Linux Vs Windows – A Small Business Guide To Web Hosting

By Thursday, May 21, 2015 0 No tags Permalink

When you’re looking for a hosting solution for your small business website, making a decision between a Windows or Linux host is not an easy one. Both operating systems share many same features, and it’s difficult to say which is better. When it comes to selection, you need to know the differences between databases, languages, hosting security, and more.

Both operating systems adopt a similar approach when it comes to data management; you’ll be able to use an FTP server in both, and the two OSs support file types such as Javascript and HTML. Also, both of them include CGI, a tool useful for conducting eCommerce activities.

So what are the main differences between the two? Here’s a breakdown:

The biggest difference is in the core operating system; Linux relies on a Linux kernel, which comes free of charge. Windows, on the other hand, may charge a licensing fee, and Windows hosting has a limited selection of apps to offer, and from licensed providers. Meanwhile, Linux users enjoy a range of open-source hosting applications available in the marketplace. Windows will present the Plesk control panel in the hosting database, while Linux provides WHM or cPanel as control panels.

In case of the IT department working with ASP, a Windows-powered hosting solution is a suitable option. ASP looks similar to HTML, but varies when it comes to request processing scheme. ASP can be somewhat faster due to this scheme, but there’s no evidence that says that ASP algorithm helps Windows servers to perform better with big databases. That said, ASP has the potential to work with different database types.

But if your IT department prefers MySQL or PHP, then Linux is a better choice. It should be noted that hosting platforms are web-facing in nature, so a there would be no issues on a Linux deployment in case you are running Windows on a local stack of servers. Likewise, there would be no bearing on Windows running servers if you continue to use Linux for day-to-day operations.

For web developers, Linux is the preferred platform, while Windows is used for meeting specific requirements. Both are a part of the emerging cloud market, and offer scalable solutions that are billed on a per-use basis. Arvixe web hosting points out that Magento, Joomla, Drupal and WordPress all run on Linux servers, so small businesses using these CMS platforms can rely on shared Linux web hosting services to meet their business needs. And it’s a good idea to look for developer friendly web hosting solutions, so that any tools your website is going to use can be provided on the server.

Bottom line

Regardless of which option you choose, know that things can go wrong. Obamacare’s official website was hosted on a Linux server, but it wasn’t optimized properly, which caused the server to crash and fail. As a result, Windows or Linux deployment alone won’t guarantee a smooth business operation, and factors such as 24/7 web-support will be crucial to combat server downtime.

Generally, a small company looking to establish a long-term digital footprint with a limited budget would be better off with Linux; it’s cheaper and has a host of open-source applications that SMBs can leverage for lead generation and eCommerce operations. Windows hosting can be considered when the business starts making a profit.


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