Hosting for .NET - A Checklist for finding good ones
Are you considering moving away from your current hosting provider? Frustrated with lack of features and empty promises? Following check list may help you choose right one. Here is it.
Great Tech support:
This is the most important one in your checklist. Without quality customer support, especially tech support, you are handicapped. Make sure both customer support and tech support are great and have won good ratings(Arvixe) and reviews. Check out our asp.net hosting comparison chart above. This is a list of Top 10 Windows Hosting providers (along with asp.net hosting reviews)
Unlimited SQL Server Hosting vs Limited MSSQL databases:
SQL Server Hosting is expensive (when compared to MySQL Hosting in Linux based Hosting accounts). For this reason, many of the windows web hosting companies do not offer unlimited MSSQL databases. If you only need a couple of MSSQL databases, then there are good choices(see discountasp.net Review). But if you have multiple websites and need to host many MSSQL databases, you have good news. There are a couple of good ones, reliable too. ( See Arvixe Review ). These 2 are very good choices for .net web hosting.
Remote SQL Server management
When hosting for .net, it is critical that Remote SQL Server management using SQL Express or MS SQL Enterprise is permitted by the hosting provider. Many windows hosting providers do not allow this(for example: Lunarpages). This could be frustrating for a .net developer. The hosting choices listed above(Arvixe and 3essentials)) above allow remote SQL Server management. This should be part of your checklist.
URL Rewrite Module support:
SEO plays an important part in your websit success. If you care lot about SEO and URL rewriting, opt for hosting companies that have support for this feature. If you have a dedicated server,then you have the freedom to install a url rewite module or 3rd party software. Problem is if you looking for a share hosting, then naturally installing anything on your home server is not permitted.
Luckily good ones (see Arvixe Review and 3essentials Review) have support for this.
Classic ASP vs .Net Hosting:
Obviously you need to determine if you plan to use a .Net hosting account or a classic ASP Hosting account. Nowadays most of the asp.net web hosting providers have both features in same hosting package. Some web applications have a hybrid model, wherein front end is in classic ASP and back office Administration is in ASP.Net Platform. Either way, you can keep this as part of your checklist.
If you need to have PHP support(E.g: Wordpress in a windows web hosting plan), then make sure it is part of your hosting account feature list. Many major ones simply does not have php support.
Auto Installers: This feature allows you to automatically install many ASP.NET, php and mysql applications. (We know that Arvixe has DotNetPanel Auto Installer feature)
ASP.Net features and checklist:
If you are hosting a asp.Net app, ASP .NET version is important for you. Make sure your windows web hosting provider has support for the version your app was developed in. Nowadays most of them do support v2, v3 and v3.5 . Also check if you have support for LINQ / Silverlight etc for newer versions 3.x
AJAX Support: Also ensure the .Net hosting package offers AJAX support.
Reliable Servers and Data Centers
Make sure your asp.net web hosting provider offers a good up time guarantee(99.x%). Nowadays most of them do, but you can see they fail miserably. Ensure this by reading reviews and seeing ratings. Our Top ones in the list above, offer reliable hosting. If you are hosting in USA, naturally, prefer hosting companies with data centers in USA.
Other important features to consider:
Number of email accounts permitted, Dedicated Application Pools, Free ASP Components , Perl, CGI, SSI support, Streaming Audio/Video etc
Summary: These checkpoints should help you evaluate a good windows hosting company. Make sure to see our recommendations above for ASP.Net Hosting. Reviews, ratings and recommedations are covered.
Arvixe web host is a very good option for .net hosting or windows hosting. Save more using our special Arvixe coupon and Take additional 30% off Arvixe hosting plans.
ASP.NET MVC Hosting
ASP.NET MVC framework can be used for creating great web applications. By dividing an application into the model, the view, and the controller mvc make it easier to manage. MVC is a lightweight framework and integrated with all existing ASP.NET features, such as forms authentication and Windows authentication, URL authorization, membership and roles, output and data caching, session and profile state management, health monitoring, the configuration system, and the provider architecture. MVC design pattern aims to separate content from presentation and data-processing from content. This MVC separation helps you manage complex applications and simplifies group development. i.e. One developer can work on the view, a second developer can work on the controller logic, and a third developer can focus on the business logic in the model.
