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Linux vs Windows Hosting - What's The Difference

A specification that is commonly misunderstood in web hosting is the difference between Linux and Windows hosting, and the significance it has to a website and hosting package.

Linux and Windows are two types of Operating System (OS). WIndows is the most popular OS for personal computers, for example you may be using Windows 8. However, for servers Linux is the leading OS.

The common misconception when choosing a hosting package is that the server OS your website is hosted on has to be the same as the platform you run on your desktop environment, i.e. if your home device runs Windows, the server needs to run Windows. This is not true. Rather, the type of hosting OS you choose depends on the development language or type of database that you require to create your website.

If you're struggling to decide which hosting platform is best for you, below is a high level overview that will help you understand when each OS is best used.

Linux Hosting

Linux hosting is by far the most popular server OS - 98% of our servers run Linux. When prospective customers contact us, in most cases we recommend a Linux hosting package. Linux hosting is the optimal platform if you want to run a MySQL database, and if you use PHP, Perl or Python scripting. It’s also the best solution if you want to use popular applications like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Joomla and other popular CMSs.

Windows Hosting

As a less common server OS, Windows Hosting is required if you want to use Microsoft’s ASP or ASP.NET languages to develop your site, and also if you want to implement a MSSQL database. CMS applications compatible with Windows Hosting include Umbraco and Kentico.

Hybrid Hosting

With most hosting providers and platforms you have to choose between Linux and Windows hosting. The Tsohost Cloud has been specifically designed to cater for both novice and experienced users with more advanced requirements; you can run both OSs in Hybrid mode with either a Linux or Windows bias.