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ASP Web Hosting – Understanding The Dynamics Of Active Server Pages

ASP, or Active Server Pages, is a scripting language introduced by Microsoft and designed to be embedded within the HTML code for Web pages. The word ‘Active’ in its name refers to the fact that ASP enables your Web pages to be dynamic and interactive – delivering different database driven information for each Web page query and allowing the user to interact with page objects such as Active X or Java components. With ASP, you can combine HTML pages, script commands, and COM components to create interactive Web pages or powerful Web-based applications, which are easy to develop and modify. The term ‘Server’ in its name is a reference to server-side scripting – meaning ASP is run on the Web server before any HTML is sent to the user’s browser – making the content unaffected by the type of Web browser being used. ASP Web pages have the extension .asp which tells the server to run the ASP code before the page is sent to the users computer.

ASP was developed and launched by Microsoft and first introduced on their Internet Information Server (IIS). For this reason, a Web site programmed with ASP is best hosted on a Windows server because most components of ASP work with IIS, which is specific to Windows. ASP is a component of IIS 3.0, which is a free, downloadable, and integrated feature of Windows NT Server 4.0. The ASP feature of IIS 3.0 requires Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 running IIS 2.0 or Windows NT Workstation 4.0 running Peer Web Services. The ASP feature does not require Service Pack 2 for Windows NT 4.0, although it is recommended that all Windows NT systems receive the Service Pack 2 updates. The ASP feature contains a subset of the updates found in Service Pack 2. Installation of ASP will upgrade IIS version 2.0 to version 3.0. The other IIS 3.0 features—Index Server 1.1, Microsoft NetShow, FrontPage 97 Server Extensions, and Crystal Reports—add significant functionality to IIS, but are not required to take advantage of ASP.

ASP Web Hosting

ASP Web hosting refers to web hosting companies that provide support for ASP. A good host will be able to offer help and support if you want to host a dynamic data-driven web site using ASP. Find out what versions of ASP and ASP.NET they support. They should be able to offer a comprehensive list of tips for optimizing your ASP Web site on their servers. Since ASP code allows you to link your web pages to a database, check if they support the database applications you will be using such as Access and SQL, for example.

Because of the popularity of Windows and Microsoft products, shared hosting plans that support ASP developed Web sites are commonplace. The key to long term reliability and satisfaction will be choosing a provider for ASP Web hosting that will deliver the level of technical support you will need. Paying a little extra per month is well worth the rapid troubleshooting capability of a Web host with 24/7 telephone support.

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