In my last blog, I sited how I was torn between Windows and Linux. Well I have made my decision, I plan on switching from Windows hosting back to linux on Godaddy. I am going to switch for 2 reasons one being security the other being configuration options.
Throughout the years I have held several shared hosting accounts with multiple providers as well as built and maintained both Linux and windows servers. I have always held the opinion that when it comes to serving web pages Linux was a more preferred OS. What I have noticed is that as Microsoft has been trying to compete in the market they have been developing programs and products geared towards people like me the average joe. In the last few years they introduced several programs under the ‘express’ version, unlike software of the past where you had the choice of buying a student version or pro-version, the express version is free. Like some open source software where the free version has either a licensing constraint, scaled down feature set, or support constraint, Microsoft’s express version follows suit. In addition Microsoft has appeared to improve their server platform from the days of windows NT, but as compared to the flexibility I have experienced with a Linux/Apache combination, it still has a ways to go.
In the way of configuration options on shared hosting, Linux seems to offer more flexibility in the when it comes to the hosting providers cpanel application as compared to the IIS7 cpanel application. The most notable thing I found was that on Linux shared hosting you are able to out of gate make things read-write but not web visible as well as make directories password protected. The cpanel on the windows shared hosting will not allow you to do this. For example I wanted my application to have access to a temp directory, but to achieve this on windows shared hosting I had to make that directory web-visible and read-write. There was no option to allow the application access and not the public. I know that if I had access to the actual IIS7 server control panel or I had remote desktop access to the shared server I could possibly configure this, but I don’t.