When selecting a web hosting plan for your website, one of the first decisions you need to make, is whether a Windows or Linux platform will be best suited for your needs. In this article, we promise not to use any jargon.
If you haven’t yet started your research for the perfect hosting plan you better get used to the ubiquitous icons indicating a Windows hosting or Linux hosting platform.
Many top web-hosting companies like Namesco provide both Linux and Windows based plans and very often these will be indicated using the famous icons.
We have tried to summarise and highlight the main differences between these two different solutions in order to help you choose the most suitable plan for your website so here is some information to help you make the right choice.
At the most basic level, a hosting platform indicates the type of operating system installed on the server which will ultimately host your website. The most common mistake made is thinking that in order to use a Linux hosting plan you need to have Linux installed on your PC and to have a Windows hosting plan you need to have Windows on your PC. In reality, the operating system installed on your PC is irrelevant to which hosting platform you decide to use. Whether you use Windows 7, Windows Vista or even a Mac what you really need to know is what you want to achieve through your website.
Let’s look at some specific criteria to evaluate each option, we have picked: Stability, Features, Price and Open-source compatibility.
Stability and speed. Industry consensus is that the Linux platform is more stable than Windows. However, experience shows that with a correct server configuration and maintenance, MS Windows® servers can be as reliable as their Linux counterparts. At Namesco we provide maximum uptime on both platforms, therefore your choice will be based on technical features rather than system stability. There are virtually no differences in speed between Linux and Windows hosting platforms. Loading speed will be affected by other factors such as scripting language usage, weight of data etc.
Features: This is where the two platforms present the main differences.
While you can effectively host websites performing the same functionality on either a Linux or Windows platform, the difference is how to develop the functionality. For instance if you are going to create a website with a dynamic database your developers may choose to use PHP / MySQL on a Linux platform or ASP/MS SQL on a Windows platform to achieve effectively the same result. The ideal solution is to develop websites using solutions that are supported by both platforms. If your developers use Microsoft based instruments like InterDev, COM or any MS software, then these would not be compatible with a Linux hosting platform. So generally the choice is down to the developer’s programming preference more than feature set.
Price: Linux and Windows hosting are offered at the same price.Refer to Namesco Hosting pricelist.
Open source software availability: This is a topical aspect with the increase of open source scripts and software such as Joomla, WordPress etc. With Linux hosting plans it will be easier to find compatible open source (free) scripts. It is however important to remember that some software or tools are not always fully tested or guaranteed and that often to use these tools, you need to be familiar with common scripting languages such as PHP or CGI.
To Conclude, as a leading web hosting provider, Namesco offers both Linux and Windows web hosting, the choice is often dictated by the scripting languages and software preferred by your developers. Windows hosting is preferred if you use : Windows 2003,.Net and Microsoft SQL Server. Linux Hosting is preferred if you use : MYSQL, PHP & CGI.
These systems fundamentally achieve the same results on your live website, but the technology behind it will be fundamentally different.