Without a doubt, the idea of a Windows server seems like a clear-cut decision for any business. After all, Microsoft’s Windows operating system is the most popular platform for home, small businesses, or enterprise use on a day-to-day basis. Today, ‘client’ versions of Windows including Windows XP and Windows 7 hold around 82% of the overall market, with alternate versions now available including a versatile mobile edition and a server-specific version intended for use as part of a Windows web hosting plan.
Online, Linux currently stands as a market leader – but the margin between the number of Linux hosting solutions and Windows hosting services is diminishing by the day. While many distributions of Linux are built from the ground up with hosting in mind, more and more businesses are turning to the familiarity and reputation that Windows servers offer, as well as enjoying the powerful features that a Windows hosting service can provide.
In this article, you will learn about the growth of Microsoft Windows and the development of Windows Server software. You will also discover the numerous benefits of choosing a Windows web hosting package for your business, including the importance of ASP.NET hosting to launch dynamic content for your online presence. Finally, this article will examine the key features to consider when searching for a Windows web host.
The growth of Windows web servers
Long before Windows hosting became a possibility – in fact, long before the Internet became part of the business world – Windows 1.0 transformed the way that computers are used. In 1981, computer scientist Chase Bishop developed an interface that could display information in distinct boxes, tiled across the screen. These boxes, or ‘Windows,’ became a fundamental element of almost every computing graphical user interface (GUI) that has followed. While not strictly speaking as an operating system at these early stages, this versatile interface rapidly grew in popularity.
By 1993, Windows had secured the home and office environment, becoming the world’s most popular and most routinely used software. However, the world was about to get bigger – the Internet was finally beginning to take hold of the home, becoming an integral part of day-to-day living. Suddenly, there was a real need for a reliable network operating system that could handle the demands of serving remote traffic while remaining responsive. Microsoft responded with the launch of Microsoft Windows NT. This variant, optimized for reliability, uptime, and software portability, was the birth of Windows servers.
The majority of Windows hosting plans that are available today use Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008, both of which are descendants of the Windows NT core. As a result, Windows web servers feature versatility and robustness that rivals the abilities of Linux and UNIX. Of course, it is not enough to simply mirror the features of Linux. Instead, Windows hosting has the potential to supersede a Linux counterpart in a number of different ways.
The benefits of using a Windows web server
While the popularity of Windows generally is said to be down to ease-of-use, it is the operating system’s versatility that has seen it grow to be a great choice for Windows web hosting plans. Whichever version of Windows Server you choose, there are certain fundamental features that will help to ensure an easily managed web presence with consistently high performance.
First, Windows hosting prides itself upon being developed to an incredibly high standard. The Linux kernel is used as the center of many different Linux versions, or distributions, and the quality of design and coding in these distributions varies dramatically, having a potential impact upon overall system performance. In the case of a Windows server, you can be confident that your operating system has been developed by full-time professionals and rigorously tested. This guarantees outstanding performance that makes full use of your hardware’s capabilities.
Of course, achieving the best performance from your hardware depends on the right configuration and management of your Windows web server – a process that can be daunting to novices who are signing up for their first web hosting solution. Windows is accompanied by exhaustive support documentation from Microsoft, providing a quick way to get answers to common questions. In addition, the popularity of Windows results in great community support, made freely available online via bulletin boards, forums, and hosting-related websites. Windows is not only a user-friendly solution, but there is also an impressive volume of support available should things become too complex.
Finally, Windows web hosting excels in the area of compatibility. It is important to remember that Microsoft does not simply make the world’s most popular operating system – they also make some of the world’s most popular software. Windows servers are fully compatible with all standard Windows software such as FrontPage and Microsoft Access, as well as open source software essential to web success.
While a Windows web hosting plan allows you to make use of Windows-specific software alongside PHP, MySQL and PERL, a Linux web hosting service is incapable of running Microsoft’s proprietary software.
ASP.NET hosting – only available with a Windows hosting plan
Of every piece of Windows-specific software, ASP.NET is undoubtedly the one with most significance to Windows web hosting services. ASP.NET allows developers to create unique, dynamic, and highly interactive web-content that attracts potential customers to their websites.
The ASP.NET framework helps to streamline the process of developing a web application, providing built-in code to handle common functions that developers can use on a regular basis. As a result, development with ASP.NET is remarkably fast, in turn reducing the associated costs. In addition, ASP.NET content can be programmed in a number of different programming languages, allowing developers to work with what they already know.
ASP.NET is a Microsoft project and, as such, can only be deployed on a Windows web hosting service. This remains the number one factor in drawing businesses to choose a Windows hosting plan.
Get an ASP.NET compatible Windows web hosting plan from JaguarPC
Whether you are choosing a Windows hosting service in order to use ASP.NET hosting, for the familiarity of one of the world’s biggest brands, or for the range of support available online, you should be sure to find a Windows web hosting provider who understands the network configuration and hardware setup that can maximize your server performance and maintain constant availability.
JaguarPC, an experienced provider of Windows hosting services, currently provides a range of Windows hosting including Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, hybrid server hosting, and Windows dedicated servers. Every JaguarPC Windows hosting plan uses Microsoft Windows Server 2008, an operating system renowned for optimized network performance and ongoing reliability. In addition, these solutions are made available in a number of tiered packages, designed to give you the Windows hosting you need at an affordable price. JaguarPC also offers 24/7/365 customer support including proactive server monitoring, as well as an unrivalled 100% uptime guarantee to ensure that your Windows server is online, all the time.
To find out more about JaguarPC’s choice of Windows web hosting services, visit www.jaguarpc.com today.