We have spoken about different kinds of hosting options. However, we have not discussed what these hosting options are run on. Every computer needs an operating system to work. This is the system that sets the parameters of functions that we enjoy as our modern day computing experience. These can vary depending on the devices they are used on, as well as if they are a proprietary or an open source.
The latter refers to the level of modification that can be done on the operating system. Proprietary operating systems are usually created so they cannot be modifiable by their user and are thus protected, while open source software and operating systems can be modified by the user to get a customized experience.
What is Linux Hosting?
Linux is an open source operating system that was created by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Since then it has been modified and improved over time and has even had “spin-off” versions of it. It is very popular in the hosting world because of its modifiable nature as well as its cost effectiveness. At its core, there is very little difference between hosting on Linux or any other operating systems. As there is such a wide variety of operating systems, we will primarily look at Linux hosting versus Windows hosting. This is because both are highly popular in many arenas of both the hosting world as well as general computing.
The main difference between these two hosting options is the operating systems that run them. As stated earlier, the operating systems basically control how things are done on your computer and in addition on the server that you will be hosted on. The operating systems run scripts and use different database languages. Thus, when choosing either kind you have to know what the requirements are for your website.
It is important to note that computers can communicate with both Linux and Windows servers, so in this regard, you do not have to worry about your customers not being able to use your site and server. That being said, we have to look at the technical workings of the server to understand the differences in these two operating systems. An important factor to look at when choosing between Linux or Windows for your hosting is looking at what development tools you will need.This way you will be able to choose the kind of hosting that is best for your requirements.
Linux supports the following development tools: WordPress and other Web apps, Dreamweaver and other WYSIWYG apps as well as PHP, MySQL, CGI, Python and or Perl. Windows may be able to support these but they are better suited for Linux. On the other hand, Windows supports ASP, ASP.NET, MS SQL, PHP, and MySQL. So it is best that you know what you need before choosing which of these two hosting options to use, so as to find the best fit for your particular needs.
Features of Linux Hosting
When considering using hosting, one has to consider the key features of the plan. This should be based on what your requirements are and how well that kind of hosting will provide for these requirements. When choosing the best Linux hosting in India you should consider the following:
The reliability of your server is important. You have to consider the uptime that the package promises. You should look for a 99.9 % uptime. Uptime is a measure of the time that the server has been working and available for use.
Most developers consider Linux as more secure. However, it has been stated that Shared hosting servers are prone to hacking. Therefore, you have to choose a plan that is as secure as reasonably possible.
User-friendly Control Panel
If you are a beginner, it is important that you are able to get yourself up and running as soon as possible. If you have very little knowledge of the technical workings of an operating system, then the control panel can be a life saver. It is furthermore highly important that the control panel is user-friendly and easy to learn as you will have to work with it.
Access to Open-source Software
Many believe that open source is the way to go. If you choose to use Linux you need to know how much access you will have to open-source software, as with new innovations, you will be able to improve your business at a fraction of the cost it would take otherwise.
The amount of traffic a server can take is of utmost importance. The amount of bandwidth your site will enjoy is even more important as it will be the difference between a great & fast website and a great but sluggish site.
It can be argued that most sites running on Linux Shared hosting servers will not reach the limit of the storage allocated to them. However, sites do grow in popularity as well as in the amount of space they take up. Thus, it is important to consider how much disk space you are purchasing.
It is better to be safe than sorry. You should find out how often the server is backed up, that way in case of some catastrophe, you will still have access to all your site files.
Is Linux Hosting Right For You?
A key factor in determining the success or failure of a business is attention to the bottom line. Linux is a much cheaper alternative to Windows. This means that using Linux can greatly help in keeping cost low and due to its reliability and other features it can help to increase profits indirectly. So if you are looking for a cheaper option that will still give you great service, then Linux is perfect. In order to serve a website alongside the Linux OS, you will need to get the three last pieces of the “LAMP stack”.
LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL (not to be confused with MS SQL) and PHP. These are needed to run the website effectively and well. Linux is the operating system, Apache is Linux’s web application, MySQL is Linux’s database application and PHP is a scripting language used by Linux.
Please note that these are Linux’s most prominent and popular applications and language. Furthermore, these are all free, meaning you are saving right off the bat. Now that the cost is out of the way, we have to mention that Linux is the industry standard and that it stands for cost-effective, reliable, secure hosting that only gets better and better.
Linux is open-source meaning another user could be out there right now discovering the next big innovation in hosting. So you will enjoy the expertise of a worldwide community aimed at improving an already great operating system. If all of this sounds good to you then maybe Linux hosting is right for you. On the other hand, if you have to do work that is primarily in Windows exclusive languages and uses .NET, then you may have to consider carefully how much using Linux hosting will impact your bottom line.
Linux Hosting – Advantages & Disadvantages
As an industry leader and driver, it is expected that Linux hosting plans will have a whole slew of advantages. We have cut those down to five: affordability, majority market share, innovation, industry standard and security. These are explained further below. However, Linux may sound and possibly be the best hosting option, but it does have certain disadvantages. These are based primarily on its differences to Windows. If you are looking to build big Windows applications then Linux might not be the best option for you.
- Affordability:As many distributions of Linux are free, it is easier to save money when using a Linux server. This is because hosting companies do not always have to pay for user licenses when using Linux, thus they are able to pass this saving on to their customers. This makes Linux hosting more popular, especially with those starting out in the hosting as well as website business.
- Majority Market Share:As stated above, Linux is highly popular for multiple reasons, such as its affordability as well as its security. It is also highly popular with developers. This has made it the majority marker shareholder in the hosting industry. A further advantage of this market share dominance is that it is supported by most hosting companies.
- Innovation:A big draw for Open-source software and technology is that it can be modified and improved by its users. This is why there are so many distributions of Linux. A driving philosophy behind Open-source is the innovation that can be achieved when like-minded people come together on a project without being limited by licenses. So the Open-source community has become a leader in constantly creating new innovations. This means Linux hosting will only get better.
- Industry standard:Due to Linux’s popularity and innovation, it has become the standard for the industry. All other operating systems are measured against its performance. As it is an industry leader and standard, there is a great incentive to keep up this standard and to better it.
- Security:That Shared hosting servers are prone to hacking is common knowledge. It is for this reason that developers are always seeking the most secure way to safeguard clients against such. Linux is considered more secure than Windows by most developers. Of course, this depends on what the users do with Linux, as they can unknowingly leave themselves vulnerable.
- Applications:The first major disadvantage is that applications coded using certain languages will not run on Linux servers. These would be the languages that are exclusive to Windows. An example of such applications would be Internet Information Server (IIS) which is an application that is used to respond to the browser and Active Server Page (ASP). These may be useful if you are looking to run certain Windows applications.
- .NET:.NET will not work on Linux servers. There is a possible fix, where you can make adjustments. This can be a bit costlier as you may have to upgrade to another hosting package. If you feel you can take the costs there is another problem with this disadvantage in that even if you adjust things, they may possibly come out less stable than if you had just chosen to go with a Windows package.