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Understanding the Differences Between Linux and Windows Hosting Environments


Linux is more commonly used and more secure

W3Techs stats show that 41.2% of all websites with known operating systems used Linux in June 2024, compared to 15% for Windows. The security and reliability of Linux hosting environments contribute to its popularity. Windows servers are far more vulnerable to security threats.

Some Linux web servers have gone without upgrades for years, but you can't say that about any Windows web servers. Windows must be rebooted after every update.

To protect their server environments, users must set strong passwords and perform security patches. They must also secure their websites with SSL certificates.

cPanel can keep software packages and web applications up to date without any user intervention. Only Linux supports cPanel.

Linux is a better hosting environment for WooCommerce hosting

As of 2024, 28.19% of all online stores are hosted via WooCommerce. More than five million live websites use WooCommerce. The plugin has been activated on 3.9 million websites, and it has been downloaded more than 84 million times.

Linux is generally preferred for WooCommerce hosting because most of the underlying technologies that WooCommerce relies on, such as PHP and MySQL, are natively supported and optimized for Linux. Many managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting providers offer Linux-based environments optimized explicitly for these platforms.

While it's possible to run WooCommerce on Windows servers, it might require additional configuration. PHP and MySQL can run on Windows, but they are less common, and some hosting providers may not offer the same level of support.

The Linux environment facilitates the best web hosting for WooCommerce, so if you are setting up a WooCommerce store, Linux is the easiest, best-supported, and most affordable solution.

Linux requires fewer upgrades and is free

You can configure a Linux server on specific hardware, and it will run for ten or more years on that same hardware. Linux hosting environments do not change often. You don't have to upgrade the Linux operating system frequently. The novelty of unfamiliar features and functions is not a welcome aspect of web hosting and website use in general.

What's more, Linux is free, being an open-source platform. You only pay if you have to hire someone to administer the server and take care of hosting.

Windows hosting requires the user to upgrade the system quite often, and the OS comes with a licensing fee. The fee can be included in the overall hosting package price. Administrators charge more for Windows server hosting than Linux hosting.

Specific applications require a Windows server

You should consider Windows hosting if specific requirements necessitate a Windows environment. Among the applications that require a Windows server are ASP Classic, MSSQL, MS Access, Visual Basic Development, and C#. ASP.NET Windows hosting might be preferred if you are using other Windows-specific technologies or applications alongside WooCommerce, such as ASP.NET applications.

Linux is more flexible

Customization is the ability to change, add, configure, or discard apps, programs, software, files, and codes. Linux offers more flexibility than Windows when customizing your system. For example, Windows only supports the Plesk control panel. cPanel, the industry standard, is available on all Linux-based hosting plans, including shared, VPS, reseller, and dedicated Linux servers. Linux VPS, reseller, and dedicated servers also support another control panel, WHM (Web Host Manager).

On the other hand, shared and dedicated Windows servers only have a Plesk control panel. This control panel serves as data center automation and commercial web hosting software. Windows servers also support WebsitePanel, an open-source control panel specifically designed for servers running this OS.