How To Choose a Web Host And Web Server Platform


For a quick and easy access of a website to online users and browsers, it needs to have a dependable web host. In the current time, there are various web servers with different specification in the web hosting market. These various web servers offer different quality of services to its clients. Thus, one must ensure in which company to avail web hosting from.

According to Netcraft, a company devoted to keeping a statistic of web servers and platforms in the Internet, the most popular platforms and web servers are Window NT running on Internet Information Server (IIS) and UNIX and Linux that runs in the Apache server.

Other web servers on the Netcraft listings include iPlanet, WebLogic, Sun ONE and many more. The first two that was mentioned a while ago, Apache has the widespread popularity of almost 60 % of the market share and Microsoft ISS has 30 %. Therefore, there is a high possibility to find either one of these platforms are supported by many of the web host providers.

The operating system is a major program in a computer that needs to be installed before it can function. Some of the most popular operating systems of today are the Microsoft Windows operating systems such as the Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Similarly, web servers need an operating system for them to function.

Different web servers run in different types of operating systems or platforms. The most common platform is UNIX that comes in different kinds that are usually used by web servers. This includes FreeBSD, NetBSD, Linux and OpenBSD. Other platforms that have also gained the confidence of web host providers are Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000.

Guide in Choosing the Web Server Platform

If the composition of your website is purely static page like HTML files, then any platform as a web host will work for it. However, for websites that has dynamic contents, it will probably need a specific server-side functionality like JSP, ASP, PHP, SSI or CGI scripts for the website to fully function. Furthermore, if the website requires a specific application or programs to execute like ASP, MS Access, .Net, Cold Fusion or Microsoft SQL, then this will require a web-hosting server that supports the Windows NT operating platform. Otherwise the server-side functions like the Perl, PHP and MySQL may be also be supported with UNIX platform.

While programs such as the Flash, Perl, PHP and many more run in Window and UNIX operating system, many different open source programs are also supported in the UNIX operating platform but not in Windows. Because of this, UNIX is considered as less expensive when compared to the Windows operating platform. Thus, if the cost that you are going to spend is a major concern, then opting for a LINUX or UNIX platform is better.

If you have already decided on the design and the layout of the web pages, ensure that the web hosting plan that you are going to avail support the needs for your website to properly function before signing up.