Linux is the most popular platform available for web hosting as most Linux web hosting plans are cheap, but also offer a wide variety of features that will allow you to ensure that you are getting good value for money. As Linux is an open source operating system, there are no licensing fees to pay for web hosting companies that wish to use it in a commercial environment as the operating system for their servers; this applies to any Linux distribution meaning that there is also a wide choice of versions of Linux to choose from.
Linux is available on a wide variety of web hosting plans; if you have a small budget then you will want to consider a Linux shared web hosting plan for your needs as this will provide you with the core features that you require, whilst a Linux dedicated hosting plan is going to be more suitable for bigger businesses. In any case you will find that the cost of a Linux web hosting plan is going to be far less than that of the Windows equivalent and this is one of the major attractions to Linux hosting for most, simply because the idea of saving money is one that will benefit businesses and individuals alike. Further to that, the applications used by most web hosting companies on the Linux platform are also open source meaning that fairly little money has to be invested in the software architecture of a Linux hosting environment.
What are the main features that are unique to Linux hosting?
There are certain features that help to make Linux web hosting services unique when compared to what the Windows operating system is able to offer web developers. Such features include, but are not limited to:
- cPanel control panel – this is one of the most popular web hosting control panels available, but the disadvantage for most is that cPanel is only available for Linux web hosting servers – cPanel will provide you with the features necessary to manage your Linux web hosting account or Linux server effectively, offering advance features that will allow you to make the most of your Linux web hosting plan regardless of what you have chosen – if you choose to use a Linux server then cPanel will also provide you with the tools to manage your server effectively from a web based control panel, rather than having to rely solely on SSH for the management of your server
- Softaculous – this is a cPanel add-on that will offer you the ability to install a wide variety of web applications into your web space in a few clicks, bypassing the need to have to download an application, upload it to your web space and then follow the installation process – the benefit for beginners of Softaculous is that it will take care of all of the technical aspects that are associated with installing a web application, but will still perform a professional job of it and will ensure that the installation is as secure as possible – an alternative to Softaculous that may be used by other web hosting providers is Fantastico, although both ultimately provide the same features
- Ideal environment for web developers – a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) configuration will provide web developers with the best environment possible to develop highly functional websites that are able to make the most of the newest technologies – all of these are open source technologies which means that web developers are able to make changes to the source code of each application so that they can alter the functionality to add more features to enable them with the development process – it is also important to note that PHP and MySQL work very well alongside each other and when used with the Apache web server, provide a platform that will be able to serve web pages as they are requested and will be able to cope sufficiently with load spikes.
What are the main benefits of choosing a Linux hosting package?
There are many different benefits to using a Linux web hosting package over a Windows hosting package, including:
- Price – the open source nature of Linux means that web hosting providers are able to offer cheap web hosting services on the Linux platform – Linux shared web hosting plans are generally seen as being the cheapest web hosting packages available and indeed they are, but are still able to provide good value for money – furthermore, you will find that when compared to a Windows web hosting plan of the same specification, the Linux web hosting plan will be cheaper because Windows is a commercial operating system and so web hosting companies have to increase the price of Windows web hosting plans to cater for this – it is important to remember that this will also have an affect on dedicated servers, meaning that if you choose to have a Linux distribution installed on your dedicated server, you will be able to save a respectable amount of money
- Easy to manage – most Linux web hosting services are easy to use if you have chosen to use a web hosting control panel – even though access to a web hosting control panel is going to be a standard feature of most shared web hosting plans, it is an optional extra on VPS servers and dedicated servers as some server administrators may prefer to manage their dedicated hosting environment directly from the console – web hosting control panels in a Linux hosting environment will bypass the need to be constantly accessing your server via SSH.
In conclusion, a Linux hosting package will be a wise investment for someone who is new to web hosting as much as it will be for an experienced individual. Linux web hosting packages are able to offer many features and benefits when compared to Windows web hosting plans, one of which is cheaper web hosting services. Some may also see Linux as being a better alternative in the long run as open source and free software is gaining more momentum and the development of Linux distributions is set to continue for a long time yet.