Linux vs. Windows Hosting: Dedicated, VPS, Reseller, and WordPress Windows Hosts
It’s 2020, and the number of niches within the web hosting industry is nothing short of mind-boggling. As you browse the top hosts, you can filter your search by server type, control panel preference, and, yes, even your choice of operating system. As someone who likes having total control over customization, the myriad of options aren’t as intimidating to me as web hosting beginners.
Let’s discuss the best Windows hosting plans a bit more in-depth: delving into not only why we recognized the hosts above but also which hosting provider is up to snuff to deliver ready-to-go VPS, dedicated, WordPress, and even reseller Windows hosting needs.
What is the Difference Between Windows and Linux Web Hosting?
The difference between a Linux and Windows web hosting service boils down to the operating system installed on the server — it’s that simple. Whether you choose to use the Linux or Windows OS typically depends on what you’re hosting and what programming languages you need to support.
A Windows hosting package is pretty much exclusive to those who need to run Windows-specific software, such as ASP, ASP.NET, Access, or Visual Basic.
Both plans will likely come with common features like unlimited websites or an SSL certificate, but a Windows hosting service is more likely to use the Plesk control panel and Microsoft SQL Server instead of the cPanel and MySQL you’ll find with a Linux-based web hosting plan.
Linux hosting is a much broader audience. More often than not, you’ll be perfectly served with a Linux server. Only sign up for a Windows-based hosting service if you have a specific reason for doing so!
Features We Look For in 2020’s Best Windows Hosting Providers
So, how did we come to our top plans listed above? As you know, we thoroughly assess uptime rates, storage specs, supported software, and customer support in general. Below are some of the features we find most appealing in a Windows web host:
- Choice of multiple Windows operating systems
- Easy installs for popular software
- Tons of disk space, bandwidth, and MSSQL database storage
- 24/7 network monitoring, expert support, and virtually no downtime (99.99% or better)
When looking at this list and our reviews, it’s important to weigh quantity (cost) against quality (features) of the service. You can’t go wrong with any web hosting provider we’ve recommended but some are better for certain customers than others.
Naturally, you’ll want to look for speed and security no matter what hosting account you end up signing up for. We used to love A2 Hosting for the company’s shared Windows hosting plans, but the performance pros recently ended their offering.
Ultimately, make sure you end up with a modern hosting server with a free SSL that runs current versions of Windows and MS SQL Server, and you’ll be fine.
Best Windows Dedicated Server Hosting: Liquid Web
Simpy put, Liquid Web excels at all things dedicated hosting. You’ll get access to top-of-the-line Windows servers, leading-edge security, and, of course, the always-on-call assistance of the Heroic Support® squad. One of the many reasons we love Liquid Web is the balance of quality performance and stomachable pricing. If you’re looking for a robust dedicated server on which to run Windows, Liquid Web is your best bet.
Best Windows VPS Hosting: Hostwinds
A relatively fresh face in the web hosting industry, Hostwinds is a premier hosting solution for those looking for an ultra-reliable and scalable Windows plan on a virtual private server. The web hosting service provider offers a staggering 99.9999% uptime guarantee on high-powered VPS machines and gives customers the ability to choose how much managed support to include with the hardware.
Best WordPress Windows Hosting: HostGator
If you’re looking for a WordPress-specific Windows hosting plan, I’m intrigued to know what project you’re embarking on! The popular content management system typically runs in Linux plans, but you can make the two technologies get along with a little bit of elbow grease.
Our recommendation for this particular combo is HostGator, which boasts 99.9% uptime, easy installations for all your favorite scripts, and the support is second to none.
Cheap Windows Web Hosting
Even though a Windows host is the rarer of the two OS-specific hosting types, it doesn’t mean it has to be a financial burden. A few of the web’s leading low-cost hosting providers also offer Windows plans. You can see our favorites for a shared hosting plan — the most affordable environments — but let’s recap our favorite offerings for dedicated and virtual server needs:
- The free amenities that come standard with Liquid Web make the hosting company a leading choice among dedicated hosting options.
- If you’re looking for a VPS plan, you recognize the need to scale and support larger amounts of traffic. Hostwinds provides the Windows operating system options and competitive pricing you’ll need to thrive.
- It’s tough to go lower than GoDaddy
Best Reseller Windows Hosting: AccuWebHosting and ResellerClub
Now, reselling your Windows hosting package is an interesting choice. Generally speaking, reseller hosting is a great way to make some extra cash off your superfluous server resources. Most plans are based in Linux environments, but AccuWebHosting is a one-stop shop for highly customizable and affordable plans. And don’t overlook another veteran, ResellerClub. I mean, reseller is in the company’s name!
Verdict: Is Windows or Linux Web Hosting for You?
Have you made your selection? Like sitting down to the table at your favorite restaurant and perusing the dinner menu, don’t be afraid to mix and match ingredients to craft exactly the hosting meal you crave.
The best Windows hosting environments might be harder to find, but the companies that provide the services are highly tuned to customer satisfaction and forward-thinking technologies.