Regardless of how tech-savvy you are, choosing the right web hosting package involves having to deal with a tonne of technical terms.While the web hosting company you wish to buy your hosting package from will help you with all the questions you have, it is definitely much easier if you understand all or as much of the technicalities involved as possible. One of the most important decisions to make is whether to pick a Linux or Windows hosting package.
While this article will help you understand the basic differences between the two, it will also focus exclusively on the choice to make for reseller hosting i.e for those keen on starting their own web hosting business.
The easiest way for anyone to start their own web hosting business is to purchase a reseller hosting package at any good web hosting company. Most hosting companies offer you a choice between a Windows or Linux reseller hosting package.
Before we step into a reseller’s shoes, a general question anyone buying a hosting package should have is –
Why is it important to know the server OS (Operating System)?
Your choice of server OS will determine:
- How you interact with your hosting package
- What kind of website you can built
- The applications you can use
To help you make the right choice, let’s get back to basics:
Understanding ‘Linux’ v ‘Windows’:
Linux and Windows are two popular OSs. Being open-source and therefore more affordable, Linux is more widely used than Windows. Being open-source, it is continuously updated by developers around the world and is therefore considered to be very secure.
Now that we’ve covered the difference between Linux and Windows, let’s get to how these work for servers.
Linux servers v Windows servers:
|CRITERIA||LINUX SERVERS||WINDOWS SERVERS|
|Stability||While in theory Linux can be considered more stable as it is open-source and under continuous development, in practise Windows and Linux are known to be evenly matched.|
|Development Tools||CGI, Perl and PHP||ASP, .NET and PHP|
|Access||FTP, Telnet and SSH||FTP|
|Case-sensitivity of files||Yes||No|
|Cost||More affordable than Windows-being open-source, there are a lot of freely available apps to add||More expensive than Linux-most apps are licensed|
|Security||Being open-source, the platform is more secure and the server is also protected with Iptables Firewall (a firewall utility built specifically for the Linux OS) and pam (which provides authentication services)||Read below for more details|
|Database||MySQL is most commonly used on Linux||MSSQL is most commonly used on Windows|
|Use of WYSIWYG apps||Yes||No|
|Uptake||More widely used||Not as widely used as Linux (in the hosting world, of course)
|Ease of use||Requires some learning- learning how to use the command line||Quite easy to use|
Server security – an important note:
Making a judgement for either server based on security is not so easy. While Linux is known to be more secure, you still need to take some precautionary measures. The media covered the disastrous ‘Petya’ virus that attacked Windows servers earlier this year in great detail. However, viruses can easily port between server platforms and this was illustrated with another attack this year that is not so widely known.
On June 10th, Nayana, a web hosting company in South Korea was attacked by a virus that hit 153 of it’s Linux servers but which had first arose as a Windows malware in September 2016.
Who should purchase a Linux or Windows Hosting Package ?
- Those who want ready-to-use solutions:
There are loads of ready-made, open-source applications and solutions for Linux hosting freely available on the internet. On the other hand, Windows apps are usually licensed and require purchase. There are also a much lesser choice available than Linux.
- Those who need a more dynamic, complex website:
More complex websites usually require languages like Perl, ASP, PHP, etc. which would be better suited to a Windows server.
Who should purchase a Linux or Windows Reseller Hosting Package?
Most resellers making this choice, decide based on the following :
- Control Panel ease and cost-
While a Linux hosting package is cheaper than a Windows one, the cPanel for Linux can be an expensive addition. Also, most find the Plesk panel more familiar.
- Popularity- Knowing that Linux is more compatible for online needs plays a factor.
As you can see, the server you choose really depends on what you need it for. If you’re looking for a great hosting company to jump into the web hosting business, check out ResellerClub- which was set up primarily to cater to resellers and help their business grow. ResellerClub’s Linux reseller hosting packages come included with WHMCS-which is a fantastic billing and support system that will give your web business the robustness it requires.
We hope we were able to break down the jargon and help you make a more informed decision. Let us know we helped you in the comment section below!