When looking for a good hosting platform for any kind of website there are various things people can focus on. Some will have less experience and their concern might be more to do with things like storage, bandwidth, speed and cost. Some have more knowledge about these things though, including the different frameworks involved in building a decent site.
For those of you looking to get a decent host for your site that uses ASP I have focused in on ten sites that should meet your needs. As well as talking about the ten hosts, what they offer in terms of best ASP hosting, and other important hosting features, I will also take a look at what ASP is. Additionally this article will take you though the difference between ASP and ASP.net, and what the benefits are to using ASP hosting platforms.
What is ASP Anyway?
ASP is a server side scripting language framework which came out in the 1990s that is used on Windows based servers. ASP stands for Active Server Pages. It is growing in popularity and it is used to create interactive and dynamic websites working with IIS, Internet Information Services with Microsoft. IIS is a Windows component built into the server that handles Internet functions database access and web server functions.
The HTML pages are embedded in the ASP scripts then the server you are hosting with processes them and sends that data to the website’s visitors. At the moment it is more common for web hosts to have Linux servers rather than Windows driven ones, but that is changing. More are offering both options now so that means more people with ASP based websites or knowledge are looking for the best ASP hosting platforms.
What Can You do With ASP?
- Allow visitors to interact with the content on your site thanks to things like Java elements and Active X.
- Use it to code applications that can standalone.
- Make simple customization changes to your page for example each visitor might see their local time and date or weather.
- Bring HTML pages together.
- Use it to access databases like Microsoft Access or MySQL.
What is the Difference Between ASP and ASP.net?
There are two frameworks that are similar but are referring to different things, ASP is not the same thing as ASP.net. ASP is sometimes referred to as ASP classic too. ASP was developed in the 1990s. ASP.net was released in the early 2000s and is basically an updated version.
ASP.net does have some of the same aspects that ASP has but is based on the .net server technology from Microsoft which is a more stable base. In fact ASP.net while more secure and good on a range of websites does need more resources to run to optimum levels. Therefore the classic version is a great option still and Microsoft have said there will be continued support for ASP for several more years to come at least.
What Are the Benefits and Disadvantages to Using ASP?
As with anything there are different benefits and disadvantages to its use. Here is a run down of some of them to give you a balanced point of view;
Benefits to using ASP
- ASP is easier to learn than ASP.net and it is easier to integrate data into websites that already exist.
- Users can use it to change, edit and add to your dynamic website on a Windows server provided by your best ASP host.
- You are not limited to only the use of Microsoft languages.
- With ASP less coding is needed and those with just some skill can build web applications that are more advanced.
- There is a large ASP community online that you can turn to for support.
Disadvantages to using ASP
- Running with IIS ASP can be prone to occasional crashes and IIS then has to restart.
- No extra security is built in.
- It is not as up to date as something like ASP.net with more support, controls and components that are XML-based.
What Should the Best ASP Hosting Companies Offer?
First of all and most importantly if your website content is reliant on ASP then you need a hosting platform/service that offers plans on a Windows server. The standard in the past was to offer Linux server plans and that was it. But some hosting services did a mix of the two, and more today are now offering both as an option to new website owners. This is great for those like you who are looking for the best ASP hosting option.
You should look for hosts that have the best version of IIS on their Windows servers. Even though ASP.net is newer, there should still be support for ASP for a few more years at least. There should also be Plesk the Windows control panel though some companies have developed their own control panel.
The reason why some hosts do not run Windows servers is that Linux is cheaper to run. Usually therefore the hosts that do offer them will charge a little more for their Windows server plans than the Linux ones. So is it worth paying more to have ASP hosting?
