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Linux Web Hosting Overview
By: Michael Lowry
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    Table of Contents:
  • Linux Web Hosting Overview
  • LAMP and Whatnot
  • Linux vs. Windows
  • And the Winner Is...

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    Linux Web Hosting Overview - Linux vs. Windows

    (Page 3 of 4 )

    When choosing the platform on which to host your website, it's important to know that it doesn't matter which operating system you run on your computer. You can choose a Windows hosting platform if your computer runs Linux and vice versa. Both servers support File Transfer protocol (FTP) in order to gain access to your web account and put your web page onto the server from your hard drive. Usually only Linux offers ssh or telnet access, however. Both are ways to open a window and manage files directly on the server, usually using Unix commands.

    Knowing this, the main thing to keep in mind is what kind of site you are creating and how you intend to build it. If you intend to use any of the Microsoft proprietary technologies (e.g. .NET, ASP, FrontPage, Access, MSSQL, or Windows Streaming Media), then it would probably be best if you used a Windows hosting platform. Trying to run server-specific technologies on a different host can be difficult and expensive. Luckily, the majority of web technologies (e.g. PHP, POP3, MySQL) are supported by both platforms.

    Regarding stability, Windows is often seen as being more unstable than Linux. This goes back to the Windows 95 and 98 operating systems that occasionally presented a blue screen when a bug occurred. Usually, this required the user to restart their computer, which is no big deal aside from being annoying. However, since 2000 and XP, which were designed for servers, Windows has grown to be more stable.

    Linux has been known to run a little faster than Windows, in terms of performance. Although it's not a huge difference, Windows tends to run slower when more application processes are run on the machine. Perhaps this is because Windows likes to offer everything in one package, whereas Linux implementation is more flexible.

    In my opinion, the most important difference between the two is the price (for I am poor, there I said it). Because Linux is open source, it is also low cost and generally seen as the cheaper alternative to Windows. Indeed Windows is, first and foremost, sold by a business. And it is the primary objective of a business to make a profit. Ergo, given Microsoft's quasi-monopoly status, they have a bad reputation in this department. It's true that Windows does cost more to set up and run on a server. But those merely looking to choose a hosting company will not be greatly affected (money-wise) by the non-open source environment of a Windows platform.

    Hopefully this section was helpful in terms of making a decision between Windows and Linux web hosting. However, keep reading if you want to see this gruesome showdown come to a close.

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