In the early days of the Internet, choices were few. There were few ISPs from which to purchase Internet service, and not many websites to browse. If you were one of the early adopters who decided to build your own website in those days, you were severely limited. Chances are you constructed your website from scratch using an html editor. Your site was probably primarily text, with perhaps some rudimentary graphics. When it came time to find a place to host your website, you again encountered limitation. Some early webmasters converted their home PCs into basic web servers and hosted their sites themselves. Otherwise, you were forced to choose between a few of the early hosting providers.
Not so today. The explosive growth of the Internet was accompanied by comparable growth in the web hosting industry, and necessarily so. With thousands of new sites being created every day, enterprising server administrators saw the demand and filled it. Nowadays it seems there are as many choices when it comes to hosting as there are websites. With so many options, it can be tough for new webmasters to determine which plan is right for them. One of the most popular choices is hosting Linux servers, and indeed the majority of hosting providers use Linux based server configurations. Linux is extremely popular for web hosting due to its reliability and flexibility.
For the unfamiliar, Linux is an open source operating system. It is an outgrowth of the UNIX software framework that was created by AT&T engineers all the way back in the late 60s. Although it was originally intended as an operating system for Intel based PCs, it has gone on to find widespread use in everything from smart phones to super computers, not to mention web servers. Open source means that the original source code for the Linux OS was made available to the public under the GNU license. This allowed any developer who so desired to tweak and improve Linux, creating their own version and releasing it, either for free or commercially. The open source nature of Linux development has resulted in a very smooth running and stable OS, which explains its popularity in web server applications. When hosting companies guarantee a certain amount of uptime, they rely on stable software on their servers to make that promise, and Linux tends to deliver on those promises, more so than nearly any other OS.
In addition to stability and reliability, Linux has proven to be highly flexible, a quality that can again be attributed to the active worldwide community of Linux developers. The ability to easily add features and functionality to a web server, and to adapt quickly to constantly changing Internet landscape are hallmarks of Linux based server setups. For example, a typical hosting Linux server these days is loaded with the LAMP configuration: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. This combination of software has developed over the years to meet the demands of webmasters looking for the latest and greatest widgets and features for their site. Some of the applications of this software configuration are primarily commercial, for example e-commerce shopping cart functionality. Others simply enhance the user experience, like the ability to embed videos or allow social networking interaction. In short Linux has proven to be as unafraid of change as the pioneers who continue to innovate online today.
You may not have plans for the next Facebook, but regardless of your aspirations as a webmaster, you surely want your website to run smoothly and to be live and accessible as much as possible. You also want to be able to add the latest cool features to your site without worrying about the technical 'back end' on the server side. While nothing in the world of technology is perfect, hosting Linux comes close. Check out the variety of available plans. You can customize the various options to create a plan that fits your needs and budget, knowing that whatever plan you choose will be hosted on a reliable, flexible Linux server.