Yes, if any of the following apply to you;
- Your website is dependent on Silverlight
- You use Exchange Servers or Office
- Your website relies on other Microsoft products
- For collecting data or distributing content you use MS SQL
- Scripting languages you use include Visual Basic.net or Visual Basic
Best ASP Hosting Providers I Recommend
The best ASP hosting services I have highlighted for you to take a closer look at are;
- TMD Hosting
- 1&1 Hosting
Here is a table to help compare what these ten best ASP hosting companies are offering in terms of general features;
|Best ASP Hosting Sites||Regular price (cheapest plan)||Uptime
|Money back offer||Sites||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Control Panel|
|HostGator||$5.95 each month||99.9%||45 days||1||Unmetered||Unmetered||Plesk|
|A2Hosting||$9.99 each month||99.9%||30 days||1||Unmetered||Unmetered||Plesk Onyx 17.8|
|GoDaddy||$6.99 each month||99.9%||45 days||1||100 GB||Unmetered||Plesk 12|
|LiquidWeb||Do not offer shared hosting, cheapest is now WooCommerce $39 each month||99.995%||30 days||1||–||–||–|
|Interserver||$5.00 price lock each month||99.9%||30 days||25||Unlimited||Unlimited||Plesk|
|TMD Hosting||$8.99 each month||99.999%||60 days||6||Unlimited||Unlimited||Plesk|
|Hostwinds||Do not have Windows with Shared Hosting so unmanaged VPS at $9.99 each month||99.9999%||60 days||–||30 GB||Unlimited||–|
|Register.com||$6.95 each month||99.9%||30 days||25||300 GB||Unlimited||Custom|
|1&1Hosting now 1&1 Ionos||$8.00 each month||99.9%||30 days||1||100 GB||Unlimited||Plesk only for dedicated, cloud and VPS hosting|
|Network Solutions||$12.95 each month||99.99% given but for UNIX servers||30 days||1||300 GB||Unlimited||Plesk|
So let me take you through a brief outline of what each ASP hosting platform have to offer, so you are better able to find one just right for your needs.
Hostgator are one of the more popular hosting platforms available and have ASP specific hosting available with their shared hosting packages for Windows servers. Specific features connected to the best ASP hosting include;
- Parallels Plesk panel, the latest control panel from which you manage your account and from it take care of things like apps, emails and your subdomains.
- IIS 7 (Internet Information Services)
- Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
- Programming features that include ASP, ASP.net 2.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 and more
As you can see from my table above this company have a better money back offer than most and it is one of lower priced options. There are two windows hosting plans, the Personal Plan and the Enterprise Plan. As with most hosting companies they do have a reduced price for new users for a short period of time. Do not be surprised when this changes to the regular monthly pricing!
HostGator also have a number of other features that make them stand out as an interesting host provider. You get good support, instant backups, and it is easy and almost instant to get it set up. If you want a dedicated IP you would have to pay an extra $2 a month on the cheaper plan, but that is included for free in the Enterprise one.
A2Hosting is another reliable hosting service that can be used for ASP hosting as it offers high speed on both types of servers. Its boast is that it is the ‘Fastest. Easiest. Most reliable.’ It has a specific page for developers interested in its details on ASP hosting too. I like it when these companies put the information where it is easy for us to find!
Some of the best ASP hosting features A2 Hosting offers include;
- Windows server 2012 and 2016
- IIS 8.5 and 10
- Classic ASP as well as net 2x, 3x and 4x
- Microsoft SQL server 2016
- MySQL 5.6
- MVC 4 or 5
A2 Hosting offer various types of hosting along with Shared, such as WordPress, Dedicated, Reseller and VPS. It has a good uptime promise and offer three plans. The cheapest is $9.99 a month though there is a special that means right now that is just $4.90 a month for new users for a certain amount of time.
Other features include Plesk Onyx 17.8 control panel and for the top tier plan, turbo technology that they claim gives you speeds up to 20 times faster. If you are looking for a secure, affordable and experienced option for the best ASP hosting out there, this is certainly a great fit for some people.
GoDaddy are a big name with over 18 million customers and managing around 77 million sites. They have a lot to offer as a host and claim to be a secure option with DDoS protection and monitoring, that has great 24/7 support as well as 99.9% uptime. It offers three plans as part of its ASP hosting opportunities, Economy, Deluxe then Ultimate, and starts at $6.99. Interesting features of its Windows hosting options include;
- Windows Server 2012 R2
- 200MB MSSQL database storage
- Odin Plesk 12
- Classic ASP
- net Ajax
- net MVC3
Other attractive hosting options that can be found with this best ASP hosting service include one click installations, free Microsoft Office business email for a year, a free domain name and 10 MySQL databases. With the basic plan you can host 1 site and get only 100 GB of disk space, but pay a little more a month and you can get those unlimited and more in databases too.
GoDaddy will help to guide you through creating your website so whether you have a lot of knowledge already, or not much at all, this could still be a good host for you. You can also transfer one or more sites depending on the plan you choose.
LiquidWeb are a little different to the other hosts I have outlined for you in this article, they recently sold the Shared Hosting they once offered to another host company called Deluxe Hosting. They do have other hosting options, WordPress, Cloud, WooCommerce and Dedicated included. They do also still offer some of those in Windows based servers so you can do ASP hosting still with them. The features include;
- Windows 2012, 2016
- Microsoft SQL
- Classis ASP and ASP.net 2.0 and 3.5
It is harder to find the information on their site but there is some support for ASP hosting in other forms than the no longer available shared hosting. They also have a promise of 99.995 uptime minus their scheduled maintenance. This is better than the industry standard usual of 99.9%…just about!
