Almost all the major web hosting providers offer two kinds of hosting. Linux hosting and Windows hosting are the two solutions. So, which one is better? Let’s compare Linux vs Windows hosting services. Linux hosting is also called shared hosting, which is the most popular service in the web hosting industry. Most of the websites hosted today are using Linux hosting because of its affordable price and flexibility. Linux hosting/shared hosting can work seamlessly with PHP and MySQL, which supports scripts like WordPress, phpBB, and more. Windows hosting on the other hand is more limited as it runs on Windows OS and supports Windows-specific technologies like ASP, .NET, Microsoft Access, and Microsoft SQL Server, also known as MSSQL.
In this article, we will break down the key differences between the two operating systems. Each of these operating systems comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
While Windows is a very common operating system for web development, it is not as common for web hosting. If a user wishes to host a website using Windows hosting, they will need to meet specific technical requirements to do so. In almost all situations, especially during a shared hosting environment, users will do just fine using Linux OS.
Here is a list of applications that require you to have a Windows server. If you don’t have any of these applications, you should switch to a Linux OS, hosting a website on Linux OS is easier, anyway.
- ASP Classic
- MSSQL (Microsoft SQL Server)
- MS Access
- Visual Basic Development
- Remote Desktop (require only for dedicated servers)
Windows dedicated servers can support additional Windows-specific applications. Some applications might even require you to purchase a license and install the software on your Windows server.
- Microsoft Exchange (requires license & Installation)
- Microsoft SharePoint (requires license & Installation)
Linux is a free and open-source platform and to date, it remains the industry standard. It is also one of the most commonly used operating systems in the market today. Linux is also the most popular system of choice for web servers and has more features than professional web designers expect.
It will be hard to find something that you can’t do on a Linux server. If you’re a new user, it’d be hard to find a reason not to use the OS. Here are all the Linux-specific applications you require for web hosting.
- Scripts or applications that require specific Apache modules.
Linux vs Windows Control Panels
Windows servers and Linux servers require different control panels. Here’s a breakdown of Linux vs Windows Control panels:
cPanel is available for all Linux-based hosting plans, like Linus Shared, Reseller, VPS, and Linux Dedicated Servers. This control panel is known to be the industry standard as it offers an array of services and a user-friendly experience.
WHM or Web Host Manager is a control dashboard that offers users the ability to manage multiple c-panel-based sites. Web Host Manager is available on Linux Reseller, VPS, and specific dedicated servers.
Plesk is a commercial web hosting and server data center automation software with a control panel developed for Windows-based retail hosting service providers. This is the only one available for Windows shared and Dedicated servers.
Linux vs Windows Hosting: Server Security
While it is a common belief that Linux is more secure than Windows, both operating systems are equally secure. The security of the server depends on the server setup and the admins running the setup. To have the best security, users need to find servers that are regularly updated and offer performance patches.
Summary: Linux or Windows Hosting Which is Better?
Both of these web hosting servers offer almost the same level of efficiency. So the right type of hosting service for you depends on what kind of technologies your website requires. Let’s say that you are starting a blog using WordPress, or setting up an online forum using phpBB, then Linux-based hosting is the ideal solution for you. If your website needs specific Microsoft tech such as MSSQL, you will need to use Windows Hosting.