Linux hosting or Windows hosting – which one is better? A basic question asked by all web hosting service buyers, especially those who are beginners and have no prior web hosting experience. The thing is there is no one-word answer to this question. It depends on what you want to do with your website or web applications.
It is advisable to do your homework before you start to find a web host. This article gives you an idea of the basic differences between Windows and Linux hosting. With the latest technical advancements, the differences are getting blurred day by day, but a fine line still exists between Linux and Windows web hosting services.
Linux Hosting and Windows Hosting – A Comparative Study
Let’s learn more about Windows and Linux platforms in terms of the most important web hosting features.
A web server is not like a Desktop PC – it has to perform a lot of complicated tasks in a short time. Moreover, to keep your website and web applications live 24×7, you have to keep the server active around the clock. Therefore, stability is of prime importance when it comes to web hosting.
In general, Linux is said to be a more stable OS (Operating System) than Windows. However, Windows 2008 and Windows 2010 are specifically built for servers; hence, they are very much stable in comparison with their predecessors.
The truth is: both Linux and Windows web hosting can give you a stable and reliable platform if handled by experts.
It is often reported that Linux can handle multiple processes simultaneously with ease, whereas, Windows becomes slow and needs to reboot when a high number of processes run in a short time. However, the latest versions of Windows Server OS are stable and reliable enough to handle additional loads.
Basically, there is nothing that you can do with Linux and cannot do with Windows hosting OR vice versa. However, there are some applications and programs that are not supported by both of the operating systems.
For example, if you intend to set up a database-driven website on a Linux server, you can go with PHP/MySQL or Perl/MySQL combination and there are more options available including programming languages like Java and Python. On the other hand, if you are using a Windows-based server, it is suggested to get the website designed with ASP/MS SQL. ASP is a Microsoft product and is supported by the Windows operating system.
In fact, Windows-based servers support all Microsoft applications. For example, you can use all features of FrontPage on a Windows server, but a limited number of FrontPage features can be used with Linux hosting.
Linux is open-source software whereas Windows is a copyrighted product of Microsoft Corporation. Therefore, Linux hosting is naturally cheaper than Windows hosting. Being community-driven and open source, it might become difficult to troubleshoot Linux servers, whereas, Windows comes with professional post-sales support.
So which one is better?
It is quite difficult to tag one of them as superior to the other. Both Linux and Windows have their own advantages. It is wise to sketch out the requirements first and then consult professionals that know which hosting platform would be good to use.
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