What Is Windows Web Hosting?
Windows hosting plans give you the ability to utilize many forms of dynamic content and specialized databases. Major points regarding Windows hosting include:
- Windows 2000 is a commercial product with more support options than Unix.
- Enables site owners to use advanced features without much experience.
- Windows servers provide extensive database integration and functionality.
- Fully-supports FrontPage, Active Server Pages (ASP), the ASP.NET framework, MS Access databases, Macromedia's Cold Fusion, and the Microsoft SQL Server.
For many E-Commerce site owners, the database functionality and support for dynamic scripting languages makes Windows a superior (but more costly) choice over Unix.
Also see our article on Windows vs. Unix Web Hosting.
Low Cost Windows Hosting Providers:
- Easy CGI - 100 MB of Storage Space, 5 GB of Data Transfer, 10 POP3 Email Addresses, MS Access Database, No Setup Fee, $7.96 / month.
- Uplinkearth - 200 MB of Storage Space, 3 GB of Data Transfer, 15 POP3 Email Addresses, MySQL and MS Access Databases, $9.95 Setup, $8.10 / month.
Major Windows Web Hosting Components:
If you're new to Window web hosting, you might be unfamiliar with some of the integral features that you will have available to you. Here is a list of the major components that set Windows apart from Unix:
- Active Server Pages - ASP is a server-side coding technology for building dynamic websites. Active Server Pages are HTML web pages with embedded ASP scripts which are processed on the web server before the page is sent to the user. You can recognize Active Server Pages by the .asp filename extension. For example, (www.yourdomain.com/index.asp).
- Microsoft SQL Server - This is an industrial strength, relational database management system (RDMS) designed to house large amounts of data while providing high performance access to it using the industry Standard Query Language (SQL). Microsoft SQL Server provides an excellent environment for site owners to organize, capture, store, and deliver critical information on their websites. Many E-commerce websites often will use Microsoft SQL Server as their backend database to store information concerning products, web-based orders and client data.
- Cold Fusion - Developed by Macromedia, Cold Fusion is an web application development tool for creating dynamic web applications which integrate with key server technologies, such as relational databases and SMTP email. Cold Fusion webpages are processed server-side in a manner similar to ASP and PHP. You can recognize Cold Fusion pages by the .cfm filename extension. For example, (www.yourdomain.com/index.cfm). Note -- Although previously available only on Windows, it is now becoming accessible on Unix servers.
- ASP.NET - From the ASP.NET website: "ASP.NET is a revolutionary programming framework that enables the rapid development of powerful web applications and services. Part of the emerging Microsoft .NET Platform, it provides the easiest and most scalable way to build, deploy and run distributed web applications that can target any browser or device."
- Microsoft Access Databases - Access is a database management system that provides a means of storing and managing data or information. Microsoft refers to Access as a relational database product since it allows you to relate data from several different sets or tables. Access databases are only available on Windows as an alternative to MySQL databases or the Microsoft SQL Server.
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