Web Hosting 101: Linux vs. Windows

Web hosting 101 Linux vs Windows 1

Hey guys, welcome to web hosting 101, where we will discuss more about the considerable differences between Windows hosting and Linux hosting, their features and benefits.

So, you are in search of a web host to host your new site; I’m sure you have done a lot of research and still deciding what you need to go in for, Linux or Windows.

Whatever you plan to do, we always suggest never split your decision because in the future, if you plan to switch, it will be a significant concern.

Now each of these operating systems has its own weaknesses and strengths. Today we will discuss and explore everything about them in detail. So, let’s begin!

Linux 

I’m sure most of you have already done your bit of reading on the Internet, and if you have, I’m sure you’ve learned that Linux is extremely popular in the web hosting world.

We do agree with all the common opinions because we are very fond of open-source software; I mean, who doesn’t love to enjoy a service that’s free. And if you look deeper, the web hosting is also pretty cheap.

I have read certain interesting claims that many Linux users have made. Many also claim that Linux web hosting providers offer way better security, while some people also claim Linux to be very efficient. So, what’s true? We will learn about it very soon.

Windows  

First of all, we would like to point out that Windows Operating System is not free. May I also point out that the web hosting service is very expensive? However, Windows offer all their customers excellent support.

Now the significant difference between both the softwares is the compatibility that they provide. Now it entirely depends upon your requirements, and I’m sure you would require one of them.

So, Linux provides software that does not operate on Windows server, and the same goes with Windows; it does not operate on Linux.

Let’s look at a couple of differences between the two; 

Stability and Security 

As I mentioned earlier, when we read plenty of reviews of Linux users, we learned that many of them claimed to receive better security in comparison to Windows.

Well, I would say that we agree with the reviews, and it is not because of something that Linux has done right.

The major issue with Windows server is that they are prone to multiple attacks in comparison to Linux.

I guess hackers have made Windows server their primary target, and they enjoy attacking the software. It could also be because Windows seems to have more customers on the side of PC.

Whatever be the reason, we do agree that Linux servers have way better security, and both these softwares have similar vulnerabilities.

One of the essential aspects in terms of security is the web hosting company. You must always make sure that you select an excellent web host that can offer exceptional security capabilities.

Always remember that a good web hosting company will always do all that it would take in order to protect a website from malicious hackers.

We have also noticed that Windows send out updates every month, these are critical updates, but they could be released in shorter intervals.

Whenever there is an issue in Linux, they have developers to locate the issue and immediately fix the concern.

This is possible only because of the huge network of developers that Linux has that harbours across the globe. Overall, Linux is very stable in comparison to Windows.

Pricing 

As I mentioned earlier, Linux is more economical in comparison to Windows, and this I say without a single doubt.

The operating system is a significant indicator of it. Sometimes we have noticed that Windows does have certain promotional offers, but in general, it is definitely an expensive software.

As you have already guessed, Linux is 100% free. The web hosting solution that they offer is very economical in comparison to Windows.

This is without programs that include Windows exchange. These programs will definitely add to the price tag.

If you are on a tight budget and you’re looking at cutting corners, then I guess you would be doing well with Linux as they do offer their customers economical and competitive pricing hosting packages.

Convenience 

If you are looking for an Operating System that is user friendly as well as convenient, then we recommend going in for Linux as they meet both the criteria.

However, we know of many people utilizing Windows for ages, and they’re extremely satisfied with it and probably even made their peace with the multiple problems that follow it.

A new Operating System will definitely include a learning curve. So, if you are in a major hurry and you really don’t seem to have the time to invest in learning the latest Operating System, then we recommend that you continue utilizing Windows as it seems to be a viable option at the moment.

However, you are not required to have Linux installed on the PC in order to get a host for Linux, so the effect will not be as bad. It’s more likely that you may move to Linux gradually. You will prefer to have a more secure and stable environment.

However, always be sure to have compatibility as your top application on your list of priorities.

Compatibility 

Always ensure that you are aware of which frameworks, languages and apps must be utilized with every web hosting system prior to deciding which one to go in for.

If you decide on utilizing a particular software, you must make sure that it is compatible.

Now Windows can be utilized with Visual Basic, MSSQL, ASP.NET and more. On the other hand, Linux utilizes Apache modules and SSH.

Web Panel 

For those of you who are not aware of it, a web panel is a way you can access the back end of the website. cPanel is extremely popular.

Many users have also said that it is better, cheaper and easier to utilize in comparison to its competitor, Plesk.

Talking about their competitor Plesk, they provide an interface that is cleaner. If you look at the Virtual Private Server (VPS) side, Plesk is also extremely cheap.

cPanel is available with only Linux, and Windows utilize Plesk. This is definitely not one of the most significant factors.

Here is where we recommend that you should have a detailed look and learn more about the variation between Plesk and cPanel. Whichever one you choose to go for will definitely have a major influence on your web hosting decision.

File Transfer 

It’s not a big deal; both the operating systems utilize FTP for a file transfer at a web hosting level. However, SSH and Telnet are exceptionally well known and commonly utilized on Linux.

Both are extremely compatible with Windows; however, there are fewer chances that an administrator will want to install them.

For our readers who are not aware of what SSH, Telnet or FTP is, we suggest that you read up on them in order to understand these terms better.

Application 

So, what are your plans for your website? And what are the tools that you plan to utilize? If you haven’t thought about it, then I suggest that you begin to make a list of things that you intend to utilize because these are very important questions, and you must have an answer to them.