ASP.NET MVC Hosting Key Features:
Ideal hosting providers for Best ASP.NET MVC Hosting:
- Web hosting companies listed here have ASP.NET MVC installed and fully support the framework. Windows servers are ASP.NET MVC 4, MVC 3 and ASP.NET MVC 2 compatible.
- Windows 2003 hosting with IIS 6 Hosting and Windows 2008 hosting with IIS 7 Hosting.
- MS SQL 2000 hosting, MS SQL 2005 hosting and the latest MS SQL 2008 hosting.
- ASP.NET 1.1/ 2.0/3.5/ 4.0 hosting
- URL Rewrite Module installed.
- Arvixe ASP.Net MVC Hosting
- Discountasp.net MVC Hosting
IIS Hosting - Internet Information Services Hosting
IIS (Internet Information Services) is an extensible web server from Microsoft that can be installed with its Windows NT and 2000 operating systems. IIS is Microsoft's web / mail / ftp server. You need IIS to run your ASP.NET application in a productive servers. IIS takes request from user and executes the required files and sends result back to the user. IIS can support following Protocol HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, FTPS, SMTP.
ASP.NET IIS Hosting Key Features:
Ideal candidates for Best IIS Hosting:
- There are different version of IIS available. For eg. IIS 6 Hosting with Windows 2003, IIS7 Hosting on our Windows 2008 Hosting platform, IIS 8.0 on Windows 2012 hosting platform. Each IIS version significantly increases Web infrastructure security. Select a web hosting that support latest IIS server running on Microsoft Windows Server platform (depending on your need).
- IIS provides a variety of manageability and administration tools. You need a web hosting company with IIS Manager for configuring your application pools.
- Every website is hosted using dedicated application pools in order to meet maximum security standard and reliability.
- Arvixe IIS Hosting
- Discountasp.net IIS Hosting
Windows Server Hosting
Ideal candidates for Best Windows Server Hosting:
Windows 2008 Hosting Key Features:
Windows Server 2008 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft. It is the successor to Windows Server 2003. With Windows Server 2008 you can develop, deliver, and manage rich user experiences and applications, provide a highly secure network infrastructure, and increase technological efficiency and value within your organization. It provides a security-enhanced, easy-to-manage platform for developing and reliably hosting web applications and services. Windows Server 2008 comes with IIS 7.x and a wide variety of other hosting features such as Microsoft SQL 2008 database, ASP.Net framework, at a low price.
Windows 2012 Hosting Key Features:
Windows Server 2012 R2 is the most advanced Windows Server operating system with enhancements spanning virtualization, networking, storage, user experience, cloud computing, automation and more. DiscountASP.NET is providing Windows 2012 Hosting. Windows Server 2012 comes with IIS 8 and a wide variety of other hosting features such as ASP.NET 4.5.1, support to Visual Studio 2013, MVC5, WebSockets, and node.js etc.
- Discountasp.net Windows Server Hosting
Asp.net full trust web hosting
Microsoft’s ASP.NET language allows a web hosting company to set some security rules to protect ASP.NET applications. ASP.NET web technology have the concept of trust levels which let them define security rules for ASP.NET. Trust levels define what types of operations are permitted by ASP.NET applications, such as reading from disk or accessing the registry. A web hosting company can either use one of the preset trust levels – Full, High, Medium, Low, or Minimal – or can create a custom trust level. For eg. Medium trust level allows many common operations but restricts many of the dangerous applications. Most asp.net web hosting companies run in medium trust. Even though, medium trust reduces the security risk but its limited functionality might cause inconveniences and limitations. There are a lot of web applications and components in the market which do require full trust to work as desired.
