Microsoft Windows is one of the most popular operating systems used in many offices and homes.
This best-selling operating system also has various server versions that serve as the backbone of many web hosting solutions.
However, most hosting services run on Unix-based servers due to their reliability, security, speed, and excellent software ecosystem with the best applications.
Despite all those benefits, Linux would not be the perfect fit for everyone. In case your website is based especially on Microsoft technologies such as .NET or ASP.NET and you want to run Microsoft stack solutions, you will need to opt for Windows hosting.
Not to mention, Windows has evolved over the years, and has become popular, and has been perceived as a safe choice to do justice to your requirements. Besides, choosing Windows hosting does not imply you are restricted to using only Microsoft products.
Many hosting providers offer easy installation of useful applications such as IIS, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and more, along with out-of-the-box features to make your development process a fun ride.
What do you mean by Windows Hosting and ASP.NET anyway?
In Windows hosting, the server uses Microsoft Windows as the core operating system.
Windows hosting comes with the popular hosting application loved by people – Internet Information Services (IIS). It also supports major databases and programming languages, including PHP, ASP.NET, Microsoft SQL, and more.
Coming to ASP.NET, it is a web application framework that’s developed by none other than Microsoft. This framework enables developers to build web services, web applications, and dynamic web applications.
Let’s explore some of its benefits.
A familiar touch
There’s a high chance that you might have used Windows previously, given its massive popularity. Hence, your familiarity with the system paves the way when you configure your hosting server by running the software on your system.
But, if you use a Unix-based OS, you need knowledge and experience using a command-line interface. Not everyone would be comfortable with this. And even if you learn how to use it by watching some tutorials, a single wrong command could lead to your application or site crashing down before your eyes or possibly open a security loophole.
In case you need to migrate your site from Windows hosting to Linux, the transition is smooth. It also applies to the reverse scenario when you move your site or applications hosted in another server operating system to Windows. Hence, it increases your convenience if you want to make certain future changes.
The level of flexibility that Windows hosting provides is unmatched. You could run IIS or Apache as server software, replicate your LAMP stack, or a lot more flexibility.
Regular software upgrades
Microsoft periodically updates its software programs and operating system. As a result, you are covered with the latest security patches to ensure your applications and site are safe.
So, are you ready to host your ASP.NET application on Windows?
I’m assuming a YES!
Let’s uncover the top Windows hosting platforms for this.
The entire process of hosting your ASP.NET applications becomes easy with the comprehensive services of HostGator. It has plans that meet your specific needs and has the best-in-class features available at the best pricing.
It offers incredible flexibility and power through Parallels Plesk Panel, Microsoft SQL Server-2008 R2, Internet Information Services (IIS), along with more than 4000 templates and free site building tools.
HostGator guarantees 99.9% uptime for its Windows hosting, free SSL certificates for site security, and 35+ scripts installed for free with simple clicks. You get email features like unlimited POP3 accounts with SMTP, IMAP support, WebMail Access, unlimited auto-responders, email aliases, mail forwards, and 25 mailing lists.
As a result of using the Plesk control panel, you can easily manage your HostGator hosting account, create sites, deploy apps to your server, and manage your email addresses well. It gives you complete control over all the unlimited domains, email accounts, and FTP accounts that you own.
Apart from these, you also get Microsoft SQL, MySQL, Access Databases, along with 1-click installs of various scripts. The hosting plans include robust admin tools such as Webalizer, AWStats, Raw Log Manager, web-based file manager, password-protected directories, scheduled tasks, and more.
Don’t worry about losing your data as HostGator has got you covered with automatic off-site backups every week. In addition to this, they also perform server monitoring and offer support portals having plenty of help articles and video tutorials.
HostGator’s Windows hosting pricing starts from less than $5 month for 1 domain and unmetered bandwidth and disk space. It also includes a 45 days money-back guarantee.
Everleap is an efficient, scalable, and load-balanced cloud hosting solution for ASP.NET built by .NET developers. It is affordable and can be a good alternative to AWS or Azure, making you fall in love with its solutions. When it comes to migration, they do it without charging you extra bucks.
