Linux Vs Windows Web Hosting Servers

Most of the time when working in web development there will be two types of operating systems for a web server, Linux and Windows. When you hear Linux Server and Windows Server, you are just hearing the different operating systems the server will be running. This can be a big deal if you have certain expectations. Usually you will have one main question, which one is better? There really isn’t an answer to this. It is more on the developer and what he is trying to accomplish.

Operating System Common Features

There are a few common features both Windows and Linux will provide. One is how you transfer your files. Both Windows and Linux support FTP access to edit, delete or transfer files. Both operating system can render some of the same file types. HTML (.html) and JavaScript (.js) are both commonly used on both platforms. You can also run CGI in Linux and Windows. CGI is an application that is similar to writing in Perl or C#. This can help with forms and dynamic content, usually used with shopping carts. MYSQL Database and PHP can run on both Linux and Windows, but these two web development languages are more common on Linux.

Linux Operating System Server

Linux Web Hosting is probably the most used server operating system in the market. Most developers love Linux because it is open source and will support PHP and MySQL perfectly. The plus side of all of these great features is that Linux, PHP and MySQL is all FREE! They cost nothing and are all open source applications.

PHP and MySQL can be coded together to make anything possible. PHP can run on different platforms like Windows, but most of the time it is ran through Linux. They use the same tags and attributes as HTML, but you can include functions and scripts to be ran on the server side. Making Dynamic pages that will pull data, insert data, or modify data in a MySQL table. PHP can also support different tables such as Oracle, Sybase, Solid, PostgreSQL, Generic ODBC.

Linux Top Advantage – FREE & Open Source!

Windows Operating System Server

Should you go with Windows? It really matters on what coding language you are going to develop with and what your end goal of your project is. Most Web Developers will code PHP and MySQL on a Linux Server. Some have moved to ASP coding language that is only supported on a Windows Server. ASP coding is a very universal coding language.

Windows Web Hosting has become more and more popular as web developers look into ASP. ASP is a server coding language that is only supported on a Windows Server. ASP stands for Active Server Pages which is a free component with Windows 2000 and Windows XP. It can also be found in the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack.

ASP coding language is a lot like a HTML file. This will contain different tabs and attributes as HTML or XML. What makes ASP different from HTML is that the request is read through the server and executes the ASP function or script of the file. ASP can run coding languages that are similar to computer programming languages. ASP can link to different database languages.

Windows Top Advantage – Easier to Config

Security Issues and Concerns

One quick thought about both Linux and Windows servers is which is better for security. Security is one of your biggest concerns when having a website and even more when you have an ecommerce store. The sad thing about this topic is that it is an argument that will never be solved. It all comes down to if the hacker wants in or not. They both have security problems. The best way to prevent anything from happening is having a good web administrator or a good web hosting company. Having one or both of these will keep your mind at ease.

Which Web Operating System is Better?

Looking at some of the features, neither is better than the other. There are just some advantages and disadvantages of both. Finding what your website needs is the decision maker. Windows or Linux can both be used for your advantage. Some web developers love to use one or the other because of what they are used to. Some web developers only use one or the other because of the coding language they will be using. Remember there are pros and cons to both, but a website is made by the web developer, not the operating system.

When Do I Start Making Money From My Web Site?

The million dollar question! Of course, the dream is that I put up a web site and within 6 months I’m living in a condo in Southern Spain, rolling high on the profits. I’ve been in web development since 1997, and I haven’t even had a two week vacation in Southern Spain. Either I’ve been cheated or there is something wrong with that model!

The problem with the dream perception is a lack of understanding of web models in 1) how long it takes to build a web site, 2) how long it takes to make a profit from a web site, and 3) how much work it takes to keep both the web site and the profits rolling. I worked for one non-profit with a very viable web site model, but totally unrealistic expectations. One particular board member started asking me, “How are sales?” from the first few weeks after the site “went live.” I always wanted to tell him, “You are asking the wrong question.” One of the questions he should have been asking is, “Now that the web site is up and running, what do we need to do to make a profit?”

One of the results of not understanding the web model timeline was that there were not enough resources allocated to make the site profitable. And, the lack of a plan with specific steps to get there made it very frustrating. The only goal was to make a profit; there were no acknowledged intermediate goals to show steps toward success.