Now some people prefer to begin an E-Commerce site, while some prefer to have humble beginnings like a blog.

So, whatever you plan to start, once you answer the questions above, you will have more clarity and the direction that you need to move in.

You must understand that every individual has a different goal, and to meet these goals, an individual may need a different OS. According to our research, we have also learned that Joomla, WP and Magento operate well on Linux.

Whereas if you’re looking at Windows, then BlogEngine, NopCommerce and Umbraco operate well on Windows.

So now you know it totally depends on your decision as to what you prefer to do. I suggest that you invest some time and try and learn about both the operating systems and see which one suits your requirements.

Support 

We firmly believe that a company can be made or broken depending on the support that they receive. If you look at Windows, they provide world-class support, and on the other hand, Linux has no support.

So, when we say that Linux has no support, it means that Linux does not believe in employing any agents; at least, we are not aware of any agents. They rely entirely on a support that is community-based. So far, it has worked well for them and their users.

However, I must say if you are the kind of user that requires to speak to someone the moment you’re facing an issue, and you do not have the time to rely on a community for a solution, then you already know which OS you need to go in for.

Linux has an online community that is exceptionally well known for its advice. This community of users are always ever so willing to assist anyone facing any sort of issue.

You could also depend on the web hosting provider to get your support. We know of many hosts in the market that offer excellent assistance.

Case 

It is a very small and insignificant difference; however, it could have some significant repercussions. Windows servers aren’t case sensitive, whereas Linux servers are.

For instance;  

  • VarianceBetween.html  
  • variancebetween.html  
  • VARIANCEBETWEEN.html

These are all instances of various servers on Linux. 

However, these instances would mean a similar web server on Windows. So, if you’re planning to go with Linux, you will require to be extremely careful. The server can easily miss out on case letters, ending up in the incorrect place.

Summary 

Windows  Linux 
This OS is extremely prone to malicious attacks. This OS is secure and stable in comparison to Windows.  
Licensing fees seems to be pretty expensive, as well as the web hosting is also not as economical as Linux. This is free and is also an economical web hosting option. 
It is made in a way that is extremely easy to utilize and has been extremely popular for years. They are user friendly and convenient; however, at times, Windows’ users find them a bit confusing.
They are compatible with MSSQL, asp.net and more. They are compatible with Apache and SSH modules.
They utilize Plesk.In order to access the back end, they utilize cPanel.
They rarely utilize Telnet and SSH. Telnet and SSH are commonly used. 
They are suggested for huge businesses and E-Commerce sites.They are ideal for all blogging platforms
They offer their users professional support. All their users depend on community support. 
Their servers are not case sensitive. Their servers are all case sensitive. 

Final Thoughts 

So far, we have given you sufficient information that will help you decide the right route in selecting a web hosting operating system. Both the operating systems have their advantages and disadvantages that we have discussed in detail.

So now it is entirely up to your decision, but you will have to see which one of them suits your requirements in the best way possible. You can also check our article on What is .htaccess? What does it do?, Where is it?, How to Edit?

If you are currently looking for a personal opinion, then from all the years of experience in terms of posting and reviewing, I would like to say that we personally prefer Linux. We have loved to take advantage of things that are available for free; however, many things that you would find for free would eventually end up costing you much more.

But I must say we simply are fond of the whole idea of this open-source software, especially in comparison to the paid ones. We have also experienced Linux doing better in certain aspects when compared to Windows.

I would like to clarify that I am specifically speaking about web hosting services and operating systems. So, in terms of the operating systems on the PC, we prefer Windows. And personally, I have been utilizing Windows since 1995, when they were initially launched, and honestly, I do not have any intention of switching.

The only reason that I do not plan to switch is because of all the effort that I would have to put in learning this new OS, and along with that, application compatibility concerns are something that still has kept me hooked onto Windows. If you are a gamer, I have my doubts about the gaming world of Linux. I feel it is more of a business software.

However, in terms of web hosting, Linux does promise much more. Their price tag is a significant motivation for us. I have my doubts about their support system; however, we have seen many users have great feedback about it.

So, in this regard, it’s really up to you as to what you prefer. Do you have the time to rely on a community for support, or are you more of a hands-on user who would like to speak to someone the moment you have issues with the service?

Everyone has their own questions, and the answers will depend on your requirement. So, when we ask a question as to why Windows? Or why Linux? My answer will definitely vary from yours.

So bottom line, our suggestion to you is to make a list of your personal priorities as to what is absolutely important for your business requirement. You must also do a little bit of your own research & learn and try & understand what has worked for users and what has not. This will save you the hassle of trial and error.

We would definitely love to hear from you as to what have you planned and which OS have you chosen to go with. If you have switched to utilizing Linux on the personal PC then, do write to us and let us know how you are enjoying it so far. And if you happen to be an avid fan of Windows just like us, then I would be extremely glad to hear from you if you have something new to share not just with me but also with our readers.

Do let us know which hosts are you currently utilizing and the reason why you are fond of them. If you’re still in the process of deciding, then do share with us your thoughts as well. However, I must add that both the web hosting does provide the similar type of proficiency. The kind of web hosting solution that you select will majorly depend on the type of technologies the site requires.

So that’s all for today; thank you for reading this article and sharing your views with us. We look forward to seeing you with our next article. Thanks and take care.

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