As the technology of ASP.NET applications is evolving, so does the demand for more resources to cater to the performance. Keeping this in mind, they have designed Everleap’s server response time to be really quick against so many of its competitors.
It is capable of seamless horizontal scaling and runs simultaneously on 2 or more web servers that are load-balanced. Besides, Everleap also promotes vertical scaling to increase the CPU or memory. The hosting plans include SQL databases, web sockets, SignalR, and more.
Everleap supports different tools you use, such as Visual Studio Express, Git, FTP, LightSwitch, Expression Web, WebMatrix, and more.
Its plans start from $20/month for a single site. Try Everleap free for 30 days, and determine whether it is worth spending your money on.
Now comes the host that you must be expecting – Microsoft Azure. Jumpstart your application building using .NET, Node.js, Python, and Java on your Windows. It provides you with a fully managed hosting platform with OS patching, load balancing, optimized servers, and capacity provisioning.
Configure from the Azure Portal or CLI, or use built-in templates for 1-click deployment. Increase productivity and accelerate development process using source-code integration out of GitHub, one-click publish through Visual Studio IDE and live debugging.
You can also Automate deployments through CI/CD capabilities by using DevOps. You can choose to auto-deploy from GitHub the moment your source-code changes.
You can easily connect to the database of your choice and delve into the ecosystem of OSS packages, connectors, APIs, and services with the Azure marketplace. Add SSL and custom domains quickly, carry out SSO integration with leading identity providers, along with health monitoring software into your applications.
You can schedule quality and performance tests with staging environments, roll-back to preceding versions with no downtime, and utilize deployment slots and swap staging to production instantly.
Deploy data along with host services in multiple locations across the globe in seconds to achieve higher availability. Microsoft Azure promotes automatic horizontal and vertical scaling based on app performance and customizable rules to meet workload peaks. Their newly introduced compute option D-series is also there to cater to your app scalability and performance requirements.
Get in-depth stats on resource usage and your application’s throughput, CPU utilization, memory, error trends, and response times through Azure Monitor. Take benefits from hybrid consistency because you can build applications and manage them on both on-premises and clouds.
Azure is compliant with security standards such as ISO, PCI, SOC2 and facilitates enterprise-level SLA. Integrate with thousands of SaaS applications on the cloud such as Dropbox, Salesforce, Office 365, Concur, and more.
Last but definitely not least in this list, HostPresto is also a good option you can turn up to host your ASP.NET applications. All their Windows hosting services come equipped with the control panel – Plesk for easy and central account management.
You get free SSL certificates, which you can manage from Plesk itself, such as adding, removing, signing requests, etc. They provide state-of-the-art customer management along with billing applications, which help you manage your business easily.
As your hosting account comes fully optimized, you don’t need extra maintenance or additional plugins or software. They keep updating their systems with the latest security patches and fixes, and the moment the core OS new releases surface, they install it for free.
HostPresto lets you install applications like WordPress, Joomla, and more with a single click. You get free backups daily along with an option where you can restore your specific folders and files securely and safely.
Unlike other hosts with restrictions on the number of email accounts, with HostPresto, you don’t have to deal with such difficulty anymore. They offer an unlimited number of email accounts so that you can create multiple POP3, webmail accounts, or IMAP.
Other features included in the hosting plans are super-fast SSD, unlimited bandwidth, free domain, and 99.9% uptime for all the packages. HostPresto does not charge you for account migration, and there are no contracts or setup fees. Also, they offer 24/7 UK-based support to assist you in case you are stuck somewhere.
You have to pay the price you see on the list of plans, starting from less than $6 a month. And there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee as well.
The time has come when you don’t need to rely only on Linux anymore when hosting your web applications. Microsoft Windows brings you both reliance and performance to cater to your growing needs.
So, go on to choose a Windows hosting plan of your choice to host your ASP.NET applications without any double minds about it.