For Windows web developers, the only way to get your website is to use a Windows hosting plan because the chances are that you are using applications and technologies are only available on the Windows operating system, therefore meaning that Linux hosting plans won’t be able to meet your requirements. Many web hosting companies are able to offer a wide range of Windows hosting plans, ranging from basic Windows shared hosting plans for those without demanding requirements all the way up to Windows dedicated servers for larger businesses wishing to host mission critical websites.
Depending on your needs, it may be a good idea to consider a specialist Windows hosting provider who will be able to offer you a more detailed run down of what you need to make the most of your Windows web application; this is because some Windows web hosting providers may be able to offer you additional features with your web hosting plans, such as components or services that will allow you to add additional functionality to your web applications. There are several different technologies and applications available for the Windows platform that aren’t available for Linux, such as support for ASP.NET as well as Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange Server; you should only consider Windows hosting if you have a specific need for one of these features because otherwise a cheaper Linux hosting plan will be able to meet your needs and after all, there is no point in wasting money in something that you don’t need.
Why should I choose a Windows hosting plan over a Linux hosting plan?
There are many reasons as to why you should consider a Windows hosting plan over a Linux hosting plan, although these are dependent on your requirements, the main reasons you may wish to consider are:
- ASP.NET support – as a Windows web hosting user, you will be provided with a web hosting environment in which you can host the web applications that you have developed using the ASP.NET framework – ASP.NET is a scripting platform that has been developed by Microsoft and because of this, ASP.NET websites are only able to function properly on the Windows platform which is one of the reasons why there will always be high demand for Windows hosting plans – even though some web hosting providers may offer support for ASP websites with their Linux web hosting plans, it is important to remember that the functionality offered will only be very limited at best
- Database systems support – another popular reason for choosing a Windows hosting plan over a Linux hosting plan is the database systems support that is offered by Windows servers because Microsoft offers two database systems, Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Access – SQL Server is designed to be a high-end database server that is used by many large corporations to power their websites as well as their internal infrastructures meaning that it is well known for the reliability and security that it is able to offer, whereas Microsoft Access is designed for smaller implementations as these databases are accessed in a different way and so aren’t seen as being as scalable as SQL Server databases
- IIS web server – IIS is one of the most popular web server applications available and although it is only available as part of the Windows operating system, it is still used by many webmasters as their chosen method of serving their websites to visitors – the benefit of using IIS on the Windows platform as opposed to the open source Apache option is that IIS can offer you support for ASP website, but alongside this you can also add support for other common scripting languages that may not be available by default meaning that you can modify IIS to run PHP and Perl websites if you are using either of these languages to any extent.
What are the disadvantages of choosing Windows hosting?
As is the case with most forms of web hosting, there can be some disadvantages to choosing a Windows hosting plan. You may wish to consider these disadvantages as they may influence you to choose another form of web hosting; these disadvantages could include:
- More expensive – one of the main drawbacks of choosing a Windows hosting plan over a Linux hosting plan is the fact that you will have to pay more for a Windows hosting plan than you would a Linux hosting plan of a similar specification – the main reason for this is that Windows is a commercial operating system for which you have to have a license to use and of course this license will cost money, whereas Linux is an open source operating system meaning that web hosting companies don’t have to pay a penny to use Linux operating systems on their web hosting services, however, if you are unable to justify this added premium then maybe a Windows hosting plan isn’t the right option for you
- Security and viruses – the Windows platform is well known for being the most targeted platform when it comes to viruses as more viruses exist for this operating system than any other operating system available – this can be a major cause for concern under certain circumstances where hosting servers aren’t managed properly because once a virus has found its way into a server, the virus can then cause havoc by deleting data and compromising the stability of the server concerned – however, if web hosting providers manage their Windows servers properly and use the correct anti-virus applications then there should be nothing to worry about.
In conclusion, a Windows hosting plan will allow you to host websites that have been developed using well-known Windows technologies such as ASP.NET and Microsoft SQL Server, something that wouldn’t be possible on the Linux platform. Although Windows web hosting plans carry an added premium when compared to Linux web hosting plans of a similar specification, if you are unable to justify the added cost then you should maybe consider an alternative form of web hosting; furthermore, you should also take on board that Windows hosting in general is aimed mainly at businesses.