Awhile back, we had discussed about Windows Hosting vs Linux Hosting. I had discussed the similarities and differences between the two most popular server operating systems and I hope you had benefited from that article.
Before we continue, I will re-emphasize that the operating system your computer uses does not affect your choice of your web hosting server’s operating system. This means that regardless of whether your hosting provider’s server is running on Windows, Linux or Unix, your website would be accessible just as efficiently from gadgets with a different operating system. What would instead affect your choice of hosting is the programming language that your website is programmed. In other words, it is your website and not your computer that determines your hosting requirement. Now that we have gotten that sorted out, let’s take a trip into the world of Windows web hosting.
What is Windows Web Hosting
Windows web hosting is the situation when your hosting provider provides a Windows based server environment. This arrangement allows you as the webmaster, to use the latest Microsoft web technologies such as ASP.Net, C sharp and etc on the .Net framework. The classic ASP programming language, MS SQL and even Access databases are also supported.
What is Great About Windows Web Hosting
Ease of Use
Chances are you are familiar with the Windows operating system and thus, building and managing a website using a Windows server is a pretty simple task and does not require much time and effort to learn. This is especially great for newbie webmasters.
The .NET Framework
As mentioned earlier, if you plan to make use of the .NET framework (ASP.Net, Visual Basic and Microsoft SQL Server), then you should go for a Windows web hosting, for only a Windows based server would be able to support these programming languages perfectly.
Front Page Extensions
If you enjoyed using the HTML editor and web design software MS Front Page or its successors MS Expression Web and MS SharePoint Designer, then you should go for a Windows web hosting for you will certainly find that they are compatible with a Windows server and that you won’t develop headache when it comes to supporting these extensions.
This may be one of the main reasons why many support Windows-based servers. They find the regular updates crucial in providing security patches and that they need not wait for other communities to respond as in the case of open-source platforms.
Disadvantages of Windows Web Hosting
Unlike Linux which is a free operating system, Windows operating system is licensed and this means that your hosting provider would need to incur extra cost to run their servers on Windows. This additional expense would, of course, be channeled to you as the consumer. However, since hosting providers have millions of subscribers, this cost is averaged out and the effect to you is not too significant.
There are some applications, like the SSH network protocol or the CGI or PERL applications, that you cannot or would face difficulty in running if you are using a Windows based server. This is because these applications are Unix-based and were developed for the Linux operating system. So if you are planning to use these applications, then you probably will face some compatibility issues while managing your Windows-powered website.
Weighing Your Options
Now that you are more aware of the advantages and disadvantages of a Windows web hosting, you are better prepared to determine which type of hosting to go for. The most important step is to take stock of your situation, both current and in the years to come. My suggestion is to choose the hosting platform that would most likely help in your website development and to choose a hosting provider that would provide you the support in doing this.
Your choice of scripting languages, web design software and applications would affect your choice of server operating system too. If you are familiar with .NET framework or plan to use Microsoft applications like Visual Basic, then you should go for a hosting provider who offers Windows web hosting such as HostGator. Even though this hosting option would costs a little more than others, but it makes your web building journey easier and that’s what matters most!
A 20% discount is currently offered for HostGator’s Windows plans and you’d get an additional 25% discount by using the coupon code “gatorspecial2011” when you sign up. Best time to check out HostGator!