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WordPress Plugins for the Nginx Web Server


July 19, 2013

I doubt there will ever be as many WordPress plugins available for the Nginx web server as opposed to the Apache web server. The Apache web server has been around for many years while Nginx is a relative newcomer in comparison.

The WordPress plugins I’m going to mention, and it’s just going to be a few, are not just for making certain WordPress features compatible with the Nginx web server. At least one is a caching plugin designed to enhance WordPress regardless of which web server you use. I only use two of the plugins, with more than just a few to choose from.

Nginx Compatibility

Regardless of what else it does, this is one of two WordPress plugins I know about that removes index.php from WordPress permalinks. I always install it before setting the permalinks – if I forget, index.php appears in the permalink examples to remind me.

The only thing to watch out for with this plugin is that it’s two plugins in one, one for PHP4 compatibility and one for PHP5 compatibility. When you activate it, the PHP4 version automatically becomes active. You have to disable it and then activate the PHP5 version.

Nginx Helper

Appearing in the repository as just “Nginx” (which I hope the author soon fixes), this is a plugin I won’t use unless I decide to use the Nginx FastCGI Cache with conditional purging.

This plugin isn’t helpful at all unless you use a customized version of Nginx with the nginx cache purge module installed. Luckily the “nginx-extras” package can be installed with APT should you decide to head in that direction.


W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is an awesome plugin, with or without support for the Nginx web server. Having it completely compatible with Nginx is a bonus in my opinion.

I didn’t mention this when I wrote about the Nginx configuration options, but I add a line to include “nginx.conf” at the bottom of the server configuration sections of my virtual hosts. W3 Total Cache stores the browser caching options in this file in the web root by default. The reason I didn’t mention it is because it won’t concern you unless you’re using W3 Total Cache. With all the caching plugins available, it would be presumptuous of me to think you use this specific one.

Nginx compatibility combined with PHP-APC integration makes W3 Total Cache one of the best WordPress plugins designed to enhance the speed of WordPress.

Other WordPress Plugins

There are more Nginx-oriented WordPress plugins to choose from, but I haven’t taken the time to investigate the functions of more than a few of them.

Some of the plugins are designed to help with Nginx when Nginx is being used as a front-end proxy server to Apache and I doubt I’ll ever have any interest in them. I’m using Nginx only and this is the way I recommend it be used.

Some of the plugins are designed to help with managing the Nginx FastCGI Cache, if that’s what you use. As I mentioned, I use W3 Total Cache. In my opinion, the Nginx FastCGI Cache would be more useful with websites that aren’t powered by WordPress.

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