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NGINX is currently the most popular open-source web server and reverse proxy server software that web developers use as a load balancer, HTTP cache, and edge cache for content delivery networks (CDNs). By routing requests to multiple application servers, NGINX helps distribute traffic and enhances server performance.

There are reasons for NGINX's popularity. Firstly, it offers high performance and can handle high traffic loads, as it utilises an event-driven architecture and, as a result, can serve thousands of concurrent requests with minimal latency. Developers can also use NGINX as a caching layer to reduce the back-end servers' load and shorten response times. Another advantage is its scalability. NGINX can be quickly and horizontally scaled by attaching more servers to a load balancer pool, enabling web apps to manage more traffic effectively. NGINX also secures web apps (e.g. against attack) thanks to its security features: SSL/TLS encryption, DDoS protection, and rate limiting.

Effective use of NGINX starts with taking advantage of all its features. So, use it as a load balancer to enhance your app's performance and as a caching layer to decrease response times. Don't forget to configure it according to your needs – this is especially important regarding the SSL/TLS encryption that will help you secure web traffic and protect your app against data breaches.

As for things to avoid, you should refrain from using older versions of NGINX. They may have security vulnerabilities or performance issues, so if you want your web app to be at its best, stick to the newest version. And don't overcomplicate the configuration. If you add complexity, keep it simple and easy to maintain. The final advice: don't treat NGINX as the only way to secure your app. Stay up-to-date with the best practices for web app security and use them to your advantage by adding any extra security measures you may need.

Developers worldwide use NGINX (including websites like Netflix, GitHub, WordPress, or AirBnB), as it remains one of the most powerful tools in web development.

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