Monday, October 27, 2008

Linux based Web Hosting

What is Linux based web Hosting? It is a web hosting account set on a server that runs on a Linux based operating system. A Linux based web hosting plan has several advantages as compared to hosting the server on a windows based operating system.

Some of the advantages of the Linux based web hosting are:

Cheaper: A linux based web hosting plan is always cheaper than the Windows based web hosting plan. The reason that a Linux based web hosting plan is cheaper is because the Linux in itself is a free operating system and so are various distributions of Linux. Hence, the web hosting company does not have to spend money buying the operating system or on licensing cost and the web hosting company transfers this savings in cost on the users that is you. Hence, the Linux based operating systems are cheaper.

Support for PHP/MySQL: PHP/MySQL is the most popular server side scripting language and database combination. It is very easy to create dynamic web site using PHP/MySQL and more over since these are also freely available there is ample support for both of them from the open source community. How is this support helpful to you? there are thousands of code samples and forums that discuss PHP and MySQL which makes coding simpler.

Embrace open standards: Linux, as an operating system in itself is open in nature and hence Linux based web hosting plans support many other open standards or platforms or open programming languages. Hence you can use programming languages like PERL or Python in Linux based web hosting plans. You can also use CGI in these plans if you are a fan of cgi although cgi is largely outdated these days.

Standardized Control Panel: Most Linux based web hosting plans have cpanel as a control panel. This control panel is not standardized but it can be called as a defacto standard as it is most commonly used. The main advantage of this is that since the control panel is standardized you will find it easier if you move from a web hosting company to other or if you want to move your web hosting account to other web hosting company. There will not be any compatibility issues.

Although above factors might make you think that linux based web hosting is the only thing you need to know, linux based web hosting might be difficult to manage if you have a dedicated unmanged linux based web hosting package. One more disadvantage of Linux based web hosting is that you wont be able to use any of the Microsoft technologies like ASP/ASP.NET and the .net framework in your website. Although there are alternatives for everything, .net technologies might be a important factor to consider.Having said above, if you are content with PHP/Python/perl and believe me these languages have libraries for just about everything then Linux based web hosting is best for you.

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