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lighttpd (pronounced ‘lighty’) is a small, lightweight, fully-featured HTTP web server. From its web page:

Security, speed, compliance, and flexibility — all of these describe lighttpd (pron. lighty) which is rapidly redefining efficiency of a webserver; as it is designed and optimized for high performance environments. With a small memory footprint compared to other web-servers, effective management of the cpu-load, and advanced feature set (FastCGI, SCGI, Auth, Output-Compression, URL-Rewriting and many more) lighttpd is the perfect solution for every server that is suffering load problems.

lighttpd comes with FastCGI baked in, so you won’t need to install any additional modules. It also uses a very simple configuration file syntax, that you can understand and edit without having to take a 4-week course.