When most business owners look for web hosting options, most of the time it does not matter whether the operating system or server configuration is based on a Windows or Linux platform. The main objective is to simply get the website up and onto the web for viewing. But for some business owners it does make a difference.
How do you know which category you fit under? Is the ease and popularity of the Linux open system platform good enough for your site? Or do you require special Windows system features that is specific to the programming of your website?
There is much debate whether a Linux or a Microsoft Windows platform is best. And the truth is that it really depends upon what you are doing with your business website that makes the determination.
Let’s take a look at the features of each.
The giant software corporation, Microsoft, develops operating system software specifically for large and powerful server computers. The main benefit of using a MS Windows platform is the ease and integration of other Microsoft software products. Developers often use Active Server Pages (ASP) to design interactive and dynamic web content.
In addition, Microsoft database platforms like Access and MSSQL are only configurable on a Windows platform. So if these and other Microsoft software options are part of your web design, Windows hosting may be for you.
Other things to consider is the easy interface. With Microsoft, you know you’ll get a simple, GUI, and user-friendly interface to control the server content. However, with Microsoft, you’re going to pay a premium. Expect to pay more.
Linux is not a single operating system, but a general name for the free open-program developed by expert computer users in the 1990s. Linux is much more stable than Windows. You can expect fewer server crashes, and the security of the system has a proven and reliable record.
With Linux, programmers can still use a number of popular programming and scripting languages do develop applications. And as Linux is customizable, your IT department can have much more freedom developing their own firewall and other security software. Also, the most popular database platform is MySQL, which is easily supported on Linux.
However, Linux does not have the same easy interface as a Windows server. Server administrators must control the server through programming commands via a remote shell access, much like typing commands through DOS way before Windows 95 came along. But because it is a free-access programming platform, Linux is much cheaper than Windows.
The answer to your hosting question comes down to whether you really use more Microsoft applications for your website. If your web developer or designer uses ASP, ASP.NET, MSSQL databases, Microsoft Exchange Email, and other Microsoft products, then a Windows platform may be better for you. But if your business website is designed with no specific Windows products usage, Linux is still a cheaper, secure, and reliable option.