Windows, even though less popular and less widely-used for hosting websites than Linux, is still needed if your website is built using Microsoft’s ASP.NET framework and/or if it uses some Microsoft products. To help you find the best Windows shared hosting plans we have analyzed hundreds of hosting plans across 52 web hosting companies and developed our Top 25 Windows Shared Hosting Plans ranking chart [see below].
Table of Contents:
- Is Windows better for Web Hosting than Linux?
- What Types of Windows Hosting do Exist Out There?
- Top 25 Windows Shared Hosting Plans
- Where to find Top Charts for Windows VPS and Dedicated Hosting?
Is Windows better for Web Hosting than Linux?
“Is Windows better for Web Hosting than Linux?” “Is there any difference between hosting your website using Windows versus Linux operating system?” These and other questions often come up in the minds of many bloggers, small business, and eCommerce website owners.
Well, here is a short answer. The vast majority of websites in the world are hosted on Linux-based Shared Hosting plans. In the meantime the vast majority of personal computers and laptops run on Windows, including Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, Access, etc. So no wonder that many people, who are used to working with MS Office are wondering “Should I use Windows for my website as well?“.
A short answer is “NO!”, absolutely not. Unless, of course, you absolutely have to.
When it comes to running a server on which your website(s) is hosted, the key differences [without getting into some nitty-gritty technical details] between running that server on Linux vs. Windows is cost and performance.
Windows is a commercial product of Microsoft. And it costs a LOT! Linux, on the other hand, is a product created by an altruistic global community of software developers who gave it away for FREE to anyone who wants it.
If you read some of the professional software developer and system administrator forums to get a sense of what people think about Windows vs. Linux, you will understand why the vast majority of websites in the world are hosted on Linux. Instead of explaining this ourselves, we’ll use a quote from MidPhase [a hosting company], who explained it pretty well:
While it’s true that Windows web hosting has come a long way since the advent of the web, becoming more stable and feature-rich, web servers running on Linux have traditionally been associated with the ingenuity and grace of the Internet. The reason for this stems not only from philosophical differences relating to how web hosting companies build and structure marketing packages for small businesses, but also because Linux works extremely well with other software applications that form the backbone of great sites on the Internet.
These include Apache Web Server, MySQL database, and the PHP scripting/programming language. Collectively they are tied together in the acronym known as LAMP that’s considered the magic quadrant for open-source development on the World Wide Web.
– MidPhase Hosting [“Linux vs. Windows Web Hosting”, March 21, 2012]
So, to summarize, when you host your website using Windows, you (1) pay quite a bit EXTRA to make Microsoft even more profitable, and (2) more likely to experience server and website issues and underperformance.
Alternatively, when you host your website on a Linux server you pay nothing [zero, zip, zilch, nada] for the operating system part of the cost. Don’t you think that’s a better price than paying some Big Monopolistic Corporation for basically the same functionality [and worse performance]?!
“OK, then when do I need to use Windows for hosting my website?” you might ask. Only if you absolutely have to or want to use one of the following products created by Microsoft: MS-SQL databases, ASP.NET, or .NET Core on your website. These applications and frameworks are all related to Microsoft. If you don’t need to use any of them [or even better, if you’ve never even heard of them], then you can save your money and use a Linux-based hosting for your website.
What Types of Windows Hosting do Exist Out There?
Well, there are basically four  types of website hosting that do exist [in the order of least to most expensive]: (1) Shared Web Hosting, (2) VPS Hosting, (3) Dedicated Hosting [aka Dedicated Server Hosting], and (4) Cloud Hosting. All four types of hosting can run either on Linux or on Windows.
Windows Shared Hosting
We have analyzed 52 US web hosting companies and discovered that only 12 [twelve], or less than 25% are offering Windows Shared Hosting. The vast majority of the shared server web hosting business is based on Linux [or LAMP is the MidPhase quote above is describing it]. We then ranked all the Windows hosting plans offered by these 12 providers to come up with our Top 25 Windows Shared Hosting Plans ranking chart [see below].
