Windows v/s Linux: Who Rules the Hosting Roost?


All of web hosting has been divided into two major platforms: Linux and Windows. Both these platforms have their own advantages and flaws. As an informed website owner and hosting customer, it is imperative that you know which platform is suitable for your website.


Talking Windows

Let’s first tackle Windows hosting platform. The first thing you should know is that Windows is a more expensive option as compared to Linux. You need to buy a license from Microsoft in order to operate on a Windows platform. Since Windows is dominant OS in most computers around the world, and has a degree of familiarity and reliability matched by few, it is not hard to see why it is such a popular hosting platform, despite the relatively higher cost.

Windows hosting is tailor-made for .Net technologies, especially ASP.NET. This is not available on a Linux platform. Also, if you’re hosting on a Windows platform, you will have access to the MySQL database. Windows definitely has its fair share of admirers, especially in niche sections.

Linux Enters the Picture

However, when it comes to general-purpose hosting, Linux outclasses Windows. A study conducted by concluded that in terms of popularity, Linux leads Windows by approximately 20 per cent. We use ‘approximately’ here because these numbers are subject to change.

The major factor riding in favour of Linux is its sheer versatility. Using this platform, you can run your website quite professionally, thanks to tools such as Apache, MySQL and PHP. PHP is also available on Windows, but it runs more efficiently on a Linux platform. Of course, the price element is also a deciding advantage for Linux, since its running costs are 20 per cent cheaper as compared to Windows. Other pros include a single point of control, application compatibility, smooth integration and a high level of security. But all of this also depends on how good the Linux web hosting provider is.

One little note to keep in mind. The operating system you’re using for your computer shouldn’t have any influence on the type of hosting platform you choose. For instance, if you’re using a Windows OS on your computer, this does not mean that you must go with a Windows hosting platform as well. There is no correlation between the two, except for a certain degree of familiarity, of course.

A website designed to be hosted on a Linux platform may also be hosted on Windows. However, the opposite cannot be possible. Therefore, if your website is a special case which needs certain configurations that are only available on a Windows platform, by all means go ahead. But if you’re looking for an all-weather compatibility, our bet would be on Linux.