Windows hosting is one of the options available for hosting services. The operating system is one of the most important parameters in any web hosting service. This determines what scripts and database will run on the server.
How is it applied to hosting?
Windows hosting supports ASP scripts and uses .net and other Microsoft based systems and technologies. It is also equipped to support Microsoft SQL (MSSQL) server database. Its toughest competition, Linux based hosting on the other hand works with PHP, Perl, and Python, among other scripts which originated from Unix. As for databases, it supports MySQL and PostgreSQL.
In general, Linux is actually compatible with all scripting languages except those patented by Microsoft. On a practical application, Linux scripts are applied to WordPress, Zen Cart, and phpBB. Unix, which is often linked to Linux scripts, can actually be a separate hosting operating system on its own. Unix hosting however, have major similarities with Linux services.
Although Windows hosting is considered an operating system, any computer OS can be used with it. There is no restriction on the computer OS which can run on it. Linux on the other hand is not compatible and does not work with all computer OS.
Why Windows Hosting?
As a general rule, those who will build sites based on Microsoft features should subscribe to Windows hosting services. Windows hosting is also recommended for websites designed for e-commerce with interactive features such as chat. These function better with Windows than with other OS.
Linux or shared web hosting is cheaper because it is an open source system. There are no licensing fees which need to be covered by web developers. It can be improved, developed further, and modified on a general public license. This explains why it is distributed by different companies separately with their own version. Some of these versions include Red Hat, Ubuntu, and SUSE Linux. Windows hosting on the other hand is licensed under Microsoft. Licensing requirement and fees makes it more expensive.
Although Unix and Linux are relatively cheaper, these have limitations when it comes to scripts and database. Windows hosting still has more advantages compared to its competitors. Although the OS does not really matter much, most technologies today are running on Windows. This makes it more convenient to use it over other hosting OS.
As for usage, Windows hosting platforms are very easy to use and remarkably user friendly. Those without any experience as web designers are better off with Windows OS hosting services than other options. Linux is actually more complicated when it comes to interface and is best for those with background as webmaster.
Linux does have an edge over Windows hosting. Linux systems are known for being far more secure, reliable, and stable when compared to Windows web hosting services. Windows is relatively newer compared to Linux. Thus, although Windows does offer a competitive level of security, reliability, and stability, Linux is more dependable.
When it comes to flexibility, Linux or Unix based servers can be hosted without any problems on a Windows server. It cannot be done the other way around.
Where to Find the Service?
Some of the top Windows hosting based on hosting sites include 1&1, Arvixe, IX Web Hosting, midPhase, Cool Handle, IPower, Network Solutions, Register.com, MyHosting.com, Host Excellence, LunarPages, GoDaddy, APlus.net, Sino Hosting, and Gossimer.
How to Choose a Service
Since most Windows hosting offer similar packages and features, other factors to consider include company experience, client and customer feedback, and prices. Researching and comparing companies can help in deciding which are the best based on personal preferences, needs, and budget. One factor which may be more important to one subscriber may not be so important to another. This means choosing a hosting service still boils down to individual choice.