Posts Tagged "availability"

Linux or Windows?

Are you trying to choose between Linux or Windows as your web server’s operating system? If so, this article can help you decide.

Technologies

What technologies do you plan to use on the server? Most technologies can run on both Linux and Windows. However, some of them have limited or no support in one or the other. For example, proprietary technologies from Microsoft—such as ASP, .NET, and Access—work best with Windows.

Security

The consensus is that Windows servers have more vulnerabilities than Linux servers. Still, in reality, all operating systems have security issues. Linux may be a more secure platform, but if your system administrator doesn’t know what he’s doing, the threats will still be there. Spend your time looking for a good web host rather than worrying about your server’s security.

Cost

Linux web hosting is generally more affordable. This doesn’t affect the quality—it’s cheaper simply because Linux operating systems are free, while Windows operating systems are not. Web hosts charge more for Windows because of the licensing fee they have to pay.

Ease of use

Since Windows is commonly used as a desktop operating system, some people mistakenly think they should also use it for their server. The truth is that working on a server is nothing like working on a desktop. Most of the time, you’ll be using FTP, control panels, and content management systems to create, access, and update your website. These technologies are available on both Windows and Linux.

Availability

Most web hosts offer Linux hosting. A smaller number offer Windows hosting. In fact, when web hosts mention “web hosting,” they usually mean Linux. If you’re looking for Windows, you’ll have to specify it.

Conclusion

The choice of server operating system won’t make a huge difference to people who aren’t system administrators or web developers. The two platforms offer similar features. So unless you plan to use technologies that are unique to Windows, my recommendation would be to choose Linux. It’s more affordable, more available, more common, and generally more secure. In the end, your choice of web host matters more than the server’s operating system, as your web host will be the one running the server, taking care of your website, and helping you whenever you need assistance.