On hearing the term “ASP,” the first thought that a lay person gets is of something technical and complicated. ASP means “Active Server Pages” and is a technology that allows the creation of dynamic and interactive web pages. The coolest thing about ASP is that it helps webmasters create dazzling websites, by gathering data from the users and retrieving data from the database. Users can interact with the web page by using their own personal settings.
Web pages created using ASP code need to be requested using a web server supporting ASP. They cannot be run by just opening the page in a web browser.
You want to understand ASP better before going ahead with understanding ASP hosting? Okay, here we go! When you type a URL in your browser, the web server sends a file to your computer. In case of standard HTML pages, your web browser brings back the exact same page that is located on the web server. But if you are asking for a web page that is embedded with ASP code; the web server first runs the HTML code and then runs the ASP code before sending it to your browser. This ASP code can display the current date, time or other information.
If you do not have the expertise or do not wish to install web servers on your computer, then you need to look at ASP hosting. There are plenty of hosting companies around that supply Windows ASP Hosting.
Why Windows? The reason is that ASP was introduced by Microsoft on its web server, which runs on different versions of Windows, and ASP pages (ASP.NET and Classic ASP) run best on a Windows hosting platform.
ASP hosting plans come with both shared and dedicated hosting, just like others. As you know, with a shared hosting plan, you are one among of the hundreds of other users hosted on a single web server, and if you go for dedicated hosting, you are leasing a server that serves only your site.
Shared hosting plans with ASP hosting providers may come with support for ASP pages and the ability to work with Microsoft Access databases or Microsoft SQL databases.
While it is important for you to ensure the hosting company you choose hosts ASP applications, it is also necessary to check if they support the ASP version your site uses. If you are using a data driven application, make sure the web host offers the same database server and application you are using.
Whenever you are hosting a website, you normally look for the features, cost, flexibility, customer support and reliability in your web host. With ASP pages, the reliability factor overrules everything else as the features of the ASP pages are processed by the server, and any malfunction of the server can result in your website not showing up.
ASP hosting allows a webmaster to create customized web solutions. It gives a website the flair it needs to attract visitors and finding a great host is imperative to making your site function well.