If the Windows hosting platform is what you have chosen for your website then there is a good chance that its pages will be served by a Microsoft technology known as ASP.NET. The choice of a Windows hosting option will usually cost you a little bit more money than the equivalent Linux hosting option because of licensing fees that your web hosting company has to pay for the Windows operating system as well as any other Microsoft applications that it chooses to use. The difference is only a few dollars a month and well worth it if you have decided that ASP.NET hosting is the best way for your pages to be presented to your website visitors.
Windows Hosting Required
Linux is by far the most often used operating system on web servers but Microsoft Windows and its Active Server Page technology are quickly improving in market share. As Windows continues to become more popular as a hosting option, the price of Windows hosting has been coming down because more users means it is more economical for the web hosting company. ASP.NET, as it is a proprietary Microsoft application, is not compatible with a server that is running any other operating system so this decrease in the cost of ASP.NET hosting will be most welcome.
Unfortunately, many web hosting companies still only have a small number of Windows ASP.NET hosting options available to their customers. It may be to your benefit, both economically and technologically, to find a web hosting provider that specializes in running Windows servers for ASP.NET hosting. You will most notice the lack of Windows hosting options when you decide to move your site off shared hosting. You will find that many web hosting providers do not have an ASP.NET hosting option between shared hosting and a dedicated server and that is a big jump to have to endure in terms of price.
Windows Hosting Packages
Just as with Linux, the cheapest and most commonly available hosting option is going to be shared hosting. Shared hosting will normally be a little better at running a busier site on Windows than it is on Linux because fewer users translates into fewer websites on the server to fight over the resources. You will still eventually run into all of the same problems on ASP.NET hosting with a shared account as you would with any other operating system when your site gets busy including slow page load times and possible downtime.
Dedicated servers are sold in pre-configured set ups that your web hosting company should have at least several of for you to choose from when looking for ASP.NET hosting. A web hosting company walks a fine line while trying to keep a balance between the resources available on the dedicated server and the cost involved. It is a very delicate situation because obviously the web hosting providers need to sell the dedicated server in order to make money, but the average customer may not stay around long enough to cover the initial outlay for the hardware that comprises the server and that hardware may become outdated and obsolete before the initial outlay is recovered as well.
The number one benefit of a dedicated server is that you will have full root access. You can do just about anything that you want with it including installing any additional applications or renting the space out to other websites. Choose a managed server so that you do not have to worry about any operating system upgrades or security patches as the web hosting provider will take care of these issues for you. The huge jump in cost when moving from shared hosting to a dedicated server has many ASP.NET hosting customers looking for another option to fill in that huge gap.
With Linux hosting, that huge gap between shared hosting and a dedicated server is filled by a hybrid type of hosting account known as a VPS, virtual private server. The Windows VPS has not yet come into its own since few hosting companies offer them because with having to pay a licensing fee for each installation of Windows the price can be close to that of a dedicated server.
This is slowly changing, however, and if you put in the work to do a search you can find ASP.NET hosting on a Windows VPS that is significantly cheaper than what you would pay for a dedicated server. A VPS will be more secure and reliable than shared hosting because of the dedicated resources that belong only to your ASP.NET hosting account. If you have outgrown shared hosting then finding an ASP.NET hosting solution that involves the use of a VPS may be the best option for your website.