Windows VPS Hosting
If you are looking for a Windows VPS Hosting option, please check out our Top 100 VPS Hosting Plans charts. In this Top Chart we’ve ranked Top 100 VPS hosting plans across 10 different groups by the number of CPU cores. And two [yes, unfortunately, only two!] providers—HostWinds and Liquid Web—from 34 that we analyzed do provide Windows-based VPS Hosting. All others are Linux-based.
Windows Dedicated [Server] Hosting
If you are looking to rent your own dedicated server check out our Top 85 Dedicated [Server] Hosting Plans rankings. In these Top Charts [see Group #1 as an example] we specify physical server characteristics but not the operating system. Why? Well, it’s because when you rent your own server during the initial setup and configuration stage you can decide if you want to load a Linux OS or a Windows OS.
Unfortunately, not all dedicated hosting providers do offer Windows even as part of the dedicated server hosting [especially if the plan is a “Managed” one, which implies the the hosting provider’s own team is responsible to ensure the servers have a 99.9% uptime, update or backup the data, and that all loaded applications work smoothly and don’t cause any issues. Well, because Linux is considered a lot more robust and easy to deal with than Windows most hosting providers are happy to offer “Managed” dedicated server hosting services when it comes to Linux, but a lot fewer when it comes to Windows.
Top 25 Windows Shared Hosting Plans
|Rank||Windows Hosting Provider||Windows Hosting Plan||3-year Avg. Monthly Price ($/mo)1||Action|
|#1||.NET Basic||$2.95||Visit SmarterASP.NET|
|#2||.NET Advance||$4.95||Visit SmarterASP.NET|
|#3||Personal ++||$5.49||Visit AccuWeb Hosting|
|#4||Shared Web Hosting||$6.28||Visit Omnis|
|#6||Windows Value||$6.99||Visit WebhostForASP.NET|
|#7||.NET Premium||$7.95||Visit SmarterASP.NET|
|#8||Windows ASP.NET Web Hosting||$8.00||Visit InterServer|
|#10||Small Business ++||$8.49||Visit AccuWeb Hosting|
|#13||Windows Premier||$10.99||Visit WebhostForASP.NET|
|#16||Windows Pro||$15.56||Visit iPower|
|#19||Enterprise ++||$16.49||Visit AccuWeb Hosting|
|#21||Windows Professional||$17.99||Visit WebhostForASP.NET|
|#22||PersonalClass Pro||$18.05||Visit Arvixe|
|#25||Shared Windows Hosting||$23.90||Visit MyHosting|
Where to find Top Charts for Windows VPS and Dedicated Hosting?
Windows VPS Hosting Plans
Check out our Top 100 VPS Hosting Plans charts. It ranks Top 100 VPS hosting plans across 10 different groups by the number of CPU cores [from 1 core to 16 cores]. HostWinds and Liquid Web on this list are the only two hosting providers that do offer Windows-based VPS Hosting. All others do not offer Windows-based VPS hosting as they are Linux-based.
In addition to the above VPS hosting plans please also visit the websites of the above Top 25 Windows Shared Hosting Plans providers as many of them do offer Windows VPS Hosting as well.
Windows Dedicated [Server] Hosting Plans
Check out our Top 85 Dedicated [Server] Hosting Plans rankings. It ranked Top 85 dedicated hosting plans across 5 different groups by the number of CPU cores, RAM, and Price [cost] per month.
Unfortunately, not all dedicated hosting providers do offer Windows even as part of the dedicated server hosting services. This is especially true for “Managed” plans [when hosting providers’ own support teams are responsible for all aspects of server management and monitoring]. For more options visit the websites of the above Top 25 Windows Shared Hosting Plans providers as many of them do offer Windows VPS Hosting as well. Plus check out Microsoft’s own list of recommended Windows hosting providers [note, this list is global, including hosting providers in Europe, Asia, and Africa].