What To Look For In An ASP Hosting Account

What Is ASP?
ASP, short for Active Server Pages, is a technology that allows webmasters and programmers to create interactive content for websites. It was originally developed by Microsoft and executed using Internet Information Services (IIS). It effectively allows a web page to be created by combining elements of HTML, XML, scripts, and COM components. While the resulting page has the exact appearance of any HTML page they are quite different in the way they are controlled by the server and your visitors’ browsers. The main distinction is that unlike an HTML page an ASP page cannot simply be opened with a browser and display the appropriate results. The page request must be made through an ASP browser hence the name Active Server Pages.

Why Developers Use ASP
The end result of using ASP is dynamic or interactive content, or even a fully functioning, highly complex web application that is easy to manage and update. It is possible for Windows users to program in IIS on their own computer because IIS comes packaged with Microsoft 1998, 2000 and XP. Non-Windows platforms can also use software applications to interpret the ASP results on their own computer without having to use a web server. However, for visitors to view pages coded in ASP there must always be an ASP server.

ASP Hosting Availability
A lot of hosts offer ASP support. Shared hosting accounts include this and many other features to try and attract new customers. This means that if you do require ASP hosting you are left with a lot of options and a lot of features to choose from. Obviously budget will always play a part but it is important to check that your hosting plan includes everything you need it to. Obviously you should first start by discounting any host that does not offer ASP hosting.

Disk Space Size
Bandwidth and disk space are always important factors when choosing a web host but especially to you, as an ASP developer. Because the ASP is hosted directly on the server this means that your dynamic, interactive pages will generally be a fairly hefty size. Check the amount of disk space you need and compare this to the amount being offered by each host. It is likely that as you further develop or enhance your website you will increase your disk space requirements. Every new page and every new application will require a little more of your storage allowance so plan ahead and choose carefully.

Amount Of Bandwidth
Bandwidth is another important factor for the ASP developer. While most of the work is done at the server end, the addition of dynamic and interactive content will usually mean more pages requests are made. With every new page request and every use of any web application you include on your site you will be increasing your monthly bandwidth. If you reach or surpass your original quote then you will either have to pay extra to receive a higher monthly allowance or, far worse, you will need to find a new host to serve your website. There may come a time when you should look beyond shared hosting accounts to a more powerful and customizable but also more expensive solution.

Using Dedicated ASP Hosting
Dedicated hosting offers a lot of power. Instead of sharing a single server with numerous other websites you essentially rent a server from your host. No other websites will be hosted on this server giving you much more control, bandwidth, and disk space. Another advantage with dedicated hosting is that you can generally have the server customized to meet your expectations and requirements. You can certainly ensure that you are able to include ASP pages on your site.

Using Your Own Web Server
Owning your own server is generally an option that only large or specialist organizations can afford or warrant. As well as buying a server in the first place it is also necessary to provide adequate housing that must be the right size and provide optimal conditions. A stable power input (preferably two separate inputs) must be provided and you should also be able to insure that the location is completely secure. If you do use your own server you will also need to take remote backups to prevent data loss in the event of fire or server corruption.

ASP hosting offers a level of website interactivity and dynamic content that it is otherwise difficult to achieve. ASP hosting can be afforded through affordable shared hosting plans, powerful dedicated hosting, or through having your own server. It is impossible to open an ASP web page that doesn’t use ASP hosting but developers can use the Microsoft IIS application on their computer to program and test any content or applications.