Full Trust Hosting Features:
Full Trust means the web hosting provider gives an unrestricted permission to customers to execute native code, read or write files and give access to any resources that are subject to operating system security.
Ideal candidates for Full Trust Hosting:
- Full trust web hosting company allows full access to asp.net configurations while keep separated from other customer accounts. A full trust web hosting company creates dedicated application pool to each domain to allow greater performance, security and stability.
- They provide web hosting control panel or IIS manager
- They support url-rewrite module
- Arvixe Full Trust Hosting
DotNetNuke (DNN) is the leading open source web content management platform (CMS) for the Microsoft ASP.NET platform. The DotNetNuke framework includes the following built-in features: user administration, content management, administration features like: security roles, protected content and site log, Modern client-side Web tools like CSS 3, HTML 5 and JQuery, A rich-text editor, File management, Mobile API and basic mobile device detection, Social API etc. DNN can be used to create e-commerce system, an intranet, a public web site or a custom web application.The main benefit of DotNetNuke is that it is user-friendly and adaptable. DotNetNuke functionality is extensible and customizable through the use of third-party modules and skins.
DotNetNuke Hosting requirements:
Best candidates for Top DotNetNuke Hosting:
- MS SQL Server 2008 R2 or greater – Express edition is fine
- windows server 2008 or 2012
- ASP.Net 4.0
- IIS 7.0 or greater
- Visual studio 2008 or 2012
- SMTP server settings to update CMS and enable e-mails Let Clarity know if you have questions about any of these server requirements.
- Arvixe DNN Hosting
- Discountasp.net DNN Hosting
BlogEngine.NET is an open source ASP.NET blogging software. BlogEngine.NET comes with all the features you need in a blog platform. It is very easy to setup and customize and is suitable for creating small website for personal use or small businesses. BlogEngine.NET features include:
BlogEngine Hosting requirements:
- BlogEngine.NET is Extendable - It has multiple extensions, plugins and themes already developed by its community.
- Advanced commenting system - AJAX comments, AJAX that supports country flags, live preview, Gravatars, coComments etc.
- Cool widgets - AJAX post calendar or a blogroll that automatically retrieves the latest posts from each blog and displays the title beneath the blog.
- Multi-author support - BlogEngine.NET fully supports multiple authors to write posts on the same blog.
- Trackbacks and pingbacks
- screenshot trackbacks, social bookmarks, OpenSearch support, XFN tags, AJAX, Microsummaries, Gravatars, coComments, tag cloud, Google sitemap and other so-called Web 2.0 features.
Ideal candidates for Best BlogEngine Hosting:
- Windows hosting with ASP.NET 2.0 and above.
- Write permissions on the App_Data folder.
- By default, BlogEngine.NET uses XML to store all posts, pages etc. If you prefer to use a database, a generic Database(SQL Server) Blog Provider is included.
- Arvixe blogengine Hosting
ASP.NET Content Management Systems
A Content Management System makes it easy to manage your website content and design your own website. CMS allows you to manage every aspect of your website such as content, functionality and navigation, design, SEO and more. CMS enables you to easily create and update content without programming skills. The appearance of all content in CMS website is controlled by a set of templates that will make managing your website easier than you can imagine.
Best ASP.NET based Content Management Systems(CMS)
ASP.NET CMS Hosting features
- Kentico CMS for ASP.NET -Kentico CMS is powerful ASP.NET based Content Management platform to build web sites and web applications. Kentico CMS utilizes ASP.NET and Microsoft SQL Server. It is full-featured CMS with e-commerce, intranet, social networking, online marketing tools, Ajax support, Mobile websites support, Sharepoint support, Supports Visual Studio .NET and ASP.NET, Ready-to-use website templates (Corporate Site, E-commerce Site) and more. Kentico CMS hosting requires: Windows Server 2008,.NET Framework 3.5 SP1 or 4.0 or higher, IIS 7.0, 7.5, 8.0 , Microsoft SQL Server 2005, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012. If you want to edit source, you need Visual Studio/Visual Web Developer 2008/2010/2012.
