Web Hosting : Linux vs. Windows

The Basics of Linux & Windows : Linux (and its close relation
Unix) and Windows 2000 (and its close cousin Windows NT) are
types of software (known as operating systems) that web servers
use to do the kind of things that web servers do. You do not
need to know any real detail of either to make a decision as to
which you need but here a few guidelines.

Just because you use a windows desktop PC doesn’t mean you have
to opt for Windows web hosting (and the reverse is true as
well). The operating system you use on your desktop has little
to do with your choice of web hosts. As long as you understand
how to use your FTP or web publishing software, your can use
either operating system.

But what is important is that you know what you want your
website to do and what you want to offer on it. This is what
will ultimately help determine the type of web hosting that will
work best for you. As mentioned earlier, interactive websites
usually rely on ASP, PHP, or Perl type languages.

Linux Web Hosting or Windows 2000 Web Hosting ? Make your Choice
!

When it comes to Web hosting, Linux has, for some time, been
widely considered the best OS for Web servers. It’s typically
found to be the most reliable, stable and efficient system and,
as such, it’s commonly used for the demanding environment of Web
and mail servers. Indeed,Most of the clients websites of aalpha
NET runs on the Linux OS precisely because of this traditional
stability.

The million-dollar question is what application are you looking
to use for your hosting? Consider the tools and scripting
languages you plan to use – if you use PHP, Perl or MySQL, Linux
is the way forward. If apps are Microsoft-specific, then Windows
is what you need.

If your site, like most web sites, is what might be termed
“brochure-ware” then Linux servers are ideal. By brochure-ware I
mean a site that offers the kind of information that in the past
might have been provided on paper in the form of brochures,
newsletters or data sheets. Brochure-ware sites will offer some
interaction through enquiry forms and can certainly incorporate
online purchasing and other routine e-commerce functions.

If however your site incorporates an online searchable database
or interactive chat facilities then Windows 2000 or NT will be a
better bet in most cases. It will cost a bit more but you’ll get
that back in reduced development time and simply better
functionality.

The following are the advantages of using Linux based web server
compared to Windows based web server :

Stable: Linux/Unix operating systems has traditionally been
believed to be very stable and robust. A web site housed on a
Linux operating system will have very high up-time (of the order
of 99.9%). Of course, other factors such as power supply,
network admin skills, and network load etc. also matter when it
comes to maintaining the system uptime.

Low cost of ownership: The Linux OS comes free of cost (or at
very insignificant cost, usually cost of distribution). Also, it
has full fledged server, and desk top applications that comes
free along with the OS. These server applications (such as FTP,
Web Server, DNS Server, File Server etc.) being free, are also
very stable.

Ease of use : When it comes to web hosting, it is easy to host
on Linux web servers. The process of uploading and hosting is
almost same for both Linux and Windows web servers. If you want
to use a Windows based tool such as Front Page for uploading a
web site on to a Linux based web server, make sure that the
Front Page extensions are enabled. This is only required if you
are uploading using HTTP feature (http://www.yourwebsite.com) of
Front Page. Front Page also makes it possible to upload a web
site using FTP. You need to select ftp://www.yourwebsite.com for
up loading using front page FTP option. Note that if you select
“Front Page Extensions” during web site design, you must enable
Front Page extensions on a Linux web server also. These days,
all Linux web servers are coming with installable Front Page
extensions, and this should pose no problem for hosting on a
Linux platform.

You can use almost all types of file extensions (or scripts)
when using Linux web server. Commonly, the following extensions
are supported: .cgi, .html, .htm, .pl, .php, .shtml, .xml, and
others. Basically it means that you can host web sites that use
different types of server side scripts including .cgi, .pl,
..php, and .asp (with plug-in).

Easy to move between hosts : A web site designed to be hosted on
a Linux based web server can be hosted on a Windows web server
easily, where as the reverse is not always true.

Most widely used : Linux/Unix based web hosting is most widely
used compared to Windows based web hosting.

Scalability : A web site is dynamic. Usually, a web site starts
with a few pages of html and grows over a period of time to suit
the customers requirements. It is preferable to design a web
site keeping this requirements in mind. A web site designed for
compatibility with a Linux/Unix based web server meets the
scalability requirement easily without making any site wide
design changes.

On the downside, Linux based web server is not fully compatible
with Microsoft technologies. If you are using any specialized
applications or VB for development of your web site, it is
preferable to host with a Windows based web server.

For more articles Please visit Articles at
All Web Hosts.

Thank You

I am Arpit,the webmaster of the site All Web Hosts is a computer
enginner and enjoys working in front of computers. I like to
spend my time in building sites and on various forums.
AllWebHosts site is mainatined by me and one of my friend,
Prashant. In my free time, I like to play table-tennis.

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