By Ammara Ghani –
Choosing a web host is, no doubt, the first step in designing an effective website for your company and selecting the right hosting platform is one of the most confusing decisions, especially for those who are totally new to hosting world. Windows and Linux are two different types of operating systems used by most of the hosting companies. Each technology has its own pros and cons and an in-depth analysis is required when you have to choose one from amongst the two.
Many users already using a Windows or Linux operating system on their personal computers automatically assume that if they are using a Windows system, then they need the same operating system to host their website. In reality, the system one uses on personal computer may have nothing to do with the system that one’s web host runs. One needs to decide on the basis of what one’s website needs. Rather than comparing which technology is better than the other, this article focuses on the difference between the two and how they affect one’s hosting.
Windows Web Hosting:
Developed by Microsoft, the Windows web hosting platform is the most widely used hosting platform, used by more than 80% of the users. Its major advantages are its compatibility and user friendly technology. The Windows Web Hosting platform also offers some unique features that no other operating systems offer. For instance, a Windows programmer can easily incorporate COM objects into web applications. Also, using Windows, MSSQL servers are easier to manipulate. However, for all its advantages, unlike Linux, Windows comes with an exorbitant licensing fee. The additional licensing fees are justified, though, if a website relies on Windows specific technologies like MSSQL or ASP.NET.
Technologies like MSSQL or ASP.NET can be compatible with a Linux Server, however, as these technologies are meant to be run on a Windows based server, it is always preferable to go for a windows server when running systems developed by Microsoft.
Linux Web Hosting:
Evolved from Unix, Linux is another popular operating system on the web that is acknowledged for its reliability and cost effectiveness. The low price is the biggest advantage offered by Linux and this is the reason that most bloggers use this platform to set up their personal blogs. An easy to use control panel is another plus as Linux uses a cPanel or WHM which are equally popular among users for their easy functioning. On the other hand, Windows uses Plesk, which is comparatively less user friendly, especially for all the non-techies out there. Also, Linux operating system is very secure and less prone to cyber attacks; NetFronts continuously makes alterations and updates to ensure that this platform is secure for its users.
Linux hosting is best for those who use PHP, Perl, MySQL, WordPress or any other open source software. Though all these can work on Windows based servers as well, but perform better on the much more stable Linux platform.
In terms of performance both Windows and Linux are reliable. One’s choice between the two would only depend on one’s requirement for specific features that are unique to either one of the two platforms. Careful assessment of requirements would be a definitive determining factor in choosing between Windows or Linux based platforms.
To summarize, both the discussed web hosting platforms perform well in terms of stability and compatibility with relevant technologies. The choice between the two, however, is dependent on one’s choice of software usage: Opensource users would be well advised to use Linux and users of Microsoft technologies would be well served by Windows based hosting servers.
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