Windows vs Linux : Hosting
The Basics of Linux & Windows :
Linux (and its close relation Unix) and Windows 2000 (and its close cousin Windows NT) are types of software (known as operating systems) that web servers use to do the kind of things that web servers do. You do not need to know any real detail of either to make a decision as to which you need but here a few guidelines.
Just because you use a windows desktop PC doesn't mean you have to opt for Windows web hosting (and the reverse is true as well). The operating system you use on your desktop has little to do with your choice of web hosts. As long as you understand how to use your FTP or web publishing software, your can use either operating system.
But what is important is that you know what you want your website to do and what you want to offer on it. This is what will ultimately help determine the type of web hosting that will work best for you. As mentioned earlier, interactive websites usually rely on ASP, PHP, or Perl type languages.
Linux Web Hosting or Windows 2000 Web Hosting ? Make your Choice !
The million-dollar question is what application are you looking to use for your hosting? Consider the tools and scripting languages you plan to use - if you use PHP, Perl or MySQL, Linux is the way forward. If apps are Microsoft-specific, then Windows is what you need.
If your site, like most web sites, is what might be termed "brochure-ware" then Linux servers are ideal. By brochure-ware I mean a site that offers the kind of information that in the past might have been provided on paper in the form of brochures, newsletters or data sheets. Brochure-ware sites will offer some interaction through enquiry forms and can certainly incorporate online purchasing and other routine e-commerce functions.
If however your site incorporates an online searchable database or interactive chat facilities then Windows 2000 or NT will be a better bet in most cases. It will cost a bit more but you'll get that back in reduced development time and simply better functionality.
The following are the advantages of using Linux based web server compared to Windows based web server :
You can use almost all types of file extensions (or scripts) when using Linux web server. Commonly, the following extensions are supported:
.cgi,.html,.htm,.pl,.php,.shtml,.xml, and others.
Basically it means that you can host web sites that use different types of server side scripts including. cgi,.pl,.php, and. asp (with plug-in).
Easy to move between hosts : A web site designed to be hosted on a Linux based web server can be hosted on a Windows web server easily, where as the reverse is not always true.
Most widely used : Linux/Unix based web hosting is most widely used compared to Windows based web hosting.
Scalability : A web site is dynamic. Usually, a web site starts with a few pages of html and grows over a period of time to suit the customers requirements. It is preferable to design a web site keeping this requirements in mind. A web site designed for compatibility with a Linux/Unix based web server meets the scalability requirement easily without making any site wide design changes.
On the downside, Linux based web server is not fully compatible with Microsoft technologies. If you are using any specialized applications or VB for development of your web site, it is preferable to host with a Windows based web server.
The above article can be re-printed as long as the bio lines stay in place.