Most web hosts offer the option of choosing between Linux hosting and Windows hosting. How to choose your web hosting? Better to choose Linux or Windows hosting? What are the differences between these two types of accommodation? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
The Linux and Windows Differences
Linux and Windows are the two main operating systems used by web hosts. Linux is an open-source operating system; it was the first to be used by internet hosting companies before Windows followed suit.
A Linux server works with programming languages such as PHP, MySQL, HTML, PHP, Perl, CGI, or Python. Uploading is done through an FTP client. Linux hosting is generally recommended for the general public.
Unlike the Linux server which uses Open Source technologies, the Windows server uses Microsoft technologies and requires working with Microsoft Access. The programming languages of a Windows server are ASP, ASP.NET, Access, MSSQL. Windows is the only hosting system that allows the use of this software. For uploading, everything is done through FrontPage extensions. Generally, Windows hosting in a company will be preferred for very specific needs.
Linux and Windows servers both support basic programming languages such as Java, PHP, and Ruby. They also allow the installation of WordPress or forums (PHPBB), but we will generally prefer to use a Linux server for this. If it is indeed possible to use PHP with a Windows server, it will remain rather reserved for programmers and developers.
The price differences:
The Linux operating system is Open Source, it is, therefore, free, unlike Windows. And it takes its toll on the price of hosting: Windows hosting is generally more expensive than Linux hosting. With Linux, hosts do not need to purchase a license for their servers, unlike Windows which requires them to purchase expensive user licenses. This additional cost imposed by Windows licenses is then carried over to the price of the hosting. The price difference between Linux hosting and Windows hosting, even if it remains negligible, therefore has nothing to do with the quality of the server. For cheap web hosting, we will move towards Linux hosting.
Differences in performance:
Choosing between Linux hosting or Windows hosting will have little influence on the performance and speed of the server, and therefore on the speed of loading of your website. These two operating systems offer roughly equal performance. However, Linux hosting offers better stability than Windows hosting because Windows is more complex and requires more programs to run on a server. Server failures will, therefore, be more frequent with a Windows server than with a Linux server, although it does not happen that frequently. Keep in mind that every time your server crashes, your website is inaccessible.
Linux hosting uses the MySQL database while Windows hosting uses the MS SQL database. While there are some differences between these two types of databases, they remain very similar and offer the same characteristics. MS SQL allows, for example, to benefit from some additional functionalities compared to MySQL. These two databases can be used easily to store a large amount of information. The MySQL database will still be recommended for the general public and beginners. The MS SQL database will be reserved for more specific needs.
Linux is generally considered to be a more secure operating system than Windows, especially for enhanced security distributions. A Windows server can nevertheless be as secure as a Linux server if it is administered by a professional. Conversely, a poorly administered Linux server will be more easily attacked or hacked.
Linux hosting and Windows hosting: how to choose?
Besides the operating system, web hosts generally offer several types of hosting: dedicated hosting, shared hosting, and VPS hosting. Shared hosting is the cheapest and allows several users to share the resources of the same server, at a lower cost. As a general rule, shared hosting will only be offered to you with Linux hosting, Windows is not suitable for shared environments. For dedicated or VPS hosting, you can choose between Linux or Windows hosting.
One of the most common mistakes is choosing Windows hosting because you are using a computer running a Windows operating system. However, the operating system of your computer has nothing to do with the operating system of your server. You can definitely use Linux hosting if you are using Windows on your computer, it won’t have any influence. Likewise, if you are using a Mac and are under OS X, you can freely choose between Linux or Windows hosting.
Before choosing your hosting, it’s important to think carefully about the type of applications you plan to run on the server. Do these applications require Windows or Linux? As we have seen previously, if most of the applications can run on these two operating systems, some remain nevertheless reserved exclusively for the use of Linux or Windows.
If you want to install WordPress, we recommend Linux hosting. WordPress uses PHP language and SQL databases, just like Linux servers. Likewise, if you want to set up a forum, it is better to go for a Linux server.
In conclusion. For a stable, secure server, suitable for beginners, we will, therefore, prefer Linux hosting. To run Windows programs on the server, Windows hosting is preferred.
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