123-reg.co.uk is a well known and well respected hosting provider in the UK, and is known more for its Domain Registration services than anything else being the largest domain provider in the UK. They currently have over 3 million domains registered, and host over 1.7 million websites.
About Windows Hosting
While the most popular operating system within the web hosting industry is Linux and is widely available by many of the largest web hosting providers, Windows is lagging behind in second place. Because Windows is not quite as popular, many of the largest hosting providers do not offer it, but equally, there are plenty of specialists around that do.
For many, Windows is instantly recognizable due to its widespread use in the home PC market. For many, when purchasing web hosting, they will have never heard of Linux, and when faced with a choice between the two will be tempted to choose Windows, simply because that is what they are familiar with.
Let's take a look at the differences.
Window vs Linux Web hosting: What’s the Difference?
The main difference between Windows and Linux hosting is the availability of various script languages and database applications. If your website requires Windows-based scripts or database application to display properly, you should select a Windows web hosting platform, otherwise we recommend choosing Linux.
The following are the script and database languages that require Windows-based platforms:
- ASP Classic
- MSSQL (Microsoft SQL Server)
- Visual Basic Development
- MS Access (Microsoft Access)
- Microsoft Exchange
- Microsoft SharePoint C#
Apart from the technical aspects, Linux is open source, and as such requires no licence to use. Windows Server is slightly more expensive due to the requirement for a licence.
When is Windows not suitable?
Certain technologies such as Python will not work, and others such as PHP, CGI and Perl are better suited to Linux, as it is much more widely supported.
For databases, Linux tends to use MySQL or MariaDB, with some shared hosting providers offering PostgreSQL on premium plans. Windows usually runs MSSQL.
What to look for when purchasing
There are a number of features that are specific to Windows that you may want to look out for when choosing a host \ plan:
- Control Panel - This is probably one of the most important things. We would recommend choosing a hosting provider that offers Plesk. This will make managing your hosting account extremely easy, allowing you to manage all aspects from file management, to email create and more.
- ASP.NET framework version - Unless you have specific requirements, you will want to choose a hosting provider that uses the latest version of ASP.NET.
- Latest Windows Server Version - The industry standard version at the moment in Windows Server 2012 R2, despite the 2016 version having been launched.
Windows Shared Hosting Frequently Asked Questions
Windows is an operating system created by Microsoft. While you may be used to Windows 7, 8 or 10, web hosting servers use a special version of Windows called Windows Server. The latest version is 2016, but the most common at present is the Windows Server 2012 R2
No. In fact, unless you need some of the technology unique to the Windows Server (ASP.net, C++, .NET) then we recommend you choose Linux Hosting. Linux hosting is more widespread and is often much better optimized for general websites, such as those based on WordPress.
The most common operating systems are those based on Linux, like Ubuntu or Centos. These can be configured to use the most popular web servers such as Apache or NGINX.
Yes, it will run Apache along with PHP if required.
No, cPanel is restricted to Linux systems. However, a great alternative is Plesk. You can read about the differences here.
In most cases you wouldn't. The only reason we recommend choosing it, is if you need some specific technology like ASP.net that is not available on Linux.
Linux is by far the better choice when you do not need Windows-specific technologies. It is also the most common, and can run popular control panels such as cPanel.