Understanding the Difference between Windows and Linux Web Hosting
When you are trying to select a web host, you are faced with a plethora of web hosting providers who offer a wide variety of hosting packages. It can be a bit tricky to choose the best one that will suit your requirements, but you can do that if you consider some things. One of the factors most people consider is the operating system the server will run. In this article, we will discuss the problems involved in this endeavor.
The Operating System You Are Using Is Irrelevant
Let’s start by refuting a common notion amongst many people. Just because you are using Linux or Windows or Mac OS, it does not mean that your web hosting provider has to run the same platform. The system you are running has nothing to do with the system your web host is running. These are two completely different things. Let’s break it down into the two aspects people are most concerned about.
1. It is neither less compatible nor more compatible
Some people are worried that if they use an operating system that is different from their web host, the two operating systems will not be compatible. This is a needless worry. After all, nothing from your web host’s operating system is going to run on your computer, nor will you run anything from your computer on your web host’s system.
2. It is not easier to use the same operating system
Some people think that since they are familiar with Windows operating system, it will be easier to use a Windows web hosting account. However, the truth is far from it. You will only be able to access your website using a web editor, an FTP program, a SSH (Secure Shell) program or a web browser. In simple words, the user interface you will use to access your website will be the same for you, regardless of your web host’s operating system. How user-friendly that interface is depends on your web editor and other such things that you run on your computer, and has nothing to do with the operating system.
The Real Principles to Use When Selecting a Web Hosting Platform
Linux and Windows are the most popular and readily available operating systems. Linux-based hosting tends to be more common, so it has more features that web designers expect. On the other hand, Windows-based hosting can easily support Windows-specific applications.
Here are some factors you should consider when making a decision between the two.
1. Accessing the server
The main difference between Linux and Windows based web hosting is the way you access the server. Both Linux and Windows offer an FTP access to your files, while Linux also usually offers SSH or Telnet access. (It is possible to set up Telnet on Windows, but not many hosting administrators provide it.) FTP is a method of transferring files from your computer to your web server. SSH and Telnet are ways to open a window directly on the web server and use it to manipulate files, normally through Unix command line commands.
You will want a database if you want to run a dynamic website. The two most popular are Access and MySQL. MySQL can run on both Windows and Linux, though it is most often found on Linux servers. On the other hand, Access is found only on Windows.
Security is extremely important to your web host. Some people might say that Windows servers have more vulnerabilities as compared to Linux, but the truth is that both of them has security issues. Security is more vital at the hosting administrator’s level than at the operating system level. If your hosting administrators are good, your server will be more secure, regardless of the operating system.
Price plays an important role whenever you are buying something and it is no different for servers. Windows tend to be more expensive since you have to pay the licensing fees and other charges. The situation is different with Linux since it is an open-source and free application. Therefore, Linux servers are more cost-effective than Windows servers. You can use hostgator coupon codes to redeem price on web hosting.
The Bottom Line
The differences between the two operating systems are not that vast. It would be much better if you focus on finding a hosting server that has all the options you want, instead of worrying about what operating system is running on the back end.