Windows vs. Linux Hosting Services
the Operating System your potential hosting service uses?
you happen to be running your own server system, you would not have to consider
what operating system to use for hosting your websites. That decision would
already have been made. Part of that decision making process may, however, have
involved consideration of the features that would be available to you for your
websites. Other considerations may have involved other system features as well
as cost, ease and convenience. Those aspects which concern your websites are the
same operating system considerations to be born in mind when selecting a hosting
service for your sites. Here we take a look at some of those details to help you
with that decision making process.
The vast majority of hosting services being offered today are based either on Windows or Linux. There are a few other Unix variants in use in hosting companies, but for the most part the features offered to the guest website are so similar that they can be thought of as the same. For the purposes of this discussion, "Unix" systems will be lumped together and a Linux model will be considered. There may also be hosting services based on another operating system altogether, but these are few and far between. For those systems, you would have to compare their feature sets to those discussed here.
Second to the operating system, the most important influence on the features that will be available to you will be the Web Server system in use. On Linux systems, the Web Server offered is almost always the Apache server. On Windows it's the Internet Information Server (now "Service"), IIS. Apache is also available for Windows systems, but is not very frequently used by hosting companies using the Windows platform. Again, there are other Web Servers in use but the great majority of hosting companies use one of these two.
FrontPage and the FrontPage Extensions
While their name suggests that are for enabling the use of FrontPage, the extension in fact provide a set of capabilities that is utilized by a wider range of software. FrontPage itself is a very useful web development tool. especially for someone with a less intimate knowledge of the actual codes used in website creation, but the server extensions also provide a number of utility functions that the website can take advantage of and they provide for a "post" method that allows a program (such as FrontPage or Visual Studio, among others) to "Open" the live site for updates in situ. These extensions, which can be a very important feature for you, can be installed on either a Windows or a Linux server.