Finding the Best ASP.NET Hosting for Developers — 4 Things We Look For
With the dominance of Linux-based hosting environments — roughly 70% percent of websites are using the operating system — the best ASP.NET hosting and other Windows-based services can be harder to find and more expensive to acquire.
To be fair, however, the Microsoft scripting language does run on either a Linux or Windows server, but the latter operating system is typically a more optimized environment.
For the ASP.NET, C+, and DotNetNuke fans out there, finding a top-notch hosting plan is just as an important and nuanced journey as those experienced by more mainstream LAMP stack site owners.
In addition to the ample demands on disk space, bandwidth, and memory, an ASP.NET application requires a modern hosting server and a web host that stays abreast of Windows updates and security patches. And don’t forget about constant customer support and the user-friendly features required for a positive hosting experience.
Hard-core developers will appreciate having the Visual Studio integrated development environment, while others will relish having the Plesk control panel included with their hosting service.
Finding the right hosting plan and provider for an ASP.NET website and application can be a challenge, especially considering the ubiquity of Linux and PHP options. To help you on your quest, we’ve compiled a list of features that separate the best from the rest.
1. Top-of-the-Line Windows Servers Fit for the “Best ASP.NET Hosting” Status
In large part because Microsoft developed the scripting language, ASP.NET typically runs best on a Windows web hosting service. The open-source application framework is quite resource-intensive, meaning a strong web server is a must-have option for developers.
Fortunately, HostGator excels at high-speed hardware and includes unlimited bandwidth and storage in all tiers of its Windows hosting packages, along with an SSL certificate and support for multiple versions of ASP.NET.
2. Compatibility With Other Microsoft-Friendly Tools, Including IIS and Access
With a strong Windows hosting package opening up the door to so many Microsoft programs, developers will want to capitalize on the package with the most number of tools, especially from providers who regularly update the services to the most recent iterations.
Here, we recommend InterServer for offering modern components while still supporting several older technologies. In addition to running classic ASP, along with multiple iterations of ASP.NET, the hosting company keeps its servers at 50% capacity to ensure more than enough resources are available for site owners.
3. Plenty of Disk Space and MySQL or MS SQL Databases
Seeing hosts offer unlimited disk space in any hosting plan is fairly common, and discovering an unlimited ASP.NET hosting account is no different. One key differentiating factor, however, is the databases available to serve content to your site or web application.
Microsoft SQL Server is the obvious database choice to store data for ASP.NET websites and applications, but site owners may also want to use a MySQL database. ASP.NET also works well with Microsoft Access, but that platform isn’t recommended for web applications. Because the licenses for Microsoft products can be expensive, hosting providers often limit the number or size of users’ MS SQL server.
However, HostGator removes all restrictions on ASP.NET hosting customers by including unlimited MySQL or MS SQL databases. We wish the web host were running something more recent than MS SQL 2008, but the value is obvious when plans are combined with unlimited storage and bandwidth.
4. High Quality Meets Low Cost (Cheap ASP.NET Web Hosting)
Although ASP.NET is an open-source language, the related Microsoft products to create and process your code can make any Windows hosting platform an expensive endeavor. The best ASP.NET hosting service knows how to balance open-source affordability with getting users
PHP is usually hosted on completely open-source LAMP stacks, which stand for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP (or Python or Perl).
When it comes to making hosting affordable, few are better than InterServer. Instead of cutting corners, as free hosts tend to do (we’ll get into that later), InterServer provides tons of superb, modern features, all without annual contracts.
The web hosting company built and continues to operate its own data center. The team wants to earn your business every month and won’t lock you into expensive, long-term deals.
Look for a hosting provider that increases its value by including lots of free perks like a free domain registration, SSL certificate, and one-click installations for popular software programs.
Why Avoid Free ASP.NET Hosting for Developers
Although PHP continues to dominate the server-side programming marketplace (roughly 15% of sites rely on ASP.NET, compared to 80% of websites that use PHP), ASP.NET enjoys a cult following among experienced developers.
Although free anything sounds appealing, trust us — take that code and apply it to an affordable hosting option from a reputable provider. Free services come and go, and the plans often come with substandard infrastructure or support. That means your website or application will be slow and not terribly secure.
Never fear, however: The options we presented higher up on the page will keep your budget at a minimum. Whether you’re looking for an affordable shared hosting plan or cheap dedicated server, you’ll appreciate the added services and server resources that come with the industry’s best ASP NET hosting.