Hey guys I asked this question recently and got some good answers. I followed up by ringing a provider who said I could go either windows or linux depending on what i am going to use to script.
Basically whatever i choose to i am learning PHP (Both) and eventually ASP (Windows).
From reading endless comparisons i am confused. The hosting provider told me the price is the same regardless. the forums say windows server is expensive? and linux is free?
So when purchasing a host i use their server? so i dont have to download windows or linux???
I have an XP machine, will have win7 soon. Can someone help me in what i have to do in order to go forward.
From your end, there is no difference in cost with that provider. You won't have to do anything in terms of the server software. You will be able to upload your website files (php, html or asp).
It won't matter what OS you use at home, except for how you develop the software. If you are a Windows user and want to develop PHP programs to upload to a linux server, there are free programs that allow you to create a virtual linux web server environment (linux, apache web server, MySQL data base and PHP). I like xampp for this purpose, but there are others.
If you are learning to code in PHP first, then go with a Linux host for now. Generally, now days the cost to the customer is about the same between linux and windows servers, however, no matter what the windows hosts want to say, linux is almost always more secure.
This is only due to the fact that tons of hackers go after windows servers for no other reason than the fact that they are running windows... go figure.
You can do a lot with a windows server that you can't, with a linux server, when looking into ASP scripting, but for most sites, linux is great.
ASP can run on a linux host, if the server has something like chilisoft so you can run ASP pages, but it is not as robust as a true windows environment. But, like I said, if you are learning PHP now, or at least first,,, then go with the linux host. Worry about the windows hosting when you move into doing ASP.
If you plan to host 15-20 wordpress sites, you ought to look for a linux based whm reseller account. i would recommend not to fall for plans like "Unlimited space/bandwidth" as these plans are usually hosted on oversold servers leading to worst experience..(sometimes)
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Though you can run asp on a linux machine and php on a windows machine, asp is native to windows & php is to linux. I'd recommend php, lots of opensource support, linux is more secure & with windows & asp dev, you need to deal with licenses.
Setting up a local host via apache on your windows machine at home is really simple, we code php and test everything thoroughly before deploying onto our linux servers.
Asp does have its advantages, esp if you use dotnet. However, I run a web agency that does quite a bit of high end dev work and LAMP is always a winner with us, whether its a core application or an off the rack drupal/joomla solution.
Go in for a good linux host, you'll enjoy the stability, getting around shell is pretty easy too, you'll get a lot of support on this and other forums.
I'd also like to add, this lecture makes sense only if you're running a dynamic website(asp»sql or php»mysql). If its a static site with pages simply having slight server side scripting like includes then its a levelled field. You could just deploy your site in html and it would work fine on both servers.
While the end-user cost might be the same, I still recommend linux for PHP because it's native to that - and linux is more secure because there are not enough users using it to hackers want to develop their things to linux.