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Nginx Scripts & Modules for WHM/cPanel

Nginx has been adopted by many web hosting companies to increase server performance and speed up website response times. However, one of the main software leaders in the hosting industry still doesn’t fully support it. This native web server is WHM/cPanel.

cPanel is the most popular control panel used by webmasters and developers. It allows you to set up your web server, database, DNS, and email services with just a few clicks. You gain an attractive interface and full desktop and mobile support.

There are a few ways to install Nginx on cPanel. Some solutions are free, and others are commercial. In this post, you will learn about the best scripts to get full Nginx + cPanel integration for all of your websites.

Free Nginx Modules for WHM/cPanel

NginxCP

NginxCP is one of the first Nginx + cPanel plugins that appeared on the hosting forums and became pretty popular. It’s a free module that will allow you to easily set up Nginx.

With NginxCP, you will be able to manage Nginx and it’s status, restart Nginx, or rebuild the virtual hosts from a WHM interface. This has already been covered in the tutorial, Install and Configure Nginx on cPanel, which was based on this cool script.

Engintron

Engintron is a brand new WHM module that allows you to integrate Nginx + cPanel to enjoy super fast speeds on any of your websites.

Some of the main features of Engintron include set up as a reverse caching proxy to speed up any static or PHP based website, Nginx automatic updates, and a powerful dashboard to control Nginx, Apache, MySQL and PHP services.

nDeploy

nDeploy is a new cPanel module that comes with very interesting features that others do not support. One of the coolest features is that it comes compiled with mod_pagespeed, ngx_cache_purge and Phusion Passenger support.

nDeploy also supports multiple back-end gateways like PHP-FPM, Ruby (rack/rails), Python (WSGI), NodeJS and ColdFusion. The WHM interface is not as good as expected, but it does work, which is the most important thing.

Commercial Modules for WHM/cPanel

cPnginx

cPnginx is one of the first Nginx commercial modules that was available for cPanel. It can help you to install Nginx with a few simple instructions to get the maximum performance for your server.

The core features of cPnginx include Nginx auto-update, 24/7 technical support (very important if you are not familiar with Unix/Linux running Nginx), full API for developers and a WHMCS module.

cPnginx licenses start at $5 per month for individual servers. Reseller Licenses start at $3 per month with a minimum of 10 servers.

Unixy’s Varnish Nginx cPanel

Unixy’s Varnish Nginx cPanel is a module created to get a real boost for your server speed and performance. It integrates cPanel with Nginx and offers full support for Varnish, which is a solid cache system that’s used by many popular websites.

Unixy’s Varnish Nginx cPanel offers full support from Unixy’s experts to get your sites working if you have any issues with the script. This popular solution also offers one of the best WHM interfaces to manage your web server, watch its status and much more.

Unixy offers a free 14 day trial. If you like it, it costs $17.89 quarterly or $71.89 for a yearly license.

What’s your experience running Nginx on cPanel? Did you notice an increased server performance after installation? Share your thoughts.

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profile

Esteban Borges

Linux Geek, Webperf Addict, Nginx Fan. CTO @Infranetworking

  • Thanks! I highly suggest checking out nDeploy (https://support.sysally.net/projects/ndeploy/wiki)/https://github.com/AnoopAlias/nDeploy

  • As the developer of Engintron for cPanel/WHM – https://engintron.com – I’d like to mention that we recently updated the plugin to v1.5. This is a complete re-write since v1.0 (which is what you evaluated when you wrote this blog post). The plugin now acts entirely as a black box as you literally install it, set it & forget it. There are new benefits as well: no vhost synchronization between Nginx & Apache, better caching control, micro-caching to benefit websites with user generated content, easy installation, upgrading from within WHM, new looks and new tools.

    What Engintron does best compared to all the other solutions is that it really does caching in an effective way. If you don’t enable micro-caching, it acts like CloudFlare for your entire server. If you enable micro-caching, it speeds up sites with user-generated content like forums or e-shops without messing with any personalized content. None of the other plugins ever got caching right unfortunately, which is the reason why I originally built Engintron. They either don’t do anything (just proxy all traffic to Apache with zero benefit to the server) or the cache more than they should, messing with sites with user generated content.

    What’s even worse is that these other plugins have created a bad reputation for Nginx on cPanel, making it seem as a cumbersome solution to deal with in the first place.

    I won’t even comment on Varnish + Nginx by Unixy. If you can have Nginx as a reverse caching proxy “the right way”, why the hell would you need Varnish which requires multiple exclusions to actually benefit the server? Unless of course this plugin simply installs Varnish & Nginx using default configurations which translate to zero benefits for any server.

    As for nginxcp, this was never the first plugin. It’s simply a copycat of the original scripts written by the cPanel forum member “blargman” back in 2010. And here’s proof: https://forums.cpanel.net/threads/nginx-automated-installer.148109/ – Notice the file names and you’ll see they still match nginxcp (what a joke). What nginxcp is doing is essentially releasing updates for Nginx only (the scripts for vhost sync’ing and everything else are the python scripts “blargman” wrote in 2010) by actually bundling Nginx. The only reason this script is still alive is because of the ads in their website (which is pathetic the least). Not to mention they never recognized the original author of that work (“blargman”).

    The interestingly named cpnginx on the other hand (commercial) is probably a poor commercial fork on nginxcp. Seeing the screenshots available at their website someone with basic knowledge of how Nginx works will surely understand this plugin really does nothing to your stack. In fact, both nginxcp and cpnginx (those names!) add one more hassle to your cPanel stack: manual vhost synchronization.

    I can only give credit to nDeploy which is actively developed to ***replace*** Apache with Nginx in cPanel. It’s not Nginx AND Apache. It’s Nginx and “bye bye” Apache. So technically, this requires tremendous additional configuration on each site to work with Nginx (e.g. existing .htaccess rules simply won’t work). In other words, this solution is probably for the people who develop and host sites at the same time. It’s not something a hosting company could deploy on its cPanel servers.

    Which brings us to Engintron…

    Engintron was developed out of the frustration of the current landscape of plugins for Nginx on cPanel. It was developed from the ground up, using best practices, combined with proven experience and software expertise. It is both free and open source for a reason. And that reason is that everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits of cPanel when it comes to hosting with the performance features of Nginx for serving content. It’s a simple solution for anyone to install and keep up to date. Requires little to zero configuration and it works miracles when it comes to actually delivering on its promises.

  • GNUSYS

    cpXstack,nDeploy has been officially renamed XtendWeb and the project has a new home at https://autom8n.com/xtendweb/