How To Choose a Suitable Web Hosting Platform? – It is not a secret that newbie webmasters often get lost in the diversity of web host’s special offers and packages. One is offered to choose between Linux-based and Windows platforms. How to make the right choice? Should the server platform match the OS on one’s PC? In this article, we will help the beginner to understand the basics of webmaster’s craft and try to help you choosing a hosting platform which is suitable for your needs.
Choosing a Suitable Web Hosting Platform
You Don’t Need To Match The OS on Your PC to The OS on Server
First of all let us spread the common myth that the OS you are running on your PC has to match the OS on the server you are going to use to create and manage your web project. That is so untrue. You do not have to look for the web host running the same OS as you are just because there is Windows or Mac installed on your machine. Your computer has nothing to do with the platform you are going to run your website on. Web host’s OS and the OS on your PC are two different things altogether. Let us make things clear and discuss the two aspects that trouble new webmasters separately.
1. It Is Not About Compatibility
There is a widely spread opinion that two identical systems have to be used on a computer and web host, otherwise the machines will not be compatible and it will be impossible to work on them. That is nonsense. Nothing from the server shall be running on your computer, nor is anything from your PC going to be run on the web host system. No matter what OS you are using, files and applications you want to run on your web host are not the things you usually manage on your PC.
2. It Does Not Make Things Easier
You might think that your experience with one of the OS will make it easier for you to manage the same system on a server. Wrong. Do not count on seeing the nice familiar Start menu button on a web host with Windows. There will be no such button at all, nor anything alike nice old Windows interface. You will need web editor software to be able to access files on the server. The user interface you are going to work with will solely depend on the OS running on your web host. And it is absolutely up to you what interface to choose.
So, What To Choose? Linux or Windows?
The only criteria for deciding what web host package to take are your web project specific requirements and it has almost nothing to do with your personal preferences in what OS to run on a machine.
1. Are ASP or .NET or Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL Server Needed?
First of all, we advise you to decide on what technology your web project shall rely. Will it need such Windows-specific technologies as ASP, or .NET or Microsoft Access, or MSSQL? Does your website have to directly execute ASP or .NET code, or directly access Access or MSSQL databases? If the answer is yes, it will be a good idea to get a Windows web hosting package. Of course, there are ways to adopt these things for Linux-based systems as well, but using Windows web host will save your time and effort.
If you are completely new to the business of running websites then we can recommend HostForLIFE where you can get your own domain name and a cheap yet reliable Windows hosting solution. HostForLIFE.eu is Microsoft No #1 Recommended Windows and ASP.NET Hosting in European Continent.
2. Do You Need PHP, Perl, WordPress, Blogging Software, MySQL?
This may sound a bit confusing. All you want to do is to launch a simple web project and now you have to go through all this terminology. What are these things anyway? To run a simple web project such as blog or personal online market without any complex requirements it is recommended to choose Linux-based hosts. These hosts are the first choice of private and commercial websites. The large diversity on tutorial materials available on the Web makes it easy to configure and manage those servers.
Therefore, if you insist on needing PHP, Perl or a MySQL database for some purposes, it also will be a good idea to go with Linux. You can still run all those PHP, Perl and MySQL on Windows machines, but bear it in mind that things do not work quite the same way as they do on the Linux-based systems. You might need to adjust some scripts to run them under Windows.
Think carefully before deciding on what web editor to use. Remember that the most important criteria is whether the tool you are going to use is user-friendly, because if it is not, it will be hard to enjoy working on a project. The best option is to get a web editor that is capable of handling a lot of slow and tiresome tasks automatically. It will surely save a great deal of your time. If you need some specific Windows technologies, such as ASP, .NET, MSSQL or Access, you would probably better get a Windows web hosting package. In case words ASP, .NET, MSSQL or Access do not ring a bell, make your life easy by deciding in favor of Linux hosting.
For beginners it is also strongly recommended to get acquainted with some guides on how to create a website. These guides usually describe the software you would need to start working on a website and also cover web hosting topic. We can recommend ASPHostPortal for beginner webmasters, they have nice site builder tools and good hosting solutions.