Choosing a Linux Hosting Plan
With so many different providers offering Linux hosting, you have the opportunity to choose from some of the best plans on the market. When choosing a Linux hosting provider it is key to find a plan is feature-rich and will maximize your ability to easily manage your server create website designs with ease. In addition to the basics of simple resource allocation, uptime guarantees, and 24/7 customer support, you can also select a plan based on other important factors like disc space, bandwidth, email addresses, database, and more.
To help you find the best Linux hosting for your needs, we have compiled our top recommendations.
What is Linux?
Linux is the most commonly used operating system in the world for website hosting providers. In addition to its high popularity, Linux is also the most affordable web hosting option, with some even offering free or “freemium” packages.
Several hosts actually default to Linux because it is considered the market leader by far, especially for shared hosting. In fact, Google operates on Linux with its constantly growing banks of servers which have tallied to more than 15,000 so far.
The History of Linux
The Linux was created in 1991 by a Finish systems engineer, Linus Torvalds, who created the operating system as part of his computer science degree. Linux, which was named after its creator, became extremely popular in the following years in the developer community acquiring a huge following of fans who have continued to improve it and sustain it to this day. In 1996, Linux was branded with its famous logo, which features a penguin—which, fun fact, was inspired by a penguin at the Australian National Zoo who bit Trovalds.
Over the years, the operating system’s brand has been split, merged, rebranded, reimagined, and undergone continual changes and improvements. Today there are several different Linux distributors which is why you may see it called by several different names, including Red Hat Linux, Fedora, CentOS, Ubuntu, and more. However, despite the large community that has continually supported Linux, not everyone is a fan of this operating system. For example, Steve Ballmer (the former executive of Microsoft) notoriously commented that Linux has “characteristics of communism” at a 2000 event in Seattle, Washington.
One thing about Linux is that it can be adopted by companies and used to create unique operating systems from it. Google Chrome’s operating system, for example, is essentially a version of Linux and Android has also adapted the OS too. And, despite Steve Ballmer’s former complaints, Microsoft has also dabbled with Linux, using it for its Nokia X range phones. Dell also sells laptops that are pre-installed with Ubuntu, and the creators of Ubuntu, Caconical, are selling a Linux smartphone.
Benefits of Linux Hosting
Many people choose web hosting without even realizing it. This is because it is the most affordable type of hosting, so it is a great option for those who are working with a budget or may not be experienced in the technical aspects of managing a server.
Some of the greatest advantages of the best Linux hosting plans include:
- As long as the server is kept up to date, Linux hosting is very secure and has fewer hackers.
- Many consider migrating hosts much easier with Linux than Windows because Linux is compatible with cPanel and other popular web hosting software.
- It is one of the most affordable hosting options, even free in some cases
- There is a general standardization amongst hosts
Modern Linux servers are configured according to the LAMP standard which is an acronym for:
L – Linux (the operating system)
A – Apache (the server application)
M – MySQL (Structural Query Language)
P – PHP (hypertext processor)
With this standard, you can create a modern website with little hassle. While there are something things that you will need to learn to become more advanced, like Linux file permissions, there are many resources available to support Linux hosting.
Why is Linux Popular Amongst Web Hosts?
There are several reasons why hosts choose Linux, some of which include:
- It is a powerful hosting system
- It is easy to scale as your hosting needs grow
- It is affordable, often even free
- It has a large community of users and supporters
- It is compatible with older servers
- It is easily customizable
- cPanel and other control panels allow the host to secure the server so that customers don’t accidentally reconfigure the operating system
Many web hosting companies have invested significantly in Linux making familiarity with its operating system a desirable technical skill for technicians and developers to have. In fact, there are a couple different types of certification programs, like the RedHat Certified Engineering Program that allow candidates to prove their proficiency with Linux and companies can train their technical support team on the latest innovations and updates.
Windows Vs Linux
Linux and Windows are the two most popular types of hosting, and depending on your needs one might be better than the other. While Linux is the most popular choice worldwide, many languages and scripts can also be used on windows. For example, WordPress, PHP, and Perl can be run on a Windows server, however, these applications work much smoother on Linux. For WordPress in particular, there are also many more resources available for those hosting through Linux than Windows.
However, there are also some applications and scripts that Linux does not support. IIS, and ASP, for example, cannot be run on Linux but they are compatible with Windows. For those looking to use these specific applications and scripts, Windows could be a more practical option.
Linux Hosting FAQ
What is Linux?
Linux is the most commonly used operating system and web hosting solution worldwide. There are several different Linux distributors which took the OS and adapted it to create their own versions (commonly referred to as distributions). Many of these distributions are available for free or at extremely low-cost rates.
What is LAMP?
LAMP is the standard combination of technologies that is needed to publish websites. Specifically, this acronym stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP and together these applications and scripts are referred to as the “LAMP stack”.
Why is Linux the most popular type of web hosting?
The majority of the websites hosted throughout the world are supported by Linux. This is primarily due to its balance of both affordability and power. Many Linux distributions are free, making them accessible to a wider clientele and making it a popular option for hosting providers. Further, Linux is a very cost-effective option for businesses because it minimizes overhead expenses as the company grows and their hosting needs increase—not to mention they do not need to invest in a license.
In addition to affordability, Linux has been praised for its security, another reason why it is so popular.
Is Linux hosting user-friendly?
Many consider Linux an easy hosting solution to manage and use. Linux can be a good choice for beginners because with the best Linux hosting most of the server management can be completed through the easy to navigate cPanel.
What is included in a Linux hosting package?
The specific features of a Linux hosting package will vary amongst providers, however, there are certain standard commonalities. For example, with shared Linux hosting, you usually get a limited amount of space and bandwidth on the server. In most cases, you will also be allowed to install other scripts, such as wikis, forums, and CMSs.
What programming language does Linux use?
Every host uses a different programming language so there is no standard associated with Linux hosting, however, common languages tend to include PHP, Perl, and Python. However, not only is there no standard language, but different providers will also use different versions of each of these languages.
When you are shopping for a hosting plan, make sure you enquire about the supported languages of each package.
Does the Linux distribution version that I have make a big difference?
In most cases, it doesn’t matter that much which distribution of Linux you have as part of your hosting plan as they are all deviations of the same system. The basic web hosting functions usually work exactly the same across Linux distributions and the biggest differences between Linux distributions are only noticeable on a desktop computer in the Graphical User Interface (GUI)—which is never seen on a web hosting account.
Do I have to have Windows hosting if I have a Windows computer?
No! The type of operating system that you have on your home or work computer is completely independent of the type of operating system of your server. You can use any type of operating system, including Linux, even if you have a Windows computer. The only time that this may affect your hosting is when you are trying to develop large Windows applications.
What software is required for Linux hosting?
After you purchase your Linux hosting plan, you can decide which programs you would like to install to create your website. Depending on whether you chose to code your website yourself or use a web developer application, you may need to install a CMS, a blogging application, or another type of software for web development.