Should You Upgrade to LiteSpeed Enterprise?

Not sure which version of LiteSpeed Web Server is for you? We can help. LiteSpeed Web Server is available in two flavors: the open source OpenLiteSpeed (OLS), and LiteSpeed Enterprise (LSWS).

OLS and LSWS are the same in many ways: both feature the powerful LSCache engine, HTTP/3 support, unlimited IP and name-based virtual hosting, GZIP and Brotli compression, and so much more.

But there are differences, which may inform your decision.

Main Differences

  • LiteSpeed Web Server supports Apache rewrite rules and the majority of Apache directives. It auto detects changes to .htaccess and adjusts as necessary without restart.
  • OpenLiteSpeed supports rewrite rules, but not Apache directives, and requires a restart to load any new .htaccess file.
    ModSecurity Engine
  • LiteSpeed Web Server supports Apache ModSecurity rules with a proprietary ModSecurity engine built by the LiteSpeed team. The LSWS ModSecurity engine delivers superior performance through it’s highly-optimized asynchronous approach.
  • OpenLiteSpeed also supports Apache ModSecurity rules, and includes a standard ModSecurity v3 engine. OLS uses the same library as open source nginx.

ESI, which stands for Edge Side Includes, is a markup language that allows web developers to designate parts of a web page as fragments to be processed separately from the rest of the page. With ESI, a web page can be broken into different fragments, processed separately, and then re-assembled before being delivered to the browser. It is especially useful in ecommerce applications where there may be a mix of public and private information on a single page. When combined with LSCache, ESI creates a powerful cache solution.


  • LiteSpeed Web Server supports ESI.
  • OpenLiteSpeed does not support ESI.
   Asynchronous SSL Handshake

The private key handshake of SSL can put a strain on server resources.

Asynchronous SSL handshake relieves that strain by moving handshake operations to separate worker threads instead of handling it in the main event-handling thread. This improves SSL performance and reduces congestion in I/O event handling.


  • LiteSpeed Web Server supports asynchronous SSL handshake.
  • OpenLiteSpeed does not support asynchronous SSL handshake.
    WordPress Brute Force Protection

During a WordPress Brute Force Attack, the login page is accessed repeatedly in an attempt to guess a valid user id and password, and gain access to the system. Besides the obvious security risks that brute force attacks pose, they also consume considerable server resources.


  • LiteSpeed Web Server comes with built-in protection against WordPress Brute Force Attack.
  • OpenLiteSpeed does not have native protection against WordPress Brute Force Attack.
    Control Panel Support
  • LiteSpeed Web Server is a drop-in Apache replacement, which means that any control panel that supports Apache also supports LSWS. Popular LSWS-friendly control panels include cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin, and more.
  • As OpenLiteSpeed is not a direct replacement for Apache, it cannot automatically use the same control panels as Apache. However, there is a growing number of control panels that support OpenLiteSpeed, including CyberPanel, DirectAdmin, CloudPages, RunCloud, and GridPane. Additionally, pre-built OpenLiteSpeed cloud images are available on every major platform for simple installation.
  • LiteSpeed Enterprise requires a license. There’s a LiteSpeed license to fit any situation, from the Free Starter license for single domains on small servers, to the unlimited license  for large web hosts, and everything in between.
  • OpenLiteSpeed is 100% free and open source. It may be used by anyone with any number of domains, and any size server, under a GPLv3 License.

Learn More

There are many more similarities and differences to explore.

Visit the LiteSpeed Web Server Editions page to continue your research.