Linux Vs Windows Web Hosting

One of the most difficult decisions any new comer will need to make is which web hosting platform would he or she wants their server to be on. Two of the most popular choices are Linux and Windows web servers. Before we can tell which web server is more appropriate for our website, it is worth-while to research some of the key functionalities, advantages and weaknesses of these 2 types of web hosting platforms in advance to facilitate the necessary selections.

• Cost – as Microsoft owned the Windows operating system, it is much more expensive to setup up and run a Windows server as compared to Linux, which is an open source operating system which is free of charge, available to anyone.

• FTP commands and control panel – Both Linux and Windows servers support these well, however some of the FTP commands are slightly different between 2 operating systems because some of the FTP programs are designed with one or another in mind. That’s the reason why occasionally you will get error messages running some of the FTP commands on your server.

• Support – compared to Windows, Linux has limited support for some of their technology which proved to be expensive and limited at times. Linux is running on much specific technologies as compared to Windows which is much more generic.

• Security and reliability – As Windows is widely used for home PC, there is a tendency that the security features incorporated for this operating system is not as high technology as those for Linux, which are mostly used by developers and system engineers only. The probability of successful hack attack on Windows OS is a lot higher than Linux OS may also be contributed to their end users as people tend to look for flaws in these common systems.

• Performance – Linux has been reported to be of high performance mainly due to the way Linux servers are packaged. Linux plans are more specifically designed for their target customers. On the other hand, Windows usually offer an ” all in one ” package to their users as general. Thus, with Windows, the users get most of the features, if not all, from the Windows OS, while for Linux, their customers will only get what they specifically have called out for.

• Conversion – if there are plans for you to change your OS in the near future, then having a Linux web server now is fine as this conversion should be smooth and easy to have your website converted from Linux hosting to Windows hosting. On the contrary, it is indeed a nightmare for anyone who wished to convert their website from Windows hosting to Linux hosting.

• Ease of interaction – if there are any needs for interactions between your website and the visitors or customers, it is more suitable for your website to be with Windows hosting as this OS support online chat services and messaging services much better than Linux hosting.

• Level of expertise – Windows hosting is more user-friendly and it is suitable to be used by anyone, even those with no experience find Windows hosting service easy to learn and manage, while for Linux hosting, it is designed for those with extensive experience and knowledge on web hosting and technical back-ground.

Linux Web Hosting Versus Windows

If you are new to web hosting industry, it can be quite a feat to choose the best solution for you need. There are many aspects you may totally unfamiliar with. For instance, there are different operating platforms, Linux web hosting and Windows web hosting for you to choose. Even though both of them have the similar function which will allows you to put your website online easily, there are also some fundamental differences between them. Thus, before you go on to search for the best web hosting service you could get, you need to know the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Besides, there are completely different requirements between a small blog website and a big enterprise website. Thus, when purchasing for web hosting, you should assess your priorities and needs.

Advantages of Linux Hosting Compared with Windows Hosting

Linux web hosting is much affordable. As we all known that Linux is open source and generally free whereas Windows operating system is developed and owned by Microsoft. This means that you can set up a Linux server totally free while quite expensive to set up and run a Windows server. As the web hosting companies need to pay more to set up a Windows server, they will convert the money to customers. Therefore, if you are short of money and do not have any special requirements for Windows-based programming languages and applications you can easily find a quite affordable and reliable Linux web hosting package.

Advantages of Windows Hosting Compared with Linux Hosting

As mentioned above, if you intend to create your web site with Windows applications, such as ASP, FrontPage, the.NET environment, Windows Streaming Media, Access, MSSQL, or any of the other Microsoft proprietary technologies then a Windows web hosting plan would be absolutely essential since there are very limited support for these technologies in Linux hosting solution. However, before you start making your website with these languages, it is probably worth your considering the fact that if you use these server specific technologies and then changing a web host will be much harder than you use technologies that can be run on any other system.

Which One is Best Fit You

After you have a clear idea about the advantages of each, you should be able to make a wise decision. If you are still feel puzzle about which one is right for you, then I suggest you to go for Linux server. Many newbie webmaster find Linux servers to be the “simpler” operating system and they are more reliable, affordable. Of course, talking with your potential hosting companies about your website requirements will help you solve the problem to some extent.

The Availability of Linux Jobs

In today’s world where so many people are using the internet and companies have networks using Linux systems among others, Linux jobs are readily available. There are lots of things that you can do with Linux and with the result there are various kinds of Linux jobs that you can find and apply for. Many Linux jobs can be found readily on classified and job board websites where you can apply directly for these jobs. Otherwise Linux projects are available through agencies where you can send your details and they will contact you when an opening comes up.

