Linux or Windows web hosting – that is the question?

In the field of web hosting, two operating systems have established themselves on the market. Web hosting providers use either the Linux open source system or Microsoft\’s proprietary Windows server operating system to operate their servers. Accordingly, the first decision that customers have to make when ordering a web space package is the choice between Linux or Windows web hosting server.

It is not only possible to choose between different operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS, Linux or Unix for the computer at home, different operating systems are also used in the server area. There, two systems in particular have established themselves on the market that are used by hosting providers. On the one hand the open source system Linux, which is available in numerous distributions such as Debian, CentOS or Ubuntu, and on the other hand the Microsoft Windows Server operating system, which is, however, bound to a license. While some providers have specialized in a certain type of hosting, other web hosts also offer their customers both variants.

As a result, customers are often confused when looking for the right web hosting package and do not know which of the two operating system variants is the right one. It doesn\’t matter which system you have on your PC at home, because all devices can be connected to one another without problems. It is also not important which system you get along better with yourself, since the management and administration of web space packages is taken over by the hosting provider himself and as a customer you have no influence on the operating system level.

how to setup web hosting server on windows

For the majority of users who want to get a simple web space package for their own online presence, the decision does not play an important role. Windows web hosting as well as Linux web hosting offer all the basic functions that are required for the operation and administration of a website. This includes, for example, uploading your own data via FTP access. Administrative tasks such as setting up e-mail addresses and subdomains are also carried out by customers using a special administration interface. So there is no need to work directly in the operating system. Only in the case of very special projects that require certain script languages or tools for operation do you have to pay attention to the difference between linux and windows web hosting.

Advantages and characteristics of Linux web hosting

The Linux operating system was developed by the Finnish programmer Linus Torvalds and has been available as free software with open source code under the GNU General Public License since 1992. Due to the modular structure of the system, Linux can be individually expanded and adapted exactly to your own needs. The operating system is primarily used in the server area due to its reliability, stability and performance.

Linux is ideal as a web server environment, mainly the Apache or Nginx software is used for this. Thanks to the perfect support of script languages such as PHP, Python, Perl or CGI and the use of database systems such as MySQL or PostgreSQL, all online projects from a small private website to professional online shop systems can be implemented under Linux. Numerous open source applications are also available for use on Linux web hosting, including content management systems, forum software and e-commerce solutions. With Linux web hosting, the customer can configure the web space package himself using integrated administration software such as cPanel or Confixx. Since there are no license costs.

Advantages and characteristics of a Windows web hosting

The Windows operating system developed by Microsoft appeared for the first time in a separate version in 1993, which was specially optimized for use on server systems. Since then, the software has been continuously developed and new versions released regularly. All Microsoft Windows Server systems are proprietary software. In contrast to Linux, the source code is not publicly available and license costs are incurred for using the system.

A special feature of the Windows Server operating system is that administrative work is made possible via drag & drop via the Net Framework and SharePoint. The system is also required for special Windows-specific applications such as ASP, VBScript or .NET. In addition to the widely used database systems such as MySQL or PostgreSQL, Windows web hosting also supports MSSQL and Microsoft Access databases. Microsoft\’s IIS server is used as the web server for the configuration of the web space package, users can use special management interfaces such as Plesk. Due to the license costs incurred, Windows web hosting services is usually a little more expensive than a comparable Linux web hosting package.


When deciding between Linux web hosting or Windows web hosting , it depends on the planned web project. Both systems are powerful and will do the job when it comes to hosting a simple website. With both systems, customers can simply upload their data to the web space via FTP. Security and stability are also guaranteed with Linux web hosting as well as Windows web hosting, in both cases the competent staff of the web hosting provider takes care of the administration of the server systems.

Basically, it is recommended to use Linux hosting if you are working with classic open source applications such as the blog software WordPress or the content management system Joomla wants to create a website. Linux hosting is also the first choice when realizing community forums or online shops . Windows web hosting must only be selected for online projects that require a Microsoft environment in the form of ASP, .NET or MSSQL databases for operation.

Linux vs Windows web hosting:

HostingWindows web hostingLinux web hosting
Software typeProprietary softwareOpen source software
used web serverMicrosoft IISApache, Nginx
preferred script languagesASP, .NET, VBScriptPHP, Python, Perl, CGI
preferred databasesMSSQL, Microsoft AccessMySQL, PostgreSQL
compatible management interfacesPleskConfixx, cPanel, Plesk
preferred applicationsspecial applications in Microsoft environment
Silverlight, .NET applications
classic applications in open source environment
WordPress, Joomla, Magento

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