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Linux or Windows - Which platform should I choose?


We are often asked which hosting platform you should choose, Linux or Windows. Technically there is no difference to the
end user (the client browsing your web site), so the important difference is in the way your website has been programmed.

Below, we've listed the major differences between the two that you should consider in making your decision.

Important: Although you may use a Windows computer at home or at work, it does not mean you have to use Windows
hosting. Using Windows your own computer does not affect the way you communicate with your website.

Linux or Windows
       
  Most Common  
  Linux is by far the most common web hosting platform used throughout the world. Linux has a history of strong performance and reliability and has been the chosen platform for many years. Over 90% of websites are compatible with Linux, and only those websites that have been specifically developed to use Windows technologies need to use a Windows server.
       
  User Friendliness  
  Today, there are no real differences in the user friendliness between these platforms. All our web hosting plans come with a Control Panel allowing you to take control of your website in a simple, stress free manner. If you are an advanced user, then Linux is your choice as you have more options. However, if you are a beginner, you will find both platforms user friendly.
       
  Reliability  
  At this point it really does not matter whether you choose a Windows or Linux based solution. Both offer premium uptime, reliability and security. In the past people used to use Linux because of its increased reliability over Windows, but since the Windows 2003 release of their server software Microsoft has definitely closed the gap in this area. What this means is that you can make your decision based on the differences in features rather than on reliability.
       
  Compatibility  
  Web sites designed and programmed to be hosted on a Linux based web server can easily be hosted on a Windows server, whereas the reverse is not always true. This makes programming for Linux the better choice.
       
  Speed  
  Web sites designed and programmed to be hosted on a Linux based web server can easily be hosted on a Windows server, whereas the reverse is not always true. This makes programming for Linux the better choice.
       
  Development & Functionality  
  This is where the two web hosting platforms differ the most. A website can be developed to do the same thing but using different programming and database technologies.

Linux web hosting enables all websites that have been developed utilising the most widely used development tools including Perl, PHP, MySQL databases, cgi scripts and can also use some Frontpage Extensions.

Windows web hosting is the only choice if your website has been developed using Microsoft tools including ASP, .NET, MS SQL databases, Access databases, the newer extended frontpage extensions and other specific Microsoft tools that are only available with Windows.
       
  Price  
  Linux web hosting is generally less expensive than Windows web hosting due to Licence fees to use the products. Licenses are required to operate Windows 2003 Server while Linux is freely available. This translates into Windows web hosting being more expensive.

We at Swish Connect have worked hard though to keep the prices for Linux and Windows level ... but in order to do so, only the higher plans are available on Windows web hosting accounts.
       
  Our Experience  
  In our experience, Linux web hosting is the way to go for virtually every website. As mentioned previously, the only reason a Windows web hosting account is required is if your website was specifically developed for a windows server.
       
  Our Advice  
  Our advice to all our customers, is that if your website does not use any Windows specific technologies, then Linux web hosting is the one to choose. If you are unsure what technologies were used to develop your website, speak to your web developer/designer.

In most cases, if you are unsure which web hosting platform is required, then it means Linux is the way to go. If you are still unsure or have any doubts, contact our friendly sales team who can help point you in the right direction.
     
     
     
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