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Every website requires a web server, which runs on an operating system. You have two options: Linux or Windows Server, and this tutorial will help you choose the best one.
Before launching a website, there are a number of factors that you should consider, including price, bandwidth, storage, and software compatibility. However, choosing between Linux and Windows Server as your server operating system is one of the most essential decisions you will make. For the most part, Linux is the most popular server operating system; Windows Server is intended for enterprise and server administrators who want Microsoft services. When writing a hot shot, the average blogger won’t notice substantial changes in operating systems, but the stakes are higher for companies with specific backend requirements. This tutorial can help you if you are unsure of which operating system will power your site.
The basics of the operating system
Not all web hosting services, or their service levels, offer a choice between Linux and Windows Server operating systems. For example, if you choose a shared hosting plan, you might get stuck with the operating system that uses the default web server, usually Linux. Typically, you need to sign up for the most expensive and robust Virtual Private Server (VPS) or dedicated hosting deals to find a Windows server option. Editors’ Choice award-winning web servers like GoDaddy, HostGator, and 1 & 1 Ionos offer Windows servers, but many don’t.
Please note that your choice of a Linux or Windows based server does not depend on your PC operating system. If you have a Windows PC, you can use Linux servers without a problem, and vice versa. It’s the same situation with MacOS. The server operating systems are on the backend, which means it doesn’t matter how you log into them from the user side. That said, there are some important reasons why you would want to use Linux or Windows as the base for your website. Let’s explore them.
Decide how much money you want to spend
Linux is a free and open source operating system that comes in several versions. It is also easier to maintain, requires less maintenance and fewer hours of work. Windows Server, on the other hand, is owned by Microsoft, so it is licensed by Redmond web hosting services. Hosts tend to pass these additional costs on to users.
Take the example of GoDaddy. Its Linux-based self-managed VPS tier starts at $ 29.99 per month (for a monthly plan), while its Windows-based counterpart costs $ 34.99 per month. Ionos’ second-tier VPS M plan costs $ 7 per month, but upgrading to a Windows Server plan adds $ 20 to the price. This price premium may disappear among the more expensive dedicated hosting services, but that extra money per month can be added to the lower and middle tier. If you are looking to save some money, you are better off going with Linux. Having said that, you may think that the additional cost is necessary if you plan to take advantage of specific Windows Server features.
Know the software you want to use
In contrast, Windows Server runs services created and maintained by Microsoft. If you are developing web applications, you will want to use the .NET framework which is only available on Windows Server. If your website will be built with ASP.NET or the Microsoft version of SQL, you will also need Windows servers. Other Windows Server-only programs that you can find include C #, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SharePoint, and Remote Desktop.
If you’re just starting your web hosting journey, you’d do well to stick with Linux. Windows Server is a good option for experienced developers and large organizations.
Learn more about operating system security and administration differences.
When it comes to overall stability, Linux is the oldest statesman. It has long been used as a web server base and its open source nature means that many talented people contribute to it. Compared to Windows Server, Linux handles more functions smoothly and does not require reboots as often. This is because Linux does not lose memory in the same way as Windows Server, and it only needs to be restarted when updating the kernel.
If you collect financial information or other critical data through your website, security should be high on your list. Fortunately, the open source nature of Linux also means that a lot of people are working on security fixes. However, finding the solution may take more research compared to full Microsoft documentation and live technical support, but it’s definitely there.
With Windows Server, you get an out-of-the-box graphical user interface and Microsoft backed customer support. In addition, Microsoft generally releases Windows Server drivers for new hardware quickly; New Linux drivers may take a while to appear, depending on which distro you are using (finding distributions is a comprehensive article in itself). However, Linux is eminently flexible. If you are ready to do the programming work from the command line, you can tweak Linux servers as you see fit.
Make the big decision
Should we opt for Linux? Should I be using Windows Server? There is no one-size-fits-all answer, as the decision should be based on your needs. If you blog, you’ll do well with a Linux-based server. In fact, it will probably be your only option with a low cost level of web hosting. If it’s good enough for Facebook and Google, it’s probably good enough for your site. If you are part of a large organization or plan to use specific Microsoft services, such as Exchange or SharePoint, you should find Windows Server. In addition, Windows Server is much easier to maintain for administrators of green servers.
Final words: How to choose the best server operating system for your website
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