If you are looking to make your mark as an online business owner, one of the first things you need to do is find yourself a web hosting solution. The web has grown tremendously over the years and so have your choices. Web hosting services are not hard to find as companies have the industry covered from every angle of the market. While there are many critical factors involved in choosing a service, one of the most important is the platform your business site is hosted on.
What is a Platform?
In web hosting terms, a platform refers to an operating system like Mac OS X or even an something older like DOS. This type of software stores critical files, gives basic commands, tells the server how to interact with applications. In the early days of the internet and World Wide Web, most servers ran on the Unix platform, a very powerful system that while flexible, has always required a considerable amount of technical skill to administer. Though still a popular choice, hosting customers now have a greater variety to choose from in platforms such as Linux, Windows and FreeBSD.
Linux is a newer version of Unix and perhaps the most popular variation. This platform is incredibly versatile and made to perform in the server environment. It is makes an ideal solution for demanding tasks and activities such as messaging and multimedia streaming. Unlike Unix, Linux is an open-source system under the GNU General Public License, making it a cost effective solution for both web hosting providers and their customers. Perhaps the greatest advantage of this platform is its compatibility with various open-source technologies. A Linux hosting package typically means you also get the benefit of tools like Apache, PHP and MySQL.
Often regarded as the main competitor to Linux, Windows is the server version of the popular Microsoft desktop operating system. Upon first entering the server environment, these platforms were powered by systems like Windows NT and 2000. Most plans now are based on either Windows 2003 or 2008. What makes this system so popular is the user-friendly interface that gives IT teams a familiar environment to work with. Not only is it supported by a large number of applications, but also Microsoft technologies that were specifically designed to work with the platform. Some of the main selling points of Windows hosting include ASP or ASP.NET programing, the SQL Server and other services like Exchange and SharePoint.
The FreeBSD platform is based on the BSD system, which is one of the many Unix variants. Similar to Linux, FreeBDS offer cost efficiency as an open-source system. Extremely well integrated, this platform is well known for its speed and stability, making it an excellent choice for mission-critical operations. FreeBSD is becoming increasingly popular and offers support for a growing number of technologies.
Choosing a Platform
All the platforms mentioned in this article are great for business hosting, Windows especially. The key is finding a web host that delivers a reliable infrastructure and enables the chosen system to effectively meet your needs.