Linux vs Windows Web Server: Which OS to choose for your business?
The age long debate, but here’s the short and quick answer. It depends. Linux vs Windows web servers. Which to choose?
It boils down to:
- Do you need ASP or .NET or Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL Server?
- Do you need PHP, WordPress, MySQL, CGI?
The Windows platform can run pretty much everything nowadays. But mainly choose either option above, and be done with it. Simple.
Here’s the long explanation:
There are a number of factors to consider.
There is a common misconception that if you are using Windows on your computer, you need to have Windows based web hosting. This is not true. The operating system of your web hosting account can be different than your computer’s operating system. So how do you choose?
The first is entirely dependent on how your site is created. For example, if your site contains only static web pages like HTML and CSS, then it could run on either a Linux or Windows hosting server.
What if I don’t just have static pages on my web site?
If you are using active content such as a forum, shopping cart, or blog which requires scripting support, then you should choose your web hosting platform accordingly. Traditionally, applications scripted in PHP, Perl, or MySQL run under Linux hosting accounts, and ASP, ASP.NET, Access or MS SQL run under Windows hosting accounts. In some cases, it is possible to run ASP scripts on a Linux server or PHP scripts on a Windows server. Some ISPs allow for such cross-platform scripting. We prefer to support scripting languages in their native environment, where they were meant to be used and where they run best. But recent advances with Windows Server have allowed us to support PHP on that platform.
Many users or hosting providers argue that Linux- or Unix-based web hosting servers are more stable and provide greater security. However, the stability and security of the server and your web hosting account is more dependent on the server administrator than the platform. With years of experience hosting on various Windows platforms, our servers are extremely stable and secure. For both our Windows and Linux hosting, we take your security very seriously and will do our best to ensure that our servers are patched and secured at all times.
How come comparable Windows and Linux plans don’t cost the same?
One of the most noticeable factors when comparing Windows and Linux web hosting is the cost. In many cases a Linux web hosting account is more affordable than a comparable Windows web hosting account. This is mainly due to the cost of licensing. Since the Linux operating system and software is often distributed with open-source licenses, there are little or no associated licensing fees. Whereas with a Windows hosting server, most products and software packages used on the server also include an associated licensing fee that the hosting company must pay, thus increasing the overall cost of operating a Windows shared hosting server.
Ready to make a decision?
Armed with this information, your decision on what type of hosting platform to choose may be a little easier now. Asking yourself these questions will help narrow down your choices.
- Is your site a static design? Or do you require a specific type of scripting language or database support?
- Do you feel more confident with the security and stability provided by Linux servers? Or Windows Servers?
- What are your other minimum requirements for a hosting plan?
Thankfully, with Hosting.ca the decision is simple. You can get the best of both worlds, without having to compromise your site design or development. Please contact us for more information on hosting plans, we will be glad to help.