All websites need hosting to be available for access on the internet. A web host is essentially a computer running somewhere in the world where you save your website. Why not just host your website on your machine? Well, if you can keep it running 24×7 and attach a domain to it, you’re good to go. Sounds unrealistic? That’s why web hosting exists.
Now since your web host is essentially a computer, the major factor that comes into play is the operating system and hence, the two types of web hosts — Linux and Windows.
In this article, we take a look at what’s different between Linux and Windows web hosting to help you decide which one to pick.
Linux Web Hosting
First up, let’s look at Linux web hosting and arguably the more popular of the two. A majority of websites run on Linux as it is easier to set up and get running.
Also since almost everything on Linux is free, you save money in licensing costs. If your website only makes use of things like PHP, MySQL and such, a Linux web host makes sense.
Tools like WordPress are also based on Linux. So if you’re looking to work with WordPress for developing your website, might as well get Linux hosting.
Then there’s the vast choice of distributions. If you plan to sell hosting packages to your clients, Linux’s Cpanel is the way to go.
Windows Web Hosting
Windows web hosting is significantly different from Linux. Just as the respective operating systems are different from another.
The most significant difference is in the higher number of tools and packages available for your website and web apps on Windows. If you’ve got ASP, .NET, Microsoft SQL in your requirement’s list, Windows is the way to go.
Another significant difference is the user interface. Unlike Linux, which works on a command-line interface, here you can log in to your host and access a GUI, much like your Windows computer back at home.
User management is also easier in Windows thanks to the excellent built-in user management tools. Authentication can also be centralised from your active directory server and even across multiple servers. This means that you’ll only need to create accounts in one place for all servers.
Which one should you choose?
The choice primarily comes down to what you need to use according to your specific needs and requirements.
If you’re running a simple website that uses PHP/MySQL or anything from the XAMPP stack, then you’re good to go with Linux. However, if you’re looking for more advanced tools and features and things like advanced user management, Windows is the way to go.
Also read: What’s the difference between POP and IMAP?