What is the most popular platform used for web hosting and for websites?
The most popular platform used for web hosting is Linux, although Windows Web Hosting is, and still remains to be, a good option for individuals, professionals and businesses. The primary difference as to whether you need Linux- or Windows-based web hosting depends on your specific requirements as to what applications you are going to use on your website.
Many people will opt for Windows Web Hosting because they use the ASP.NET server-side programming languauge for their websites. On Linux platforms, popular choices include PHP, Perl and Ruby on Rails. So if you are going to be running an ASP.NET web application on your forum (for example, forum software that is developed in .NET, and not in another language such as PHP); then Windows Web Hosting is your sole and only choice. ASP.NET applications cannot run on any other platform except Windows Web Hosting, as Microsoft does not make the technology compatible with any other operating system platform.
If, on the other hand, you are primarily to be using PHP server-side web applications on your website, then you have greater choice; because PHP runs on both Linux- and Windows-based Web Hosting platforms. However, we would recommend you opt for Linux Web Hosting in the event you are not requiring any specific technologies only found on the Windows Web Hosting platform, for quite a few reasons:
- Linux Web Hosting is inherently more secure by design. Like regular Windows, Windows Server require antimalware software to defend itself from malicious applications. And when it comes to a server, this is very important as sensitive data is stored on a server.
- Linux Web Hosting allows you to use the cPanel control panel, which is the most widely used control panel in the web hosting industry. On Windows Web Hosting packages, you have two primary choices: DotNetPanel and Plesk.
- Linux Web Hosting is cheaper than Windows Web Hosting because Linux is free software. The Windows Server software is commercial and proprietary and has to be paid for, and these costs have to handed over to the customer as a result.
How user friendly is Windows Hosting?
Running a Windows Server is much different to running a Linux Server, but if Windows Shared Web Hosting or Windows Reseller Web Hosting satisifies your requirements, you do not need to worry about server maintenance or upgrades – with any shared web hosting or reseller web hosting package, all you need to be concerned with is your own website. However, the interface and use of the Plesk control panel on Windows Hosting versus the cPanel control panel on Linux Hosting is quite different, but are both very nice control panels to use.
If you do opt for Windows Web Hosting, a variety of application suites are included in Plesk for you to use to make it easier for you to get your website up and running. One of which is Softaculous, being a one-click installer software, making it easy and convenient to install any applications you may want on your website; such as forums, blogs, e-commerce stores, etc.
Disadvantages to Shared Web Hosting
It is important to remember that with shared web hosting, your website is hosted on a server that is also hosting hundreds of other customer websites; and as a result, it’s important to take into consideration the possibility of:
- DDoS attacks: DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service Attack, and is an easy and effective way to cause an entire server to go offline – and criminals will likely target shared hosting servers more than virtual private and dedicated servers, as it is a more effective way at causing more damage because hundreds of websites are hosted on one server. The way in which a DDoS attack is orchestrated is by having a distributed network of computers attacking a server by sending a request to the server (as your computer would do for each and every website you access through your Web browser). Too many requests at once can cause a server to overload, potentially crash the server or even cause hardware to be damaged or malfunction in the worst case scenarios. DDoS attacks are not common, but they are also not uncommon – so for business-critical applications and websites, you should consider a more robust solution than shared web hosting, regardless of the web hosting provider you go with. Any web hosting provider who promises 100% uptime on shared web hosting cannot guarantee this unless their shared web hosting servers have technical redundancy on the back-end, which is what cloud hosting offers.
- Spam e-mails: If spam e-mails are sent from a shared server from a malicious customer’s account on the server, it is likely that major e-mail service providers will blacklist the server IP; which then means the web hosting provider (including us) would need to send a request to delist the server IP from the e-mail service provider’s blacklist, which can take a few days for the request to be fulfilled. Again, not extremely common but it can happen.
- Shared hosting environment: Because shared hosting is a shared environment, for business-critical websites we do not recommend you opt for shared web hosting; this also includes for websites where downtime would cause a major loss of revenue, such as e-commerce stores. In the cases where your business requires a guaranteed uptime ratio with the technical back-end to guarantee this, you will need to look at a more robust hosting solution such as eNlight UK Cloud Hosting or eUK VMware Cloud Hosting. All of our server- and cloud-based products we sell are fully managed solutions, meaning if you have any problems or require any software or services to be installed on your cloud or dedicated server, you can request for our senior technicians to do this for you without any additional fees or bills.
We like to be honest about when shared hosting isn’t useful as we’re an honest and transparent business. There’s no point saying the great advantages to shared web hosting without weighing this against the disadvantages to shared web hosting as well.
Advantages to Shared Web Hosting
There are many advantages to shared web hosting, but it is important to remember that even though shared web hosting is the cheapest hosting option you can go for, if you have an e-commerce store or a business website where uptime is critically important, we can only suggest for you to chooe for a more robust solution to protect your business. Shared web hosting in itself is not protected against hardware failures unlike cloud-based hosting set ups. So it’s important to balance spending a bit more on a more robust solution than settling with shared web hosting when your business would suffer if any legnth of downtime occurs in the future.
When is Shared Web Hosting recommended?
If you have a personal or business website that doesn’t receive a heavy amount of traffic that would otherwise require the dedicated performance of a virtual private or dedicated server, or does not require specific server configurations for any software they may be running; then shared hosting is a great option to consider. Shared hosting is perfect for:
- blogs and forums;
- small e-commerce stores;
- business websites that do not require the back-end redundancy of Cloud Hosting or the performance of a virtual private or dedicated server;
- personal and professional websites;
- an affordable all-round solution to web hosting