The ultimate Windows Hosting solution, ASP.NET is a dynamic language used by millions of web developers, enterprises and private website owners. Due to its increasing popularity, ASP.NET hosting is available at better value for money than ever - take a look at our pick of the best ASP.NET Hosting plans available.
Our list of hosting providers is based on:
- Windows capability
- User reviews
What is ASP.NET Hosting?
It is easier to understand ASP.NET once you know what the .NET Framework is. .NET is a software framework developed by Microsoft that has a large library of built-in code, supports numerous compiled languages, and allows for interoperability between all languages it supports. As it is based on the .NET framework, ASP.NET comes with many features to assist you in creating dynamic websites and applications.
Created in 2002, ASP.NET is similar to ASP, but includes all of the advantages inherent to the .NET Framework. Developers can compile code in their choice of programming language, and use libraries interchangeably between web-based and desktop-based applications. Usually, pages are created as 'web forms', using a programming language such as C# or VB.net.
Millions of websites currently run on ASP.NET. With a specialized ASP.NET Hosting provider, you will get a ready-made framework including many useful features and tools for your website. Furthermore, ASP.NET Hosting on Windows servers is now almost as cheap as Linux Hosting plans, which have traditionally been the cheaper option.
What can ASP.NET do?
ASP.NET websites and applications are hosted on a Windows Server, typically paired with an MS SQL database, and managed via tools such as Visual Studio. These tools are available in multiple flavors, catering for personal and professional use, and make it easy for you to test features before sending anything to your live servers.
Most professional developers enjoy the more advanced features of Visual Studio 2015, with its excellent integration in the Application Lifecycle Management collection. Using tools such as these, you can easily create local virtual development environments that synchronize with your live environment.
There is an alternative to Visual Studio, called Mono, which provides an open source .NET framework that works across multiple platforms. Although it lacks the depth of features and level of integration synonymous with Visual Studio, it is becoming increasingly popular due to being free to use.
Boost Website Performance with ASP.NET
There are multiple things you can do to speed up ASP.NET page load times, including the use of caching systems such as MemCacheD or optimization tools for minifying file sizes.
One major way ASP.NET improves performance is by automatically compiling server-side code into several DLL files - this compilation is done only once, at the moment the web page is first requested. For the ASP.NET developer, this activity means that server-side code is only loaded at the moment it's needed.
If not using pre-compiled code, there will be a slight delay in performance the very first time the page is requested, but after that, the compiled code is sitting on the server and ready to go. Development is simplified by removing at least one less step per page for the developer to take when moving a website to production.
What Websites Use ASP.NET?
On the ASP.NET website, Microsoft have provided a list of websites which currently use ASP.NET - here are a few of them:
Pros and Cons of ASP.NET
- Having full XML support facilitates easy data exchange
- Various tools available
- Solid error-handling
- Faster load times than ASP
- Microsoft - reliable and regularly updated
- Not widely supported as it requires Windows Server OS
- More expensive than Linux Hosting options such as PHP
- Frameworks exclusively developed by Microsoft, resulting in a smaller selection
ASP.NET vs. PHP vs. ASP
PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor), the main competitor to ASP.NET, is well-known for powering popular Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. The main difference is that the additional costs are lower than that of ASP.NET.
Active Server Pages (Classic ASP) was the forerunner to ASP.NET. However, it is not considered to be a serious competitor because ASP.NET is essentially an upgraded version - retaining the qualities of Classic ASP while improving upon it with the .NET Framework.
ASP.NET Web Hosting Solutions
When selecting your ASP.NET Hosting provider, check that their support matches the specific version of ASP.NET that you are using to build your website or application. If you are starting a new project, you should probably opt for the latest technology, while migration of an existing website or application would most likely require the same software versions as the previous environment.
Don't forget that in order to host an ASP.NET site your hosting provider needs to be using Windows Server OS. The ASP.NET Hosting providers in our toplist keep their server environments up to date with the latest technology from Microsoft. They also let you connect your tools with the server, for a faster workflow aided by integrated code and data management, while also offering comprehensive support and flexibility to adapt to your needs.
Is ASP.NET right for me?
Bear in mind that although ASP.NET itself is open-source, the tools and frameworks you will need to complement it are not. If you enjoy the freedom that comes with using open-source software throughout, and/or prefer using Linux, then we recommend you take a look at PHP Hosting or Linux Hosting options.
However, for the peace of mind that comes from the consistent reliability a support of and genuine certified Microsoft product, ASP.NET is the way to go.
If you are still unsure you can use our Hosting Wizard and Knowledge Base for more ideas, or Compare Hosting plans side by side - whatever you decide, Web Hosting Search is here to help you find the best deal!