- DotNetNuke (DNN) - DNN is the leading open source web content management platform. The Community Edition is open source. The functionality can be extensible through a large number of third-party modules.
- MojoPortal CMS - mojoPortal is an open source, cross-platform, content management system for ASP.NET which is written in the C# programming language. MojoPortal content management system requires ASP.NET 3.5 or ASP.NET 4.0/4.5, IIS 6 or higher, any of the following 5 Databases( MSSQL/SQLExpress/SQL-CE/SQL-Azure, MySql, PostgreSQl, Firebird Sql, and SQLite). Features includes Blogs, Forums, Calendar, Google/Bing Maps, Contact Form, Newsletter, Polls, Surveys, ecommerce & more. MojoPortal is an extensible and mobile friendly.
- Orchard - Orchard is a free, open source, community-focused Content Management System built on the ASP.NET MVC platform. Orchard content management system requires: Windows Server 2003 or Windows 2008 Server, ASP.NET 4 or above, IIS Express 8, 7.5 or IIS 7.x, Up to 12 GB ofhard drive space for a full Orchard installation, Full Trust mode for applications to perform better.
- Kooboo CMS - Kooboo is a flexible and extensible ASP.NET MVC based CMS. Kooboo content management system requires: IIS 5.0 and up, ASP.NET Framework 4.0, ASP.NET MVC, wildcard file extension must be setup to be executed by ASP.NET engine in order for ASP.NET MVC framework to work correctly.
- Umbraco - Umbraco is an open source content management system built on Microsoft's .NET technology stack. It is simple, flexible and friendly. Umbraco content management system requires: IIS6+ (IIS 7 Preferred),SQL CE or SQL Server 2008 , ASP.NET 4, Medium-Trust/Full-Trust and ability to set file permissions to include create/read/write (or better) for the user that "owns" the Application Pool for your site.
- Sitefinity CMS - Sitefinity is a web content management and collaboration platform designed to help organizations pursue their online goals. Sitefinity content management system requires: Windows Server 2003/ 2008/2008 R2/2012, 32-bit or 64-bit operating system, IIS 6+, .NET Framework 4.0 and 4.5, ASP.NET MVC 4.
- Yendo CMS - Yendo CMS is an ASP.NET & SQL Server 2008 based free, open source web content management system.
- RakuCMS - RakuCMS is an easy and extensible asp.net CMS solution. You can drag and drop web page design function to add contents components quickly. Multi sites supported with one installation. Hosting requirements:IIS7.0 or IIS7.5 (IIS6 need extension mapping configuration), ASP.NET 4.0 or above & Windows 7 and Windows server 2008.
Ideal candidates for ASP.NET CMS Hosting:
- You need a windows hosting package that meet full requirements of CMS software
- Latest versions of NET Framework 4.0 / 4.5 or above
- Supported database platforms (SQL Server 2008 or above)
- Automated installation of CMS of your choice
- Experienced customer support staff
- Arvixe CMS Hosting
- Discountasp.net CMS Hosting
ASP.NET Ecommerce Shopping Cart
A shopping cart is a piece of e-commerce software which allows you to create online store of your dreams. As an administrator, the site owner can add and edit products, categories, discounts, shipping and payment settings, etc. An online shopper can browse products, read product information, accumulate a list of items for purchase, calculates a total for the order, including shipping and handling charges and the associated taxes, Pay online, leave feedback etc. Today there are many open-source e-commerce asp.net shopping carts available for free.
Ideal candidates for ASP.NET eCommerce Hosting:
- nopCommerce - nopCommerce is the open-source eCommerce solution available for free. It is ASP.NET MVC 4.0 based with a MS SQL 2005 (or higher) database. It is easy to customize and has mobile ready options. It supports both multi-sites and multi-vendors. It has so many features including - forums, news, polls, multi-store, language packs, multi-drop, multi-currency and more. nopCommerce hosting requires: Windows Server 2008/ 2012 IIS 7.0 or above, ASP.NET 4.5 (MVC 5.0), MS SQL Server 2005 or above, MS SQL Server Compact 4.0 or above. If you want to edit source, you need MS Visual Studio 2012 or above (with MVC 5.0 installed).
