Author: Mike Brown
Last Updated: 30th March 2020
The web host you choose can make or break the success of your website business so it's worth making an effort to choose the right one.
For example one of the most important aspects of your website is a fast load time. According to Google's latest research, as page load time goes from 1s to 3s the probability of bounce increases 32%. Furthermore, research also indicates 53% of people will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. This is why picking the right web host is absolutely CRITICAL!
Below you will find our best Linux web hosting providers, quality hosting at an affordable price.
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Best Linux Hosting: Our Top 5 - 2019
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Linux Web Hosting – A Guide for Everything You Need to Know
When it comes to choosing an operating system for website development, you have a lot of options. However, most consumers don't realize how big the market is. To have a gorgeous site, you'll need to use an operating system you can trust. Otherwise, your site might crash before customers can even visit.
Some of the most popular operating systems are Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Never heard of Linux? You've most likely used it more times than you realize. While most people use Microsoft or Mac OS on their personal computers, Linux is the preferred operating system for web hosting. In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about it and why it's the best operating system for the job.
What is Linux?
Linux is the operating system used most by website hosting providers around the world. Its international popularity can be attributed to multiple factors. It's versatile, flexible, and affordable. It is so well run that internet behemoths like Google operate exclusively on this software’s systems.
Invented in 1991, it has since undergone various merges, splits, and rebrandings. Several dedicated server web hosting providers have created their own platforms to accompany this operating system. These distributors make it possible for web developers to design with Linux. Some of the most common distributors are Fedora, Ubuntu, and CentOS. Thanks to these distributors, you can have a smooth website for your company.
With the volume of distributors, hosting customers have an unlimited number of plans and price points to choose from. Most, if not all, providers offer Linux hosting services, and many even offer quality Linux hosting for free.
How Does it Operate?
One of the hallmarks of this type of web hosting is that it allows companies to create their own operating systems from its platform. This makes it easy to tailor the service to a business's needs. It now supports many big-name companies such as Google, Android, Dell, and even certain Microsoft products. Most smartphones on the market today operate on some version of Linux.
You don’t have to be a mega corporation or a tech giant to reap the full benefits of Linux VPS hosting. There are many different plans and packages to suit the needs of all kinds of businesses and even small, personal websites. It really is one of the most flexible operating systems on the market. If you can imagine it, there is a plan that can do it.
Benefits of Linux Hosting Services over Other Systems
The best Linux web hosting sites are easy to identify and can go a long way to helping a business stand out and reach its customers. With the low price points, extreme compatibility, and ease of usage, businesses can save a lot of time and money by using a Linux hosting service.
It offers many benefits that other web hosting operating systems cannot compete with. No other operating system comes in as many different versions. This is thanks to its multitude of distributors, all of whom offer various plans. This internal competition among distributors helps keep prices low and service quality high. Some of the best providers will offer plans that include:
- Versatile plan options, add-ons, and room to grow without needing a license
- Uptime guarantees that go unmatched both in service and price by other hosting providers
- 24/7 support
- Linux web hosting tutorials
- Superior security. If updated, its web servers are more secure than comparable Windows servers
- The option to select add on features such as additional bandwidth, disc space, database usage, and email addresses
- Standardization across hosts in the form of the LAMP standard. This allows users to create a website with ease, no matter their experience level.
How Does Linux Compare to Windows?
Linux and Windows are two of the biggest names in web hosting operating systems. The competition between the two is likened to that of Google and Yahoo. In most cases, Linux would be the “Google” and Windows would be the “Yahoo.” Both are quality services, and each one functions slightly differently. However, most people prefer to use Google (and Linux).
Linux is the preferred web hosting operating system with most websites running on WordPress, PHP, and sometimes Perl. For WordPress in especially, there are also many more resources available for those hosting through Linux than Windows. Windows can support some scripts that Linux cannot. But overall, it beats Windows in the following categories:
- Security. Updated regularly, Linux web hosting control panels and servers are more secure than similar Windows products
- Easier to use. It tends to be easier to use than Windows. There are many distributors who offer user-friendly, beginners design versions. It offers more supports and Linux web hosting tutorials than does Windows.
- Better at shared hosting. It is the unrivaled champion of shared hosting. This is why tech mega companies like Google run on a Linux platform
- Migrating hosts. Migrating is easier with this operating system. It is compatible with cPanel and many other popular Linux web hosting control panels and software.
- More affordable. Due to the number of plans and distributors, it is cheaper than comparable Windows services.
Programming Languages and Linux
Linux does have the LAMP standardization across its modern servers. However, it does not have an established standard programming language. This allows programming to be more flexible and makes the technology accessible to more people.
Common programming languages include Perl, PHP, and Python. Every distributor will use their own version. For that reason, it is important to research the languages that each hosting plan supports when you are shopping for packages and providers.
