Companies that offer Windows web hosting include ASP and SQL Server hosting with their Windows hosting plans. With classic ASP, ASP.NET, and SQL Server hosting, the account holder may create sites that run on a Windows web server and access a SQL Server back-end for interactive web applications. This means that the web hosting client utilizes all the benefits of working within a Windows environment to host their database-powered sites. Database powered areas include eCommerce shopping carts, sites that allow users to run queries, and places that automatically store data for client sites.
Windows-based web hosting includes the ability to run classic ASP and ASP.NET scripts within web pages. ASP and ASP.NET are the Microsoft coding languages that allow developers to create rich, interactive pages for the Windows web server environment. Internet Information Server, or IIS, is the web serving mechanism that interprets and displays classic ASP and ASP.Net pages.
Windows web hosting companies that host ASP and ASP.NET will typically also host SQL Server for accounts. SQL Server is Microsoft’s standard enterprise database application. ASP and ASP.NET pages are optimized to interact with SQL Server databases. There are several advantages to having a Windows-based web hosting account versus a Linux-based account.
Windows Hosting vs. Linux Hosting
The first and foremost advantage of hosting your website on a Windows-based server is that most people are already familiar with the Windows environment. Most developers specialize in one platform when learning their coding skills. Windows programmers specialize in the ASP and ASP.NET languages, whereas Linux web programmers will specialize in open source languages, such as PHP. ASP.NET is written and optimized using the Microsoft Visual Studio suite, whereas Linux-based coding, such as PHP, is written in a text editor or a PHP-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Though some developers may argue, ASP.NET code is considerably more secure than the open-source PHP language.
Additionally, those who use licensed Microsoft products, such as the Visual Studio suite, enjoy Microsoft support’s added benefits. Those who write code in open source languages must rely on forums, online communities, and other resources to obtain permission when faced with an issue.
Advantages of Windows-Based Hosting
Windows-based hosting may cost a few dollars more, but usually, Windows hosting’s price is very comparable to Linux-based hosting. However, for that little bit of extra cost, the benefits of Windows hosting are great. Windows servers are easy to administer, secure, and fast. Windows servers are based on the Microsoft Windows operating system and include many additional administration tools. Many Microsoft products, such as Exchange and SharePoint, automatically integrate with the Windows Server environment, making uploading website content and managing sites more manageable and more straightforward than with Linux-based servers.
When you select an ASP and SQL Server hosting plan, you have several options for add-ons, such as the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server. This add-on provides an environment for web teams to work on joint projects, with a team management interface and a code check-in, check-out system.
Cutting Edge ASP.NET Hosting Features
Microsoft is always improving its products, and Windows Server is no different. Cutting edge improvements in ASP and ASP.NET hosting include:
- Fast, Secure FTP over SSL
- Support for Microsoft Silverlight
- WCF RIA Services
- Smooth Streaming via IIS
- Isolated Application Pools
- SQL Server hosted in Secure Datacenters
- Integration with Exchange-based Email
- Fully Developed Security Mechanisms, such as Trusts and Various Levels of User Access
Most ASP SQL Server web hosting companies also provide several email accounts with each web hosting account. Windows-based email accounts are usually hosted on Microsoft Exchange servers. When an email is hosted on Microsoft Exchange, web applications’ programmers may easily integrate email functions into their web programs. Microsoft products seamlessly integrate and provide a whole new level of functionality for web-based applications.
ASP and SQL Server Hosting Support
All web hosting companies offer technical support. However, some web hosts’ technical support is much better than others. Make sure the web hosting company that you choose offers 24/7 technical support. Also, offering web hosting clients options regarding how they will connect with technical support is essential. Web hosts that provide clients a toll-free support number, again, to support via email and chat, are your best bet.
Most hosting companies that offer ASP, ASP.NET, and SQL Server hosting will usually provide top-tier support to their web hosting clients. This is because many web hosting companies employ Microsoft Certified support personnel. Microsoft enables those who deploy and administer Microsoft products, particularly server products, to study and test for certifications in the areas they specialize in. For example, Microsoft offers certifications for Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Windows Server, and other products, such as Microsoft SharePoint. When seeking a Windows-based web hosting company, check to see if the staff who will support your hosting account are certified by Microsoft.
When selecting a web hosting company to host your websites, first decide whether to host your web applications on a Linux-based or Windows-based account. If you choose a Windows-based hosting account, make sure your web hosting company offers ASP and ASP.NET hosting, as well as SQL Server hosting. Choose the web hosting company that provides the best technical support contact options for you.