Hosting, with maximum generality is a network service used to allocate the pages of a web site to a server, so that they are accessible globally by users, applications and search engines. There are two complementary aspects in the various types of hosting that should be never confused or superimposed: on one hand the same definition of web, combined with the most innovative acquired technologies in the field, doesn’t show any difference in the display and the use of the site from the client’s point of view, if the hosting is supported by a Windows or Linux operative system.
From the server’s point of view, or if you prefer, the webmaster who sets everything, things can change radically: it depends on the type of use we expect to make from the website.
Firstly we can say that:
- If you use static sites (or without databases, only HTML pages), using one or the other is substantially indifferent, if not for a slight difference in handling the file names;
- The Windows hosting is optional if you want to use PHP/MySQL (assuming it supports the IIS 7 web server)while it is indispensible for ASP. NET and MSSQL, simply because they are natively supported and they are not compatible with Linux;
- On the contrary, the Linux hosting natively supports PHP, Ruby, Perl, Python, MySQL and CGI and it doesn’t allow the use of ASP .NET and MSSQL, since these two belong to Microsoft.
There is also a further aspect related to the safety of the two systems: although it is a widespread cliché thinking that Linux is more secure than Windows (depending on the system administrators), it’s a fact that the first one allows to manage security in a more quality mode. Just think of the file permissions, for example, that can be configured with the appropriate command CHMOD (which allows you to determine whether a file can be executed, reading or writing) that is absent in Windows (which supports only reading and/or writing and makes the files executable by extension). Choosing a Linux or a Windows hosting is exclusively linked to your specific needs, which makes it a consequence of your need:
- If you need to use PHP/MySql (for example Joomla! or WordPress) you can use either one of them;
- If you need an e-commerce or other site in ASP. NET, you are obligated to use Windows hosting.