UNIX vs. Windows- What server operating system should I use for my web hosting?

So you’ve decided to create a website? The most
obvious thing that you need is of course web hosting. Among other
things, like cost and features, you’ll need to decide which server
you’ll need: Windows (NT, 2000 or XP) or Unix (Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD,

Both have their merits, so the first thing you should think about when
making this decision is if you are looking for stability, or ease of
use. UNIX based servers are generally superior in the site up-time and
stability areas than Windows systems. However, while they need to be
rebooted more often, Windows servers are generally easier to administer
and use.

Many beginners to web hosting will be confused over the pros and cons
of the different operating systems. While, Unix is more stable and
secure it uses a command line interface for administration. This
interface, which is like the original t:MS-DOS interface, can be difficult
to understand to a website newbie. Also, in order to keep a t:UNIX
machine stable, one must update the kernel and software regularly, a
process which is more difficult than Windows. This however, can be made
just as easy to do if your web host has good administration software.
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Another thing to consider when choosing which
operating system to use is whether you will be using scripting. If so
what kind? For example, if you will be using a dynamic site, and decide
that you want to go Perl as your language of choice then UNIX should be
your operating system of choice. This is also true for languages such as
PHP, and t:Pythlon. On the other hand, if you choose to go for an ASP
based site then you should choose Windows. However, to complicate the
matter further some UNIX systems can run t:ASP scripts, although the
quality of the script execution can be lesser.
Bare in mind that if you choose a Windows-based web
server (this does not apply to hosting accounts as the host should take
care of it for you) you will need to update the software with patches
from Microsoft’s web site almost weekly to prevent your site from being
exploited. UNIX administrators will only have to do so monthly or so as
UNIX is more secure by nature, and needs fewer patches and software

Unix operating systems are generally the
preferred operating system, however, in the end, if you do everything
correctly, a UNIX hosted web site and a Windows hosted web site will
function somewhat equally, and both should make you happy. Be sure to
keep operating costs and maintained in mind when making your decision
and you won’t regret it.

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