If you thought that choosing a web-hosting package was merely a case of deciding between shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting, then it is time to think again. While those represent the biggest and most important choice that many people will make, choosing the web-hosting platform or software option that will enable them to create a powerful, effective website that will enable them to meet their online objectives.
Despite the emergence of a variety of hosting platforms in recent years, Linux and Windows hosting remain the two most popular options in what is becoming an increasingly crowded market. All of these options have a number of pros and cons, although their overall impact may differ depending on the experience of each website owner and their reasons for choosing a particular operating system. On this occasion, we have explored the pros and cons of Linux web hosting.
Linux Web Hosting: Pros
Open Source Advantages
Linux is an example of open source software, meaning that many aspects that you might use to build a Linux hosted site are available free. This will appeal to anyone who is mindful of the money they are spending on designing, building, and developing their website, especially if they have already paid for a dedicated server option, for example.
Linux is also great for giving your site much more variety and thinking about using additional applications and plugins to enhance the user experience and performance of the site. Those using MySQL, PHP, and Perl scripts will find that Linux is compatible with all three of them; this is useful for site owners who might choose their platform based on what it offers, rather than choosing a platform first and then hiring someone to work within those parameters.
Overall, Linux probably is the most exciting option for anyone looking to experiment with a wide range of software and features on their website.
If you are considering using Linux, then the chances are that you have already heard about the platform’s excellent reputation for reliability and security. Although scheduled server downtime is a regular feature of Linux hosting, this helps to drive the performance of the platform at all other times. The reputation that Linux has for being secure and efficient is one of the biggest reasons behind its popularity.
Linux Web Hosting: Pro or Con?
Examining the Cost
As we mentioned earlier, due to the status of Linux as open source software, a lot of it is free to download and use. However, this does not automatically mean that you will enjoy an overall cheaper web-hosting package.
It is always worth consulting with a web hosting company first, so you understand what you are getting and know whether you will incur any additional liabilities. Yes, Linux software might be free to download and use, but will you have to pay to use the plugins and exciting aspects that you want to include beyond the basic means?
Even if you do end up paying a small fee, it is likely that you would still save money against the cost of an alternative operating system. Therefore, we will call this a pro, so long as you have examined everything fully and know what any costs will be.
Linux Web Hosting: Cons
Migrating can be Difficult
If you are already using another operating system, such as Windows, it can be difficult to change to Linux hosting. One of the main reasons for this is that, while there are several scripts and features that you can use on both platforms, as well as others, some only work on one or the other, or the performance is much better on certain software. Therefore, Linux is often best as a ‘starting point’ for a website, although in fairness you could probably make that argument in respect of Windows and other operating systems, too.
Should your desktop operating system be Windows or something else, it can be difficult to adapt to the differences that Linux brings. Learning and mastering everything you need to know to build a great website can take time, even if you are reasonably well experienced when it comes to website design and development.
As a balance to this point, learning how to use a Linux platform could well be beneficial if you are able to commit yourself to it. If nothing else, it will enable you to get an idea of how well you enjoy working on one or more platforms and decide which one you prefer.
Proprietary web hosting software, such as Windows, tends to be developed and released to users quicker than Linux.
Is Linux Hosting Worth It?
Ultimately, whether you want to use Linux hosting will depend on your own preferences more than anything else. At the very least, you should take the time to explore Linux and discover whether it is something you can work with.