How to Choose the Best Windows Web Hosting
There is much that needs to be taken into consideration when searching for a web hosting plan. One of those factors is the underlying operating system. In most cases, the operating systems prospective customers must choose from are Linux and Windows. These two platforms strive to accomplish the same general goals, but are quite different. And while there can, and have been several arguments made in favor of Linux, Windows is just as good a choice as any.
Even dedicated Linux fans admire the simplicity of the Windows platform. The software provides a familiar, user-friendly interface that makes administering a server as easy as managing a desktop operating system for most. Unlike Linux and other Unix-based systems, you do not have to be a technical wiz to thrive in this environment. In terms of ease of use, very few match up to Windows.
The Windows operating system is also known for its power and functionality. It comes equipped with a host of features, many which have made it the preferred option in corporate offices all over the world. All in all, it is this rich set of comprehensive features that make the platform ideal for businesses, developers, or anyone who demands a web environment that exceeds the norm.
Whether it is a shared server, virtual private server, or dedicated server, Windows makes an excellent choice for your web hosting needs. However, there are various other elements that must be considered in order to fully harness its power. Here are some factors that deserve attention when seeking the best Windows web hosting solution.
Version of Windows
For the most part, you will find two versions of the Window server operating system when evaluating web hosting solutions on the market: 2008 and 2003. If you are looking at the five year age gap, you have probably correctly concluded that the difference in these two operating systems is huge. The major difference is that Windows Server 2008 simply has more features, complete with failover clustering, more extensive Active Directory roles, and a built-in virtualization platform. All this will not matter much in the traditional shared web hosting environment, but if you require a VPS or dedicated server, the version of Windows you choose could make all the difference.
Windows web hosting plans are typically loaded with useful features. In fact, many people choose this platform solely for its unique set of features. If you have specifics in mind, the features of a given hosting package will be something you want to keep an eye on. This is very important because if you want to build your site in FrontPage 2003, but the host only supports the 2000 version, that plan may be of no use to you. Likewise, a package that only supports ASP when you have decided ASP.NET is required will not suffice for your intended purposes. Take note of the specific Windows features you require, and find yourself a few companies that offer exactly what is needed.
Level of Security
For years, one of the biggest knocks on the Windows operating system has been its weak level of security. This isn’t necessarily a case of flawed design, although Linux, Apple’s Mac OS X, and other Unix-based systems have been designed with better security in mind, but more of a case of it being the most widely used operating system on the market. Windows is well known and because of this, it is the number one target of exploitation among hackers and other cyber criminals. For this reason alone, you should place a special focus on security when evaluating hosting firms as all it takes is one gap to compromise your website.
Unfortunately, an alarming number of potential customers overlook the importance of web hosting support. They are so focused on aspects such as price and features, that they neglect to give this critical factor the attention it deserves. This is one mistake you cannot afford to make when looking for the best Windows web hosting service. Though the level of support you require may differ from others, it is best to seek out a solution that comes equipped with responsive support that is delivered on a 24/7 basis. Additionally, look for companies that allow you to get help through a variety of channels such as toll-free phone, email, and live chat. Problems could arise at any time, but a solid support system will better assure that they are resolved in a timely manner.
Accessing reliability is key when shopping for any type of web hosting solution. A Windows-based package is no exception. As far as reliability in the server environment goes, this platform has always been viewed as inferior compared to Linux and its Unix-like brethren. Over the years, however, Microsoft has taken strides to make its server operating system one of the most stable and reliable available. Still, it takes a rock-solid infrastructure to enjoy such benefits. The most reliable version of Windows will be null and void if the host you choose does not have a dependable infrastructure in place. Make sure the company can guarantee the level of performance and availability needed to be successful with your web presence.
Choose Your Hosting Partner Wisely
When compared to Linux and other operating systems built in the likeness of Unix, there have been numerous arguments made against Windows web hosting. Several critics cite issues such as slow performance, limited flexibility, and lax security among the reasons not to choose the platform. The fact of the matter is that evolution has made Windows one of the best options on the market, which is evidenced by its increasing popularity in the web hosting marketplace. As you have learned here, the key to landing the right solution is all in knowing what to look for and weighing all the important factors. Choosing a Windows-based package could be one of the smartest decisions you ever make.