Windows web hosting services are designed for those whose requirements outstrip what most basic Linux web hosting services will be able to offer. Such requirements could include the need for a Microsoft SQL Server hosting service or a web hosting environment that is capable of hosting classic ASP and ASP.NET web pages and scripts. A Windows web hosting package can improve your perception of web hosting since it will provide you with another platform to use other than Linux meaning that you will be introduced to a realm of new features that you can exploit to benefit you as much as possible. Most web hosting providers can offer based Windows shared hosting packages all the way up to Windows dedicated servers meaning that there will always be a service available to meet your budget.
What are the advantages of Windows web hosting?
Windows web hosting services can provide advantages to Windows web developers and others who will be able to make the most of the features that a Windows web hosting package will be able to offer. The main advantages of Windows web hosting include:
- ASP web hosting – a Windows web hosting service, regardless of the form of web hosting you choose to go with, will be able to provide you with an ASP web hosting service meaning that you will be able to host classic ASP and ASP.NET web pages within your web hosting account – both of these scripting languages have been developed by Microsoft and are widely used by Windows web developers, and due to the fact that they have been developed by Microsoft pages and scripts created using these will only function correctly in Windows web hosting environments
- Microsoft SQL Server hosting – since this is a Microsoft product you will find that MSSQL databases will only function correctly when hosted in a Windows web hosting environment – most Windows shared hosting services come with support for at least one Microsoft SQL Server database, but if you choose to go for a Windows VPS server or a Windows dedicated server then you will be able to host an unlimited number of databases for free if you choose to use Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition
- Microsoft Access hosting – Windows web hosting services can also provide you with support for Microsoft Access databases, the database application usually at the heart of most basic ASP websites – unlike Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access databases aren’t that scalable since they are created using a desktop application and are called directly as a file rather than through a service as is the case with MSSQL databases.
The advantages of Windows web hosting show that if you are using various Microsoft technologies as part of your web projects then you will probably find a Windows web hosting service to be very helpful when developing your websites.
What are the disadvantages of Windows web hosting?
Windows web hosting can provide some users with disadvantages even though they have a distinct need for Windows web hosting and Linux web hosting won’t be able to fulfill their requirements properly. Some of the disadvantages that you could face when using Windows web hosting include:
- Price – Windows web hosting services are always going to be more expensive than their Linux equivalent since you need to take into consideration the cost of the Windows operating system, and since Linux is a free operating system it is a cost that is never passed on to Linux web hosting users – prices will change depending on the web hosting provider you choose to use, but when using Windows dedicated hosting it is a good idea to remember that Windows Server 2003 will be cheaper to use than Windows Server 2008
- Uptime and reliability – Windows web hosting services may not always be able to offer good value for money when it comes to uptime and reliability since Windows servers aren’t known for their reliability – if you feel that the reliability of your web hosting service could affect you then you may wish to consider a Windows dedicated hosting service as this will provide you with more control over the reliability of your Windows web hosting service.
In conclusion, Windows web hosting should only be considered if you have the budget that will allow you to purchase a decent Windows web hosting package but will also allow you to make sure that you have a Windows web hosting service that will meet your requirements. Windows web hosting should only be considered if you are sure that there is no way Linux web hosting will be able to cater for you.