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Web Hosting on Linux Servers

Many companies now offer unlimited cheap web hosting and dedicated servers, but a good portion of users understand only part of what they need to look for when considering these services. The basic options for hosting are UNIX, Windows, and Linux. UNIX pros and cons are a topic for another article. For now, we will focus on a head-to-head comparison between two of the most popular server choices: Web hosting on Linux dedicated servers vs. hosting on Windows, to help clarify which option might be the most effective choice for you.

Keep in mind: the best option for your website will depend on your choice of web applications, what type of content your site needs to provide, expected traffic, and what kind of systems control you expect to have, to name just a few factors. Windows and Linux hosting both have their pros and cons in each of these areas.

Your Choice of Operating System

The best starting point for comparison is the starting point for setup: installation. Many site owners prefer web hosting on Linux for its ease of installation, though in some cases its lack of compatibility with applications like MS SQL, ASP and ASP.NET can pose problems. Evaluate your site’s scope, development plans, and expected necessary back-end systems functions to determine whether Windows-only applications are a must or whether an alternative approach that rules out these functions will work well for you.

Security features are the next differentiating factor between these two top options for unlimited cheap web hosting. Windows operating systems have been known to be inefficient in dealing with security threats and are often susceptible to virus attacks and hackers, creating extra work for users whose data might be an attractive target. Depending on the information you intend to host on your site, take this risk into consideration not only when evaluating how to secure your site, but also when calculating the time to update and adjust security measures to handle Windows’ more frequently exploited and patched security issues. By contrast, web hosting on Linux dedicated servers is still a less popular target and may offer some sites better protection against security threats like malware and viruses.

Cost, the final big difference between these two options, can count for a great deal in the long term, and for many users this issue is the tipping point in their choice of operating system for their unlimited cheap web hosting. A Linux operating system will beat Windows hands-down in this area, as it is an open source system and can be installed for free. Windows users end up paying licensing fees to Microsoft on an annual basis.

In a nutshell, in terms of performance levels and browser-end user experience, there may be little difference between these two top hosting options. But for the user wanting to manage a site effectively, these three key factors highlight important differences between the two. When you take into account installation and maintenance, security, and pricing differences, for many users web hosting on Linux may be the safer and more cost-effective choice.


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