Planning to buy the web hosting services…?
Do you know whether which hosting is better Linux Hosting vs Windows Hosting?
Then keep on reading this article.
In this article, I will discuss the exact difference between both of the hosting types.
Well, you might be wondering what must be so important in this article, and why to read this article?
Let me explain!
I am running a web hosting company since 2013 and this makes me eligible person discuss this topic. As a hosting provider, I have faced a lot of challenges in this industry.
Many of the web artisans get confused whether to buy Linux Hosting or Windows Hosting.
Is that too difficult?
Well, I don’t think so.
Read this article, to know how easy it is to choose the right hosting account. In this article, I will walk you through the complete overview of Linux Hosting vs Windows Hosting.
If you are new to hosting then you must also read my article on What is Web Hosting?
Still, long way to go, Let’s keep on moving.
Linux Hosting vs Windows Hosting
This is one of the most debated topics over the internet, Linux vs Windows. The main difference between both of them is the Operating System that is used. These are the two most popular OS used worldwide.
Linux OS is the open source OS whereas the Windows distribution is available as a paid OS. Both of the OS had it’s pros and cons. Later in this article, we’ll be discussing everything in details on what are the factors that you should consider before making a decision on your hosting types.
They are the only OS on which we host our website and almost every type of hosting account requires either of them. Whether you want Shared Hosting, VPS, Dedicated Server or Cloud Server you need to install either of them to configure your hosting environment.
Meanwhile, you can read my article on What is web hosting and it’s type?
“But how is it decided which type of hosting to go for? “
Even though Linux Hosting is the most popular hosting type amongst web artisans, but I will discuss each and every factor in detail. So that you can make a call whether to use Linux Hosting or Windows Hosting.
Factors that you must consider
- Operating System
- Hosting Control Panel
- Security and Reliability
- Web Hosting Price
Though we are discussing on Linux Hosting vs Windows Hosting, you would see this discussion inducing more around Linux and Windows OS.
1) Which Operating System to choose?
Choosing a right operating system for your hosting environment is the first and most crucial task you should carry out.
An operating system is the foundation of your hosting environment. If you failed to choose it wisely then you will end up with something else which you weren’t expecting.
The two most popular operating systems that are used are Linux and Windows.
Linux operating system is available as open source while windows operating system is available as a paid version. Linux OS is stable, secure and lightweight as compared to windows operating system.
Control panels like cPanel (most popular web hosting control panel) can be only installed on Linux OS. Whereas there is another popular control panel called Plesk, which is available to install on Linux as well as Windows.
Linux OS works mainly upon the commands through CLI, whereas windows operating system provides GUI to manage everything. If you are a server administrator then you won’t find it difficult to manage the Linux via command line.
Linux operating system mainly supports the open source coding technologies like PHP, Java, Python, Perl, and NodeJS, Whereas Windows operating system mainly supports technologies like ASP.Net and PHP.
Depends on the CMS platform you want to host you can choose your OS. CMS like WordPress & Joomla can be installed on both Linux and Windows OS.
Important: In shared hosting, you will get Operating System, Control Panel, and Hosting Environment preconfigured. While in VPS, Cloud Servers, and Dedicated Servers you will have to decide which operating system to install.
Before settling between Linux Hosting vs Windows Hosting, you must be very much clear with on what technology your web applications are developed.
Not all of the web servers and scripting languages are supported by Linux nor by Windows. Linux can support different web servers and scripting languages while windows support a different one.
Linux Hosting is quite a popular hosting type and widely used worldwide, while Windows Hosting is used at the corporate level.
Most of the popular CMS and E-commerce websites are hosted on the Linux Hosting, While applications built with .net or applications demanding support of .net requires Windows Hosting.
Linux supports the popular web servers like Apache, and Nginx to process web applications on the server, while Windows has its own server for processing web applications.
Linux Hosting supports scripting languages like PHP, Python, Java, NodeJS and many more, while Windows Hosting is capable to host ASP, .net and PHP applications as well.
Coming to the databases, Linux Hosting supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB etc, while Windows Hosting supports MSSQL and MySQL databases.
In case of shared hosting, servers are pre-installed with all the required web servers and supported scripting languages, you just need to host your web application on it.
