When evaluating website hosting options, you have two server choices: Windows hosting and Linux hosting. Generally, website hosting plans will specify when they use Windows hosting.
Using Windows web hosting can offer a familiarity that you won’t find with Linux hosting, and it’s compatible with your other Windows tools. Many people find the control panel for Windows hosting services easier to navigate and understand.
We’ll answer your questions about Windows web hosting and summarize the top providers for this service.
How Does Windows Hosting Work?
When evaluating website hosts, you can take a hard look at their operating systems to evaluate whether they’re the right host for you. So what is Windows hosting and why should you use it? Well, the primary reason to consider this type of website hosting is if your website uses Windows applications.
You should seek out Windows hosting if you plan to use the following applications:
- ASP Classic
- Microsoft Access (MS Access)
- Microsoft Exchange
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL)
- Remote desktop
- Visual Basic Development
Likewise, you should choose a Linux-based server if you use SSH or Apache modules on your website.
A big difference you can expect between Windows hosting and Linux hosting is the difference in control panels. Linux-based products use a cPanel or WHM while Windows uses Plesk.
What to Look for in a Windows Hosting Provider
All Windows hosting providers are not the same. Some provide better security, uptime and options for various plan types that will adapt and grow with your business. Here’s a look at a few essential elements to review when you search for a website host.
The largest nightmare you could face as an organization is a data breach. Your website host could provide hackers a way into your organization. You don’t want to allow that to happen.
Take some time to review the reputation of the Windows hosting service you’re evaluating. If people mention security concerns, you should continue your search elsewhere.
Choose a website host that has no less than 99% uptime. The higher the percentage, the better. The website host’s main job is to make sure your website is available when your customers come to visit it. If they fail in this area, it isn’t worth the money you’re paying for the service.
Look at customer reviews for the various services and their track record for uptime. Some companies display uptime based on the previous 12 months, which might not tell the whole story. That’s why looking at the host’s uptime from a variety of sources will give you a better idea of what you’ll get with the host.
Windows VPS hosting
Windows VPS hosting ensures a better, more secure experience. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. While you might be looking for a shared hosting plan as you get started with your website, as you grow and your website traffic increases, it’s smart to know you have the option for Windows VPS.
This way, you aren’t on the same server as hundreds of other websites. And when they see a traffic spike, your website slows down. Or if they experience security issues, so might you.
This isn’t a dedicated server just for your website, but VPS offers a portion of a server that is entirely yours. That way, you guarantee that the server has the resources to respond to increases in traffic and provide a great experience for your customers no matter what.
Changing website hosting services is not ideal, so planning ahead for your website’s growth by checking for VPS hosting options is a good idea.
Best Windows Hosting Providers
Learn all about the top Windows hosting providers. We’ll explain what these providers are especially good for and things you need to look out for from these providers.
HostGator is an outstanding web hosting option. It’s reliable for uptime and offers many hosting plan options to meet your company’s unique needs. The one major setback in its plan options is that it does not have Windows VPS hosting, which means the plan might not grow with you as well as some other plans.
Best for: Low-cost Windows web hosting
- Unmetered disk space and bandwidth
- Good uptime record
- Great customer service and support
- Ideal for first-time webmasters
- Free SSL security certificate
- Many additional features you can add to your plan
- No VPS Windows hosting options
Pricing: Plans start at $4.76 per month
GoDaddy offers a comprehensive suite of services to meet your company’s needs. This includes adding on website backups and one-click install for popular tools like WordPress or Drupal. Add Office 365 to your subscription to get your technology needs in one place.
Best for: Added features to meet your needs
- Uses Plesk control panel
- Outstanding customer support
- Unmetered bandwidth and storage
- DDoS protection
- Lacks cloud hosting options
- Offers large discounts on first-year subscriptions and then increases the price later
Pricing: Plans start at $4.49 a month for your first year and then $8.99 at renewal
Hostwinds offers a budget-friendly Windows VPS hosting option. The host provides great uptime and offers good customer service when you need them. When signing up, just be careful because not all plans offer Windows hosting.
Best for: Budget-friendly Windows VPS hosting
- Great value for the money
- Supports Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016
- Windows VPS hosting at an affordable cost
- Starting plans offer plenty of storage and bandwidth for the average company
- Add-ons like cloud backups cost extra
- Money-back guarantee window is very small so be sure you do extensive testing early
Pricing: Plans start at just $10.99 a month.
Ionos provides feature-rich hosting plans for both shared and VPS. The hosting provider caters to small businesses and large enterprises, meaning it will grow with you as you need it to. You can sign up for a one-month option to test out the service without the expense of committing to an annual plan.
Best for: Windows hosting with optional other hosting services
- Provides a wide range of hosting options to grow with you
- Simple website creation tools
- Uses Windows Server 2019
- Option to switch operating systems when you need to
- Starting storage options are pretty slim for the average business’s needs
Pricing: Prices start at $5 a month but increase after your first year to $10 a month.
AccuWeb Hosting provides excellent Windows hosting options for up to 5 websites. Bandwidth is somewhat limiting compared to other plans but it provides great value for what you do get. Get full root access to perform any tasks you could possibly need to accomplish.
Best for: Reliable uptime ratings
- Responsive and helpful customer service
- Windows 2012, 2016, 2019
- Servers available in 12 countries for global companies
- No unlimited email options with Windows hosting
- VPS plans have limited bandwidth
Pricing: Prices start at $7.99 per month for annual plans
Finding the Right Windows Hosting Plan
Windows hosting will allow you to ensure your website has the features and applications you want. Because it’s not as popular as Linux hosting, you’ll need to shop around a little bit for the right plan to fit your needs. Thankfully, we’ve simplified that process with the list above to help get you started.
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