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by Adam Jan

There are many types of databases. The most commonly used database types are MYSQL (Windows & UNIX), ODBC (Windows), and MS Access (Windows). By knowing what type of database you use, it will help you decide which Operating System to go for.

The most popular Scripting Languages are CGI and Perl. While most of the web hosting plans includes these as standard features, you do not have to worry too much here.

Choosing a Web Host with Servlet Technology is very hard because it is not commonly supported and even for those who say they support it, they do not have sufficient technical support. The most commonly used Servlet Technologies are Active Server Pages (ASP) and Java Server Pages (JSP). While JSP is best supported in both Windows and UNIX environment, ASP is currently well supported only in Windows. Although Sun Java System Active Server Pages do work on UNIX environment, it is still in testing stage; as of July 2004.

What Operating System should I go for?
Windows based hosting plans are usually more expensive than those are UNIX based. Why would I need Windows Hosting then? There are many factors. If you use ODBC or MS Access database you may be required to use Windows Hosting. If you use ASP you may be required to use Windows Hosting. If you or your Web Master is more familiar with Windows environment you may consider using Windows Hosting. If you do not need any of the above, I would recommend you to use UNIX based Hosting. Why? Because they are much less expensive in terms of service fees and software licensing than Windows Hosting. Windows hosting are often slower than UNIX hosting in performance. If you have two servers with exact hardware specs, one in UNIX and the other one in Windows, the UNIX server will have better performance in terms of speed, reliability, and security.

Should I use SHARED hosting or DEDICATED hosting?
There are only a few reasons that you will need dedicated hosting. Your site contains sensitive information that you need better security and dedicated hosting does that. If you need flexible software support, you should consider dedicated hosting. If you need total control over your account, you should consider dedicated hosting. If you need to host a large web application, dedicated hosting is your choice. So who should choose dedicated hosting? Any Web Sites that need any of the above should choose dedicated hosting. If you do not need any of the above, I would recommend you to use shared hosting because it is more cost effective than dedicated hosting.

To summarize, make sure to know both what your Web Site needs and what Web Hosting companies are offering before making your final choice.


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