Caddy vs Nginx – Which Web Server is Better ? (Pros and Cons)

Caddy vs Nginx – Which Web Server is Better ? (Pros and Cons). Web servers are the backbone of the modern internet. They accept network requests from users, primarily web browsers, and return a response to the request. When an internet user requests something from a server using protocols such as HTTP, instantly they receive back data in various formats such as text or multimedia files like images etc.

Caddy and Nginx are among the most popular web servers thanks to their their ability to provide fast, secure, and reliable services. This article provides a comprehensive analysis of both web servers, including their features, pros, and cons. This assists you to make an informed decision about which web server is best for your needs. 

Let’s start with Caddy vs Nginx – Which Web Server is Better ? (Pros and Cons).

What is Caddy and How Does It Work?

Caddy is an open source and multiplatform web server licensed under Apache License 2.0. Hosted on GitHub and is simple to use, efficient, and portable. Supports HTTP/2 and HTTP and HTTPS through Let’s Encrypt by providing and renewing certificates

Runs on Linux, Windows, macOS, Solaris, and BDS and is written in the Go environment using default Go libraries. 

Works by proxying your request to backend servers. Configure it to serve websites directly from its file system or set it to proxy requests to other web servers. When you send a request, the server checks cache to determine if the requested content is available. If so, Caddy serves the content from its cache. If no content is available, Caddy forwards the request to the relevant backend server and send the response back to you. 

Features of Caddy

Simple Architecture

Simple infrastructure takes care of TLS certificate renewals, static file serving, OCSP stapling, Kubernetes ingress, reverse proxying, and more. Achieve more with a single, fixed two-fold system compatible with any platform. Works well in containers because it has no dependencies.


Default settings for using HTTPS. Also automatically obtains and renews TLS certificates for your platforms and staples OCSP responses.  Written in Go, the server has better memory safety than other servers written in CA hardened TLS stack. Also PCI compliant by default. 

Dynamic Cert Loading

Dynamic cert loading feature allows for certificates to be loaded at runtime, making certificate management simpler and safer. This helps to improve security by reducing the risk of mismanaging certificates or missing essential renewals. It allows SSL/TLS certificates to be updated automatically with no downtime or manual intervention, saving time and potential costs associated with outdated or neglected certificate maintenance.

Backed by Ardan

Backed by Ardan Labs which provides enterprise grade support. 

File Server and Proxy

Efficient, flexible static file server and robust, scalable reverse proxy. Use it to serve your static site with compression, markdown rendering, template evaluation, and more. By default, Caddy servers static files in the current working directory. Use it to serve dynamic sites with proxying, plugins, templates, and FastCGI.

Use it as a dynamic reverse proxy to unlimited backends, active and passive health checks, circuit breaking, load balancing, and caching. Besides, it provides multiple load balancing policies such as round robin, header, random, or IP hash.

The Caddy File

Features a configuration file that is easy to write and easily readable by humans. Perfect for most manual and standard configurations.

Configuration API

Dynamically configure Caddy with a RESTful JSON API for graceful updates, even on Windows. JSON delivers absolute control over the edge of the computing platform and is ideal for dynamic and automated deployments. Easy to configure to serve static files such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.

Pros of Caddy

  • The REST API makes it easy to automate and integrate the server with all apps. 
  • The only server that uses HTTPS by default.
  • Hardened TLS stack with modern protocols to preserve privacy. 
  • Easily exposes Man in The Middle (MITM) attacks.

Cons of Caddy

  • Doesn’t support basic functional features. 
  • No extensive training and troubleshooting documentation available.

What is Nginx and How Does It Work?

Nginx is a web server that provides various capabilities such as load balancing, caching, and reverse proxy. As a web server, it provides HTTPS capabilities for maximum stability and performance. The server handles multiple simultaneous connections from 10,000 users without compromising performance. Checks similar requests without necessarily creating a separate process.

Nginx is an open source web server under the BDS License. It is more than a web server. Functions as a reverse proxy and load balancer for TCP, HTTP, and UDP servers. Proxy for POP3, IMAP, and SMTP protocols. Its applications go beyond providing web content and documents.

In addition, Nginx uses an asynchronous, event driven, and non blocking architecture. The multi process model, creates several worker processes for handling all network events based on one controller process. In essence, the master process controls the behavior of the system and connections. It also carries out privileged operations such as binding to network ports and applying the configuration.

Features of Nginx

Load Balancing

Nginx effectively distributes requests among servers or groups of servers with similar characteristics. The requests are distributed across multiple backend servers depending on availability and capacity.

