If there is one operating system that remains unshaken as the most popular in the world, it is Microsoft Windows – thanks to its massive brand recognition and accessibility. While we cannot ignore the fact that Linux dominates the world of hosting, Windows hosting server does outperform Linux in several scenarios and most often Windows becomes a user’s logical choice. Of course, fewer providers offer best Windows server for web hosting services and only a handful offer quality. Well, here is where our expert reviews can guide you. Whatever be your need to install a Windows hosting server – be it for website hosting or to run a company network or any other purpose; our Windows hosting reviews have all the information you need to make a smart choice. Explore the best deals from our comprehensive reviews.
Windows hosting, in simple words, is website hosting that uses a Windows operating system. Well, what does that exactly mean?
If you own a website that uses several Windows tools and languages such as ASP.NET or Microsoft Exchange, Windows hosting is certainly the most compatible web hosting solution for you. But, there is a huge difference between just having a Windows computer and using Windows tools – simply because you use a Windows PC, it doesn’t mean you have to use Windows hosting.
Also, if you are planning to build your site with Microsoft FrontPage, Windows hosting should be your choice. Speaking of the database, while MS SQL is comfortable with any web hosting environment; for MS Access database, you definitely need Windows hosting.
Of course, you might be confused when it comes to finding the best hosting for Windows. But, we have picked the top-ranked services for you so that you can easily find the appropriate Windows server hosting provider that best matches your expectations and your website requirements.
What is Windows?
MS Windows is one of the leading operating system groups in the world that offers specialized operating systems for servers, PCs, Smartphones, and other similar devices.
While this says it all – Hosting that runs on MS Windows is Windows hosting – it is even more important to know what exactly you can do with Windows hosting.
For beginners, Windows server hosting is an easy way to start server management.
If you have used a computer that runs on Windows, you are pretty familiar with the layout. The graphical interface of the Windows server is nothing different from that of the standard Windows. While you need some knowledge to manage it, starting the process will be easy and smooth.
On installing the Windows operating system, you can make use of this Windows-based server for several purposes including hosting your website.
To build websites on hosted Windows servers, ASP.NET is used. Being a flexible server-side framework, ASP.NET is capable of creating extraordinary web applications. It is extremely easy to use and can combine with several programming languages. In fact, you can come up with compiled apps using just lean code which gives ASP.NET a speed advantage over several interpreted languages including PHP. Additionally, ASP.NET provides a host of other exclusive features including configuration information, built-in caching, and security protocols.
ASP.NET is just an example. There are a lot more technologies created specifically to run on Windows, for example, Microsoft SQL. On the whole, Windows happens to be a dynamic environment offering an impressive set of web development technologies.
Microsoft keeps adding more and more functional features into its Windows server apparently making Windows hosting increasingly attractive among users.
Shared hosting –Shared hosting, as the name indicates, involves sharing space with several other websites on the same server. Well, the only advantage of shared hosting is that it is cheaper. The drawback is that the performance of your website will be affected by other sites. If there is a huge spike in traffic in one particular website, it could create an impact on all the other sites on that server.
VPS (Virtual Private Servers) – While VPS also has numerous sites on a single server, these sites are allotted dedicated space that is efficiently managed by software. VPS offers you with many benefits of a dedicated server including your own IP address and comparatively good uptime. However, the overall performance isn’t similar to having your own dedicated server.
Cloud hosting – Cloud hosting is somewhat similar to VPS; In VPS, you have dedicated space on one server whereas in cloud hosting you are allotted space on multiple servers. Just like VPS, cloud hosting is resilient to traffic spurts from other sites. Provided a website on your server receives huge traffic and brings that server down, your cloud hosting provider shifts your site to a different server. Cloud hosting is highly scalable for your site and you will find it easy to add more resources to your website. Given these benefits, cloud hosting seems to be a little expensive.
Dedicated hosting – The name says it all – you get a server exclusively for you. You don’t have to share it with anyone. Besides, you will be in complete control over the server and you can configure it as you wish.
If you are expecting huge business and more visitors to your site, you may go for cloud hosting or dedicated hosting. The general rule of thumb is you should be fully informed of your business requirements before making a decision with the type of hosting plan.
Well, it depends. In fact, you can consider free web hosting to start with. There are hosting providers that offer a one-month free trial (with specific hosting plans) for their customers. It’s not a bad idea to consider that option so that you get an idea of how the plan works for your business.
In general, free web hosting is fine if you intend to build an extremely small and low-traffic website.
