What OS should your Hosting Run on: Windows, UNIX, or Linux?

Online you will find many offering different packages on different platforms, each web hosting provider claiming theirs is the best and why you should host with them. So who to believe? Which platform should you go with for your website? There is no easy answer to this question, all of the 3 operating systems have their advantages. It is important to figure out which OS is the best for your websites unique needs. Lets review our options:

Windows Web Hosting: Microsoft created their own web server package that runs in Windows – Internet Information Server or IIS. This package lets people create web pages using ASP and ASP.NET, as well as PERL. Its advantage is in its compatibility. With IIS and ASP, a windows programmer can use his skills and incorporate windows COM objects and data access straight into web applications. SQL Server and Access are easy to manipulate with ASP. The main disadvantage of to this package is its price. You will normally pay thousands of dollars in licensing fees for the windows server 2003, and extra fees if you want to have an SQL database.

UNIX Web Hosting: It is known to be a very stable operating system. Most versions of UNIX were designed to run only on some hardware. UNIX system also has a good security. The main disadvantage with a UNIX system is lack of enhancements you can add to improve your website. Some versions are free, such as FreeBSD and OpenBSD.

Linux Web Hosting: It is a derivative of UNIX that is more flexible. It is based on the similar architecture, and is generally stable and secure. Linux server can be run on a large variety of platforms, and is always being improved. Many distributions are available, and most can be downloaded from the net for free. PHP runs best on Linux platforms.

Which solution you should use depends completely on the needs of your website and the skills of your development team.