What is the Difference Between Windows and Linux for Web Hosting?


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What is the Difference Between Windows and Linux for Web Hosting?

For most inexperienced digital entrepreneurs, web hosting tends to cause a lot of problems.

It’s something that’s known to create confusion in their heads.  

Why? – Well, because, they don’t really know where to start here. There are just too many different options to choose from.

It’s overwhelming.

And the worst thing of it all? – No one really has the time or luxury to spare on experimenting with various different hosting packages and providers.

Everyone is looking to get their website up and running ASAP.

Picture this scenario:

A small time entrepreneur, let’s call him Bryan, has decided to take his online game to a whole new level and start doing everything in his power to blow his direct and indirect competitors out of the way.

Bryan is determined to see his plan become reality, so, naturally, he cannot afford to waste any time on trivial things. B-man cannot allow his website to be stuck in development for weeks and months. No! He needs to get his project quickly off the ground and start generating those leads and customers before someone figures out what he’s doing and steals his bread and butter right in front of his nose.

Even though Bryan’s plan sounds pretty straightforward, he’ll soon figure out that getting his professional website up and running isn’t quite a walk in the park.

Like I said above, there are just too many questions Bryan needs to answer before he can actually enter his development phase.

First and foremost, the question about his hosting situation.

And this concerns everyone, not just Bryan. Yes, you too.

Why? – Well, because, without a proper hosting solution, your website cannot function. Simple as that. It doesn’t really matter how good your idea, design or marketing may be, if you don’t host your site on a professional and secure server – your business is toast!

Terrible hosting can destroy your entire site and your reputation as well. It can be quite fatal for your work. If you don’t take it seriously and figure out what you need here  – metaphorically speaking, you’ll have to kiss a lot of frogs until you find your prince in shiny armor.

It doesn’t really matter if you’re like Bryan interested in creating a small business site, a big ecommerce platform, a blog, or something completely different – you’re no.1 goal here is always the same: You need to make sure that your site is always accessible to anyone that could be interested in what you have to say or sell online.

Apart from that, you want to make sure that your and your customer’s data is always well-protected.

Web Hosting Is Not Something That Can Be Randomly Bought

Having these things in mind, we can agree upon that figuring out what type of web hosting and provider perfectly suits your needs is not really something that you can do with a simple Google search.

In order to choose the best option out there for you and your brand, you must first see why do people look for professional hosting solutions. Next to that, it’s important that you understand the differences between free and paid hosting providers and all the pros and cons that come with choosing a particular type of hosting.

Once you do that, you start comparing prices, and grasping the performance and limitations of each and every hosting package and provider out there.

Which hosting brand offers the best quality/price ratio for our needs? Which hosting companies are most popular? What are the people saying? How good does a certain web host treat it’s customers? Is their network stable? What does the brand do to ensure the safety of user data? – These are just some of the questions you need to answer for yourself before you start to even consider doing business with a certain provider.

Even though most people easily come to terms with all the basic hosting packages, they still struggle to understand the difference between hosting your site on a Windows or Linux server.

That’s why I’m writing this post. I’m gonna make it clear to everyone who doesn’t really get this what separates these two options:

Windows Vs. Linux

As you already know, Linux and Windows are two different type of operating systems. Both of them work fine for most basic customers. It’s your choice to pick whether you want to opt your hosting package for Linux or Windows technology. Both formats will smooth on any type of machine, and they’re capable of powering all your requirements.

You can rest assure knowing that you cannot make a catastrophic mistake regardless whichever of them you choose.

Both of them come with FTP access and a range of web page publishing options so, if your computer runs on Windows for instance, it doesn’t mean you have to opt for Microsoft web hosting. Linux will also work fine on that machine, regardless on which OS it runs.

Each technology, however, has its own distinct advantages for users.

So, What’s the Difference Between Windows and Linux Hosting?

Well, the difference is that both of these systems run of different scripts and databases. That’s why it’s important that you think in advance if you’ll be in need of any special Windows script languages.

Linux is a more popular option.

Why? – Well, because it has more of the features web designers expect. So unless you have websites which need specific Windows applications, Linux is the preferred choice.

Linux is better for high-quality open source software. This sort of thing usually becomes available for Linux first.

