What is Windows hosting?
All computers require an operating system (OS) to control their services and run software. If you use a PC, you’ll most likely use Windows 10 or Mac OS. When it comes to web hosting, the main operating systems used to run web servers are Windows and Linux. In simple terms, ‘Windows hosting’ refers to hosting a website on a server that runs on a Windows operating system. This, however, is a version of Windows specially built for servers and not the same as the software that powers your laptop.
The benefit of Windows operating systems is that most people are familiar with how they look and work and, from a hosting perspective, it is one of the easier and more user-friendly web hosting products to use. This makes it far less of a challenge to add features and functionality to your website. What’s more, it comes with all the support you’d expect from a brand like Microsoft, such as regular updates that help keep your website secure and bug-free.
Can I choose either Windows or Linux hosting for my website?
That depends on the website software you want to use. While many website platforms work equally well on both Linux and Windows, some are better suited or will only work in a Linux environment, such as the cPanel control panel, while others require a Windows environment.
If you need your website to run Visual Basic or .NET programming languages, Windows is essential as it’s the only operating system that can run these. It’s also the ideal choice for those who need Active Server Page (.ASP) scripting.
What’s the difference between Linux hosting and Windows hosting?
Windows and Linux servers are both well-established, stable and reliable ways to host websites and applications. The key difference from a user’s perspective is in the interface. Whereas Linux uses the traditional command-line interface (performing actions by inputting strings of text), Windows has its well-known point-and-click interface.
What’s the best choice for my website: Linux hosting or Windows hosting?
The key factor that will decide your choice is whether the software you are going to build your website from is compatible with Windows and Linux. If it only works with one or if it will perform better with one, then that should dictate the decision you make.
If you use website software that works well with either operating system, then there are other considerations you may want to choose. For example, the differences in interfaces and familiarity in the way the system looks and works.
Another factor to consider is that Linux servers don’t usually need to be rebooted after an update, whereas Windows servers do. Though updates are usually carried out at the times when servers receive the least traffic and only take a few minutes, rebooting does take Windows servers temporarily offline. From a security perspective, Linux servers are also more difficult for cybercriminals to exploit. That said, Webhosting UK uses a powerful suite of security tools to keep your server protected around the clock.
Finally, you may also want to consider the control panel you will use to manage your website and hosting. The industry-leading control panels are cPanel and Plesk, both of which are owned by the UK’s Oakley Capital and are part of the WebPro global SaaS platform. cPanel, however, only works with Linux, while Plesk works with both Windows and Linux. All Webhosting UK Windows shared hosting solutions come with Plesk. Plesk provides users with a comprehensive suite of tools to manage all aspects of their website and hosting, it features a user-friendly interface and is intuitive to use.