Hosting Tutorial & Guide

Linux VS Windows Web Hosting

updated on Feb 26, 2018
Linux VS Windows Web Hosting Many people may think Windows platform is the better solution as they’re using Windows as their home or work operating system. Actually this is not the truth when they come to web hosting market. When finding for web hosting, you will notice that most of web hosts are providing budget Linux hosting solutions and only a few web hosts are providing the more expensive Windows hosting solutions. And the reality is also that most of people are using Linux based web hosting.

When people are new to the web hosting and are searching for a web host, usually it’s more important for them to get a web host which is reliable, rich-featured and affordable, as well as the best fitting to their particular requirement, regardless of which platform is used.

However, usually, there are several check points been used by people to compare the different web hosting plans based on different platforms or from the different web hosting companies, to determine which web hosting plan is their best choice. They are:


Linux VS Windows - Security As is known that Security is the most important checkpoint when it comes to shared web hosting, there may be hundreds of customers hosted on the same server, it’s easier for people to ask whether and how their data can be protected and isolated well. Yes, before Windows 2003, the Windows server platform was flimsier, and created the negative impression for people that the Windows is not reliable as Linux.

However with the latest Windows 2008, 2012, and 2016 release, Windows server presents the same security as Linux, even better at some points. Moreover, there is no platform is complete secure. The security of web hosting is not only the issue of platform itself but who monitor and configure it. If a web hosting company has skilled IT technician and robust monitoring software, security issues will unlikely be an issue.


Of course, the Windows web hosting is more expensive than Linux web hosting. It’s much more expensive for the web hosting companies to buy the licenses from Microsoft for both Windows server and SQL Server databases. As a result, the additional cost for the license is imputed to the consumers. It takes easy to find a reliable Linux shared web hosting at $6/month but it needs $10/month for Windows.


Both Linux and Windows have rich features that can help people build the websites successfully. But it’s a long history for Linux in the web hosting market and development community. Therefore, there is a huge number of PHP free or open source software based on Linux platform, including the famous WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Zen Cart etc. With Linux web hosting, people is easier to find free software to start their websites faster.


Linux VS Windows - Performance Furthermore, the performance is another important factor for people to consider about web hosting. Before Hyper-V technology used by Windows 2008 R2, Linux consistently performs better than the Windows platform for web hosting from the OS level. Moreover, if the websites are developed by PHP, Ruby on Rails, Python technology based on MySQL database, the Apache runs websites more reliable and fast in Linux rather than Windows platform.

As the mentioned check points above, you may find it's hard for people to make a decision on choosing Windows web hosting. It's definitely not true. Windows web hosting provides its exclusive features which Linux web hosting cannot work with and actually there are many outstanding Windows hosting providers on the market waiting for you to use.

Why & When Windows Web Hosting

The main factor for most of people choosing Windows web hosting is caused by the Microsoft technology cannot be run on the Linux platform. In detail, these reasons include:
  • Access - the file based relational database usually used by small or private websites.
  • MS SQL Server - the relational database system usually used by ASP and a large number of ASP.NET hosting providers.
  • FrontPage - the web page creator for "what you see is what you can get" that allows developers to create web pages and forms then easily upload to the website.
  • ASP - known as Classic ASP or ASP Classic, was Microsoft's first server-side script engine for dynamically-generated web pages, initially released as an add-on feature to Internet Information Services (IIS) in 1998.
  • .NET Framework - the software framework provides a variety of solutions for any kinds of applications. With the .NET Framework being mature and popular in the developer community, more and more people have devoted into ASP.NET websites development. Moreover there is another possibility that ASP.NET websites can be run on Linux based on MONO platform, but it's immature and not quality guaranteed.


At this moment, a general recommendation cannot be made because your choice should be up to your own requirements on a website project. Both Linux and Window operating system have their own advantages to power a website. During the process to opt for a web hosting platform, remember the above criteria to decide whether you find Windows hosting a better place to your website.

There are some instances when you are bothered to read long explanations. To put it simply, a question should be in your mind whether you have the need for Windows technologies like ASP.NET, Access, and MSSQL. Generally speaking, your Linux-based hosting journey will be easier and happier.