Disclosure: Tech Daily is reader-supported. If you make a purchase or sign up for a service through our links, we may earn a commission (at no cost to you).
Are you trying to decide on a hosting provider for your website?
Linux and Windows hosting are two popular options for server operating systems. Linux is the more widespread choice due to its open-source OS.
“Open source” refers to the way developers can use and modify the source code, redistributing it for free in commercial and private applications.
Most web hosting providers prefer Linux OS over Windows due to the limitations of Windows OS.
With Linux, you have more options for developer customizations with user options and server capabilities.
Few hosting providers offer Windows-based hosting, and those that do are typically specialist hosting companies.
In the past, windows-based hosting was unreliable and unstable.
However, in recent years, more webmasters are turning to Windows-based solutions thanks to technology improvements.
What is Linux Hosting?
Linux is the preferred hosting model for web developers.
The Linux platform comes with a cPanel, allowing developers to manage the platform.
The cPanel helps developers navigate the platform using a Graphical User Interface (GUI), simplifying developer tasks.
The cPanel gives you the ability to handle all aspects of your website on one platform.
The user-friendly web host manager and interface lets you publish your website, manage your domains, store files, create email accounts, and handle many other important aspects of your site.
Users don’t get automatic access to cPanel with Linux hosting, however, many hosting companies include it as part of their subscription packages.
It’s a third-party application, so make sure your host offers it before signing up.
What is Windows Hosting?
Windows hosting relies on the Windows OS over Linux for running the servers on its network.
Until around 2015, Windows hosting was an unreliable technology, offering users poor stability.
However, Microsoft has really committed to developing the server OS in the last five years, and Windows hosting solutions are entirely viable for your host.
In contrast, most website hosting companies work with Linux.
If you’re signing up with a new host, and they don’t mention what hosting they use, chances are it’s Linux.
Windows hosting doesn’t offer the same amount of customization as Linux, but it has a competitive offering.
Does it Matter which One I Choose?
So, which hosting is the better choice for my online business, Windows or Linux?
Why not start with comparing performance, security, and stability?
These metrics are a great starting point, but keep in mind that there are many other characteristics (see below) that you may want to analyze to determine which solution best suits your website’s needs.
Webmasters choose Linux as the preferred hosting solution because it caters to the types of functions and files they use.
If a site uses .NET, ASP, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access files, then the hosting solution must be on a Windows-based platform.
Other file types such as Perl, PHP, MySQL, or WordPress, run better on a Linux-based hosting solution.
The files will run on a Windows platform, but the Linux option has a specific architecture designed to handle these file types.
Both hosting solutions handle HTML similarly which means that standard websites won’t really see any noticeable difference in performance between the two different operating systems.
When it comes to choosing the more affordable option, Linux wins.
It’s important to note that the hosting solutions’ end-user doesn’t choose the service provider’s OS.
As an end-user, you might never even know if the host uses Linux or Windows OS, especially if you’re using a managed solution.
If you do come across a service provider offering both options, most users worry about the compatibility of their home computer system with the hosting server.
This definitely seems confusing, however let’s clarify. The OS that the web hosting server is running has nothing to do with the OS your personal computer is running.
You can be using a Windows PC or a Mac and your website can be on Linux hosting or Windows hosting.
Linux vs Windows Hosting FAQ
Can I use Linux hosting on Windows?
Yes, you can use Linux OS on a server solution and manage your website through a desktop Windows PC or Apple MacBook.
The server’s operating system doesn’t impact your personal computer.
Does WordPress run on Linux?
Yes, WordPress can run on Linux OS. Most WordPress sites already use Linux as their hosting solution, and many might not even realize it. Linux is the most common OS to run WordPress.
Linux or Windows hosting for WordPress?
If we had to recommend a hosting solution for newcomers, we would go with Linux.
Linux hosting is the more popular choice, and it’s the gold-standard benchmark for developers worldwide.
Windows might offer you a similar service.
However, it might present bottlenecks in your site development that present challenges for your design team.
WordPress hosting runs on the PHP format, which is more challenging for developers to configure on a Windows solution.
It’s also important to note that the Microsoft Access database isn’t as robust as the MySQL database, and it may cause speed and performance issues as your site becomes bigger and more complex.
Since Linux is open-source, there are no licensing costs involved with setting up the OS on your servers.
However, Microsoft products require licensing deals on all its software, including its hosting OS.
Another consideration for choosing Linux over Windows hosting is that most hosting companies include an intuitive cPanel dashboard, providing user-friendly navigation and use of the hosting solution.
What is Linux hosting with cPanel?
Linux hosting is the most popular form of web hosting, powering most websites on the internet. Linux is an open-source operating system used by developers to create custom website solutions, tools, and programs.
The cPanel gives you a user-interface for accessing your hosting features.
To get your site ready for launch, set it up with your cPanel, and go live directly through the platform.
cPanel is one of the most popular user interface tools to manage web hosting.