Building your website on a shared server means that your pages may be affected by a neighboring site that devours too many server resources. For example, if that site receives a huge spike in traffic, your pages might load slowly—or not at all. Investing in a dedicated server greatly reduces this potential problem, plus it gives system administrators greater control over the apps and scripts that they can install on the server, too. Shared hosting is far more limited when it comes to what you're allowed to do, because everything you do could potentially affect the other sites with which you share the server. When you've got the server all to yourself, your scripts and apps won't impinge on anyone else's bandwidth or RAM.
Additionally, you'll want a web hosting service that offers Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) if you plan to sell products. Here's why: An SSL connection encrypts the data that travels between your site and users' web browsers, thus safeguarding the transmission of purchasing information. You've probably seen a green padlock in your web browser's address bar while logging into your online bank account or making online purchases. It's a symbol of trust. Some companies include a free SSL certificate when you sign up for a hosting plan, while others charge close to $100. You can save some money by shopping around for the services that offer the cheapest SSL plans.
The answer to this question largely depends on two factors. Are you new to server technology and not very interested? In this case, Windows is the easiest option to get where you want to go. Do you already have experience with Linux or would you like to familiarize yourself with this operating system? If so, Linux gives you more freedoms to configure your server, and you will be using an operating system that is less vulnerable to attacks from the Internet. Linux is also open source and therefore free.
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