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Linux or Windows hosting, which should you choose?

The differences, pros and cons between the two hosting platforms

We are often asked for advice on how to choose the hosting platform, whether Linux or Windows. For this reason and to help those who are about to make this choice, we have decided to include in this page all the information that, in our opinion, you need to make this decision.

Linux or Windows hosting: there is no relation to your PC's operating system

One of the most frequent mistakes is to think that for a Linux hosting plan you need a PC with Linux and for a Windows plan a PC with Windows: this is absolutely not the case, meaning that the operating system of your PC is absolutely irrelevant for the choice of the hosting plan.

In the following table, you will find a quick comparison between Linux and Windows platforms with regard to:

Linux Windows
Price Independent of the operating system Independent of the operating system
Ease of use
Stability and reliability
Speed
Applications, languages and databases
Integrations with Microsoft solutions
Availability of free software and CMS

Price

Differently from the past, there is currently no difference in fees between Linux and Windows hosting plans in the shared hosting environment. The price difference, if any, between the two platforms can be seen in the use of additional database services: MS SQL Server has, in fact, a higher fee than the MySQL database due to the licensing cost of the Microsoft product.

Easy to use

Over the last few years a lot of energy has been invested in improving the usability of hosting environments on both Linux and Windows platforms, and today there is no longer any major difference in terms of ease of use. The ServerMate control panel, exclusive to Hosting Solutions, allows you to manage all the features of your hosting plan, whether Linux and Windows, from an intuitive web interface.

Stability and reliability

There are no major differences in the stability and reliability of the two systems, to the extent that Hosting Solutions guarantees a Network Uptime SLA of 99.9% for all servers, regardless of the operating system installed.

Speed

The choice of the hosting platform, Windows or Linux, is not connected with the response speed of the hosted websites. This speed, in fact, depends on other factors generally linked to the design of the website itself such as, for example, the quantity and size of the images on the pages, the development technology chosen and the performance of the databases used.

Applications, languages and databases

This is where the two platforms differ the most, although any project can be developed on both systems. The main difference lies in the technologies that can be used for implementation such as applications, languages and databases. For example, to develop a dynamic website with database, you can choose between the php/MySQL combinations on Linux servers or ASP/Access or MSSQL on Windows; it should also be considered that there are development technologies that can be used on both Windows and Linux servers such as, for example, the combination of php and MySQL.

Integration with Microsoft solutions

If you use development tools and/or other software based on Microsoft technology, then a Linux server will be incompatible with your project: many software manufacturers offer solutions that are only compatible with the MS Windows environment. Our offers also include numerous applications of this type, only available for Windows servers.

Availability of free software and CMS

While paid software is mostly available for Windows environments, there are many free, ready-to-use programs that can be easily integrated with Linux plans. This is the case of CMS (Content Management System) applications that help in the creation of websites (blogs, e-commerce) and in the organization of content; these are widely available in Linux environment and Hosting Solutions offers its customers the opportunity to activate Linux hosting plans with the most popular and used CMS (Wordpress, Joomla, openCMS) installed, configured and ready to use.

Hosting plans features

Details and comparisons of the features of Hosting Solutions' hosting plans can be found on the pages Linux Hosting Comparison for Linux Hosting Plans and Windows Hosting Comparison for Windows Hosting Plans.