When you build a website, you need a medium or a platform through which you can show it to the internet users. A service that provides such medium or platform is known, as Web Hosting. It allows organizations and individuals to publish their websites on the Internet. Web Hosting Providers provide this service. They host your website by storing your website files on the special high-powered computer called servers connected to a special network.
Now to access your hosted website, you need to access the IP address of the computer (server) on which it is hosted on. Obviously, it is not easy to remember the IP addresses; hence, domain names are used to fetch the web pages from the server. Domain names, in other words, are the addresses of the websites on the internet. These are unique and represent only a single website. When an internet user types your domain or website address into his browser, he will connect to the server on which the website is Hosted and the web pages will be loaded into his browser.
Web Hosting does not only include hosting your website on servers but it includes the management of these servers, software, security, support, memory, and speed.
Types of Web Hosting:
Shared Web Hosting
It is the most popular and cheapest way to create a web presence. In this type of hosting, multiple websites are hosted on a single server. It means that the server resources and the storage will be shared among these websites. Every website will be provided a sharing limit by the web-hosting provider. But it is not recommended for the websites having high traffic as the servers can become overburdened, affecting the other hosted websites as well.
A dedicated hosting means hosting your websites on your dedicated server. It is more reliable and has better performance in contrast to shared hosting. You can add your custom firewall to modify access controls and have the flexibility of adding or removing software and changing configurations of the server. Moreover, server-overburdening issue due to high traffic can be resolved. Your control over the server allows you to customize it in your way. The only drawback it has is that it is more expensive.
A Virtual Personal Server (VPS) is a virtual server that resides on a dedicated server on a physical machine having multiple OS. In other words, you have a dedicated space in a shared environment. There can be other websites hosted with a dedicated space in the same-shared environment but privacy is maintained here by no access to other website files. Unlike in Shared web hosting, you have a dedicated amount of memory, which will not be affected by high traffic on other websites. They are easy to maintain and less expensive than dedicated servers.
Cloud web hosting means that hosting your websites on cloud servers. These cloud servers are not dedicated physical servers but virtual servers. These virtual servers reside on various physical web servers, connected to each other. Your website does not rely on one server and having more than one web server allows you to reduce the risk of downtime of your website in case of a malfunction of a server. The load is distributed among the servers and can then be maintained easily.
One of the best reasons to opt for cloud hosting is that you reduce or increase the number of resources as per your requirement anytime, resulting in cost saving. You have the benefit of flexibility by paying the exact amount of the server resources that you use.
Linux, the Preferred Web Hosting Choice
If you want to host your website on the internet, you may have to choose the particular web hosting according to your requirements. Then, you may choose the web host provider, providing that particular web hosting solution. However, before that you may have to select the right web platform to host your website. Either it can be a Windows-based server or a Linux based server.
Linux is considered scalable, flexible and cost-effective Operating System option for Web Hosting servers. Being an open source platform, we witness regular upgrades in this Operating System because of the contributions of researchers and developers from around the World. Unlike Windows, in which bug fixes and updates take some time to arrive. Hence, Linux is considered the more advanced technically.
It is observed that the performance of Linux while handling the high number of processes at the same time is much better than Windows. This proves that the stability of Linux is better.
The best thing about preferring Linux is that being an open source platform, it is free to use. In comparison, you have to purchase license fee to use Windows.
Safe and Secure
One of the best features of Linux is its access control, which makes it a safe and secure option to consider. It can restrict the rights of the users and only allow root and administrator users to have full control to access and modify.
When is Windows preferred?
Yet, you will still see some people preferring Windows on hosting servers. One of the main reasons is that Windows Applications developed in .NET or ASP languages can only run on Windows server. In addition, it can run almost everything that a Linux server can run but it comes at a high price.
In a Nutshell
Linux based server is also considered more stable, reliable, secure and cost-effective than a Windows-based server. Therefore, Linux remains the first choice for web hosting, while Windows is preferred to fulfill specific needs.
Industry trusts Linux based servers more than Windows-based servers. It is probably because Linux has been around for a longer time. Although, Windows is also an advanced and capable tool for hosting with right server configuration and proper maintenance. However, the most important factor that outweighs Linux over Windows is the cost and licensed tools required in Windows.
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