When you finally come to the decision to create a website of your own or for your business, you will face the need to determine whether your website is going to be hosted on a Windows server or a Linux server. While you can always outsource the tasks to or consult web development experts, you can start by learning these basics this article is addressing.
Fundamentally, Windows hosting and Linux hosting differs from each other in that:
1. Windows hosting charges more than Linux hosting on a very obvious level simply because Microsoft doesn’t release the series of Windows Server operating systems free. It’s much more pricey than Linux distributions.
2. While you can use some not-so-exclusive Linux web technologies on Windows servers such as Apache, PHP and MySQL, it’s nearly impossible to run an efficient IIS web server on Linux servers. Let alone the entire architecture of Windows.NET technologies.
3. Apache, PHP and MySQL are better tuned to Linux systems while MSSQL, ASP and ASPX (.NET) are better tuned to Windows systems. So if your website relies on PHP and MySQL to serve and perform, use Linux. Otherwise if your website is built on Microsoft.NET technologies, use Windows hosting instead.
4. Windows system hosting have bigger server overhead thus consume more server resources than Linux platforms do with the same application and traffic demand. But it will not be so when it scales up. Therefore, hosting small websites that are not so popular on Windows may not be quite cost-effective.
5. Windows operating systems are much more easier to use than Linux systems. Linux does have desktop applications but most users are more accustomed to Windows UI.
6. On Windows platforms, it’s much easier to integrate your website to any of Microsoft’s other product lines such as the Office Suite. You can easily integrate Office documents such as .doc and .xls and even your entire officing logic into the website, seamlessly streamlining the work flow. On Linux, it’s not so easy.
7. Windows platform can host not only custom created and maintained websites / web applications, but it can also host Microsoft released web products such as the Exchange Server. However, on Linux, this is impossible.
Technically, there are lot more differences between Windows hosting and Linux hosting but these are the most prominent.