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Webmaster Guide: Selecting A Platform

The very first challenge you’ll inevitably face like a new webmaster is selecting an improvement & production platform for the business. We’ll rapidly explore several platforms – Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, OSX, etc), Home windows, & Unix Os’s – by discussing the logical choices you’ll face prior to making one last platform decision.

Programming Language

The programming language you utilize to build up your internet sites & applications can assist you to better recognize the positives of, or perhaps obligations to, each platform. We elected to make use of PHP due to the development tools, free developing community, use of information / guides and vast experience we’ve using the language. For all of us, it meant the opportunity to tailor web applications & sites faster than when we were using ASP.Internet. I will not make an effort to compare each language because they all provide a broad quantity of advantages & disadvantages which are already broadly discussed.

If you are planning to build up ASP.Internet (Microsoft’s web language) web applications & sites, there’s a duty to make use of the Home windows Server platform. Though there’s a couple ASP.Internet support libraries for Linux / Unix web servers available, they neglect to offer complete support from the language and therefore are suggested for production applications or sites like a last measure only. If you are planning to build up by having an free language, like PHP, you can use any platform, although the support for every can vary greatly.

Kind of Server

The kind of server and the kind of server processes you need may also affect your platform choice. Though most of the common server types (mail, ssh, ftp, web, database, etc) are supported mix platform, support and gratifaction frequently vary between from process-to-process communication to general preferred use. We run several server ways to support our client needs and located that Windows’ support for most of them looked like the type we received for his or her other Os’s nonexistent in certain areas and slow within the general.

While in Doubt

Should you rather unfamiliar with lots of the technologies, it’s frequently more comforting to choose according to pure statistics. Here is the present (by March 2011) listing of the key server statistics by Netcraft.

Vendor Product – Internet Sites – Located – Percent

Apache – Apache – 179,720,332 – 60.31%

Micrsoft – IIS – 57,644,692 – 19.34%

Igor Sysoev – nginx – 22,806,060 – 7.65%

Goggle – GWS – 15,161,530 – 5.09%

lighttpd – lighttpd – 1,796,471 – .60%

Linux is really a leading server operating-system, and runs the ten fastest supercomputers on the planet. Web giant Facebook uses Linux & PHP (and Perl). The data from the purely objective view have a tendency to favor Linux.

Picking out a Version / Distribution

If you choose the Home windows platform, there is not anything else to complete when it comes to picking out a distribution, though in every case you will want to pick the latest production version available. If you choose the Linux platform, you’ll have many options available. Again, to help keep this short article as concise as you possibly can, I will not cover the various Linux distributions (there are a variety of articles available already).

Whenever you pick a Linux distribution you will probably want to look into the most popularly distributions. You are able to further streamline your alternatives by developer regardless of whether you want accessibility latest repositories (libraries) versus. stability (how lengthy has it been tested), performance and hardware support versus. security and stability. Because of the Unix philosophy, “Write programs which do one factor and get it done well”, you will find that for the most part a couple of distributions will come across your needs.

Within the finish, we opted for Linux platform more particularly the Ubuntu operating-system. It’s broadly noted for its recognition like a personal desktop substitute for Home windows users, and is easily the most used distribution of Linux. We selected the server edition of Ubuntu due to its lengthy standing use on the internet, its simplicity of use, and the amount of technologies that are based on its Debian based foundation. We made the decision on the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) based server because it’s not hard to code, simple to deploy, you are able to develop in your area, and there’s lots of cheap and ubiquitous hosting.


Selecting the best platform can vastly affect your end result and development time-line. You should think about your company, personal & clients’ goals before hurrying a platform into production. You may decide to setup several Virtual Servers (using VirtualBox or VMware) to check, side-by-side, the advantages of each one of these in compliance together with your business needs. I suggested using free languages, frameworks, tools and servers due to their wide use, support, transparency, elevated security and nature (reference Unix philosophy above).

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