In the arena of web hosting, two operating systems have established themselves on the market. Web hosting providers use either the open source system Linux or the proprietary Windows Server operating system from Microsoft to operate their servers. From this comes that the first decision that customers have to make when ordering a web space package is the choice between a Linux or Windows Webhosting.

Linux and Windows

On the one hand, we have the open source system Linux, which is available in numerous distributions such as Debian, CentOS or Ubuntu, and on the other hand, the Microsoft Windows Server operating system, which is, however, linked to a license that you have to pay for. While some vendors have specialized in a particular type of hosting, other web hosts offer their customers both variants.

An example of Linux hosting is A2hosting. Hosting Manual presents excellently what can you expect from a Linux web host.

The Average Customer

Generally speaking, customers are often confused when looking for the right web hosting package and do not know which of the two operating system variants is the right one. It does not matter which system you have at home because all devices can be connected without problems. It is also not important which system one knows better since the administration of a web hosting account is taken over by the hosting provider.

A customer has no influence on the operating system level (unless it’s a VPS or a dedicated server).

The decision does not play an important role for the majority of users who want to create a simple website. Both Windows and Linux web hosting offers all the basic functions required to operate and manage a website. This includes, for example, the uploading of your own data via FTP access. Administrative tasks, such as setting up e-mail addresses and subdomains are also managed by customers through a special management interface. It is therefore not necessary to work directly

It is therefore not necessary to work directly in the operating system. Differences between Linux and Windows have to be considered only for very specific projects that require specific scripting languages or tools for operation.

Advantages and characteristics of a Linux web hosting

Linux was developed by the Finnish programmer Linus Torvalds and has been available since 1992 under GNU General Public License as free software with open source code. Thanks to the modular design of the system, Linux can be individually expanded and adapted exactly to your own needs. The operating system is primarily used in the server area, above all due to the reliability, stability, and performance.

Linux is ideally suited as a web server environment, mainly using the Apache or Nginx software. With the perfect support of scripting languages such as PHP, Python, Perl or CGI, as well as the use of database systems such as MySQL or PostgreSQL, all online projects can be implemented from a small private website to professional online shop systems. Many open source applications are also available for Linux web hosting, including content management systems and e-commerce solutions.

The configuration of the hosting package can be configured by the customer via an integrated management software such as cPanel or Confixx. Since no license fees are incurred (for the operating system), Linux Webhosting packages are usually offered at a lower price.

Advantages and characteristics of a Windows web hosting

The Windows operating system, developed by Microsoft, was released in 1993 for the first time in a separate version optimized for use on server systems. Since then, the software has been continuously developed and regularly released new versions. All Microsoft Windows Server systems are proprietary software. Unlike Linux, the source code is not public and there are license fees for the use of the system.

A special feature of the Windows Server operating system is that it is possible to drag and drop administrative tasks via the Net Framework and SharePoint. In addition, the system is required for special windows-specific applications such as ASP, VBScript or .NET. In addition to the widely used database systems such as MySQL or PostgreSQL, Windows Webhosting also supports MSSQL and Microsoft Access databases.

As a web server Microsoft’s IIS Server is used for the configuration of the hosting package. Users can use special management interfaces such as Plesk. Because of the incurring license costs, Windows web hosting is usually somewhat more expensive than a comparable Linux package.


When deciding between a Linux or Windows web hosting, it depends on the planned web project. Both systems are powerful and fulfill your purpose when it comes to hosting a simple website. Customers can easily upload their data to the web space via FTP using both systems. Security and stability are also ensured by a Linux as well as by a Windows, which in both cases takes care of the administration of the server.

Basically, it is recommended to use Linux hosting if you want to create a website using classic open source applications such as the blog platform WordPress or the content management system Joomla. Linux Hosting is also the first choice for the creation of community forums or online shops.

Only for online projects which require a Microsoft environment in the form of ASP, .NET or MSSQL database, must a Windows web hosting be selected.