Browsing posts tagged " hosting"

What’s the Difference Between Linux and Windows Servers?

January 12th, 2012 @ 8:06 am

Most people that purchase hosting accounts never understand the difference between Linux or Windows servers. For them, all they need and want to know is that hosting plans with Windows servers are more expensive and when feature lists between two hosting plans look similar, they choose Linux servers solely based on price. This decision is supported 99 out of 100 times if they seek technical advice because most technical support groups and website coder prefer Linux hosting over Windows hosting.

In spite of the adage, “you get what you pay for”, the fact is that in this case, the Linux hosting accounts are the better choice even though they are less expensive. Linux hosting is far more popular than Windows hosting and the Linux hosting works better with the ways in which most websites are programmed and coded. Websites themselves require a server that has within its programming structure certain functions that the code of the website calls upon in order for the site to operate and deliver a particular user experience. Linux hosting provides this structure readily and website design code more often than not expects the server to support Linux included functions. In fact, Windows servers will oftentimes have to emulate a Linux server in order to allow many websites to operate properly.

The only times that a person should choose Windows hosting over Linux hosting is when they have a website that has been designed with specific Windows based code that calls upon the server to contain specific Windows hosting based applications. For example, you must use Windows hosting if your website is coded to use any of the following:

  • Classic ASP or ASP.NET Programming
  • MS Access
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • C#, Silverlight, MVC

While this is not an all inclusive list, it does contain the most common website coded applications that require Windows hosting. Unless a website’s code specifically requires Windows hosting, it is advisable for everyone, to choose a Linux server.

As mentioned earlier, in many cases a Windows server is called upon to emulate a Linux server in order to host a site. Some may think that this is the best case scenario, mistakenly thinking that the Windows system would then be able to handle both Linux and Windows coded sites. This is a mistake because not all Linux functions can be effectively emulated with Windows hosting without reducing overall performance of the server and as a result affecting the user experience. There are also some specific Linux functions that are coded into many types of websites that Windows hosting cannot emulate.

Therefore it is not a matter of getting full functionality with Windows hosting being able to support both systems whereas Linux hosting cannot. When choosing a hosting plan, the best choice is Linux hosting unless the specific site requires Windows applications. This is the only way to maximize overall server performance, site performance, and end user experience.

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