Remember those famous commercial for Apple computers that went head to head with Microsoft PCs? They represented the Mac as a hip, trendy generation Y kid, while the PC was played by a geeky middle-aged guy wearing oversized glasses and a cheap suit. Those commercials helped take Apple products into the mainstream, especially with young people. They played a big role in making Apple the powerhouse company it is today, but they also added fuel to the fire of the Mac vs. PC debate. That debate, which had already been raging for years, will likely continue as long as both companies are making computers. The only thing that would stop it would be merger between the two tech giants, and that's not very likely.
A similar debate rages in the world of web hosting. The debate is not over hardware, but rather over the operating system employed in web servers. And it's not Mac vs. Microsoft, but rather Linux vs. Windows. While there are versions of the Mac OS that can be used in web servers, they are not very common and are used in special situations. Rather, the two industry leaders, Linux and Windows Server, continue to battle it out for web hosting supremacy. There are devotees on both sides, and multiple reasons to choose one over the other. It all depends on what you're looking for from your web host.
Some webmasters choose Windows over Linux, or vice versa, simply because they are more familiar with it. This is a perfectly valid reason, since any new software has a learning curve associated with it. Most webmasters who insist on a certain operating system, however, do so because they have specific technical requirements of their web server that result from the design and coding of their websites. This is important to point out; because it means that the choice of OS is not particularly important to most new and non technical webmasters. If you are simply looking for an easy way to host a simple blog or small website, either operating system can deliver that experience. In fact, both Linux and Windows do so remarkably well. On the other hand, if any of the technical concerns in the next paragraph apply to your website, the OS you choose can make or break it.
Windows Server has been around for a long time. It is preferred for websites designed using Microsoft FrontPage, as well as any sites incorporating .NET or Visual Basic programming languages. Windows is also generally considered the better choice for ASP and ASP.NET pages, since it usually handles active database driven content better than Linux. Linux, on the other hand is very popular among do-it-yourselfers, since it's open source and can be tweaked and modified freely. Linux based servers often come with Apache web server software, as part of the feature rich LAMP software stack. It also supports PHP and MySQL, as well as supporting Mod rewrites and chmod file permissions for administrative users.
Ultimately it depends on what you want your web server to do, and what you want to do with your website. Again, it's important to note that many webmasters will not see any appreciable difference between hosting on Linux and hosting on Windows. But it can be a very important decision for more technical websites. Whatever operating system you select, be sure to check out our plans. You can adjust the amount of storage space and bandwidth your site will require, creating a customized plan that's perfect for you. You'll get exactly what you need without paying a dime more than you need to. So check out the plans and get started today!