Linux Or Windows Web Hosting? Part-1


While finding a web host may be all about the features being offered, there is one aspect of web hosting that creates confusion for many marketers – which operating system will the server run on?

We are going to try and provide a clear picture of the more popular operating systems here, and the decision to choose the one that is a perfect fit for your business lies with you; of course, keeping the intended use as well as the budget in mind.

These are the various operating systems offered by web hosts all over the Web:

  • Linux
  • Windows
  • Unix
  • Macintosh

Out of these, Linux and Windows are the most popular and easily available operating systems. Unix systems are almost the same as Linux, and Macintosh systems are extremely few and far in between.

The Choice Of Operating System

The scripting language used for the website plays a major role in the selection of the right operating system.  If the website concerned is using ASP Dot Net scripting language, then the best bet is to go with Windows hosting; but for MySQL:, PHP or Perl, the preferred choice is Linux server hosting.

Linux Operating System

Linux web hosting is considered as more stable, reliable and universally compatible, due to the speed and functionality of the operating platform.  On the other hand, it may not be the best choice for those looking for chat, E-commerce add-ons, searchable database or similar interactive facilities. Linux may also not gel with anything related to Windows, such as Visual Basic, in which case, it is better to look for a Windows-based server.

What You Get With Linux Hosting

  • Linux can be downloaded free as it is an open source software as there are no licensing fees attached, unlike others. Along with the OS, it also has a full-fledged server and desktop applications that are free, such as Web Server, File Server, FTP and DNS Server. This proves to be economical, as the host only charges the cost of distribution.
  • It is easy to install Linux and get it going, and this is the reason for the popularity of this operating system.
  • For people keen on universal compatibility irrespective of the operating system, Linux offers a wide range of programs and custom scripts.
  • If a webmaster wishes to shift from a Linux-based website to a Windows web server at any point of time, it can be done with the least effort.
  • Linux web hosting is Linux OS and APACHE web server, PHP server coding applications and MYSQL database all under one roof.
  • If the website uses scripting languages like MySQL, PHP or Perl and written in HTML, Linux web hosting is a perfect choice.
  • Web hosting providers offer different databases that can be run on Linux hosting; such as MySQL, mSQL and PostgreSQL.
  • Linux hosting is also considered to be more secure.
  • For users that are not looking for any unique features like searchable  databases, cart etc., Linux is the best alternative.
  • Both Linux and Windows offer FTP access but only Linux offers ssh or telnet access.  FTP is the method through which files from the hard drive can be shifted to the Web server.  SSH and Telnet are used to open a window on the Web server to directly work with files.

To make a long story short, Linux is known for its high uptime and steadiness to loads.

We will look at Windows hosting and other specifics that will give you a better idea on what to look for when choosing a hosting platform in Part-2 of this article.

Read: Linux or Windows Web Hosting? Part-2

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