Whether you're considering starting a website or you have one and want to possibly move it, this article can help you decide what best webhost means to you.
To begin, every website is hosted on only 3 platforms:
Unix Windows NT Macintosh
Very few sites are hosted on a MAC server, so majority of webhosts use Unix or NT. For these reasons we will focus on only those 2 platforms.
Unix and NT both offer various options and have different abilities. Your choice of which platform to use depends on what applications you want your site to run and amount of control you want to have over your site.
Unix is oldest and one of most widely used operating systems. It is basis of internet and most webservers originally ran on a version of Unix. Unix is know as a multitasking operating system which means that it can run many applications at same time without them affecting each other. This is very important when you consider that hundreds of websites, running thousands of CGI scripts, all receiving thousands of hits could be running on one webserver.
Why Use It?:
It's reliable Ability to host many websites on same machine. Almost all CGI scripts run better on Unix. Programming flexibility. Much more administrative control.
With Unix, webmasters can really tweak their websites (assuming they know what they are doing) to run at optimal levels. Developers can run CGI scripts and create applications specific to their needs.
Is case sensitive. It is not an easy operating system to learn. Must use telnet or Ftp to make changes.
NT is a relative newcomer to webhosting game but it is fast gaining a large share of business. NT was built to integrate seamlessly with Microsoft's web authoring tool, Frontpage. As such, it is often perfect solution for newcomers who do not want to learn HTML or CGI programming or deal with day to day hassles of administering a webserver.
Can use Microsoft Frontpage to publish your website as opposed to using Ftp or telnet. Can use Cold Fusion. Somewhat easier to administer (especially for average webmaster). Is not case sensitive.