Whether you are planning to start a blog or a website, without ‘web hosting’ you really can’t get online. Web hosting refers to the storage space that you buy on a web server to host your website files. This makes it possible for your website to be accessed online from anywhere in the world. But as a beginner, you are likely to get confused between – Linux and Windows web hosting plans. In this post today, I will share the difference between Linux Vs Windows hosting. By the time you finish reading this article, you will be able to decide whether you need to sign up for Linux or Windows web hosting.
Why should you know the difference between Linux and Windows web hosting?
When you choose a plan and sign up with a web hosting company, the commitment is usually for a long term duration (1 to 3 years). It’s therefore important to know which hosting plan should you choose for your business considering ease of use, speed, security, performance, stability, and cost.
Keep in mind that having a compatible server/OS suitable for your website allows you to run precise software. It enables you to have complete customization and ease of use for most web developers or administrators. It also helps improve your personal experience.
Further, your decision to buy either Linux or Windows hosting will also affect:
- What type of web applications you can use. (for ex: You can use ASP.net/MS SQL with Windows web hosting, but you can’t use the same with Linux hosting plans)
- How much you end up paying for your hosting plan (for ex: Windows hosting is usually expensive than Linux hosting)
Knowing your website’s specific needs will help you determine which among the two web hosting is a perfect fit. Here’s a quick breakdown of the key differences between Linux Vs Windows hosting:
|Aspect||Linux hosting||Windows hosting|
|Cost||Cheaper because of Linux OS being free and open source||More expensive because Windows is a paid OS|
|Ease of use||Linux is a command line based OS. But thanks to cPanel which makes it easy to interact with all the tools to manage your website||Windows hosting comes with Plesk, a control panel with a much neater and easy to use UI|
|Support for web applications/programming languages||Linux hosting supports PHP, Perl and MYSQL||Windows hosting supports .Net, PHP, ASP, Sharepoint, Visual Basic, MS Access and MS SQL|
|Support for WordPress?||Yes. It’s in fact the most popular and preferred choice for creating a WordPress blog.||Yes. However the overall experience is not as smooth as that offered by Linux based hosting|
|Performance and Stability||Great||Great|
|Security||More secure as Linux OS is open source and greatly restricts root privileges.||Relatively less secure and more prone to viruses.|
|Popularity||Linux is much more popular in the web hosting space||Windows is less popular|
Which one should you choose: Linux or Windows?
If we summarize the contents of the above table, we can easily infer that the choice between Linux and Windows web hosting boils down to your budget and what system environment your website depends upon.
For example: If you want to set up a WordPress blog, a personal website or even an e-commerce website, choosing a shared Linux web hosting plan over Windows will make more sense since it’s cheaper, equally efficient, and provides an overall smooth experience with all the right tools to manage your website. On the other hand, if your website/web apps are built on .Net, ASP and Visual Basic technology, it’s better to choose Windows web hosting for a smoother experience.
How to choose the best Linux web hosting plans?
Shared Linux web hosting plans are the most popular because they provide a good value of money with almost all the features that you’ll need to build a great website. But that doesn’t mean that all web hosts are the same. While choosing a web host for your website, you must ideally look for the following performance parameters:
- Up time guarantees (At least 99.99%)
- 24*7 technical support
- How many websites can you host?
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Free email accounts
- Free SSL
- SSD storage space – the bigger, the better
- Support for HTTPS/2
- Support for CDN
- Hardware redundancy
- Spam/Hack protection
- Automatic daily backups (so that you can easily restore your website to any version should anything goes wrong)
- Money back guarantees (usually a 30 day policy)
I’ve been with WordPress since 5 years now and in my experience, SiteGround has been the best web hosting company. They use Google Cloud network and advanced cache technology to serve your website at lightning fast speed. I am also very impressed at the quality of their customer support team. So if you choose Linux web hosting for your website, go with SiteGround without a second thought. However, if you still want to explore more options, you may check out this post at Mangomatter blog where they have reviewed all the top Linux web hosting plans.
How to choose the best Windows web hosting plans?
When you’re looking to choose the best Windows web hosting plans, you’ve to look for these essential features:
- Software compatibility – for example, if you’ve a website designed on ASP.net framework, make sure that the Windows hosting plan specifically mentions its support for ASP.
- Compatibility with web applications – for example, if you would want to install WordPress on your website, make sure that the hosting package specifically mentions its compatibility with WordPress.
- Up-time guarantees (At least 99.99%)
- Free email accounts
- Free SSL certificate
- Unlimited bandwidth
- SSD storage space
- Support for CDN
- Money back guarantees
Conclusion: Linux Vs Windows web hosting
Linux is ideal for individuals who want access to free, ready to use, and open-source applications. Since it’s a free OS, there is no need to purchase licensing fees for using the operating systems’ hosting servers. One of the reasons why Linux web hostings are affordable compared to Windows.
On the contrary, Windows web hosting is ideal for individuals who are working for large enterprises and want to build more complex websites based on .Net, ASP, Sharepoint, Visual Basic, MS Access and MS SQL.
The truth is, either you go for a Linux web hosting or Windows hosting, it’s about your own preference and site demands. While others settle for Linux, some people prefer Windows hosting. And that is entirely normal for every business as each has different requirements. It’s about finding the perfect fit that will help you upscale your business without compromising quality and convenience.
Which type of web hosting did you choose?
I hope this article was useful in clearing all the doubts between Linux and Windows hosting. So which type of hosting plan did you choose and why? Please let us know in the comments below 🙂
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you decide to click through and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Read more about this disclosure