Choosing a hosting plan is a challenging process. Furthermore, making a choice between Linux and Windows definitely needs some amount of research and of course, you can’t leave behind your system requirements and your business needs.
While Linux servers provide cost-effective hosting, Linux isn’t just suitable for everyone. If your site employs ASP and .NET, you will definitely need a Windows hosting service to support it.
There are several other reasons to pick Windows over Linux hosting including:
A reliable Windows web hosting provider offers you a wide variety of Windows hosting features and functionalities. Have a look at what Windows hosting has in store for you.
Flexibility – Windows hosting offers you the kind of flexibility that is impossible to find in other hosting choices. You can run IIS or Apache as your server software. Moreover, it is possible to replicate LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python) stack with Windows hosting.
Advantage of speed – If you have decided to develop your website using frameworks .NET or ASP.NET, Windows server is the only server which is compatible with these options. Besides, since Windows web hosting happens to be optimized for Microsoft software, your site enjoys much faster load times. You get the speed advantage with Windows hosting features.
Compatibility – It is largely believed that Windows hosting caters only to Microsoft software and it is not compatible with other e-commerce platforms and content management systems. But, that’s a myth. A majority of Windows web hosting plans provide you with one-click installations of the most popular platforms including Drupal, Magento and WordPress. Though you can’t use the cPanel, you have the better option of the Plesk control panel which you can use to create amazing websites.
Unparalleled Scalability – You need faster load times and better uptimes, not just for enhanced customer experience. Today, Google takes the load speed of your website page into consideration for its search engine algorithms. As the Windows server is highly compatible with the range of Microsoft software and products you use, you can be confident that your website’s performance marks will always be high. Eventually, you can easily scale Google’s SEO ranks.
While there are umpteen reasons to choose Windows as your web host, there are a few downsides to keep in mind before moving forward.
Cost – Cost is definitely a concern. Windows is not free like Unix or Linux. You have to pay an annual licensing fee. While some are okay with this, some may want to consider other options.
Stability issues – Users generally stay away from Windows hosting mainly due to the server’s potential performance issues. Since the server has a GUI and other add-ons, interruptions are common. This impacts the server’s stability.
Before choosing a Windows hosting service, there are several things you should consider.
One of the downsides of Windows servers is that they are easily prone to several types of cyber attacks and reboots. This might mean a lack of consistency. Given this negative point of Windows servers, you have to find a highly reliable hosting service provider that is an expert in offering reliable and consistent uptimes.
Make sure the prospective hosting service supports the languages, scripts, platforms and software that your website needs to function. The last thing you would want is hiring a host that doesn’t support the software you have chosen to use.
Find the level of security the chosen hosting company is ready to offer you. To keep hackers and cyber threat at bay, you need a host who has an excellent security cover with high levels of security features like extra DDoS protection and round the clock network monitoring.
If you are a beginner who is hosting your website online, you may have to consider certain applications and tools to make your life much easier. For example, a bundled application installer using which you can install numerous applications in a jiffy and the Plesk control panel that will help you carry out a range of website and server tasks.
Be sure that your Windows hosting provider has a dedicated support team and you can contact them anytime through a channel you prefer – be it email, phone or live chat; and, anytime means 24x7x365.
If you have decided to choose Windows server for web hosting for your website, the next question probably is “Who provides the best hosting for Windows?” We understand that you cannot blindly take a decision on that. You have to do a research to see which hosting provider will best fit with your requirements. Relax! We have made the task easy for you. Our expert technical team has shortlisted the best web hosting companies of 2020 with elaborate Windows hosting reviews on each of them. We are confident you will be able to choose the web host that is fast, reliable, supportive and secure and above all the one that best fits your budget and needs.
The OS (operating system) is the key difference between these two hosting plans. If you wish to build your website with ASP.NET, ASP, and SQL, Windows Hosting is recommended. On the other hand, if you would like to host your website on the regular PHP, HTML/CSS and WordPress, Linux hosting is your choice.
No. cPanel isn’t available for Windows; hence, you should use an alternative control panel like Plesk.
No. The OS of your computer doesn’t make a difference. So, you can choose any hosting plan you want. Just make sure that the chosen plan supports the applications or scripts you wish to use to create your website
If your Windows runs on a VPS server or a dedicated server, it is possible to connect to it using Remote Desktop. It is just like connecting to the regular Windows PC. But, if you have a shared hosting account, you cannot use Remote Desktop.