Linux vs Windows web Hosting

Linux vs Windows

In this article we will discuss and find some key differences between windows vs Linux hosting. If you want to have your presence online via your website you must have encountered several web hosting options. Two major options coming across you regarding operating system are either MS Windows and UNIX or LINUX. LINUX based OS are more popular as around 90 percent of the hosting services use it. Unlike the desktop practical monopoly, Microsoft based solutions are far from common at hosting level. As website owner it is important to understand the difference between windows and Linux hosting.

From laymen perspective Microsoft Windows is beyond a doubt most popular operating system. Windows is extremely user friendly and even non technical people can use common features without much trouble. For most tasks no typing of complex commands is required. Rather GUI based interface allow user to perform mostly click operations to achieve the desired functionality, in both server and home edition Windows. On the other hand open source LINUX and UNIX require expert users for operations. Due to being open source, it is free and source code is distributed across the world. UNIX being oldest OS has restrictions like it does not run on x86 machines, it only works on high end machines. However LINUX can run without many problems on both high end and x86 machines. These are some of the most important differences between windows and Linux hosting.

Several implementations of LINUX are available, though most preferred are Red Hat and Mandrake LINUX. Both these are known to host many websites without a hiccup. Number of visits on website may go to millions and LINUX will not have any problem in handling all. Similarly UNIX’s FreeBSD and OpenBSD work with similar efficiency as of LINUX. User friendliness is certainly important for common users but on web server it is not among biggest concerns. Tasks like page designing are accomplished on your own machine, however for some advance features you may need to do work on UNIX or LINUX. So for most of the cases back end environment is not a concern to website owner. So there is not much difference between Windows and Linux hosting as far as this point is concerned.

Next discussion point about difference between Windows vs Linux hosting is how they handle load. There is hardly any difference in the way LINUX or UNIX and Windows tackles heavy load on website. All of them also run the software components like chatting server, email server, shopping cart etc with equal ease. Nevertheless cost and compatibility are factors differentiating two paths. Windows with all the licensing and renewals cost is definitely a costly option. In contrast Open source solutions are free, along with components like email server, DBs like MySQL, chatting and other programs. All these extra components also need to be licensed if you are going for Windows solution.

Open source LINUX, UNIX are able to handle major programming languages used to develop websites like php, Java etc, but so as Windows. Though it is considered good to have entire suite either Windows based or LINUX or UNIX based. For instance in order to run ASP pages on LINUX machine an extra layers for conversion has to be applied, increasing the probability of errors. Same goes for incompatible Database Management systems like MS-SQL, MySQL, MyDB etc. So to avoid this if you have the website built on Microsoft or compatible technologies opt for Windows hosting otherwise have Open source solution.

Mostly from website designer’s perspective platform this does not matter at all. Still instead of putting your fate on chance, make sure all the components of your website work fine with the given environment of host. You may need to consult host support team for that.

  • Compatibility : Linux is generaly more compatible with open source technologies like PHP, Perl, and MySQL, while Windows is more compatible with Microsoft technologis likeASP.NET and MS SQL.
  • Cost : Linux is typically further cost effective than Windows for web hosting, as Linux is open source and free to use, while Windows need a license.
  • Control panel : Linux hosting generally include a control panel similar as cPanel or Plesk, while Windows hosting generally include a control panel similar as Plesk or WebMatrix.
  • Security : Both Linux and Windows are secure, but Linux is consider as more secure than windows because of its open source nature, which allows developers to find and fix vulnerabilities more quickly.

Performance may different between Linux and Windows web hosting, but normaly, there’s no significant difference of performance between these two OS. Both Linux and Windows are able of deliver good performance for web hosting, as long as the server hardware is powerful enough and the hosting environment is configured correctly.

That mean, there are some other important stuffs that can affect to the performance of a web host, like hardware and software used, load on the server, and eficiency of the codes being run. Normaly, choosing a reputed web host and optimizing your website codes and resources can help to gain good performance, anyhow of whether you’re using Linux or Windows.

I hope the above description of difference between windows vs linux web hosting would have helped you in gaining deep understanding of the difference between windows and linux hosting.