I just finished up a recent project and bumped into a problem that I am seeing more and more frequently: some of you are purchasing Windows hosting for your websites.
Now, before you get all “Oooh, you must be a Windows hater” on me, I just want to point out that I spent many years using Windows and I think it’s a perfectly wonderful operating system. But for most websites, it isn’t necessary. For WordPress websites, it’s a real pain in the neck.
When working our way through the problems with this particular site, the host’s tech support person and I figured out that many people purchase Windows hosting under the mistaken assumption that: “if my home PC is Windows, I should have Windows for my webhost.”
Windows hosting has it’s uses
If you are running an [tooltip content=”ASP.net is a Microsoft programming and development environment.” ]ASP.net[/tooltip] page, you must have Windows hosting. ASP.net is really useful for complex applications but, for most pint sized businesses, is simply overkill.
WordPress on a Windows server
While WordPress can run on a Windows [tooltip content=”The server is the big computer that your website files are stored on”]server[/tooltip], it requires a lot of hacking and fiddling about to get pretty permalinks enable. Unfortunately, many WordPress plugins (useful bits of code that do things like block spam and create contact forms) assume a Linux server. So they don’t work. And that can be a real bummer.
All of this fiddling, of course, takes time. And in business Time = Money. So this will cost you.
What is Linux?
Linux (pronounced LINN-ucks) is an operating system for your web server. It is free and open source and widely used in the internet and on computer-like devices. Because it has been so widely adopted, many web applications are written specifically for Linux. It is also the default type of webhosting you will get from most hosting companies.
For you, the user, you will be poking about on your website using a control panel (which looks a lot like your computer’s application screen), so you won’t need to learn Linux.