it I might as well migrate Wordpress too. But the above statement makes me think that there'll be no benefit to migrating wordpress. Why?

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"squat" is synonymous with "nothing" in this case. So, I'd say:

Before you consider using nginx, be aware that PHP APC or a similar opcode cache with a WordPress caching plugin is going to offer significant performance improvements over just switching from Apache to nginx.

If you aren't already using a PHP opcode cache and WordPress caching plugin, nginx will do nothing for your WordPress-based website's performance.

The way I understand it, these points talk about premature optimization. It says, don't just move WordPress installation from Apache to Nginx just because everyone says Nginx is a better performant web server than Apache (although it's probably true).

Try optimizing Apache first, enable opcode caching, try application accelerator like Varnish, etc. Doing so, the setup can offer significant performance improvements over just switching to Nginx.

If it still doesn't satisfy you (i.e. if the gained performance is still not acceptable), that's when you should actually consider moving your WordPress installation to Nginx — especially because WordPress has limited support for nginx-based setups as of now.

WordPress is intertwined with the Apache world so support for nginx-based setups is limited but growing. Factor these things into your decision to use nginx.

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Thanks. I know that it means that it will do nothing. What I'm asking is why? Since Nginx is apparently a much more performant and scaleable webserver than Apache. –  auser Jun 3 '12 at 13:36
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@user63904 Apache, if configured properly, can offer the same performance improvement that Nginx offers for static files and can be made scaleable (like Nginx). For dynamic content, there is no significant difference in the performance between these two. –  Pothi Jun 3 '12 at 16:56

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