Every operation you perform on a Linux server can be trivially automated by copying the commands you ran into a text file. With its characteristic reliability, stability and efficiency Linux proved itself in complex web and mailserver environments. If you use PHP, Perl, or MySQL – then Linux is definitely for you! This particular system is great for blogs, online stores, forums, etc.

On the other hand, Windows makes it easy for user  to execute conception frameworks, .NET framework or SharePoint. If you’re interested in adding Windows applications or ActiveServerPages, .NET script languages, VisualBasic or Microsoft SQL databases to your site – the you know with what kind of server you should go.

Quality Hardware Is Not The Only Thing That Makes You a Good Web Host

Listen – You can’t miss here, man. Every web hosting company is basically the same these days. They all have the same gear, the same network, and the same deals. Just pick a random one! They’re all good. It’s just web hosting, not rocket science.

I cannot even count how many times I came across such a comment and how many people – thanks to this particular way of thinking – got their online business in unnecessary trouble.

As the saying goes – assumption is the mother of all screw ups.

It really is.

That’s a fact.

And I’m not just preaching about web hosting here. No. I’m talking about everything. Every possible deal, every purchase you could make, both online and offline.

In this day and age, making uneducated guesses about things that are really important to you or your work is just plain ol’ naive.

It’s a bulletproof recipe for disaster and disappointment.

For example, let’s go back and focus on the first paragraph of this article.

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Even if that particular statement were true (and it’s not), you have to know that there’s more to web hosting than just hardware. Sure, it’s a tech business, which means that the quality of your gear is EXTREMELY important for your service – but, come on! There’s more to it!

And you know this.

You don’t need me to underline this for you. Otherwise, everyone would host their own site. Every lazy schmuck in the world with a couple of thousand dollars on his bank account would own a web hosting company and cash in like crazy on his tiny investment.

How come? – Well, because, in that kind of alternate-reality, all you’d have to do is buy the gear, hook it all together, and voilà – you got yourself a web hosting business! You’re now an owner of a fully functioning web hosting company!

Pretty sweet, right?

From now on, your job is just to kick back, relax, and let the machines do all the rest. They’ll make you rich and fat before lunchtime. Don’t sweat it, man. Go outside and enjoy yourself! Have a beer, catch a flick, go on a hike – do whatever pleases you! Your gear has you covered…  

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If only that were true. If only things were that simple.

But, sadly – they’re not.

You can buy all the best gear in the world, but if you don’t know how to use it right – it can’t help you efficiently run a successful web hosting business.

How come? – Well, because you’d still lack the necessary expertise and knowledge on how to actually talk to clients and meet their demands on daily, weekly, and monthly level. 

That’s why getting your hands on a proper hosting solution is still not really an easy purchase to make.

The devil is definitely in the details here.

Yes, there are a lot of web hosting companies out there that basically on paper look the same, but once you really get close to them, dig deep enough and read more about their service – you’ll see the differences.

You’ll see that some of them are just plain awful. You’ll figure out that even though they look quite professional on the outside, on the inside – their business is actually a mess!

But that’s also nothing new and it doesn’t only concern web hosting as an industry.

So, if quality hardware doesn’t really cut it here, what make a certain web host good enough for your business?

Great question! I’m going to answer that for you in the following part of this article:

1. Customer Service and Overall Responsiveness 

Anyone who knows anything about the complexity that comes with finding a perfect web hosting provider for his or her business – knows that this is not an easy purchase to make. It’s not something that you can just search in Google and blindly choose one of the brands from the top of your recommended results list.

Nope. A whole lot of variables come into play here.

First and foremost, customer care and the overall responsiveness of that particular chosen business.

You don’t want to hand over your site to a company that doesn’t really respond to emails or just ignores your requests, do you?!

Of course not.

For most today’s businessmen, their website means everything to them! It’s where they make their bread and butter. It’s where they generate leads and get people to eventually become their paying customers. Their website is like their digital visit card and office combined.

Having said all that, it’s understandable why they cannot expose their site to any unnecessary risk or downtime.

No connections means no new visits, which automatically means no new leads and clients.

Simple as that.

