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How to find web hosting that meets my requirements?

I am a relative beginner when it comes to choosing web servers and hosting plans. I'm about to signup for a hosting plan with GoDaddy. My main requirement is ColdFusion and MySQL. The plans on offer include Linux and Windows based plans.

Which one should I choose, and why? I don't have a lot of requirements other than what I mentioned above. I never used Linux before but I doubt I'll ever need to do anything beyond tampering with my account.

What are the main advantages of one over the other?

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I prefer Linux personally, but I cannot answer your question as in depth as many of the others. I just find it a lot easier to work with. However, I wish to ask you why Godaddy? I have heard nothing but bad things about Godaddy hosting and have personally found it to be extremely slow and unreliable: google.com/search?hl=&q=godaddy+hosting+sucks&; –  Melanie Apr 29 '11 at 2:47
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Adding to Melanie's comment, I've never heard exceptionally positive reviews about Godaddy hosting, but I'll leave it at that. They are cheap for domain names however. In the cheap hosting realm I have had good experience's with JustHost and Webhostingpad, but all of them have times in the day where pages almost fail to load. –  JMC Apr 29 '11 at 3:30
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+1 more caution against GoDaddy's hosting. If you need Linux hosting, do some research and find one of the many other providers which beat GoDaddy on features, performance, and pricing. –  danlefree Apr 29 '11 at 4:11
    
+2 on avoiding GoDaddy hosting. Quite possibly the worst hosting and servers I've ever encountered. –  Andrew Charlton May 13 '11 at 20:30
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marked as duplicate by John Conde Apr 11 '12 at 13:49

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6 Answers

Most people run CF on Windows servers. It can run on either one, it's just a preference. I don't use CF, I do everything on LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) servers.

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If you're going to stay within the control panel provided by Godaddy, then you probably won't see much of a difference between IIS (Windows) and Apache (Linux). If MySQL is truly a requirement then I would use Linux. I'm not even sure that MySQL is available on godaddy Windows packages. MySQL is generally run on Linux setups. ColdFusion should work on either.

The more popular open source apps are written to work best on Apache. So if programs like wordpress or free cms systems are in your future, then stick with Apache.

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Picking a hosting provider is usually a fairly subjective process. You generally have to try them out to get a good feel for them. A couple of good ColdFusion providers I personally have used in the past have been Hosting.com (previously HostMySite.com) and CrystalTech (now known as 'The Small Business Authority'). Both have good plans available and are very reliable. I too have not heard good things about GoDaddy ColdFusion hosting.

You will generally find ColdFusion hosting on Windows but can usually find it with MySQL databases available. A few Adobe partners are listed on the Adobe site.

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For all the websites I've ever hosted somewhere, I've always used Linux plans - because they were either static, or Perl/PHP + MySQL based sites. Since you're looking for CF + MySQL, I would recommend a Linux plan. I find Linux shared hosting quite good, even on GoDaddy.

I know a lot of others complain about GoDaddy, but for a relatively small site I don't see any problems, as I've personally never had problems with GoDaddy. You may also find it convenient to manage your domains and host your sites at the same company. I have also used DreamHost and liked it, especially for their Subversion hosting (they don't seem to have CF though).

The only reason I'd pick a Windows plan is if I wanted to use a Windows-specific feature such as ASP.NET with MS SQL.

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My advice: Don't use GoDaddy for ColdFusion hosting. I know they're cheap, but their support sucks - you'll get an answer from them three days later plus it will not give you the answer you are waiting for.

If it's a shared hosting account and you don't have access to the OS, then it's better to choose LINUX.

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Choice should be simple.

If your web is developed in either HTML or PHP, instantly go with Linux.

In case of ASP, ASP.NET, you have no choice but to sign up with Windows.

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Actually PHP now runs really well on Windows and you can run ASP and ASP.NET (using Mono) on Linux. –  John Conde Jun 25 '11 at 1:49
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