7 Basic Web Models

  1. Very small, static, informational site to market a brick and mortar business.
  2. Very small, static, informational site with some programming (feedback form, newsletter signup, calendar, etc) to market a brick and mortar business.
  3. Small site to market a business without a brick and mortar business.
  4. Website with shopping functions to expand a brick and mortar business.
  5. Website with shopping functions without a brick and mortar business.
  6. Website to generate advertising revenue.
  7. Web services web site (online stock broker, online conference registration, online sales management, …)

An Example: a small, static, informational site to market a brick and mortar business
The benefit for this site is that your business is already known. People have walked into your facility and made purchases. Your website is another way for them to interact with you. You can start web traffic as soon as your site is up, just by making sure your existing customers know about your web site. This is a case where the timeline from beginning to profitability can be relatively short (months).

For many businesses, this is a great place to start. A small site allows you to gather your ideas and try them out without the time and expense of a large site. A larger site can be part of your long term planning.

Planning Steps

  • look at your competitors sites to see what they are doing
  • ask your staff and customers what would be helpful for them on your web site
  • decide what pages you want and what photos and content they should have
  • gather photos and write text
  • learn about the technologies available for you to use for development
  • learn about how the technologies you choose will affect your search engine optimization
  • decide what you would like your web site to look like, a rough sketch on paper will do (notice this is last!)
  • Don’t be surprised if this takes several months!!!

Building

  • find out what human web resources you have available (the people who can build your site or classes for you to do the development)
  • learn the up and down sides to your possibilities and make a choice – remember, you will have to live with this one for a while!
  • start the development process
  • TEST EVERYTHING
  • This could take from an afternoon (if all your photos and text are ready) to several months, depending on schedules and how many changes you want.

Marketing

  • while your web site is in development, write your title and alt tags
  • make a schedule for weekly (preferable) or monthly updates to your web site – forever
  • get at least one new link back to your site from another site each week – forever
  • get good feedback on what your viewers think about your web site – forever
  • People have to find your site before it becomes an asset to your business. Even if you do Planning and Building perfectly, if no one finds your web site, there are no profits from it. This one is a forever process.

Success Points! (have a little toast at the end of each one of these)

  • Plan with list of pages and rough draft of “look and feel” is finished.
  • All materials are gathered
  • First iteration of the site is up and running online
  • Staff and selected user tests have resulted in good feedback (is. changes that need to be done)
  • Feedback changes are finished.
  • 1000 visits in a month
  • 5000 visits in a month
  • 1st sale that can be directly attributed to the web site.
  • etc!

If you don’t recognize the small successes, both you and your staff will become very discouraged, waiting to make it big. Each success point represents a successful outcome.

Revisiting the Benefits of PHP and WordPress Development for Your Business

PHP is at its peak of popularity as a web development language. WordPress is the most popular content management system known. Both of these are known for their simplicity, flexibility and scalability. Businesses find immense comfort in working with either PHP as a core development language, or with a CMS like WordPress that offers a user-friendly interface to work with. It is developed with PHP as a base and can be programmed and customized with this scripting language. Open source software have brought in a great deal of opportunities for customization and businesses all over the world find them very appealing. Here are a few benefits of PHP and WordPress development.

PHP is platform independent

PHP can be run on all the major operating system platforms like Windows, Linux and all Unix flavours as well as Mac OS. WordPress offers businesses with similar kind of flexibility. This enables businesses to use PHP and integrate newer apps into their existing IT infrastructure. There is no need to change too much to include a new web app.

It’s Free and Open Source

Both PHP and WordPress are open source. This means that they can be modified by viewing and editing the source code. This means that Businesses can ask a developer to include all the features that they require and the developer can easily tweak the code for you!

Support for all Major Web Servers

It supports all the major webservers available today. These include Apache, Microsoft IIS, Netscape, personal webserver, iPlanet server, etc. This flexibility is very appealing for businesses who plan changes, and for those who already have the infrastructure set up.

Support for a broad set of databases

It supports a broad set of databases such as MySQL, dBase, IBM DB2, InterBase, FrontBase, ODBC, PostgreSQL, SQLite, etc. This gives it the power to build large and extremely demanding websites that are run by large businesses.

Faster Development

It uses its own memory space and puts lesser load on the servers. It can hence power applications like eCommerce, CRM, CMS and Forums.

Secure

PHP is known for its security and its multiple layers prevent malicious attacks.

Proven history

History proves it all! PHP is one scripting language that powers millions of websites on the web. It has been used to build development frameworks and content management systems and a lot of other flexible development options.

WordPress and PHP are the most sought after web solutions! They are known to be scalable too. Today’s businesses are growing with a very fast rate and they expect their web solutions to scale too. That’s exactly what these two development platforms can offer businesses with!