Linux hosting is an open source operating system where web hosting occurs with the use of a Linux-based server. Without hosting, a website cannot have presence on the internet. The reason it is referred to as open source is that the source code can be edited, altered or redistributed in commercial as well as non-commercial environments. Linux is one of the more popular operating systems among various web hosting providers and internet users because it is free and offers flexibility, options, and customization for users and server capability. It is also a more practical alternative to the restrictive Windows platform.
Linux-based hosting services are affordable, especially when compared to Windows-based hosting. However, in the recent past, various changes have brought about a more level playing field for both hosting services, so it is important to consider the pros and cons of both before you make a decision.
Advantages of Linux Hosting
- Linux hosting provides flexibility and use of open source technologies such as Apache, PHP, and MySQL.
- This hosting service is one of the most reasonable and affordable options.
- Over the years, Linux has earned a reputation for stability and safety.
- The security settings on the Linux server are highly efficient and advanced when compared to a Windows platform.
- In the current technology world, versatility is highly desirable because it ensures relevance in an ever-changing playing field. Linux hosting is versatile because it is compatible with various databases.
Disadvantages of Linux Hosting
- Linux web hosting lacks compatibility with several of the primary Windows-based scripting applications and technology.
- Certain programming languages such as ASP and its extensions are not suitable on Linux operating systems.
- Linux servers are not useful for porting of websites that have been scripted or designed for a Windows environment or background.
Web Hosting on Linux
When you are planning to create a website, a web hosting package should offer various features. Some of the necessities to consider are bandwidth, domain, and affordability. Domains are necessary for hosting a professional internet site. As the site develops and grows, bandwidth becomes necessary as more information and functions increase. The market has many different companies that offer Linux and Windows hosting packages. Linux web hosting is the more practical and affordable choice because it is not restrictive and is more adaptable.
However, internet marketing requires a proper analysis of the needs of the business for the present and future. You can opt for a cost-effective Linux hosting package, make sure that it contains all the functionality required currently and in future. Additional features such as software and web-mail are important for websites as they develop and grow.
Differences Between Linux and Windows Web Hosting
As previously stated, the Linux hosting system has multiple features such as good performance, adaptability, cost effectiveness, security, stability and so on. Likewise, the Windows web hosting has its own features and strengths that are better suited for specific files and websites.
The main difference between the two is the type of files and functionalities that is used. A website needing PHP, Perl, WordPress, MySQL, SSH and applications that require specific Apache modules run better and more quickly on Linux-based web hosting because it is specifically designed for this type of data. On the other hand, a Windows platform is ideal to host ASP Classic, Microsoft Access, ASP.NET, Microsoft SQL Server, C# or Visual Basic Development.
The price is another big difference. Because Linux web hosting is more reasonably priced, it is the more popular option among web hosting providers. The Linux web hosting platform also has more features than Windows, making it many web designer’s preferred choice.
Additionally, the two web hosting services have the following different servers and control panels:
- cPanel and Web Host Manager (WHM) are used on Linux-based hosting such as VPS, Linux Reseller and Linux Dedicated Servers.
- Plesk can be used for Windows Shared and Dedicated Servers.
Both systems need, use and store files. While Linux file names are case sensitive, Windows files are not. For example, home.html and Home.html are names of two different files on a Linux server, whereas, on a Windows server, whether it is home.html, Home.html or HOME.HTML, all files are considered the same.
While Linux hosting is considered more secure, both Linux and Windows operating systems are safe. The security is mainly reliant on the setup and administration of the server. Hosted servers typically are maintained with the current security and performance patches.
Ultimately, the decision to pick one web hosting service over the other often boils down to which one offers the best necessary capabilities specific to the user. The user interface on a Linux hosting account is the same as that on a Windows account. However, users are sometimes apprehensive about using a web host system that is different from the system of the home computer as they feel it may cause usability issues. It is a misconception that using a web host system that is different than a home computer can cause usability issues. Linux websites needs specially written code to run that is usually not related to the applications operating on a home computer. HTML files are used and read by both platforms and regular websites function with the same level of performance.
Linux web hosting services have various good attributes and performance capabilities and each website or designer has its own specific needs and techniques where one or the other platform can be more suitable. In order to understand whether Linux web hosting is best for you, or to gain better knowledge and insights specific to your business needs, Flying Cow Design can provide information and guide you in a step-by-step manner to better assess how to make the right decisions for your business.
CEO, Flying Cow Design
Attended University of Auckland
Lives in San Francisco Bay Area