Remember the first time you wanted to host your Website? You went to the site, checked out the plans, and just when you understood how much Bandwidth and web Space you need (after a LOT of research and deliberation), you needed to decide one more thing – Windows or Linux?
Every Reseller I speak with, whether novice or experienced, always had a different take on why one should choose Windows over Linux and vice versa. Below is a low down on which is the ideal choice.
The answer lies in a very fundamental question–What do you want your site to do? What do you want to offer on your Website? If you’re new to hosting and your site is non-revenue generating, then Linux is the best solution overall for you because linux hosting costs less. However, if you want an interactive Website with lots of features like members only area, e-commerce etc. then you might need to choose the server operating system as per the requirements. Interactive Websites usually rely on ASP, PHP, or Perl type languages. Hence, Windows would be a better option.
Security would be another issue. In this case, the UNIX based servers have better security. Mainly because these operating systems have consistently been reliable while Windows is a big target for exploitation. However for hosting, it is also important for the host to configure your site correctly and regularly update it. Speed wise both are equally good. The hardware, however, is a factor which depends on your host again. A Website designed to be hosted on a Linux based web server can be hosted on a Windows web server easily, where as the reverse is not always true. On the downside, Linux based web server is not fully compatible with Microsoft technologies. If you are using any specialized applications or features for development of your Website, it is preferable to host with a Windows based web server.
In conclusion, neither of them is actually better than the other. Both Linux and Windows can provide secure, powerful and reliable hosting services. It’s only in context of a particular Website that one of them could be better than the other.