Windows or Unix?

Web Publishing Tools, Techniques and Methods

One of the fundamental decisions that an organization must make is whether to host their website on a Windows Server or on a Unix box.  The right decision depends on a number of things.

Windows or Unix Website Hosting

Important factors to consider are the following:

  1. Will your business website be a simple "brochure type" website or will it be more sophisticated (e.g. dynamic page generation from a database)?
  2. Do you plan to integrate the website with "back office" applications or databases.  If so, what platforms do they use?
  3. Do you already use a web development package that your staff are comfortable with? (e.g. Microsoft Expression Web)
  4. Does your technical staff have experience with a particular database system (e.g. SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle)?
  5. Do you prefer "open source" solutions to proprietary solutions?

In general, web hosting on a Unix (or Linux) platform is more common and less expensive than on the Microsoft platform.  Consequently, if price is a major factor, it is better to host your website on a Unix or Linux server and take advantage of free or inexpensive non-proprietary software such as MySQL and PHP.

If you are committed to using Microsoft products in your business (e.g. SQL Server, SharePoint, Office Applications) and plan to integrate your business website with your back-office Microsoft databases or applications, hosting your website on a Microsoft server might be a better idea.

If you are planning to build a simple "brochure ware" type business website, it really doesn't really matter which platform you use.  If, however, there is specific software application that you are require, it might only run in one environment or the other.

Although some software applications run in both Unix and Windows environments, all features might not be available in both environment.

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