Posted at November 12, 2015 at 11:19 pm by InterServer Staff
Web hosting providers typically offer both Windows and Linux as operating system options. It is often challenging to decide which platform to use for your site, as it may not be obvious why one platform is better than the other. Even though it is usually the more pricey option, Windows represents the best platform all around. It offers more options in terms of website technologies, is often easier to configure for beginners, and has security backed by a leading U.S. corporation. For these reasons, take a good look at Windows plans to see if they are right for you.
Windows offers almost every technology available for Linux plus some additional ones. If you are looking to develop websites with any Microsoft-specific technology, you will need Windows hosting. ASP.NET, SQL Server, and Active Directory are examples of programs that are exclusive to Windows. In addition, developing .NET websites on Windows is frequently very easy with the free version of Visual Studio. Many large organizations that are concerned with security choose to develop in .NET because it is backed by a large corporation. In addition to supporting all the Windows programs, you can install PHP, MySQL, WordPress, and other open-source platforms on any Windows server as well. This makes Windows a very versatile platform all around as it supports most programming languages and databases available.
Another benefit that Windows provides is that it is very easy to configure for beginners. As an example, DNS servers can be very difficult to configure with Linux. Editing BIND configuration files requires very specialized knowledge. With Windows, creating your own DNS server is as easy as point-and-click. Similarly, installing and editing Apache configuration files on Linux can be challenging. Windows offers a graphical interface for managing its web server environment, IIS. Creating a new virtual host can be done intuitively by simply going into IIS Manager and adding a new site. Therefore, for new website admins, Windows can provide significantly easier administration methods.
Security is a top concern for many websites. Windows is developed and backed by one of the United States’ largest corporations. As such, security patches are available frequently and for free. Updating your Windows server is also as simple as updating your desktop computer. Simply go to Windows Update and check for any downloads that are available. One negative to Windows is that many times these updates require restarts. As such, you may find that you have very brief moments of downtime when you are restarting your server. If you are on shared hosting, then your provider will work to ensure you have no downtime.
Windows is a great hosting environment for most websites. You can use great technologies like .NET, SQL Server, and IIS. In addition, Windows provides graphical interfaces for most of its administration options. You don’t need to edit lengthy configuration files. Finally, because Windows is backed by one of the top corporations in the world, you can rest assured that security updates will be provided in a timely manner. It should come as no surprise that, given these benefits, Windows hosts a third of the websites in the world. Even though it might be more pricey than Linux, the benefits to choosing Windows for your web hosting outweigh the costs!
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