It's often very confusing to newcomers wishing to host a website or design a web site – which is a better hosting plan Linux or Windows? It's all so confusing. After all 90% of people using computers are running Microsoft Windows as an operating system there before you might well think that its best to choose a "windows based hosting system" or provider. After all you might think or reason – I know windows, I am either too old / lazy or have enough to do to learn a whole new system and computer operating system setup and language. Who needs this extra energy lost and heartache, that is especially when your time, energy or talents might well be spent on more productive areas – whether it is working developing your website, writing your blog, adding podcasts and the like and promoting your website, blog or enterprise with SEO that is Search Engine Optimization tools, tips and procedures.
The answer very simply is that in most cases it really does not matter. A very high percentage of the web – that is the internet as we know it – is run on Linux computer operating system based computers – and to you with your windows based computer it makes no difference at all. In most cases your browsing experience on your computer, when browsing the internet – be it at websites, blogs or whatever is completely independent of the operating system that the website involved or web host is using. It really does not matter to the computer user. They, he or she can be running a Windows based, an Apple Macintosh based or even a Linux based computer to browse the internet and it really does not matter to them in any way.
Windows based hosting systems are required depending on the software that are running want to run or need to run. If you are doing database functions, or utilize other programs that require an ASP pr .Net application then your hosting will have to be Windows based. Its similar to the necessity of requiring windows based computer to run a Windows based version of Microsoft office. If you have a registered copy of Windows format, Microsoft Office your Mac computer will not run it normally, a Linux based desktop computer will not run it as well. You will need a computer running the Microsoft Windows. Think of it as well as having a computer program that requires Windows XP or the newer Microsoft Vista and that will not run on your older Windows 98 computer. In these cases if you have programs on your server or on your website as you upgrade and develop your systems on your web site – then you will have to purchase and be running a windows based hosting system, as opposed to a Linux based one.
It's just like buying a new computer and realizing that a high percentage of your purchase price is not the hardware of your new computer – be it the computer case, motherboard, power supply, hard drives etc, but rather the cost of the Microsoft OS – that is the operating system. This cost is sometimes referred to jokingly in the computer trade as the "Microsoft tax". In addition when you purchase your new Microsoft Windows based computer – Vista currently being the OS flavor, most likely you will purchase software packages and software application systems as well. This would most likely be something like Microsoft office and possibly various antivirus, anti-spyware and computer internet security programs.
Windows based hosting is generally more expensive than Linux based web hosting. Just as you have to purchase the Windows license for your new computer, the company providing the web hosting, you must purchase a license from Microsoft. On top of that there may be additional costs and fees from Microsoft, additional support as well as other programs and Microsoft support services may have to be purchased and provided for as well. On top of that the licenses are often not a one shot deal as is provided when you purchase a new computer. Rather the licenses are rented or leased to some degree – with a yearly or time period payments being made.
Linux is "open source". What that means is that in most cases the cost is "free" to a great extent or at the worst low cost. On top of that Linux is generally considered faster and more reliable, not that windows based server software and web site hosting software is not catching up to a great degree. On top of that, for any of a number of technical reasons, Linux based web site hosting systems often run faster – that is they load faster and react faster for most internet users who will visit your site – be it website or blog or newer types of website – be it the newer web 2.0 variants or whatever.
In the end it can be said that when hosting a web site the choice of hosting platform is your choice. In most cases it really does not matter much. Linux based hosting is the run of the mill. It's reliable. It's well supported. The Linux cPanel is the standard of the industry – if you have worked with one, then the next cPanel that you encounter will be very similar and functional to you. Linux based hosting platform packages are generally less expensive than Windows based ones. However if you are running software that requires a Windows based platform then a Windows based web site hosting platform is your mandatory choice.