Linux vs Windows Web Server Hosting: Which one to choose and why?
When you think of hosting your website, the first question strikes in your mind is that which web server hosting should you choose? Should you go for Linux web server hosting or Windows web server hosting. I have tried to compare both Linux and Windows web server hosting. Choosing between Linux and Windows web server hosting mainly depends upon your need and the nature of your website, which programming language and database are you using etc. Let's discuss in detail on choosing between Linux and Windows web server hosting.
1. Which programming language are you using?
You should choose a Linux Web Server Hosting if you are using PHP, Perl, Python, or CGI scripting. On the other hand, if you are using ASP.NET, go for Windows Web Server Hosting.
2. Which database are you using?
Mainly, the Linux Web Server Hosting accounts use MySQL database and Windows Web Server Hosting accounts use SQL Server (MS SQL).
Advantages of Linux Web Server Hosting over Windows Web Server Hosting
The following are the advantages of using Linux based web server compared to Windows based web server:
Stable: Linux/Unix operating systems have traditionally been believed to be very stable and robust. A web site housed on a Linux operating system will have very high up-time (of the order of 99.9%). Of course, other factors such as power supply, network admin skills, and network load etc. also matter when it comes to maintaining the system uptime.
Low cost: The Linux OS comes free of cost (or at very insignificant cost, usually cost of distribution). Also, it has full fledged server, and desk top applications that comes free along with the OS. These server applications (such as FTP, Web Server, DNS Server, File Server etc.) being free, are also very stable.
Ease of use: When it comes to web hosting, it is easy to host on Linux web servers. The process of uploading and hosting is almost same for both Linux and Windows web servers.
Easy to move between hosts: A web site designed to be hosted on a Linux based web server can be hosted on a Windows web server easily, where as the reverse is not always true.
Most widely used: Linux/Unix based web hosting is most widely used compared to Windows based web hosting.
Scalability: A web site is dynamic. Usually, a web site starts with a few pages of html and grows over a period of time to suit the customers requirements. It is preferable to design a web site keeping this requirements in mind. A web site designed for compatibility with a Linux/Unix based web server meets the scalability requirement easily without making any site wide design changes.
Disadvantage of Linux Web Server Hosting
Less ASP and .NET support: Linux based web server is not fully compatible with Microsoft technologies. While there are many software that enable ASP.NET on Linux machines, it is far less common to find a Linux web hosting platform that supports ASP or .NET. If you are using Microsoft based technologies for your web site, it is preferable to host with a Windows based web server.