Classic ASP and ASP.NET are the two scripting languages developed by Microsoft to enable you to develop dynamic websites and web applications that are suitable for hosting in a Windows web hosting environment. ASP websites can be integrated with a variety of different database platforms and although you are going to be limited by the fact that ASP websites will only function correctly on Windows web hosting servers, you will be able to make the most of what Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Access have to offer you. Classic ASP and ASP.NET both offer you features that will allow you to interact with the Windows operating system on a high level so that you can achieve a high level of functionality not offered by other scripting languages. ASP.NET is well known for the highly dynamic core that it possesses since there are several different components to ASP.NET that will aid you with the development of your website as they will remove the need for you to add in extra code where previously you may necessarily have needed to. Although ASP web hosting service may cost more than those required for PHP hosting, ASP websites are usually developed by businesses rather than individuals which makes the costs justifiable.
What should I look for in a Windows web hosting package?
When considering a Windows web hosting service that you require for the hosting of an ASP website, you should make sure that your chosen web hosting package offers you the additional features that you require on top of disk space, bandwidth and support for classic ASP and ASP.NET. If you are going to be developing a database driven website then you will want to be sure that you can host at least one Microsoft SQL Server database under your web hosting account; in some situations web hosting providers will provide you with databases based on the amount of disk space that you have available, but with Windows web hosting you will find that you will be limited as to the number of physical databases you can host regardless of whether you have free disk space or not. If you are going to use a Microsoft Access database then you won’t necessarily need to worry about the support for databases because Microsoft Access databases are accessed directly as a file rather than through a service. If you wish to use additional third-party components for the development of your ASP website then you should ensure that your web hosting company is able to offer support for them.
Windows Shared Hosting vs. Windows Dedicated Hosting
When looking for ASP web hosting you will need to make the choice between Windows shared hosting and Windows dedicated hosting, based on what your specific requirements may be. A Windows shared hosting package will be ideal for those that are looking for hosting for a small website because the resources offered will be well in proportion to this; a Windows shared hosting package will also be much easier to manage for a beginner than a Windows dedicated hosting service. Larger web hosting companies will be able to offer Windows VPS server hosting and Windows dedicated server hosting meaning that if you really do require a dedicated hosting environment, but are unable to afford a dedicated server, you can choose to use a Windows VPS server to meet your requirements in the meantime. You should also take note of the different levels of support that are available for the two different types of web hosting because hosting companies are more willing to support their less experienced customers on their shared web hosting packages rather than those who are using dedicated hosting as they are usually more experienced.
Reliable ASP Web Hosting
Although Windows web hosting services aren’t recommended because of their reliability, you can be sure that if you choose a web hosting company offering Windows Server 2008 hosting, you won’t have any reason to worry about the uptime and availability of your website. If you wish to be sure of your website’s uptime then you should consider using a Windows VPS server or Windows dedicated server because with a dedicated hosting environment you will have more control over the uptime of your server as well as the strain that certain applications and services put on the resources available. If using Windows shared hosting then you should make sure that you are only using a web hosting company that has a good overall uptime rating and for dedicated hosting you should focus more on the network uptime guarantee offered.
Windows Server Management
If you require additional third-party components in order to add specific functionality of your classic ASP or ASP.NET website then it is highly recommended that you consider using a Windows server because this will allow you to install the components you need and in particular, you need to remember that most web hosting companies won’t offer third-party components as standard. If you wish to manage a Windows server then you will be provided with access via Remote Desktop so that you can view the remote GUI of your Windows server directly. Compared to managing a Linux server, most would say that managing a Windows server is much easier because you are able to follow on-screen instructions on a GUI whereas with a command-line based interface you are stuck with having to make do with the commands that you know of.
In conclusion, classic ASP and ASP.NET are both good examples of dynamic scripting languages that will allow you to create dynamic websites that will flourish in a Windows web hosting environment. Any ASP based website should be based on a Microsoft SQL Server database for the best level of scalability, or if you want to develop a small and simple website then you will find that a Microsoft Access database will be more than suitable for your needs. Although Windows hosting services are generally more expensive than Linux, they are aimed at businesses that can justify the added premium of Windows hosting with ease.