Reverse Proxy Server

As a reverse proxy server, Nginx sits between the clients and the origin server, providing an intermediary layer. It caches content, enhances security, and reduces network latency. This feature minimizes resource usage on both communication ends while ensuring all your requests happen in a single process to reduce response times.

SSL Capabilities

Nginx is an HTTP proxy server, but is configured to terminate SSL connections. Then forward the requests it receives over plain HTTP to your backends. That allows you to have a single public IP address for all your backend web servers, making it easier to connect to them. Additionally, if any backend servers are attacked or compromised, they will not affect other backends.

FastCGI Support with Caching

FastCGI module that helps to cache dynamic content for WordPress sites. This caching enables it to serve a static copy of the page more quickly. Overall, it reduces the load time for each page request.

Pros of Nginx

  • Faster loading times to improve your sites’ overall performance and ranking. 
  • Compatible with web applications like Python, Ruby, and Joomla.
  • Uses less memory space and resources than other servers. 
  • Event based server that handles multiple connections without additional costs. 

Cons of Nginx

  • Only has one single configuration file which makes it less flexible than other web servers.
  • Several restrictions on the configuration of the modules.

We have arrived to the main part of this article Caddy vs Nginx – Which Web Server is Better ? (Pros and Cons).

Main Differences Between Caddy and Nginx


Caddy uses JSON for its configuration. However, it supports other formats (Caddyfile). Nginx provides easy configuration through grouped instructions in blocks or fields. Also, configure the worker processes directive to auto on the default settings. Once configured, Nginx saves on hardware resource consumption by creating a worker process in each CPU.


Caddy performs as a Reverse Proxy, and most of its features work as middleware, which means they’re only directly related to the caddy settings file. Has good security and eliminates the security loopholes in Nginx.

Nginx provides speed, lightweight, and scalability. Due to its light structure and fast architecture, it’s easy to use on old and low powered systems. Compatible with heavy load platforms. Nginx outperforms Caddy in terms of request handled per second and stability when loaded.


Caddy embeds any Go Application as a plugin and provides first class support for plugins. Server runs lightly and efficiently with a relatively low memory footprint and high throughput. It’s also a single executable file with no dependencies and can run on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, BSD, Solaris, 32 bit, ARM, and almost anything to which Go compiles. In comparison, Caddy has better architecture than Nginx.

Nginx is based on asynchronous, nonblocking, and event driven architecture. Basically, it handles thousands of communication requests in a single processing thread. Architecture enables it to work by managing worker behaviours and connecting to network ports, supporting thousands of incoming network connections. 

Security and Privacy

Caddy has TLS client authentication that only allows you to configure the server to enable specific clients to connect to your service. TLS 1.3 is the newest standard for transport security and is faster and more secure than its predecessors.

Nginx security features include SSL termination, authentication, and access control. It restricts access to basic HTTP authentication and access to proxied HTTP resources. The SSL also restricts access by geographical location and secures TCP traffic to upstream servers. Compared to Caddy, Nginx has more security and privacy capabilities.

HTTP Server

Caddy is a production ready, open source web server that uses HTTP 2 and HTTPS by default. On the other hand, Nginx has HTTPS 1.1 and HTTPS 2. The ability to use HTTP server by default makes Caddy a better choice in HTTP server consideration.


Technical support with Caddy provides limited support. Users have to rely on the documentation to troubleshoot issues. On the other side, Nginx provides 24/7 live support to its users. In case you encounter issues, you reach out to the support department for help.

Thank you for reading Caddy vs Nginx – Which Web Server is Better ? We shall conclude the article now. 

Caddy vs Nginx - Which Web Server is Better? (Pros and Cons) Conclusion

Finally, there are many web servers to choose from, it is difficult to make a choice. However this comparison assists you between deciding Caddy vs Nginx, if you are looking for a robust web server. Each server offers unique features and definitely helps your business in a way.

On one hand, Nginx has the most significant market share, with its performance and features ahead of Caddy’s. It solves the problem and limitation of web servers that came before it, with the ability to process multiple simultaneous requests with heavy web traffic. Makes it ideal for handling heavy traffic volumes. Oppositely, Caddy focuses on ease of use, configuration, and high performance.

Avatar for Dennis Muvaa
Dennis Muvaa

Dennis is an expert content writer and SEO strategist in cloud technologies such as AWS, Azure, and GCP. He's also experienced in cybersecurity, big data, and AI.

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