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What Is Unix Web Hosting?

Unix refers to the operating system of the web server on which your site will be hosted. Unix web hosting is by far the most popular form of hosting. Users of Unix web hosting can take advantage of a large number of free tools and applications already developed for the Unix operating system, or "platform". These applications are primarily written in Perl, one of the most popular programming languages used in CGI scripts.

The primary difference between Unix web hosting and Windows is a difference in the operating system that is providing the hosting services to the Internet. This difference in "hosting platforms" is usually transparent to the user, but will have an impact on what applications and databases you can operate on your web site.

You can view some low-cost Unix web hosting accounts on our Comparison Chart.

Also see our article on Windows vs. Unix web hosting.

Advantages Of Unix Web Hosting:

Best suited for the average web hosting user, most Unix web hosting services offer a broad array of conventional features at a very low-cost.

  • Unix has a proven track record of server performance and reliability.
  • Site owners can use a lot of free tools and applications developed specifically for Unix.
  • Typically, the cost for hosting on Unix is much lower then using Windows NT or 2000.
  • With Unix-based Telnet and SSH connections, website owners can do a lot more themselves configuration-wise, including easily managing files and directories, changing file permissions, and debugging programs.
  • Unix is an open source operating system, and most web developers are very familiar with it.

The main disadvantage of Unix is that is can be difficult to use if you plan on adding more advanced functionality to your website. Many of the CGI scripts developed for Unix, require knowledge of Unix commands in order for you to customize the scripts to match your requirements of your website.

Still, the Unix operating system is a time-tested, flexible platform for web server hosting needs. Unix has proven to be a reliable server platform with a very secure environment, thus becoming a mainstay within the corporate and Ecommerce world.

Currently, Unix servers have over 90% of the web hosting market share.

Unless you intend or need to use some application that requires Windows to run, such as MS Access or the MS SQL Server, then Unix is the better choice.

Unix Hosting & CGI Scripts

If you're choosing UNIX, then don't overlook the major advantage of FREE CGI Scripts! Here are a couple of the best places on the net for downloading free CGI scripts.

  • Matt's Script Archive - The home of the ever-popular FormMail script for processing email forms on your website, plus many other free scripts.
  • CGI Resource Index - If there's a CGI script out there on the web, then you can probably locate it here. They list thousands of CGI scripts in all programming languages; some free, others commercial.

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Hosting Reviews
iPowerWeb - $7.95/mo
Lunarpages - $7.95/mo
InMotion - $7.95/mo
Easy CGI - $7.96/mo
FuseBlast - $8.95/mo
HostRocket - $11.95/mo
Globat - $7.50/mo
NitroWeb - $9.95/mo