If you prefer to take your site or sites to a web host provider that is again a little different, InterServer may be your best ASP hosting plan. They are about 16 years old and instead of offering several plans at different prices with their Shared Hosting packages, they have a price they lock in and commit to, but no contract.
Currently their locked in cost is $5 so it is possible you could stay with them for years, happy and still paying $5. However there is also the fact that being as there is no contract InterServer can technically close you down anytime. Other hosting options include Dedicated and VPS. Their best ASP hosting features include;
- Microsoft SQL 2012
- Classic ASP
- net 3.5, 4, 4.5 (all ASP versions are supported just use the Plesk control panel to change them), MVC 4, 5, 6
With this hosting platform you can move an existing site for free and they have great security and good support. There is also an easy installer for WordPress and weekly backups are included too. While they only give the standard 30 day money back promise they do have good uptime and unlimited MSSQL and MySQL databases.
I also like the affiliate program InterServer offer. $100 per new customer you bring in and they even offer a discussion with an affiliate manager so you can work out a better pay rate, if you feel you are worth more! There is nothing wrong with getting some money back from where ever you are hosting with!
6. TMD Hosting
As with all of my best ASP hosting options, TMD have both Windows and Linux plans and as well as Shared Hosting they also offer Cloud hosting, Dedicated Server hosting and VPS hosting. They have been hosting since 2007 and there are three plans. They start from $8.99 usual monthly cost going up to $16.85 a month. Specific ASP hosting features include;
- Up to date ASP.net framework
- Remote MSSQL
- Windows Server 2012 R2
Using TMD Hosting means you can expect excellent support, backups done daily, all servers use SSDs making them faster and perform better and excellent security. I also like their double the usual money back guarantee at 60 days rather than the standard 30. This gives you a chance to really try them out properly but change your mind if you want to without it is costing you.
With good feedback from customers on their reliability, the affordability and a range of server locations around the world, this could be a great ASP hosting service for you. It is easy to use, has a range of applications and you could have your website up and running in a very short time.
Hostwinds does not have a Windows server for all their hosting plans but it is there for some of them, which is better than some! It offers a variety of hosting types from Shared, to VPS, Cloud to Dedicated and even Reseller and WordPress. The Shared hosting is limited to Linux only servers but Dedicated and VPS can be either. Their ASP hosting features include;
- Fully managed or unmanaged plans
- Windows Server 2008, 2012 and 2016
- Cloud control
This is an excellent ASP hosting service as long as you are happy to upgrade to something other than Shared hosting. If you are only interested in Shared hosting but like Hostwinds you would have to opt for a server that was not Windows, so would not be able to use the Classic Net framework to build and manage your website with.
Hostwinds offer nightly backups with their Windows fully managed VPS hosting plans as well as SSD drives, excellent support and instant setups. These start at $15.99 per month regular price and go up to $55.99 per month.
Hostwinds also try to outdo the competition with a 99.99999% uptime promise on those plans as well as DDoS protection and free website transfer.
Register.com is both a place to register domain names as well as now offering hosting too. It has over 2.5 million name registrations with it and has been around for over 10 years. It is owned by Web.com who also own other hosting platforms like Network Solutions.
Register.com do not have a variety of different types of hosting, they have just Shared but they do offer it on both Unix and Windows servers which is is why they are included as one of the best ASP hosting options. They have three plans, with regular monthly prices starting at $6.99. ASP hosting features include;
- net 2.0 and 4.0
- MS SQL databases
Register.com offer unlimited disk space, bandwidth and databases on their premium plan. However if you want additional security or more SEO services you do have to pay extra. Their uptime promise for Windows servers is very slightly less than the Linux one, the former being 99.9% and the latter being 99.99%. Their money back offer is the standard 30 days. It is hard to find out anything about their control panel but it would appear to be a custom panel.
9. 1&1 Hosting
1&1 Hosting are actually called 1&1 IONOS now since they merged with another company. They are on this list of ten best ASP hosting platforms as they provide Windows hosting as well as the standard Linux, and also have some other features that make them a decent choice that stands out. There are 3 plans starting at just $8 a month (regular price). The ASP hosting features include;
- Windows Server 2016
- Net 4.7 and .net core 2.0
- ASP MVC 3, 4 and 5
- MS SQL and MySQL
- net Ajax
- Plesk 12.5 (only for dedicated and VPS hosting)
Other attractive features about this best ASP hosting option are its good price, a free SSL Wildcard certificate and DDoS protection. They have good customer support but Plesk is only offered to dedicated and vps hosting, Shared hosting customers use a 1&1 own control panel.
