What is the difference between Linux & Windows Hosting

When selecting a web hosting plan for your website, one of the first decisions you need to make, is whether a Windows or Linux platform will be best suited for your needs. In this article, we promise not to use any jargon.

If you haven’t yet started your research for the perfect hosting plan you better get used to the ubiquitous icons indicating a Windows hosting or Linux hosting platform.

Many top web-hosting companies like Register365 provides both Linux and Windows based plans and very often these will be indicated using the famous icons.

We have tried to summarise and highlight the main differences between these two different solutions in order to help you choose the most suitable plan for your website so here is some information to help you make the right choice.

At the most basic level, a hosting platform indicates the type of operating system installed on the server which will ultimately host your website. The most common mistake made is thinking that in order to use a Linux hosting plan you need to have Linux installed on your PC and to have a Windows hosting plan you need to have Windows on your PC. In reality, the operating system installed on your PC is irrelevant to which hosting platform you decide to use. Whether you use Windows 7, Windows Vista or even a Mac what you really need to know is what you want to achieve through your website.

Let’s look at some specific criteria to evaluate each option, we have picked: Stability, Features, Price and Open-source compatibility.

Stability and speed: Industry consensus is that the Linux platform is more stable than Windows. However, experience shows that with a correct server configuration and maintenance, MS Windows® servers can be as reliable as their Linux counterparts. At Register365 we provide maximum uptime on both platforms, therefore your choice will be based on technical features rather than system stability. There are virtually no differences in speed between Linux and Windows hosting platforms. Loading speed will be affected by other factors such as scripting language usage, weight of data etc.

Features: This is where the two platforms present the main differences. While you can effectively host websites performing the same functionality on either a Linux or Windows platform, the difference is how to develop the functionality. For instance if you are going to create a website with a dynamic database your developers may choose to use PHP / MySQL on a Linux platform or ASP/MS SQL on a Windows platform to achieve effectively the same result. The ideal solution is to develop websites using solutions that are supported by both platforms. If your developers use Microsoft based instruments like InterDev, COM or any MS software, then these would not be compatible with a Linux hosting platform. So generally the choice is down to the developer’s programming preference more than feature set.

Price: Linux and Windows hosting are offered at the same price. Refer to Register365 Hosting pricelist.

Open source software availability: This is a topical aspect with the increase of open source scripts and software such as Joomla, WordPress etc. With Linux hosting plans it will be easier to find compatible open source (free) scripts. It is however important to remember that some software or tools are not always fully tested or guaranteed and that often to use these tools, you need to be familiar with common scripting languages such as PHP or CGI.

Conclusion: As a leading web hosting provider, Register365 offers both Linux and Windows web hosting, the choice is often dictated by the scripting languages and software preferred by your developers. Windows hosting is preferred if you use : Windows 2003,.Net and Microsoft SQL Server. Linux Hosting is preferred if you use : MYSQL, PHP & CGI.

These systems fundamentally achieve the same results on your live website, but the technology behind it will be fundamentally different.

Search now for your preferred hosting plan

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

6 thoughts on “What is the difference between Linux & Windows Hosting

  1. What about security? is the windows platform more difficult to secure at the file and directory level? I always choose Linux hosting because I am concerned that the .htaccess is not available for Windows.

    On the Linux concern side, I notice that for some libraries I need to load the font files for Linux but these are automatically available on the windows platform as default. This can be an issue because font files tend to be tempramental for loading.

    I will welcome any feedback on this issues and as these may be of interest to other users, please feel free to include any response in a public forum.

  2. Hi Clinton – sorry for the delay in replying to you.

    .htaccess isn’t available on Windows hosting because it’s an Apache thing however there are plenty of ways of achieving many of the things that you can with .htaccess on a Windows platform (and .htaccess is used for plenty more than just security – see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Htaccess#Common_usage )

    If you are referring to font problems at the desktop level then this is probably because the font files in question are missing from the Linux install. If you are referring to your hosting, then drop a ticket to our support guys and they’ll give you a definitive answer.

  3. i believe linux hosting more capable in terms of security,virus attack, stability. however, some application require windows hosting only, most likely been used by big companies.

  4. You have just posted a great article especially if you are planning to start a web hosting. For me, linux seems to be secure for some attacks but Windows hosting will be dominant since most people are more familiar to use it than linux.

  5. This is one great article for linux and windows hosting. It has been a great relief to be able to read this post! I believe each of this web hosting has its own advantages and disadvantages. That clearly depends on the type of business your running and what particular web hosting service your are convenient with!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *