The Essential Guide to Linux Web Hosting
Affordable Linux hosting
Here are the cheapest Linux hosting providers in our database:
- One.com - $0.25 / mo Get 3 months of hosting FREE
- iPage - $1.99 / mo 83% off the basic web hosting package
- HostGator - $2.78 / mo 55% to 65% off select hosting plans
- Just Host - $2.95 / mo 20% off when you sign up for a year
- BlueHost - $3.49 / mo 63% off all shared hosting plans
- PowWeb - $3.88 / mo WHdb Exclusive: Get 67% off your order
- A2 Hosting - $3.92 / mo 51% off Shared Plan with code "FLEET51"
- IPOWER - $3.99 / mo 67% off 'Pro' hosting plans
- FatCow - $4.08 / mo 65% off all new hosting signups
- Weebly - $8.00 / mo 1 free domain with any paid hosting package
It’s a pretty safe bet that you’ve encountered Linux in your search for a web host. In fact we know you have because Linux plays a huge role in Internet infrastructure.
Linux is an operating system, an OS as it’s often referred to. An operating system is a group of programs that manage all activities on the computer. It is essentially what lurks underneath the hood running the show, much like a car engine. Without an operating system, your computer is just a box of, well, stuff.
Linux is one of the most popular operating systems out there. As an operating system, Linux is offers users a long list of perks. It’s inexpensive to install, easy to maintain, and a powerful alternative to the Windows operating system. In addition to being cost efficient and easy to install, Linux is just as well supported as Windows and can also run Windows applications if needed. Linux web hosting is a type of web hosting which runs on the Linux operating system. Linux web hosting is a popular choice for powering websites. It is affordable, fast, flexible, and secure, and has its own software repository.
- Is Linux Right for Me?
- What Makes Linux so Popular?
- Linux vs Windows Hosting – What’s the Difference?
- Are Cheap Hosts Dependable?
- Tutorials and Guides for Linux Users
- Linux Support Resources
Is Linux Right for Me?
You know you want to start a website, you keep seeing “Linux” pop up in your search results, but you still are not sure if it is right for you. Don’t worry, you have come to the right place. To get started, ask yourself these questions:
Linux is pronounced “lih-nix”. Ubuntu is pronounced “oo-boon-too”.
- Are you a beginner creating a personal blog and would like to run it on WordPress or another CMS?
- Are you an HTML master, and have already written your website from scratch?
- Are you starting a small e-commerce site?
- Are you already familiar with, or have at least heard of, cPanel and WHM?
- Do you want to have options in regards to what kind of software, script languages, etc. that you can use?
- Are you looking to connect with others on a specific subject by starting a forum?
- Are you looking to save money?
If you answered yes to even two of these questions, Linux may be your preferred option for your hosting needs. In this article, we have compiled all the information and resources that you could possibly need to help you learn more about Linux web hosting.
What Makes Linux so Popular?
Linux is the most popular operating system used by Web hosting providers. Why? Linux offers an amazing diversity of choices, can be customized by the host, and works on over 70% of webservers worldwide. Small business tend to favor Linux hosting over Windows hosting because it’s affordable, more powerful, and has a variety of easy-to-use apps. Other reasons why hosts choose Linux include:
- Advanced Security: Linux is known for its robust, built-in security features.
- Basic Plans: Provides users with a variety of basic plans encompassing FTP access, Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripting, MySQL services, email services and ssh access.
- Fewer Bugs: Linux is known for its low susceptibility to virus and malware infestation.
- Simple Administration: Offers easy one-click software installation without using other software tools.
- Technical Support: Linux is known for its reliable technical support services.
- Less Expensive: Charges far less in terms of setup, software, and monthly operating costs making it a most preferred solution.
Why is Linux less expensive? Linux is a free open source system; which means web hosting service providers do not need to pay licensing fees for using Linux as their hosting servers’ operating system. This lowers the the cost for this type of web hosting service.
Many hosting companies also support and invest in Linux. These investments have made Linux a very viable operating system and gives hosting providers an opportunity to focus their efforts on that one platform, greatly improving tech support and customer satisfaction.
The Linux Foundation offers a certification program to help developers and admins become Linux experts, improving the user experience with highly trained IT staff.
Linux vs Windows Hosting – What’s the Difference?
Should you choose a Linux or a Windows web hosting package? Linux and Windows are two different types of operating systems, and knowing the differences is important when choosing a web hosting plan.
Linux and Windows use different script and database languages. If you know in advance you’ll need specific Windows applications, a Windows hosting package is the way to go and vice versa. In short, the type of files and functionalities you expect to use as an Web administrator will determine if Windows or Linux is right for you.
BOTH platforms use HTML files and read them in the same way. So if you have a static website which is made of HTML and CSS, you can host your site on either a Linux or a Windows platform. Bottom line, which hosting service you choose? If you use PHP and MySQL for your website, Linux is the way to go. If your website using scripts like ASP.net, ASP, SQL or Access, Windows is your best bet.
If you’re still unsure, the chart below outlines the key differences between the two options:
|Linux Web Hosting||Windows Web Hosting|
|Which control panels can I install on my server?||
|Which applications can I run on my server?||
|What are the different distributions of this OS?||
|How does the server treat file names?||
When it comes down to it, what does your website need?
ASP, .NET, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL server
PHP, Perl, WordPress, Blogging Software, MySQL, shopping carts
Are Cheap Hosts Dependable?
Since Linux is an operating system, it is largely the same regardless of your host. Price will very rarely affect a host’s ability to offer Linux support or its quality in that regard. However, price can affect other features that impact the performance and potential of your site. Keep in mind when comparing Linux-based to non Linux-based hosting that some applications will require Linux in order to run (or run efficiently).
It is important that the hosting provider meets your standards in other areas like bandwidth, data transfers, storage, uptime, customer service, and so on. The biggest difference between hosting plan price brackets is usually in the other features that they offer. If you are looking for eCommerce or other business features, you may have to pay a bit more. With a basic site or blog, you can likely save money on your hosting plan while receiving the same dependability and Linux OS as you would with many other hosting plans.
Tutorials and Guides for Linux Users
There’s a lot of information on the Web about Linux hosting and how to use it, which is why we’ve sorted through many of those resources for you. You can click on the links below to jump to a detailed list of resources to help you find the support you need.
How to Get Started with Linux Hosting
These helpful resources cover everything you need to get started with your Linux hosting pacakge.
- Getting Started: Learn More about Linux – Here you’ll have access to six other Linux hosting tutorials like creating an SSL certificate for your site and viewing and configuring Linux logs.
- Getting Started With Linux Shared Hosting (PDF) – This manual will explain how to set up your Linux hosting account, connect to a database, and everything in between.
- What’s the best Linux server for you? – This is an informative article that can help you decide which type of Linux server can best suit your needs.
- What is the LAMP Stack? (video) – Randy Hoyt gives a simple, easy to understand explanation of what a LAMP stack is and how it interacts with your Linux server.
- How To Make Your Linux Server More Secure – Those who are new to Linux can read this article to get some great tips on how to make sure your information is secure.
- 20 Linux Server Hardening Security Tips – This article details a multitude of ways that you can ensure the security of your Linux server. At the bottom of the article, there are links to other security tips and resources.
How to Use cPanel with Linux Hosting
CPanel is a Linux-based administrative control panel that offers an easy to use interface and automation tools. Below are a few handy resources to help you install and configure cPanel on your Linux hosting server.
- How to Install cPanel on Linux (video) – If you’re looking for a tutorial on how to install cPanel on a Linux server, this video will show you how.
- Getting Started Guide: cPanel for your Linux Server (pdf) – By downloading this PDF, you’ll have this useful “getting started” guide at your disposal.
- 5 Important cPanel Settings For Beginners – If you are new to cPanel, you’ll want to know about these five important cPanel settings.
- Linux Hosting (cPanel) Help – Do you need help with setting up your email, managing your files, installing applications, and troubleshooting FTP connections? You’ll find all that and more here.
- Getting Started with Linux Commands – This documentation gives a brief overview of some basic Linux commands that you might use as you manage your website or server.
Linux vs. Windows Hosting
By far the most common question about Linux hosting is whether to opt for Linux or Windows technology. To help you make the right decision, we’ve created a list of resources with helpful advice and recommendations as to which choice better suits your needs.
- What is the Difference between Linux and Windows Hosting? – Knowing the differences between Linux and Windows will help you make the right choice when deciding on a host.
- Five Reasons Linux Beats Windows for Servers – Linux is growing in popularity. Want to know why? Here are five reasons why Linux beats Windows for servers, according to PCWorld.
- Linux or Windows hosting? (video) – Still unsure? Check out this video to learn more about each option, how they work, and what to expect from both servers.
- Windows vs Linux (video) – This video offers a quick overview over some of the major differences between the Windows operating system and Linux based operating systems, with a little background info, too.
- Windows to Linux Migration Checklist (PDF) – Did you complete the hardware checklist? This PDF will make sure your Windows to Linux migration is successful.
Linux Support Resources
Good technical support is essential and not always easy to come by so you’ll want to bookmark these pages below.
- Linux Community Forums – Browse through the many topics covered in this forum to see if you can troubleshoot your issue with the help of the Linux community.
- How To Troubleshoot Common Site Issues on a Linux Server – Identify sources to common Linux problems and get great tips on how to resolve them in this excellent article.
- 14 Solutions to Common Problems – Presented in a “Q and A” format, this guide can answer your questions about what kind of programs can run on Linux, how to fix downloading issues, and more.
- Basic User Management For Fresh Images-Server Installs – Linux Tutorials (video) – You can learn more about how to work inside and configure login access to your Linux server with this quick video.
- 13 Linux Network Configuration and Troubleshooting Commands – Learn what troubleshooting commands like ifconfig, PING, ETHTOOL, and more, are and how you can use them to keep your server up and running.
- Server’s down: How do I find out what’s wrong? – This step-by-step guide is taken straight from the book, DevOps Troubleshooting: Linux Server Best Practices, and tells you how to manage your server and tackle any problems that you may come across.
- Linux Servers (pdf) – Paul Cobbaut created this book to help students and individuals learn the ins and outs of using a Linux server. You can learn how to troubleshoot any issues you may have with Apache, MySQL, DNS, and more.
- Troubleshooting Linux: Ubuntu Server Playlist (videos) – There are 21 videos (each one less than 10 minutes long) in this playlist by HowToPotato that are dedicated to teaching you how to troubleshoot different aspects of your Linux/Ubuntu server.