1&1 IONOS have servers around the world and offer the better performance of SSDs in some. There is some question of their uptime though, despite the 99.9% promise some customers feel that they are not meeting this. Servers have good back up but there is just a 30 day money back offer, where some do go a bit further.
10. Network Solutions
Number 10 on this best ASP hosting platforms list is Network Solutions. They have email hosting, ecommerce hosting, WordPress hosting and shared web hosting. They offer a technical advisor with each plan they have and prices start at $12.95 per month. This is a little higher than some here. Also less appealing is that finding information specific to Windows hosting is harder, though they do offer it. Features on ASP hosting I found mentioned include;
- ASP, ASP.net 2.0 and 4.0
- MS SQL databases and MySQL databases
- Parallels Plesk
As well as offering web hosting that is secure and reliable Network Solution offer daily scans, regular backups and good uptime. As your website grows you can easily upgrade to a better suited plan and their customer support is good too.
Frequently Asked Questions about ASP & Best ASP Hosting Sites
Q1: What do the letters A.S.P stand for?
A1: Active Server Pages
Q2 Are ASP and ASP.net the same thing?
A2: Not exactly. ASP came first and then ASP.net was developed about a decade later based on it. They are both frameworks but .net is the more updated version. When they are being written or spoken about they are treated as two different things.
Q3:What does ASP do?
A3: It is a framework of scripts and HTML that together create a website that is dynamic as opposed to static.
Q4: Is ASP a programming language like PHP?
A4: No, they are frameworks within which you or the developer can use a number of different tools and languages to build a website. More common choices used with ASP are C# or VB script but you can use other options including PHP, Ruby, Java and Python.
Q5: Why don’t all host providers have Windows servers?
A5: Hosting Windows servers costs a bit more money so some choose not to. Also at first the demand was not there. But that is changing.
Q6: Can ASP not be used on Linux servers at all?
A6: While technically there are work arounds that can be done to get ASP sites working on Linux servers it is difficult and not always stable.
Q7: Why are Windows servers more expensive to run for the host providers?
A7: The cost of the software licensing is what pushes up the costs of Windows servers compared to Linux ones.
Q8: What is the difference between an .asp extension and an .aspx?
A8: In general when a file has .asp this means it is an ASP file, as in the classic version. When it says .aspx this means it is an ASP.net file.
Q9: What is IIS?
A9: This stands for Internet Information Services, and it is the web server software from Microsoft.
Q10: What database technology should I look for in the best ASP hosting service?
A10: The clearest choice is MS SQL but you can use others like MS Access.
Q11: Why opt for ASP?
A11: If you work with Windows in other ways and you are comfortable using it, then it makes sense to want to use Windows servers to host your sites and ASP or ASP.net as your scripting framework.
Q12: Why is ASP and Windows hosting less popular amongst users?
A12: Hosts are less likely to offer it because it costs more due to the licensing costs. This means users see it is less available and more expensive so opt for Linux and PHP, especially if you are just wanting to have a website that is a blog, forum or something simple like that.
Bringing the Best ASP Hosting Services to a Conclusion
ASP hosting means companies who offer platforms where you can host your website or websites also offer support for Active Server Page. In order for that to happen they have to offer Windows servers as well as the more common Linux. Not all companies offer Windows servers as a hosting option because it is more expensive for them.
If you want the best ASP hosting platform for you, first you need to look for sites like the ones above with a good reputation that also offer Windows hosting. You will find that some offer it in all of the types of hosting they offer, but some may only offer it in higher priced types not their Shared plan.
As well as having the specific requirements for ASP hosting you will want certain things from your host, and the priority you place on them will change from one user to another. Think about features like;
- Disk Space
- SSD v HDD
- Whether there is a limit on sites
- Ease of use
- Ecommerce worthy
- Support level and types
Whichever platform you choose needs to have the databases you need, a good control panel, something like Plesk for example and should be able to run ASP code. It is likely that they will also be good for ASP.net hosting and that you will find reference to that version of ASP too. Be prepared for the extra cost that comes with this kind of hosting. Ideally you already have knowledge and experience with ASP otherwise it would be easier to go with Linux servers and PHP.