Monday, October 27, 2008

Windows Web Hosting

What is Windows based web Hosting? In this web hosting, the operating system of the web server is windows based. You might have used Microsoft Windows for years on your home computers. Microsoft also has a server based operating system suite which is used in Windows based web hosting. Usually most web hosting companies today make use of Microsoft Windows 2003 Server and the recently released Microsoft Windows 2008 Server.

Godaddy.com offers very good windows based web hosting on a powerful infrastructure. They have Windows hosting plans from as low as $4.08 per month and if you sign up for an entire year then it is even lower at $3.85 per month; which saves you a good 10% at Godaddy.com along with several features.

There are several advantages of Windows Based Web Hosting. Some of the advantages are listed below.

Known Environment: As I said earlier, we have been using Windows on our home computers for years. Hence, we know the Windows based environment, the windows filesystem( filesystem means the way we have files arranged on our computer in drive:folders\file format in windows). The windows based web hosting also has the same file system and hence we dont have to learn new concepts from scratch. You wont feel the important of this point if you are using shared hosting, however this point is of more importance if you are using dedicated web hosting and you have to manage your dedicated web hosting account on your own from a remote location.

.NET Framework: I believe the .net framework and everything that comes with it, the development environment Visual Studio and several other tools is the greatest Microsoft product after Windows; And with Windows based web hosting you get to leverage this enormous power of .net in your web applications. This will be especially be useful with Microsoft having a range of interesting products under .net in the form of Microsoft Silverlight( which is Microsofts competition to Adobe Flash) and the Windows Presentation Framework and the Windows Communication framework along with several others. You can build really cool Rich Internet Applications from using these. Ofcourse needless to say you can obviously use ASP and ASP.NET with Windows based web hosting which you cannot with linux based web hosting.

Use of both the Worlds: In this type of web hosting you can use all the programming and scripting languages in the windows environment like ASP,ASP.NET, the rich .net framework as well as several scripting languages in Linux world as well like PHP,Python and Perl. The same is applicable with databases, you can use Microsofts SQL and MySQL both on the same pc and the same time. This means that you can have one website that uses asp.net and MS-SQL and another that uses PHP and MySQL. This is the unique advantage of Windows based web hosting. This cannot be accomplished in Linux based web hosting.

Windows based web hosting although very beneficial has its own concerns as well. The Windows based web hosting has the following concerns:

Licensing costs: Windows based web hosting are usually costly as compared to Linux web hosting. This is because Windows unlike Linux is not free and has its own costs and annual licenses. This costs are passed on to you the consumer by the web hosting company. Hence Windows web hosting is relatively costly.

Control Panel: Linux based web hosting has a defacto control panel standard cpanel, there are several control panels in use to manage windows based web hosting. This is essentially important if you want to transfer your website from one web host to another and both the web hosts have different control panels. Care should be taken that there are no compatibility issues with respect to control panels.

These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of Windows based web hosting. The above factors should be taken into consideration when planning to buy a windows based web hosting package. As i mentioned above Godaddy.com offers excellent windows web hosting for as low as $3.85 per month.

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