UNIX VS. Linux VS. Windows Web Hosting

Linux VS. Windows Web Hosting

Website hosting companies often ask clients to choose between UNIX/ Linux, or Windows hosting. What the heck is the difference? We'll get to that in a minute. But, first, know that you should choose an operating system based on two basic criteria: 1) the language that your website is written in and 2) which database you have decided to use.

Linux VS. Windows Web Hosting: Databases and Languages

Linux Windows Web Hosting

Typically, a MYSQL database will work best with a UNIX operating system. Deductively, MS Access or MS SQL databases pair nicely with Windows operating systems. Most purchased management systems only work with a specific operating system, so keep this in mind when choosing between UNIX and Windows web hosting.

Similarly, if you've written a website in CGI, PHP, or Perl, you'll want to go with a UNIX OS. Server, Silverlight, Frontpage, .asp (Active Server Pages), and Visual Basic Script files are all Windows compatible. Got a Java site? You are in luck! Java runs and cooperates with both options. Now that those specifics are cleared up, let's talk software options.

Linux VS. Windows Web Hosting: Web Hosting Software Options

Almost all web hosting companies offer various software packages. These pre-installed software packages can make or break a site, and can determine which OS you intend to use. Look through the list of software that a company is willing to provide, and check out the feature and customization options. This is especially true when it comes to e-commerce site setups.

Linux VS. Windows Web Hosting: The E-Commerce Site Difference

Planning on setting up an e-commerce site? Make sure to look at software packages before choosing a web hosting platform. Why? All e-commerce sites are built with a specific platform in mind, and the software you choose will be the real crux of your online business. My advice is to carefully look through what each company is offering before settling.

Linux VS. Windows Web Hosting: What About Linux Options

Where there's UNIX, there's often Linux. In past years, Linux had a difficult reputation. This was an OS that was often used by developers and those within the tech world alone. But, times have changed. Today, Linux is really comparable to Windows (if not better), and most hosting companies will provide you with a control panel.

Is one better than the other? Not really; though some companies may offer Linux at a lower rate (simply because it is an open-sourced program). Then again, most companies are looking to make a buck, so, Linux or not, you may wind up paying the same price. There is just one difference, though: Linux tends to go through less downtime.

Many of the things that Windows has to do to update can be done with Linux without a reboot. This results in less downtime for your site. So, this point may be something to consider before choosing one over the other. Now what should you do? Linux/UNIX, or Windows hosting ?

Linux VS. Windows Web Hosting: Take A Good Look

Language and databases aside, take a look at what hosting companies are offering. Ask how user-friendly each operating system is, and whether or not it will work with your current website. In most cases, hosting companies offer packages that were designed for user-ease, but it's still worth double-checking.