There are many types of operating systems on which you can host your web site. Linux, UNIX, Macintosh, and Windows are some of the popular OS. Among these the most common are the Windows and the Linux operating system. There are many reasons for people going for a particular operating system. Both these operating systems have their own advantages and disadvantages.
The choice of the operating system mostly depends on the type of application that you are going to host. It also depends on the tools that you are using for designing and creating your application and the features that you intend to provide for your web application. It is better to know some of the features that are provided by both these operating system so that you can decide on the best one for your requirement.
Accessing the web server is through the FTP programs. These FTP programs allow you to access your files in the server. You can modify them in your hard disk and then upload them again to the web server. There are many FTP programs available in the market for this purpose. Both the Linux and the Windows hosting support these FTP programs.
One of the advantages of using the Linux Operating system for hosting is that it can allow the user to directly open a window in the web server and manipulate them. Telnet and SSH are used for this purpose. You can issue commands on command line to manipulate the files on the server directly. Although this can be set up in Windows only a very few offer it.
The pages written for the Windows and the Linux servers can have any extensions like html or htm. The filenames are case sensitive in the Linux operating system whereas you have the flexibility of using Caps and Small letters in the Windows hosting.
All the Windows Servers support FrontPage extensions but only a very few Linux servers have that support. For processing the forms you have CGI and Perl support in both the Windows and Linux servers. Other ways of processing forms using PHP, ASP, and ColdFusion are also available. Support for PHP is mostly found in Linux and ASP in Windows. ColdFusion is found in both the servers.
Popular databases like the mySQL and Access are used in creating dynamic websites with the use of database. mySQL is mostly supported in all the Linux hosting although it is available in Windows hosting. Access database is supported only in the Windows hosting. The other popular database is the Microsoft SQL Server. So when you go for a particular hosting, see what database you need for your web hosting.
There is not much difference with respect to the operating systems used. But you can choose one depending on the features and support that you require. There is a common opinion that the Linux Servers are more secure than the Windows Servers. The security of the server mostly depends on the administrators who administer the web servers although the OS feature plays some role. There are cases where Linux servers were not rebooted even once in a year.