Linux web hosting services are the most popular around and are offered by a large number of web hosting providers due to the fact that Linux web hosting packages are fairly cheap to offer and if done correctly can offer large profit margins. Linux is an open source operating system meaning that web hosting providers don’t have to pay a penny to use the operating system and if you choose to go for a Linux VPS server or Linux dedicated server then you will realize that you won’t be required to pay extra for the operating system. As well as being cost effective, Linux web hosting services can also provide you with a greater level of uptime that will allow you to focus on more important business activities without having to worry about the availability of your website or any of the other services that you may be running off your Linux web hosting account. Security is likely to be one of your major concerns but as a user of Linux web hosting you won’t have to worry about viruses infecting the server that your account is hosted on as similarly to Mac OSX on the desktop, Linux servers are immune to Windows based viruses and the number of Linux-specific viruses around is fairly low.
Affordability is one of the major attractions to Linux web hosting for most web hosting customers. Those who have the most basic requirements aren’t going to be wanting to spend any large amounts of money on web hosting services meaning that they are going to be searching for the cheapest web hosting package available. Due to the fact that Linux is an open source operating system, it allows most web hosting providers to be competitive with their offerings of low cost web hosting services. Even though Linux web hosting services may be cheap, you will always be offered feature rich web hosting services that have support for PHP based websites as well as the facility to host at least one MySQL database.
Uptime (sometimes referred to as reliability) is one of the biggest benefits of using Linux web hosting as Linux web hosting servers are generally more reliable than Windows web hosting servers. Some of the reasons for this increased level of reliability include:
- Software updates and patches – with a Windows server the chances are that you are going to be required to restart the hosting server every time you install a new application or application update and all of these restarts can collectively add up to a large amount of downtime – the difference with Linux servers is that you probably won’t be required to restart your server every time you install a new application or update to an existing application, although you may be required to for larger updates that affect how the operating system itself interacts with the hardware and/or the software that you are running
- Better use of server resources – Linux as an operating system is generally more conservative of the system resources that it has available to use meaning that there are going to be more spare resources available for the applications that you use the most to use – a larger amount of free system resources will also mean that if there does happen to be a load spike at any time, there are still the resources there to be able to cope with this spike whilst maintaining the server and a low load constantly to help ensure stability overall
- Better control of web hosting accounts – reliability is also something that can be affected by the number of web hosting accounts that are hosted on a single server – the software available for Linux servers such as the cPanel control panel can provide web hosting providers with a much better way of managing individual web hosting accounts to make sure that a single web hosting account isn’t able to overload the entire server using a single, badly coded PHP script or website.
The reliability available to you is likely to influence how visitors respond to your website as a website that is constantly down isn’t going to get a second visit in the eyes of most internet users. However, if you are able to offer a content rich website that is always available then you will be able to build up a good base of returning visitors.
Regardless of whether you are going to be using your website to handle sensitive information of any type, you should still be concerned about the level of security that your web hosting provider will be able to offer you. The main security features of a Linux web hosting package are likely to include:
- CSF firewall – this is one of the most widely used firewall applications for Linux servers for the simple fact that it is open source and therefore free to use, but at the same time it is also effective in fulfilling its primary purpose as a firewall – most web hosting companies use CSF to block the IP addresses of any servers or computers that try to hack into them, thus meaning that this firewall application plays a large role in keeping your Linux web hosting account and the data stored in your web space safe
- Mod_security – this is an additional module to the Apache web server and can be highly effective in the prevention of web based attacks through compromised PHP scripts and MySQL databases – any web hosting company offering Linux web hosting is going to be using mod_security to a good extent to help keep their servers safe from any SQL injections or other forms of web based attack that could take place – in order for mod_security to be effective, a large rule set needs to be used
- Your own scripts – if you are going to be hosting a dynamic website that you have scripted yourself on your Linux web hosting account then you may wish to double check your coding for any possible loopholes prior to publishing it in an active hosting environment – when developing a website quickly it can be very easy to use coding methods that are either outdated or insecure when compared to other methods that are available and for the most part it is important for you to be using code that can’t be compromised by potential hackers.
Security is something that you won’t have to worry about with a Linux web hosting service, although in order to receive the highest levels of security possible you should consider using a highly reputable web hosting provider that has a good track record with security.