There are so many providers that it's easy to find many identical hosting plans. Each differs only in their support languages. It can be pretty easy to find one that suits your needs and supports the languages that you want.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if it isn't compatible with my computer?
Linux web hosting is made to run on all machines. It is the most used system in the world because it is flexible, easy to use, powerful, and affordable. Users rarely find that their computer is not compatible.
Does everyone pay the same price for this operating system?
Some of the biggest names in tech own Linux hosting sites like Google or Android. This goes to show how influential the service is. But it's not just meant for big companies that can afford it. Many providers have plans that offer quality Linux hosting for free.
Can I install WordPress on Linux hosting?
Yes, you can! Many Linux web hosting reviews have found that WordPress and other similar applications like Perl and PHP run smoother on Linux web hosting servers. It has many WordPress resources and supports available for hosts compared to competitors.
What does LAMP stand for?
LAMP is an acronym for a combination of technologies that are needed to publish a website. Linux has created a standardization across all their modern servers. Its popularity has led this standard to become known worldwide. The Linux standard, LAMP, stands for:
L – Linux (operating system)
A – Apache (server application)
M – MySQL (Structural Query Language)
P – PHP (hypertext processor)
The LAMP applications are also commonly called the “LAMP stack.” Their standardization is a big part of why it is so easy to use and compatible with so many different servers, scripts, and applications.
What is the difference between Linux and Windows hosting?
Windows and Linux are the two most popular operating systems when it comes to web hosting. Each one has its subtle differences. The main differences are in what scripts and applications they support and their price points.
Linux tends to make higher quality, more versatile products at each price point. The very best Linux web hosting plans are without equal, and there are also many quality plans that offer Linux hosting for free. The operating system also supports more applications and scripts than Windows and tends to run them more efficiently.
With that being said, there are some things that Linux does not do. It does not support ASP and IIS applications and scripts, which Windows does. So while Windows is usually more expensive, it does offer very specialized features that are unavailable with Linux server hosting.
Which is best for hosting?
Finding the best hosting server requires a lot of research and thought about your own specific needs. Windows will be better for hosting when certain scripts and apps are needed. Businesses and tech development companies tend to prefer Linux.
Reading user reviews of each service can be very helpful in making the final decision. There are many Windows and Linux web hosting reviews out there for each of their products and distribution versions.
Can I use Linux web hosting on a Windows computer?
Yes, you can! Your computer operating system and your server operating system are totally independent of each other. You can use any hosting operating system on your computer. This is true even if you want to use Linux on a Windows computer. In fact, many companies prefer to use Windows computers with Linux web hosting in India and other Southeast Asian countries.
The only time this may become an issue is if you are developing very large applications for Windows. In this case, you would be better off using a Windows hosting operating system on a Windows computer.
What operating system do most business websites use?
Most business websites use some version of Linux web hosting servers for the reasons we've covered. They are more powerful, dependable, versatile, secure, and affordable than other operating systems. They also allow companies and business the option to create their own operating system to meet whatever their needs may be. For example, Android uses a Linux-based operating system for its smartphones.
Linux web hosting servers are also easy to expand as your web hosting needs grow. Businesses don’t need to worry about their Linux server hosting limits. Finally, the Linux web hosting control panel is compatible with many older servers and most types of control panels. This is another plus for businesses as it saves them time and money down the line.
Which operating system is the overall best for web hosting?
This will always be a hot button topic, but ultimately the answer will come down to what exactly you need from your operating system. Linux is the most popular web hosting operating system around the globe. However, there are some scripts and applications that it does not support, like ASP and IIS. If you want to use these or other specific scripts, you might find that Windows is better able to meet your needs.
If you don’t need to use scripts or apps that it does not support, then Linux will likely be the better option. Very few other operating systems offer plans that are comparable to anything that it can do. The sheer volume of positive Linux web hosting reviews is a testament to how well their products work.
What is the best Linux web hosting provider?
This, again, will depend on your specific needs. Some factors to consider include your monthly budget, speed, and uptime needs. Consider any additional features such as databases, disc space, or bandwidth. A very larger website may need Linux dedicated server web hosting, while most sites can get by on shared hosting plans.
It is also important to keep in mind that this hosting technology is available under many names and from many different providers, also called distributors. Five of the best Linux web hosting sites are:
1. HostGator. Affordable options, plans start as low as $2.78 a month
2. A2 Hosting. This is a speed-focused site that offers services for $3.99 per month
3. DreamHost. One of the best Linux hosting sites that did not make our list, pricing starts at $7.95 a month
4. SiteGround. A versatile hosting option currently offering reduced rates of $3.95 per month
5. InMotion Hosting. A very reliable company that offers rates as low as $4.19 a month
Why Try Linux?
It might just be your best bet for an operating system. Compared to competitors, it's a universal system that works across all platforms. It can be used across all devices at affordable rates depending on the web host. Linux might be exactly what you need to bring your website to life!