Researching and finding a leading web hosting services provider can be an arduous process. Naturally, you will spend a lot of time considering the various options and looking at how they fit the requirements of your website. This will mean thinking about different servers, working out the bandwidth and disk space that you need and potentially other added aspects that you may need should you be looking to launch an e-commerce site.
One aspect that you might not have considered is the operating system you wish to use within your hosting package. While there are a number of options available to you, Windows and Linux are the two most popular examples currently on the market.
Before making your decision, however, you want to know what you are getting with each one. This guide will take you through some of the pros and cons of Windows web hosting while enabling you to make an educated and well-informed decision when the time arises.
Windows Web Hosting: Pros
Although Linux hosting holds the market leading reputation for reliable web hosting, Windows has made huge improvements on this front in recent years. In addition, if you are a small business owner with multiple websites, it is easy to manage them all from one place with Windows hosting. You will also be free to create any sub-domains that you want, and use robust databases to operate and support most of your operation.
Many people choose to utilize Windows web hosting because of its obvious compatibility with other Windows operating systems. This is also one of the biggest benefits, as it means you can work with .NET, ASP, FrontPage, Windows Streaming, and MSSQL.
Using all of these, you will easily be able to design and build an intuitive website that scores highly in user experience owing to better page speed and loading times, which is great for customer retention as well as search engine optimization.
Windows hosting is great for running and managing several aspects of your business through your server. Although this does not have much impact in terms of your actual website, it definitely is a worthwhile added bonus that will serve to make your life easier.
Ease of Use
For small business owners who are concerned about the time it takes to maintain a high quality website, this factor makes Windows hosting the best option for them. From start to finish, everything is relatively straightforward, and a website can be built without having to learn a detailed programming code. It can also potentially save a lot of money on hiring a professional designer if you are able to do most of it yourself.
This ease of use extends to other aspects, including databases, meaning an e-commerce owner can easily maintain their product listings with help from the Windows developer tools. In addition, this will translate to an easy site to navigate and use for your customers, too.
Windows Web Hosting: Cons
There are some examples of content management systems and software, such as Perl, which are not compatible with Windows hosting. However, if you are new to web hosting this is likely to be of little consideration to you anyway.
Those who are looking to experiment with development might find Windows too rigid, and may prefer trying out Linux instead for more flexibility and bespoke options.
While Windows has improved immeasurably in terms of reliability and security in recent years, there is still huge potential for improvement.
One selling point of Windows web hosting is that you might go for weeks or months without any server downtime. The downside to this is that when there is downtime, it can be unexpected and often lengthy. It is common for Windows sites to need fully rebooting from time to time. These faults can also lead to a slower site at times, not ideal if you have lots of traffic or your business generates most of its revenues through your website.
Due to its status as proprietary software, Windows can often be more expensive than the other options available on the market, particular open source examples such as Linux. At the same time, you should perhaps consider that Windows is much easier for those with less experience to use effectively.
You might pay more for Windows hosting, but you will probably then pay less for support services such as outsourced design and development. Flip the situation for Linux and other hosting platforms. You might find there is little difference in the cost, although this will be wholly dependent on your needs and circumstances.
Working with Windows
In general, the pros of Windows web hosting outweigh the cons, some of which are dependent on your own personal preferences rather than a definitive downside to your plan. It is definitely a great choice for those who want to keep all of their costs together and not have to use a professional developer where possible, although it is understandable why experienced developers and webmasters might be turned off.