What's the Difference Between Unix and Windows Web Hosting?

Status
Not open for further replies.

jepot

White Belt
So you're finally ready to publish your finished website and you're searching through the myriad of web hosting plans and providers. You may have noticed that most hosting companies use Linux or Unix operating systems on their web servers. Microsoft Windows is less commonly offered as a choice. So what's the difference?

Most people are familiar with Microsoft Windows having used it at home, work, or at school. It is very easy to use for novices and it doesn't require command-line knowledge. In Windows Home and advanced Server editions, you can simply point and click your way to a different folder using your mouse. Unix and Linux are open-source - meaning that the operating system is free and the source code is well documented and easily distributed. There are no major differences between Unix and Linux. Unix is much older and cannot run on x86-based personal computers (like the one you're using now). In contrast, Linux can run on both high-powered servers and x86-based computers.

Linux is available in many flavors, though most hosting companies use Red Hat Linux, or Mandrake Linux, which are proven workhorses able to handle hundreds of websites and millions of hits per day. FreeBSD and OpenBSD are versions of Unix which are also available. While ease-of-use is very important for a home or work computer, it is generally not a big issue when working with a web server. After all, you are doing most of your website design offline on your own computer. Unless you have very advanced programming or operating system-specific modules, you will not notice the difference between Windows and Unix servers.

Both Linux/Unix and Windows can handle high traffic websites and add-ons such as chat rooms, email and website statistics with ease. The biggest differences are price and software compatibility. Because Windows must be purchased and licenses renewed continuously, Windows hosting plans are usually more expensive than Unix-based plans. Also Unix-based plans often come with free email, databases (MySQL), statistic, and community programs. While Windows plans come with Microsoft software (MS SQL, for example) that must be purchased by the hosting company.

Both Linux and Windows platforms can run popular programming languages such as php, perl, or java. If your website uses active server pages, then it will be less risky hosting it on a Windows server. Well it still may function on a Unix server, there may be small glitches that are not immediately apparent. Similarly, if you are using with Microsoft SQL databases, these databases will be supported by most Windows plans. However, Linux or Unix plans often include MySQL which would require that your databases be converted to this format in order to function properly. If you are currently using any Microsoft programming (especially active server pages) or third-party applications (MS SQL 2000), you may want to play it safe and choose a Windows hosting plan.

From the average web designer's standpoint, there isn't much difference between hosting on Linux/Unix or Windows web servers. However, before signing up for a hosting plan, ensure that all facets of your site's design, programming, databases and the like will work with that plan. If you are unsure, ask the company's sales or technical staff before you commit.
 

BuckBennett

Yellow Belt
Windows and Linux are two different operating systems.Linux is more efficient and more secure than Windows .Linux is the preferred choice unless you have websites that need a Windows server.
Windows Applications which require a Windows server: ASP.NET,MYSQL,MS Acess,Expression Web ,Plesk.
Another different is that Linux files are case-sensitive and Windows files are not.
Example:eek:n a Linux server, home.html and Home.html are different names.
On a Windows server, home.html, Home.html,and HOME.HTML are the same name.
 

Sushant

Banned
Both Unix and Windows can handle high traffic websites and addons, like chat rooms, email and website statistics with ease. The biggest differences are price and software compatibility because Windows must be purchased and license renewed continuously. Windows hosting plans are usually more expensive than Unix-based plans. Also Unix-based plans often come with free email, databases (MySQL), statistic and community programs. While Windows plans come with Microsoft software (MS SQL, for example) that must be purchased by the hosting company.
 

webhostus

Banned
Hi,

We are often asked which hosting platform one should choose, Linux or Windows. Below, we've listed the major differences between the two that you should consider in making your final decision.

Linux Hosting :

Linux is an open source system and is therefore more cost-effective to operate and maintain than Windows, meaning that Linux hosting will cost you less than Windows hosting. Linux also has a reputation for stability and speed which means that Linux web servers will crash less often than Windows web servers and Linux runs most processes faster than Windows.

Linux supports a wide range of software, applications, languages, and databases such as PHP, Perl, PostGre, MySQL, PostgreSQL and many others making it very scalable. On the downside, Linux is not fully compatible with some Microsoft technologies so if you are using Access, ASP, MS SQL, or VB development tools then Windows would be a better bet.

Windows Hosting :

The main "advantage" or distinction of Windows servers is that they can run Microsoft software such as Access and MS SQL databases. Windows servers also offer web developers the use of Microsoft's programming environments such as Active Server Pages (ASP), Visual Basic Scripts, MS Index Server.

Users can develop web site using the familiar interface of Microsoft tools such as, Visual Interdev, and Microsoft Access. With ASP users can develop a database-driven web site using Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL as the database.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top