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When potential clients approach me asking me to take over their new website, there might be a number of reasons why I say no—but one of the main reasons I’ll turn a job down early on in the discussion is because the site runs on a Windows server. This might seem like a small point to the client but to me, and any other developer, it’s a big issue. Here I outline the difference between a Windows and a Linux website.

How are they different?

Windows and Linux are two different “platforms” for websites (there are more than just these two but these are the most popular). That is they form the foundation of the web server. Built on top of these are other technologies that are you used run your site such programming languages, database servers and email software. Although some software is available for both platforms, generally speaking, the Windows and Linux platforms use different software to accomplish the same purpose. Because learning these technologies is such a long process, developers tend to go down one route and stick to it. Some are capable in both but will generally favour one over the other. Expecting a developer to be able to work with your Windows site when they are predominantly of a Linux background is like expecting someone to be able to speak fluent Portuguese just because they can speak Spanish.

Which is better?

Neither is better than the other per se. However, due to the abundance of free software for it, Linux is generally the preferred choice for freelancers like myself. In terms of overall popularity, Linux has a clear edge on Windows although both have a very strong following.

How to find the right developer

As a rule-of-thumb, I do not take on Windows projects. The except to this is if they are “static” sites (pages of text and image with no database). However, when an enquiry comes in I do my best to find someone to refer the lead on to. If you have submitted a quote to a freelancer or web design company and they state this as a reason, ask them if they know anyone else that can help you. A good freelancer will be well-connected.

If you’d like a website give me a call on 07843 483 078 or get a free quote online.

Tim Bennett is a freelance web designer from Leeds. He has a First Class Honours degree in Computing from Leeds Metropolitan University and currently runs his own one-man web design company, Texelate.