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Web Hosting for Windows


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A professional web host is acquainted with all the technicalities related to web hosting. He/she knows that selection of the operating system is one of the foremost duties. Selection on of the operating system, however, depends on the objectives and contents of the website. It is always better to make a wise selection as there are only a limited number of popular operating systems. Microsoft Windows and Linux are the two most popular operating systems that are used by web hosts. UNIX and Macintosh can also suffice client requirements though they are not so popular. This article is designed to help you, the reader, understand how choosing Windows web hosting will affect your website operation.

The Microsoft product 'Windows' is among the most popular operating systems in the world today. It is the standard most personal computers come equipped with, and the system the average person is most likely to be familiar with both at home, and at work. In the past many technical operations were solely based on Linux systems and required great technical skills that were beyond the scope of many individuals. With the advanced popularity and need for websites scripts and software programs began to be developed for use with Microsoft Windows and made to be understandable by the average person. Windows allows for a vast array of scripting languages to support the desired website functions that are most popular today.

If a website has to be hosted, that would incorporate the use of Microsoft products, it is always advisable to use Windows as a platform. Microsoft, windows feature an effective Internet Information Server (IIS). Whenever the hosting is based on ASP and Microsoft Access and SQL server, use of IIS is recommended or rather is needed. There are several components used for web hosting like that of CGI. Use of these components can be best experienced if the website is hosted on Windows. Windows web hosting also has a lot of pre-made programs designed for use with Windows web servers.

Windows vs UNIX

These two operating systems can operate successfully with everyone universally. The main system difference is in the software provided for server data. Both operating systems have the ability to transfer data between the host and the client, but UNIX is a bit more stable than Windows in this feature and it can run for years without a shut down, and re-boot. Windows however will meet most website requirements and software packages more easily than UNIX. Windows is also easier to use for the client.

Wherever there are Microsoft products such as MS Access databases, ASP for delivering content, and VBScript site enhancements you will need to create your site with Windows. UNIX is not compatible with those systems. If your web host uses them you must comply and use Windows even if you normally do not. The things that UNIX provides can be found already available in the Windows environment.

Windows compared to Linux

Both Windows and Linux can support standard Cold Fusion, HTML and JavaScript files. Previously it was difficult to use Linux server for FrontPage extensions but now it is easy to do so. CGI and Perl platforms are though supported by Windows but Linux is commonly used for these. Linux commonly supports PHP while Windows support ASP.

One of the main advantages of Windows servers is that it can run on Microsoft's software like that of Access and also on MS SQL databases. Windows servers allow the web developers to use Microsoft's programming environments like that of Visual Basic Scripts, Active Server Pages (ASP), MS Index Server. On the contrary, Linux is not fully compatible with that of Microsoft technologies and hence if the users want to use Access, MS SQL, ASP, or VB development tools then Windows is always the better choice.

The best method to choose between the various platforms is to study what Windows has to offer. Not all of the Windows packages offer every component so you need to examine them carefully.

Some of the basic Windows-based hosting packages are as follows:

* NET Support

ASP.net is the most modern of Microsoft's Active Server Page and allows for a great integration of information sharing and access. It is an important part of the Internet Information Server or IIS. Some servers charge additional fees for this feature.

* Databases

Most businesses offer the Microsoft Access 2000 database as a way to use their systems. If a company is larger and requires a lot more space for such information then MS SQL is a requirement for use.

* PHP and ColdFusion

ColdFusion is an advanced option and all web hosts do not provide this tool. Only some specialized websites require this.

* Control Panel

Control panel is the key stone of the arch. This can be used by the website owner to monitor and maintain his/her website.

Some other kit that is expected from a web host for providing a web hosting for windows include POP3 email IDs and Aliases, Backup, Bandwidth, IP, Webmail and SMTPs, FTP Accounts, CDONTS and ASP Support.

Windows web hosting will always be popular among the customers as the logo and the name itself generates a trust and reliability. This Microsoft product has created such image in the minds of the people that they are not willing to go for any other option. Windows is in use since several years and has created a brand image for itself. There are several hosts that also provide Windows platform for hosting small business websites. It is an expectation of the people that Windows web hosting would also for a longer period of time and hence would ensure stability which is not available in other platforms.

Windows has a great support system for its users. This includes many free tutorials, and pages and pages of information as well as live and virtual technical support. That is just a part of what makes it so extremely popular amongst average people without technical backgrounds.
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