But in case you are buying VPS, Cloud Server or Dedicated Server you are required to setup Operating System, Web Server etc. So consult your web developer regarding the technology used for developing a web app.
3) Hosting Control Panel
To manage your server or hosting account isn’t that easy.
If you are managing Linux server then you have to hit a lot of commands on CLI to get your application running up. If you are on windows you don’t have to hit those many commands but still managing the server isn’t that easy as hosting control panel makes it.
Managing server means installing server with the required scripts and software packages so that you can easily host your web app on it.
There are many hosting control panels available in the industry, but there are mainly two hosting control panels that are used a lot in hosting industry.
Whether you want to upload your website, create email ids, manage your databases, install CMS software, or manage DNS these control panels can do it within a few clicks. These control panels are a time saver for the techies who don’t want to get much involved in installing software packages through commands.
cPanel is the best and most popular hosting control panel packed with a lot of features in it. cPanel can only be used with CentOS, Red Hat Linux, and CloudLinux operating system. You cannot use it with Windows OS.
Whereas, Plesk Control Panel is second best hosting control panel which can be installed on Linux OS as well as Windows OS. The best feature I love about Plesk is that it has GIT feature which makes it easy for Web Developers to deploy their web apps within a few clicks.
Do remember that, cPanel is costly and is capable to host Apache/Nginx web server, PHP, Java, Python applications. Whereas, Plesk is featured packed with low cost and is capable to host Apache/Nginx/Windows web server including ASP, PHP, Java applications.
4) Security and Reliability
Did you hear Linux Servers are more secure and reliable than Windows?
Yes, you heard it right.
Microsoft is a giant company and they put a lot of their resources to keep their products safe and reliable, but somewhere in security and reliability, they lack behind.
This does not mean your Linux Servers will never get hacked. Securing your web application and web server depends upon the server administrator’s capability & Knowledge.
To keep your server safe always keep your server software up to date.
5) Web Hosting Price
As we did a lot of discussions here, evaluating web hosting prices isn’t a rocket science.
Most of the Linux distributions are free of cost, whereas Windows distribution is paid. Linux consumes fewer hardware resources while Windows requires high computational power.
To figure out this and to understand better I will show you the two example. One for Shared Hosting and second for VPS with some calculations.
Check the below given Hostgator Linux Shared Hosting vs Windows Shared Hosting prices.
As you can check in the above image, we have two Hostgator Shared Hosting plans.
On left it is Linux Hosting and at right it is Windows Hosting. This will give you a precise idea how costly Windows Hosting is as compared to Linux Hosting.
Windows Hosting plan offers 5 domains hosting for $14.36/mo whereas Linux Hosting plan offers unlimited domains for just $5.95/mo.
You might consider the discount rates on both of the hosting plans, but this is the difference that you won’t get heavy discounts on Windows Hosting, unlike Linux Hosting.
Now check out the below A2Hosting Linux and Windows VPS plans.
On the left side you can see Linux VPS plan and on the right side, you can see Windows VPS plan.
Even though both the plans have same server configuration but Windows VPS is sold costly, the only difference is that Linux OS is free and Windows OS is paid.
Comparison table for Linux Hosting vs Windows Hosting
I have discussed above everything that you should know before buying Linux or Windows Hosting.
But here is the comparison table which will put a clear picture in front of you.
|PHP, Java, Python, Perl||only PHP|
|MySQL , PostgreSQL||MySQL|
|WordPress & Joomla|
|Web Hosting Price||Low||High|
|Security||Less vulnerable to attacks||Vulnerable to attacks|
Whether you are about to buy shared hosting , setup your own vps or dedicated server, it is clear that OS system plays an vital role.
Everything starts with what OS you choose for your hosting environment. Many will suggest you go with Linux OS as it is free, Reliable and technically Secure as compared to Windows OS.
Windows Hosting isn’t as popular as their counterparts, but they have their own benefits and that is ease of use.
Even though this discussion was about Linux Hosting vs Windows Hosting, but it is very much clear that everything runs around the OS.
As a web administrator, we spend a lot of our time interacting with control panels like cPanel, or Plesk and with CMS like WordPress rather than OS.
If my opinion matters, I always choose Linux over Windows. Choose your hosting environment wisely.
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