When choosing any web hosting service, you will have to make the choice between Windows and Linux, as these are the two main operating systems offered by a majority of web hosting providers. Your choice of operating system is going to be based on your own requirements when compared to what each operating system is going to offer because Windows and Linux both offer different features; it is important for you to identify what Windows and Linux will be able to offer you so that you are able to make the correct choice with regards to the operating system that you wish to have your web hosting plan based on. One of the key differences to consider between Windows hosting and Linux hosting is the cost of the web hosting plans; because Linux is an open source operating system it is usually the platform on which web hosting companies base their low cost web hosting plans, but because Windows is a commercial operating system you will usually find that a Windows web hosting plan will be more expensive than a Linux hosting plan of a similar specification. If you have more complex requirements then it is recommended that you contact web hosting companies beforehand as they may be able to offer you advice on which is the best platform to select; however, in certain situations you may find that you are going to be forced to select a particular operating system, for example if you are looking to host a website that has been developed using ASP.NET then you will have no choice but to use the Windows operating system.
What can a Windows web hosting plan offer me over a Linux hosting plan?
A Windows web hosting plan will be able to offer you a number of benefits over a Linux web hosting plan, but for the most part you will only be able to make the most of these benefits if you are an experienced Windows web developer. These benefits can include:
- ASP.NET support – as a Windows web developer you are likely to have developed your website using the ASP.NET framework and this is one of the key attractions of Windows web hosting for most users because Windows is the only platform that can support ASP.NET websites and web applications – the benefit of using ASP.NET on the Windows platform is that you are able to develop web applications that are able to function much more closely with the Windows operating system, allowing you to add extended functionality to your Windows web applications, in-turn making the most of what both the operating system and scripting framework have to offer
- Microsoft SQL Server hosting – this is Microsoft’s enterprise class database server hosting platform and is used by businesses of many sizes to power their website backends because of the high level of reliability that can be guaranteed from using SQL Server as well as the fact that the security of your data is at the heart of the application’s purposes – as is the case with ASP.NET, SQL Server is only available on the Windows platform, but this exclusivity aims to provide an application that will also be able to make the most of the operating system’s features to guarantee stability so that you can be sure that your SQL Server databases will always be accessible
- Microsoft Access hosting – like SQL Server, Microsoft Access is a database system that has been developed by Microsoft for use with ASP.NET websites on the Windows platform, although the difference with Microsoft Access is that it is a desktop database application meaning that it functions in a different way and is made for use with smaller implementations – although Microsoft Access databases may be cheaper to implement and easier to configure to some extent, they aren’t as scalable as Microsoft SQL Server databases and so if you choose to use an MS access database there will probably come a point where you will need to move your data over to an SQL Server database.
What can a Linux hosting plan offer me over a Windows hosting plan?
A Linux web hosting plan can offer you benefits over a Windows web hosting plan under certain circumstances, these benefits including:
- Low cost web hosting – because Linux is an open source operating system, it is used by web hosting companies to provide low cost web hosting services that most people will be able to afford – when compared to a Windows web hosting plan of a similar specification, the Linux web hosting plan will always work out cheaper as web hosting companies have to factor the cost of the Windows license into the pricing for their Windows web hosting plans meaning that Linux web hosting plans are always going to work out cheaper
- cPanel hosting – this is seen as being one of the most popular web hosting control panels available, but cPanel is only available for Linux web hosting plans meaning that some people choose Linux web hosting simply because they will have access to this web hosting control panel – the quality of web hosting control panels offered for Windows web hosting is very low when compared to the features that cPanel is able to provide, allowing Linux web hosting users to control every aspect of their Linux shared hosting account using a reliable piece of software that will keep their web hosting account information safe and secure.
In conclusion, Windows hosting and Linux web hosting plans are aimed at different audiences; Windows hosting plans should be considered by larger businesses that have a distinct need for Windows hosting whilst a Linux web hosting plan would be more appropriate for smaller businesses and individuals that are using web hosting for the first time or lack the need for the additional features offered by Windows hosting. If you are looking for a low cost option then Linux web hosting plans will always triumph, but if you have a specific need for Windows hosting then you will have no choice but to consider this platform.