Which hosting Platforms to choose

How to choose your Web Hosting Platform, Windows or Unix?

How to choose the best web hosting option for your web site?



Which hosting platforms to choose ?
In the world of web hosting industry, there are two main types of operation system platform on which you may host your web site. We are often asked which hosting platform to choose and use, shall we go for a Unix platform or a Windows platform? We have listed some major differences between the two so that you can take into consideration when making your final decision. In the process, we have also tried to dispel any common misconceptions regarding these two platforms.

Important: One of the biggest misconceptions is, you are required to run Unix on your own computer in order for you to host your web site on Unix platform. This is not true. Whichever operating system that you may have that is running on your computer, it is irrelevant in making a decision to choose a web hosting platforms. This means that if you are running a Windows XP or Mac on your computer, you can still choose to use a UNIX platform. The same applies to a Windows platform.


Narrowing down your search based on programming language:

WINDOWS UNIX
ASP Perl
ASP.NET PHP4
Microsoft Frontpage MySQL
Microsoft MS SQL Normal HTML Pages

While it is difficult to determine which one is the better choice, it is not difficult to make a selection. The programming language in which your web site implement is what primarily dictates the type of hosting platform you should need. If you are engaging a web designer and programmer to develop your web site, it is advisable to check with them on the programming language and platform that they are going to implement and require for your web site. Alternatively, you may contact us at (65) 6720 1800 or drop us an email for a free consultation.


Ease of Use :
Over the years, many resources had been pouring into both Unix and Windows platforms to make hosting as easy as possible. Today, there are no differences in terms of ease of use between these two platforms. If you are an advanced user who prefers to work in shell environment, then Unix platform will be your choice. However, if you are using Active Server Pages (ASP), ASP.NET, ColdFusion or MS SQL, then you will need a Windows platform.


Reliability :
The industry consensus is that Unix systems is more reliable. However, you will still need to make your decision based on the differences in features rather than on reliability.


Speed :
This is where these two platforms differ the most. There is not much one platform can be achieved and cannot be done on the other one. The major difference is, how to achieved the end result. For example, if you need a database driven web site, you can choose either PHP/MySQL combination under Unix or ASP/MS SQL combination under Windows. Moreover, Microsoft FrontPage, one of the most popular web site editors out there, is supported on both UNIX and Windows platform.


Scalability :
Web sites usually change over time. Very often, they start off small and grow as the needs of the person or organization running them grow. While both platforms can often adapt to your growing needs, Windows hosting is much more easily made compatible with UNIX-based programming features like PHP and MySQL. Unix-based web software is not always 100% compatible with Microsoft technologies like .NET and VB development. Therefore if you wish to use these, you should choose Windows web hosting.


Compatibility :
Web sites designed and programmed to be served under a Unix-based web server can easily be hosted on a Windows server, whereas the reverse is not always true. This makes programming for UNIX the better choice.


Price :
Servers hosting your web site require operating systems and licenses just like everyone else. Windows 2003 and other related applications like SQL Server each cost a significant amount of money. On the other hand, Unix Systems or Linux is a free operating system to download, install and operate. Windows hosting results in being a more expensive platform. UNIX platform do hold a slight edge due to the fact that the most of the software are open-source (free in a way) and it is easier to maintain Unix servers than Windows servers for the same level of reliability and performance. Unless you specifically plan to use Windows platform specific features that is going to develop in .NET or Visual Basic, it is probably make more sense to choose a Unix platform.


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