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Web Hosting - Unix vs Windows-Based Hosting, Which Is Better?
An operating system functions largely out of sight, or at least is supposed to. It doesn't matter to non-geeks how a file gets stored, or how memory is used, or how simultaneous processes share the limited resources available on a computer. These are among the basic functions of any operating system.
Yet, you can find very passionate supporters - who offer very detailed lists of pros and cons - for every operating system. Why? Because, though the low-level functions of an operating system do their work out of sight, there are many other features that rise to visibility. Sometimes, they do so when they're not supposed to.
Weighing the pros and cons objectively could consume a book. But to select a web host operating system, a manageable level of considerations apply. They can be weighed even by those who don't know a processor queue from a pool cue.
For most web site owners, administering the site/server is just overhead. It's not something they take pleasure in doing and they have plenty of other things to worry about. Many wouldn't know how and have no interest in learning (rightly so, given their priorities). Consequently, ease of administration is paramount for such people.
Whether a Unix-based site (usually Linux these days) is easier to administer than Windows depends on your current skill set and the type of tools and level of access the web hosting company provides. But in general Linux is more difficult to install and maintain than Windows and the learning curve is steeper.
FTP and Control Panels
Often, you don't have to care. For many, the operating system is fairly transparent. FTP file transfers to get a new web page up to a Windows server are very much like they are to a Linux-based site. The user/administrator simply doesn't see what's behind the curtain.
Many companies provide other utilities that completely mask any awareness of the operating system underneath. When that's the case, the web site owner has no reason to care, until or unless they need or want to go 'inside the black box'.
Performance issues can be relevant in selecting which operating system host type to choose. But for the most part, that aspect is outside the web site owner's control. Overall performance can be good or bad on either system, depending on many factors that the publisher will rarely see. The issue is a wash, as far as tipping the scales is concerned.
What is more likely to be seen by a web site owner, at some point in their (and their site's) development is the database product that can be used to store information.
Microsoft SQL Server is relatively simple to use, yet extremely powerful and can deliver great performance. But it doesn't run on Linux. At least, not without special software to emulate Windows, which usually kills performance. On the other hand, with a bit of time invested, MySQL isn't significantly more difficult to learn than MS SQL Server and there are many free installations. Cost may well outweigh other considerations for most on this issue.
Last, but not least, there are differences in programming languages that can be (or at least typically are) used on Windows vs Unix. If you have programmers who are skilled in Visual Basic, ASP and other Microsoft technologies, then a Windows-based host will be your preferred choice. For Perl and PHP programmers, Linux is the more common platform of choice.
No single factor can push you to one versus the other operating system. And, in the long run, it isn't the primary consideration, unless you just enjoy playing with operating systems.
How to Work the Internet to your Advantage in a Job Search Are you on the hunt for the perfect job? If you need a new job and you are spending every day running out and buying a paper and flipping through the classified ads, you are way out of date. The newest way to find a job is to use the Internet in your job search. After all, nearly everything else people do these days is done online, so why not looking for your next job. The best part is that the Internet is much better than the classified ads in your local paper when it comes to finding a job you love. When you search for a job online, you have a world of employment opportunities right at your fingertips. There are many ways you start your search for jobs online. There are several websites that are dedicated just to job hunting. On these kinds of sites, you can search through a database of literally thousands and thousands of jobs until you find some that appeal to you. Most of these websites let you search for jobs using many different criteria, from job location to job field to starting salary to jobs that let you work from home. These websites can be a wonderful way of getting a feel for what kind of jobs are out there and what the going rate of pay is for any job in any industry, and how that pay fluctuates regionally. In addition, these sites are also ideal if you are thinking of moving, and want to move to someplace you can find a job. If you don?t care where you move, you can look for cities where the job market is hot. If you know where you want to move, you can look for jobs in your desired city and get the inside track on the job market from no matter where you are. Additionally, on these job listings websites, you can upload your own resume to the site. That way, you can apply to jobs through the website with the click of a button, and potential employers can find you when they are looking for someone with your skills. Another way you can use the Internet to your advantage when you are hunting for a job is to build your own job hunting website. Create a website that showcases your resume and all of the work experience you have. You can set out your career objectives and show off any special skills you have. Having your own website is a great way to direct potential employers to where they can find more information about you and is a handy way of getting the message across about skills or achievements you have that may not be right for inclusion on your resume. If all of this sounds like casting the net a little too wide for your tastes, the good news is there are now local job listings websites in most towns. These websites work in much the same way was the larger job hunting websites, but they only list local jobs and only allow local workers to upload their information. Remember that the Internet cuts both ways when looking for a job. Just as you might Google a potential employer, so they may Google you. Be thoughtful about what you post about yourself on the Internet. If you don?t want your potential boss to know about that time you had too much to drink and passed out in your friend?s front lawn, don?t post the picture online. Likewise, be careful when blogging about political, religious or off-color topics. Almost anything you say online can be traced back to you, and may be used against you in a job hunt.
Communication Key to a Better Work Environment Everyone knows the story of A Christmas Carole. On Christmas Eve, poor Bob Cratchit, who is working late again, spends his day working up the courage to ask his boss, Mr. Scrooge, if he can have Christmas Day off from work to spend with his family. When he finally does get up the nerve to ask, Mr. Scrooge lets forth a tirade over lazy people using Christmas as an excuse to have a day a off from work. This fictional story unfortunately rings true for a lot of people who have to work up the courage to ask for things from their employers. An employee who has to feel about their employer the way Bob Cratchit felt about Mr. Scrooge is not a very happy and productive employee. To get the most of out of your workers, you have to create a much more hospitable working environment. To create a better working environment, keeping the lines of communication open is absolutely crucial. How does communication work in your office? Do you get the impression that everyone is walking around on eggshells around you? While this kind of fear from your employees may be good for your ego in some senses, it is really bad for your business. When your employees don?t feel like they can talk to you, you will lose control over what is going on with your business. You may be the boss, but your employees are the ones who are actually on the front lines. To know what is really going on out there, you need your employees to communicate honestly with you. If they feel that you are unapproachable, they will hide problems and concerns from you, and you won?t be able to act to fix them. You can?t expect to run your business with half of the information about what is actually going on, and so your business will suffer for your ?mean boss? routine. There are still other problems with creating an office environment in which your employees feel like you are unapproachable. In general, there will be a dark cloud over the office when you are around. The stress will keep employee morale low, and employees with low morale are employees with low productivity. Besides, who wants to work hard for someone they cannot approach or who doesn?t show they any respect? Shutting down those lines of communication will definitely affect your bottom line as employees ?phone it in? because they don?t feel invested in making your business a success. If you want a better working environment, you have to improve the lines of communication. If there has been a communication breakdown in the past, take the time to address it with your staff. If you staff is small, talk to them each one on one, letting them know that your door is always open and that you want more regular communication with them. If you have a larger staff, schedule a meeting to address the issue. Weekly office meetings are a great way to keep communication channels open and swap ideas in the office environment. If weekly meetings are not feasible, find some way of touching base with your staff on a regular basis, either through weekly emails or a weekly newsletter. Also, you should encourage your staff to communicate with each other. Sharing information among the staff is a great way to generate fresh ideas and fresh approaches to problems. If your office is suffering from a communication problem, make nipping it in the bud a priority. The pay off will be more productive workers and a whole lot less stress. Who knew work could actually be a pleasant place to be?