- AspDotNetStorefront - AspDotNetStorefront is a popular .NET Shopping Cart Software with option to handle multiple storefronts. This shopping cart offers most of the administrative features to customize the look and feel of your online store, control inventory, manage users information, manage accounting, implement customer ratings and reviews etc. However, this shopping cart is extremely technical and requires an intimate knowledge of programming languages. AspDotNetStorefront software requires: .NET framework version 3.5, IIS 5.0 or higher, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or 2008 , Approximately 105 MB hard drive space for the storefront files. If you want to edit source, you need Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Premium, or Ultimate.
- AbleCommerce - is a complete shopping cart system available at a value price. The administrator can manage orders, process payments, manage your customers, maintain an organized product catalog and configure payments, shipping, and taxes values. Supported Payment Gateways are Authorize.net, Chase Paymentech, CyberSource, Google Checkout, PayPal, SagePay, Skip Jack and more. The latest version of AbleCommerce is designed to use with .NET 2.0 or 3.5 frameworks.
- AdVantShop -
- AspxCommerce - AspxCommerce is another.Net based open-source e-commerce solution. Its community edition is free to use. AspxCommerce hosting will require: Windows 2003/ Windows 2008, Internet Information Service(IIS), Asp.Net 3.5 Service Pack and MSSQL Server 2005 or above. If you want to edit source, you need MS Visual Studio 2008 Express Edition or above.
- Arvixe eCommerce Hosting
- Discountasp.net eCommerce Hosting
.NET FRAMEWORK HOSTING
.NET Framework is a software framework developed by Microsoft for building web applications. There are different version of the .NET Framework. Your applications might need a particular version of the framework. Most hosting companies support different version of the .NET Framework. Some of the features of .NET FRAMEWORK HOSTING include:
Ideal candidates for ASP.NET Hosting:
- Support latest versions of .NET Framework
- Support SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2012<
- Support latest versions of ASP.NET MVC
- Latest versions of LINQ / AJAX / Silverlight
- Support URL Rewrite Module
- Support Streaming Audio/Video
- Arvixe Hosting
- DiscountASP.NET Hosting
WebMatrix is a free web development tool from Microsoft for creating, publishing, and maintaining web sites. You can download it free
from microsoft's website. With WebMatrix, you can work on your website locally on your own computer and then publish it when you are ready. WebMatrix allows you to create a website with Static HTML Pages or Database Driven Pages. WebMatrix has database manager for MySQL, MS SQL Server, SQL CE. You can create databases, tables, queries and enter the data using database editor. WebMatrix also allows you to create a website using an open source application including blogging (like WordPress or BlogEngine.NET), content management systems (like DotNetNuke, Joomla), forums, ecommerce and more.
WebMatrix Hosting Features:
Ideal candidates for WebMatrix Hosting:
- Full support to publish any websites created in Webmatrix
- Windows Server 2003 / Windows Server 2008 / Windows Server 2012
- Microsoft .NET Framework 4 or above
- IIS 7.5 and above
- Arvixe WebMatrix Hosting
Visual Studio Hosting
Recommended Hosting: Arvixe visual studio Hosting
Microsoft Silverlight is an application framework similar to Adobe Flash. Silverlight is a cross-platform, cross-browser technology. That means Silverlight applications should work on either PCs or Mac computers and within browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari. It will allow the creation of interesting online applications and supports providing streaming content such as music, videos and animated or interactive content. You can use Silverlight to create animated 3D content such as games, virtual tours or product demos, or user interface elements. Streaming large media files over NET is expensive, but using Silverlight you can create media files and deliver large and high-definition files quickly and reliably.