Windows vs Linux Hosting Differences, Advantages & Disadvantages

Last Updated on

Mirza Mussawer
Mirza Mussawer

Selecting suitable web hosting service providers is the start of your site’s transition towards being live on the internet. What comes next often confuses people: the choice between Windows vs Linux hosting. Your choice of hosting will significantly impact parameters such as speed, tech compatibility, operational costs, and manageability. As such, it can be somewhat tricky to make the right choice.

If you are looking for the right guide to make a final decision in this matter, then you have come to the right place! Rather than straight up deciding by comparing the difference between Linux web hosting and Windows web hosting, you should start by understanding your requirements first. Each hosting option offers its own overlapping as well as unique benefits. But it goes deeper than that, as it also depends on the resources you have and how well it integrates with your website. Deciding the best solutions for questions such as these is the right mindset to finalize which hosting suits you best.

Windows vs Linux Hosting: here is the difference

Windows vs Linux hosting

The main differences when pitting Windows vs Linux hosting is to always compare stability, security, costs and efficiency. Linux servers are streamlined and can handle server load without compromising security. Modifications can be implemented without having to restart the entire server.

Windows servers have relatively more background processes, which compromises their performance under extreme stress. Linux is also cheaper, since it is open source, which eliminates the capital for purchasing licensing. It is perfect for shared hosting where clients require a cost effective yet scalable web hosting package.

Linux hosting vs Windows hosting for WordPress

One of the main topics touched on when comparing web hosting is how well it suits WordPress, and this is for good reason. WordPress powers 35% of the internet, which amounts to approximately 455,000,000 websites. As a result, web hosting services have specialized packages for WordPress websites.

When it drops down to Linux vs Windows hosting for WordPress, it is the former which is preferred in most cases. Why, you may ask? The answer is actually quite simple.

WordPress is powered by PHP and MySQL, for which Linux servers are specifically optimized for. Furthermore, cPanel serves as a powerful web hosting control panel to manage your hosting from a single dashboard. Most WordPress websites are lightweight and, hence, can run on shared hosting, which is a speciality of Linux servers. This also significantly reduces operational expenditure, making it an economical option.

Linux vs Windows hosting advantages disadvantages

To simplify, following is a summarization of Linux vs Windows web hosting advantages and disadvantages you can expect.

Linux Hosting

Advantages

  • Cost-effective shared hosting packages
  • Open source, which significantly reduces legal constraints and operational costs
  • Enables users to exercise a greater degree of control over their hosting settings
  • Minimum downtime as majority of patches can be integrated without server reboot
  • Allows users to design and implement their own security protocols
  • Perfectly suitable for simple websites, such as CMSs
  • cPanel makes it easy to manage apps, MySQL and PHP configuration

Disadvantages

  • Has a short learning curve
  • Shared security model tips more towards the user, which can result in more effort to ensure security
  • Streamlined UI, which can negatively impact UX for users searching for more interactive options
  • More restrictive compared to Linux hosting

Windows Hosting

Advantages

  • Designed to fully support Microsoft technologies; e.g., Visual Basic Scripts, MS Index Server
  • Excellent packages for dedicated hosting
  • Licensing ensures uniform procedures for deploying and managing web hosting
  • Automated security updates
  • Requires less effort to configure and set up

Disadvantages

  • Additional expenses owing to licensing costs
  • Occasional downtime for integrating updates
  • Has numerous OS level processes running simultaneously, which consume resources

Our recommendations for Linux and Windows hosting

We recommend the following Linux and Windows web hosting services for our viewers. They offer both competitive prices and excellent customer support.

Linux recommendation

Following is our top rated Linux web hosting recommendation.

Bluehost

Bluehost is always among the top searches for Linux web hosting services. They have maintained their standards since their founding in 2003 and continue to provide professional shared, VPS and dedicated hosting plans. They offer a comprehensive all-in-one package at $7.99/month, which is often discounted to be as low as $2.99/month. It includes a free domain name and SSL certificate for 1 year, which is quite enticing on its own.

Windows recommendation

We recommend the following as our trusted Windows web hosting service provider.

HostGator

Hostgator is a renowned web hosting service provider specializing in Windows servers. They also have web hosting packages specifically for WordPress to facilitate users of the CMS. Their most basic hatchling plan starts at $2.75/month. It includes 1 free domain and SSL certificate, cPanel, website transfer and unmetered bandwidth. Their 24/7 technical support is always available to resolve any issues you may encounter.

Hosting with both Linux and Windows

The first thing to do before opting for a hosting plan is analyze your requirements. Forming some basic questions will facilitate in eliciting the requirements. Will shared hosting be enough? Is your website developed using Windows technology? What are your resources for managing Linux and/or Windows hosting? CapEx and OpEx budgets? As aforementioned, every use case is unique in its specifications and requires analysis before committing to a hosting plan.

You must also remember that choosing a web hosting provider with both Linux and Windows servers opens options for transitioning in the future. Also, your choice of OS does not necessitate that your hosting be the same – for example, you can choose Windows hosting even if your PC runs Linux.

Difference between Linux web hosting and Windows web hosting: key takeaways

  • Linux hosting offers lower running costs, but lacks the advantages accompanied by licensed software.
  • Linux servers are quite secure but prone to cyber attacks if the user has failed to implement proper security according to the shared security model.
  • Windows servers are offered automated security patches that are designed to counter latest cyber threats.
  • Linux servers are streamlined, which enhances its speed in most cases. Windows is specialized for dedicated hosting, making it a viable option for enterprises.
  • Choosing between Linux and Windows servers for web hosting is dependent on user and website requirements.

Linux and Windows hosting difference FAQ

PHP and MySQL are the most common and basic of web programming languages, which are supported on both Linux and Windows hosting platforms. They are often termed as the glue that holds together the internet.
Linux hosting is the go-to choice for those looking for shared hosting plans. They are simple, economical and well-suited for web development tasks. What’s more, cPanel makes it significantly easier to manage your web hosting tasks along with development ones.
The answer to whether Linux or Windows hosting is better entirely depends on the use case. Linux is preferred where the use case requires a greater level of customization and user access at firmware level. On the other hand, Windows hosting makes the entire hosting job much simpler.
CentOS and Ubuntu are among the most common Linux distros in use for web servers. They have excellent LTS and are very stable. Debian is also a common choice among professionals, though it lacks the frequency of updates that Ubuntu benefits from.
According to statistics by W3Techs, Linux web servers power approximately 67 percent of the internet. This can be attributed to the fact that Linux is open source, meaning no licensing costs. But when it comes to deciding which OS is best for web hosting, always consider the use case first.
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