Unix or Windows Hosting: Which is right for you?
Searching for website hosting brings so many questions. What is the best web hosting service for you? What are your needs in terms of disk space, bandwidth, features? How much should you spend?
One of the first big questions you're going to have to answer is this: do you need Unix or Windows hosting? Not all website hosting companies offer both; and not all website hosting companies that offer both truly excel in both types of hosting.
Before you continue, you may want to read through our primer on Unix hosting and our article on Windows hosting explained. Each will help you learn a little more about the basics of these two powerful website hosting options.
The first thing you need to know is that most websites do run on a Unix server. Unix is considered the ultimate in stability and adaptability - Unix hosting is generally ideal for sites that may grow quickly or have considerable demands on server performance. It has been said that if you need to ask whether you should choose Unix or Windows hosting, you probably should go with Unix!
Website hosting on a Unix server is also usually cheaper than Windows hosting - though this is not always the case. Check out our list of Top 10 Windows hosting companies for leaders in Windows website hosting, and quite often at a competitive price point.
Websites designed to run on a Unix server will basically always run on a Windows server. The reverse is not always true.
Having said all of that, while Windows servers do not have the same reputation for top stability that Unix servers do, Windows hosting is considered easier to use. For those new to the website hosting and development game, Windows may prove a better option, for its simpler administration and updating processes.
The other consideration is the scripts you will be using to develop your site. If you like Perl or PHP, Unix is generally considered the better choice. If, however, you're looking to use ASP, Windows will likely be your best web hosting option.
No matter which type of website hosting you choose, make sure to find out about server updates. Do you need to do any of this administration by yourself? Or will your host do all the necessary updating? Ensuring that the server you are using is secure and up-to-date is key to the best web hosting experience, no matter which website hosting company you choose.
See our Top 10 Unix/Linux Hosting Companies for the best in Unix hosting.