If people can’t see what you’re selling and why should they do business with you and not your direct competitors, then you cannot expect from them to spend their money on whatever it is that you’re selling.

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That’s why people need to be really careful when choosing a company to host their business online.

Even though web hosting is a tech business – there are still a lot of variables that could go wrong here. It doesn’t really matter if you spend a lot of money on your hardware, you still need to invest a lot of your time and energy into making sure that everything is constantly working on desired levels. 

You need to constantly cruise over your gear like a hungry hawk and make sure that there are no hiccups.

Even though this all sounds like a pretty straight-forward and standard thing, there are still a lot of careless and inexperienced hosts out there that can’t really ensure that your site remains online at all times. They either don’t have the skills, nor time, nor the will to be omnipresent online.

That’s what really separates good web hosts from bad ones. Before you go on and pay a certain provider to host your website, make sure that he really has the skillset to answer all your questions and ensure that your site is constantly up and running. 

2. Reputation

It doesn’t really matter if you’re shopping for a shirt, pair of shoes, a bike, household appliances, or web hosting – you need to properly analyze your options and figure out what you’re exactly paying for here.

As I said above – it’s all about cutting down risks.

Consumers who tend to think that they’re making the right decision by siding with a random hosting provider whose credentials and reputation they’ve failed to properly check online, often end up with a website that’s constantly offline.

Of course, once they finally see in which kind of jam they’ve gotten themselves into – they start to freak out!

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Web hosting is like a car, in many different ways. First and foremost of all, almost every piece of junk can get you from point A to point B, but at what cost?

You need to see who stands behind a certain product, service, and company. It’s in your best interest to catch up on the full story, and not just run through the headlines if you know what I mean.

Otherwise, you could end up paying for a piece of garbage that will only put you in an even more complicated situation.

Like I said above, web hosting is not something that you can really just type in Google and blindly pick from the search results. Nope. It’s more complicated than that. Like everything else, web hosting is a service that is controlled by humans. And having that in mind, you know that every single provider out there is different. Some of them are more serious and professional, while others are not. How they think of their job is what really sets them apart.

Your job here is to find those with great work and ethical skills. But, in order to do that, you need to do your research. You need to go beyond the regular Google search and really look for reviews and testimonials from real people online. Real clients.

3. Area of Expertise

The days of picking up random articles from the shelves are long gone, my friend. The world doesn’t really work like that anymore. If you want to make smart choices and get the most out of your money’s worth – you need to properly acquaint yourself with whatever it is that you’re shopping for. You need to know all the essentials, all the pros and cons of  your every possible deal or option.

Especially if you’re shopping for something delicate like web hosting.

Even though at first glance it looks like all web hosts offer the same type of deals, once you really acquaint yourself with this service, you’ll see that most of them target different types of customers.

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Some of them offer great shared hosting plans, but that’s it. They’re all about offering basic services for basic clients. You cannot really grow your business with them, while some of their competitors have great enterprise solutions but aren’t the right fit for someone with a small recipe blog, or something similar.

So, in order to find a good host for your business, you first need to know what kind of service are you looking for. Even though they have great hardware, that still doesn’t really mean that they have the capacity or expertise to host a bigger client.

Look into a company’s specialty or area of expertise before you buy, and go with one that understands your particular needs as a customer. You can find reviews and recommendations on the Web, and many of these will talk about a particular company’s strengths and weaknesses.

4. The Overall Quality of Support

This is a big one. This should be your main area of focus when choosing a web hosting company.

Why? – Well, because, the Internet never sleeps. It doesn’t really matter how good or new your host’s hardware may be, you could still run into a lot of problems. It happens. The important thing here is that you figure out if your provider has the skills efficiently solve any of your problems.

I don’t know about you, but when my site goes down for some reason, I want to know that my provider has my back! I want to know that my provider can find out what’s wrong and fix it, or at least tell me what I need to do to get my site back online.

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Before going with a host look into their reputation for customer support. See what kinds of different ways you can contact them when you need support – email, toll-free phone, chat, and so on. Are they staffed 24/7? Do they outsource support?

You’ll find that, like in price and technical specifications, all hosts are not equal. Some hang their hat on their support crew, and some view customer support as an afterthought. Steer clear of the latter.

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