Windows vs. Linux Web Hosting
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Just as there are different operating systems available, there are also different options when it comes to Web hosting. After all, a Web server (where the your Web page is hosted) is really a kind of computer. This is why there are different options for Web hosting based on operating systems. Just as the Windows versus Linux battle takes place in terms of operating systems, there is also a battle between Windows and Linux when it comes to Web hosting. Here is a basic overview of the pros and cons of each type of Web hosting:
Windows Web hosting
Windows is ideal for those developers who use Windows, or whose businesses use Windows. If you are looking for something that is uniform and developed by people paid to create programs for Windows, this type of Web hosting can be a good idea. Additionally, Windows Web hosting provides access to modern hosting technology, programs and applications. There are many dynamic Web applications that can be integrated with your hosting, most of them using ASP or ASP.NET
However, there are some issues with Windows Web hosting. Two of the main factors have to do with security and reliability. Windows is notorious for its occasional security problems. Check with your Web host and do some research to make sure that the proper measures are being taken to protect your Web site from security problems. You should also make sure that you address problems in your own code that may be vulnerable to weaknesses. Reliability is another issue. Upgrades usually means that the entire server needs to be shut down and re-booted. This means that you Web site is down. Check with your Web host to make sure that most upgrades are performed at night, when the fewest number of people will be affected.
Stability can also be an issue. If too much dynamic content is on the business Web site, or if you try to run too many processes at once, Windows can become less stable. Performance can slow. However, if you get a system administrator that knows how to work Windows, it is possible to get good performance and stability out of a Windows server.
Cost is the final consideration when looking at Windows vs. Linux Web hosting. Windows is likely to cost a little bit more. Windows Web hosting packages reflect the fact that Microsoft is not open source, and that means it will cost more. Depending on the kind of hosting package you want, and whether or not you need ecommerce applications, costs will vary according to Web host.
Linux Web hosting
One of the biggest issues with Linux Web hosting is that you will not be able to use ASP or ASP.NET, if it is something that you want. However, if you are putting together Web sites based on Java, PHP or Perl, Linux is an excellent choice. However, you may not get the same features that are available with Windows Web hosting.
Linux costs less money than Windows Web hosting. You can usually find low-cost packages aimed at individuals and small businesses. Additionally, Linux is scalable, so you can usually add more features and take up more space if necessary. Linux is open source, so it costs less, and there are many developers coming up with new applications and programs that can be used in Web hosting. This means, however, that support for Linux is de-centralized. You will want to make sure that your Web host is up to handling support problems, since there is no way to contact one organization.
Reliability and security are two well-known features of Linux. Hosting servers have almost 100% up time, without too much trouble. Long downtime is usually not an issue with Linux Web hosting. Additionally, Linux does not have many viruses to worry about; it is considered more secure than Windows Web hosting.
The good news is that, for the most part, you can use either Linux Web hosting or Windows Web hosting with either operating system; if you have a Linux operating system you can use Windows Web hosing, and vice versa. In the end, you have to evaluate your needs. If features and dynamic Web content is a premium, Windows may be the way to go. If cost is your primary issue, Linux is definitely the way to go, since it costs much less. Indeed, for many just starting out, Linux offers the most bang for the buck.Related article: Why Build a Free Website?