The Linux projects that you can get could be either freelance based or permanent for a company in their IT department. The choice will depend on the salary you expect to earn and the type of working environment you want. If you want to work in development, applications, support or another form of technology, there are plenty of Linux projects that are available.

You just have to know where to look and for the most part, the internet is the best place to find these kinds of Linux jobs. You can also use newspapers where some technology based jobs are advertised, although these will normally be for a large company or corporation where there is an actual department that you will work for and you will have to come into an office each day.

Once you have weighed up the pros and cons of freelancing or working in an office you will be able to find the ideal Linux jobs that will suit you and send in your applications. Many jobs will require that you have some sort of experience working with Linux systems so you should get as much experience as possible and make sure that you have the latest info about the systems so that you can get those Linux projects that you apply for.

Should I Use a Linux Or a Windows Server?

Even some folks who are pretty computer savvy, and can make Microsoft Office jump through hoops, are less knowledgeable when it comes to the operating system (OS) and networking technology that drives the Internet. Most people who do not work in that end of the business need to do a little homework when confronted with the question, Should I use a Linux or Windows server?

There are some arcane hybrids and do-it-yourself OS schemes around, but the OS choice you have at most hosting companies today is between Linux and Windows. Hosting companies don’t always clarify exactly why one might be better than the other for a particular customer or situation, leading some folks to conclude that there is really no difference at all. This is not the case. It does matter what kind of server you use, and there are clear differences between Linux and Windows.

Licensing costs money

All the various flavors of Windows, from the multiple versions of the new Windows 7 to the “enterprise” (server) packages, belong wholly to Microsoft, also known as the “Evil Empire” to the hackers and open source fans that prefer Linux. Linux, being open source, is free. This is the first major difference with important repercussions, since the hosting company’s costs for licensing Windows will be passed on to the customer (that’s you). Free, open source Linux means lower hosting costs all around, if only by a few dollars per month.

Getting a Windows hosting package is going to be a bit more expensive, but not so much more that you should make the difference a deal-breaker. Other factors — the make and model of the servers, company location, package offer details — can affect pricing as much or more, so make sure to get the big picture and don’t bog yourself down in an “OS controversy.” That said, you should know the operational, stylistic and tech-related differences between the two server types in order to make an informed decision.

Slow down and consider

Now, simply because you use a PC with Microsoft (MS) Windows, or even built your own Web site with it, doesn’t mean you have to have a Windows server. You will access your site through such tools as Web-based control panels and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software, and can do so from a Macintosh running Mac OS X, a PC running Windows 7 or a homemade computer running Mandrake or RedHat (distributions of Linux). Some commands will differ, perhaps, but all the tools do the same thing, in much the same way.

Slow down enough to consider what you actually need to do with your site and what you expect from the server (and hosting firm). E-mail protocols, both IMAP and POP, work fine in both environments, as do PHP, the standardized HTML and XML, JavaScript and “file helpers” like Adobe Flash and Reader. However, Frontpage extensions, ASP, the.Net environment, Access, Windows media and other MS technologies will require a Windows server. For these particular features, Linux support ranges from limited to non-existent, and trying to work around the restrictions will cost you a lot more than paying the difference between the hosting packages.

Security and management

There have been some contentious arguments about the relative stability and security records of Linux and Windows server environments. Some computer professionals are simply knee-jerk anti-MS partisans, and there are also any number of MS fans that are anti-Linux (as well as anti-Mac). The fact that Windows is the most common OS in the world has both advantages and drawbacks. Millions of people are working on making it better, and just as many are trying to shoot it down in flames.

On the other hand, Linux is now most common server OS in use and hackers have had greater than expected success subverting it, too. The fact is that the platform in use is not as important to security as systems administration, attentive technicians and company management. If security is high on your list, you need to examine the company as much or more than the company’s equipment. Don’t take their marketing materials as a promise — do some due diligence here. It matters.

A toss-up?

There is probably little difference in server performance because of the choice of OS. Again, it can come down to how the companies install their software and maintain their hardware — Linux just might be “faster” in some functions than Windows if, in fact, the Windows OS was installed in default mode and not “tweaked.” (This can be true of Linux installs, too, of course.) In the broadest terms, performance is comparable and you can have a fine, effective and efficient hosting experience with either kind of server.

The bottom line is that you should certainly consider the kind of server, particularly if you use MS technologies than need a Windows environment, but your search should be for a good host, not a good server. A company with the best equipment in the world will be no help to you if it is mismanaged, oblivious to security lapses and technologically out of its depth. With a rough equivalence in features, reliability, security and cost, a “winner” is impossible to choose beforehand. You can win — or lose — with any kind of server, so keep looking at the big picture and just make your decision.