The question whether Windows is better than Linux, or is Linux better than Windows is present in many circles. That, of course, includes web hosting as well. And that is only natural, since there are multiple differences between these two systems, and you need to know which one is better.
They have their own way of behaving and impacting the server, and you need to know how they work. Of course, they are not total opposites, and in many things, they will work exactly the same way. You will mostly notice how different they are when you are trying to set up a dedicated server, or a VPS. You will have to care about every detail and do it yourself, which is when you will find out exactly what is different.
We will now address this matter in the rest of this article. So, make sure to read it until the end before you make your choice about which one to use.
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Why is it important which OS you choose?
As you know, you can’t use a computer without some kind of OS. And, since servers are basically computers as well, the same goes for them too. The choice of OS determines how you will use the server. The two main choices that you have are Windows and Linux.
Of course, it is completely possible to run a website, even if you don’t know which OS your server has, as long as it has one. You will probably use cPanel or some hosting app, as well as CMS (Content Management System) the entire time anyway. But, depending on your choice of OS, you might get some benefits and advantages.
- There are some apps that you might find useful, but they are only available on one of these two systems. The same goes for cPanel itself. You can only use it on Linux since it doesn’t have its Windows version. There are other control panels specifically for Windows, but cPanel is not one of them. Basically, every system has its own specific software, and if you wish to use that particular piece of software, you will have to use the proper system.
- Servers that run Linux as their OS usually give you more options when it comes to customization. This is very useful for system administrators or developers.
- Naturally, every system acts differently. Depending on your experience and choice, you might find it easier or harder to deal with.
Because of these and similar reasons, you must know which system you will use, and also how does it behave. This does not include shared hosting, though. There, the web host chooses a system and everyone who is on that server will simply have to use that system.
On the other hand, on VPS or dedicated server, you get to choose these things for yourself and have full control over them. So, let us see what are the pros and cons of each of these OSs. Hopefully, when we are done, you will see which one is better for you.
Comparing Linux hosting and Windows hosting
A lot of people will tell you to go for Linux if you ask them which one to choose. And they do have a point since Linux is currently a much more popular option. However, Windows has its pros as well, and now we will compare the two and see what are their similarities, differences, and what perks come with each.
Linux is an open source system, and many developers prefer it because of it. It is the most popular choice for hosting platforms, and that is not by coincidence. Of course, it is not nearly as good when it comes to your home PC, and Windows is definitely in the lead there.
However, as an OS for a server, it does have quite a number of perks. Here are the most important ones:
- It is cheaper – If you want to set Windows as your system of choice, you will have to pay the license first. On the other hand, Linux is completely free. By choosing Linux as a system for your server, you will automatically save more money.
- It is more stable – Linux is known for its stability, which is obvious if you compare it to other systems. It can adapt to pretty much any environment thanks to the fact that it is open source. Also, it is under non-stop development that is making it better and better in certain aspects.
- It has more security – Once again, its open source nature allows it to win this round against Windows as well. It is often seen as a safer option, which is why many prefer it over Windows when it comes to choosing a system for a server.
As far as cons go, Linux only has one that is even worth mentioning, and that is the learning curve. You can learn how to use it, just like anyone. However, you will have to learn to get comfortable with its command line, if you wish to get the most out of this system.
So, Linux will serve you just fine if you have any experience as a system administrator or a developer. You can still use it even if you don’t have experience, but then you will have to prepare for some learning as well.
Windows is the most popular system in the world, and it hardly needs any introduction. Chances are that you have used it on a PC at least once in your life since the vast majority of computers uses some version of Windows. However, it is available as a system for servers as well.
Only a few years ago, nobody would even consider using Windows OS on a server. Linux was the dominant system here, and its security and customization options were allowing it to take the lead. However, lately, Windows has done some improving, and it has become an actual competition to Linux even here.
There are even some advantages to using Windows over Linux, and they include:
- Easy setup – You are probably aware of this if you have had the opportunity to compare these two systems
- Easy use of .NET framework – it is much easier to develop web apps when you use a Windows OS.
Now, despite the fact that security and stability are no strangers to Windows, it still has a long way to go to become a match to Linux in these fields. That doesn’t mean that it won’t improve even more. In a few years, it might even completely outgrow Linux. However, that is all speculation at the moment, and Windows will have to work hard to actually achieve any of that.
Now, when it comes to should you use Windows over Linux or not – that depends. If you value ease of use over all else, then yes, definitely. Also, if you are planning to develop your apps via .NET framework. Finally, if you don’t care much for customization, a simply want a system that will work out of the box, then Windows is the right OS for you.
There are many things that you need to know if you wish to start your own website. Of course, choosing the host is important, as well as choosing the right plan for your business site or blog.
However, even after that, there are many questions that need answering if you want to have the best experience. Choosing the OS of your server is definitely one of them, and it all depends on your preference.
Choosing one of the two that we were presenting here is probably the best way to go. Even so, you must make that choice carefully, since it will affect the rest of your experience. They both have their pros and cons, but in the end, they will both work on your site. The only difference is that you might find one of them to be better for you individually than the other one. And in the end, that is all that matters.
Ali is a freelance journalist with 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications like Best10VPN. With a master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.