Looking for some affordable and reliable web hosting? In the market today, two of the most popular options belong to Linux servers and Windows servers.
Linux and Windows are two very different operating systems. Linux is completely open source, and developed by a high dedicated group of developers. Windows, on the other hand, is a commercial operating system that is developed by software giant Microsoft. For this reason, you can expect the operating costs for these two OS to be very different.
Linux, being open source, is available free of charge to the hosting companies. Therefore, servers are relatively cheap and easy to setup. The savings are then passed on to the consumers.
As for Windows servers, since hosting companies have to pay license fees to use the software, some of that cost is also passed on to the consumer. However, in recent years, due to drastic lowering of software and hardware costs, Windows servers are now competitively priced as well. Prices are usually only slightly higher compared to Linux servers.
Hence, when pondering over which type of server to sign up for, the primary consideration shouldn’t be cost. Features and available resources should be your prime concern.
Today, most scripts are either developed in PHP or ASP.NET. PHP is a programming language that is specifically developed for Linux servers. Although you can also install such scripts in a Windows environment, some features are still not supported. It’s best to host PHP scripts in a Linux environment.
ASP.NET is a programming language that is developed by Microsoft. The key benefit to using .NET is that development is very fast. However, the entire language depends on Microsoft’s programming framework. If there is a bug, you will have to wait for an update. It is more challenging for a developer to try and find a workaround.
Many developers prefer to work with PHP because all they need is their trust notepad. They can write code from the ground up without having to install any additional software. Besides, many widely popular software such as WordPress are written in PHP. The code for such software is available for anyone to modify and develop further since its open source. Those who are comfortable with PHP can easily upgrade and modify the software to suit their own needs.
It would appear that Linux servers are winning the race. More and more webmasters and developers are switching to Linux because of the huge cost savings.
As far as hosting is concerned, try to think long term. Will you be experiencing rapid growth? Will your choice of platform be able to handle that growth? What in-house resources do you have for working in a Linux of Windows environment?
Fortunately, there are no lack of PHP and .NET developers in the marketplace. You can easily hire freelancers or full time developers to setup your website for you.
If you are already comfortable in one environment, then perhaps working in the same environment can help reduce development time. However, if you are starting from scratch, PHP would be the recommended programming language to pick up.