Deciding on a hosting platform for your website can be a complicated and confusing process, especially if you plan on integrating data connectivity and dynamic web pages within your site. With the competing technologies available choosing between CGI, PHP, Perl and ASP.NET hosting can leave you scratching your head.
What is ASP.NET?
Microsoft entered the arena of dynamic web sites with ASP (Active Server Pages) about a decade ago. ASP allowed you to “actively” change the web pages served to the client depending on your needs. ASP worked (and still works) very well for basic web design. It requires a Microsoft based IIS server and the necessary licenses.
ASP.NET is Microsoft’s next evolution for server driven web pages. Rather than amend ASP to add new functionality, ASP.NET is a complete overhaul providing a programming interface that allows developers familiar with Visual Basic and other Microsoft based client-server development tools to code for the internet. The major web hosting providers that do support the .NET technologies typically support both ASP.NET 2.0 and ASP.NET 3.5.
ASP.NET hosting allows developers that have been developing in the client-server world to easily and seamlessly transfer their skills to the internet. Developers that have been developing in C++, Java, or Visual Basic can use existing components to work with their ASP.NET web pages and web forms. This functionality has been significantly enhanced in the latest release, ASP.NET 3.5 hosting.
In addition, the developer tools and database integration created for ASP.NET has been designed to be incredibly easy to use. While developers are still able to use their “hard core” programming, they can also use WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) HTML editors to make the web page development even easier. If you use Microsoft Access as your database, ASP.NET 2.0 hosting and ASP.NET 3.5 hosting will reduce your development time significantly.
What Are The Additional Costs For ASP.Net Hosting?
This increased functionality does come at a price. While most reputable hosting companies support ASP.NET hosting, the additional licensing requirements will increase your monthly costs an average of five dollars a month. However, if you plan on spending a great deal of time on development and you already have extensive Microsoft based programming experience, this cost will be insignificant when compared to the time you will save.
If you do not already have Microsoft programming experience, ASP.NET hosting is probably not your best choice. The wide range of open source based hosting options available can save your money. Consider PHP or CGI based hosting on a LINUX server. Most hosting companies that provide Asp.NET hosting also have Linux options available at a reduced price.