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A Comparison of NT/IIS Web Hosting Companies


Want your own Internet web site? Perhaps, http://www.me.com? Well, if you plan on having your site run ASP scripts, you'll need to find a web host that uses IIS. This article contais a list of several IIS web hosting companies that will host your site! Prices are shown, and my own personal judgement is passed on each of these hosting companies! :) When shopping for a web host there are a number of things to look for:

  • Disk Space Allocation: This is your disk quota, or how many MB of disk space you'll have reserved for your web scripts and images. Unless you are going to have a graphics-intensive site, 20 MB is usually more than enough space.

  • Monthly Transfer Limit: Each time someone downloads an image or web page from your site, the total number of transferred bytes increases. Since web hosts have to pay for their bandwidth (how many bytes get downloaded from their site) each month, they want to make sure your bandwidth will stay within reasonable bounds. If your site allows users to download large programs, or is graphics-intensive, or is just ultra busy, you will have a high monthly transfer limit. 4Guys has a 25 GB monthly transfer rate! ASP Messageboard has about a 4 GB monthly transfer rate. Smaller sites will usually have under 1 GB of transfer for a month.

  • Database Connectivity Options: If you plan on building data-driven web sites, you'll need database access. Does the plan support SQL databases? Access databases? What are the costs associated with setting up System DSNs? How many MB do you have for your SQL database? These are all numbers you want to check!
  • Now that you know what to look for, here are some NT/IIS hosts, their ratings, and my thoughts about them. You can also search a number of web hosting directories:


    Maximum ASP
    Price: Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five
    Service: Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five
    Target Audience: First Class to Large Business
    Maximum ASP offers Web hosting for the serious developer working on a mid-sized to large Web site. The costs per month range from $159 to $199 depending on your length commitment. For that price you get quite a bit: 2GB of disk space, 100MB of SQL Server 2000 database space, custom DLL registration, and an additional free account on a Microsoft .NET server (for you to play with ASP.NET). (A full list of features can be seen here.)


    ORCSWeb
    Price: Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five
    Service: Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five
    Target Audience: First Class to Large Business
    If you need an affordable web site, ORCSWeb is a wonderful choice. They offer plans starting at $40/month for ASP and Access use. If you want to tie in a SQL database, you're looking at $65/month. Their most powerful plan, very well suited for small businesses, runs $120 / month, includes SSL Pages and CyberCash Support, along with 200 MB of disk space, a 5 GB monthly transfer limit, and the use of custom COM objects.

    Their technical support is superb as well. In fact, they used to host ASPMessageboard.com. I cannot say enough good things about the folks over at ORCSWeb, and highly recommend ORCSWeb!


    iNNERHOST
    Price: Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five
    Service: Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five Five Stars out of Five
    Target Audience: First Class to Large Business

    As of September 3, 2002, iNNERHOST has been acquired by InterLand.

    If you are an ASP enthusiast, and just want your own stake on the 'net, iNNERHOST is the best company to go with, in my opinion. Their most affordable plan is only $23 / month, with 40 MB of disk space, and ASP support. Unfortunately, you've got to pay $45 / month to have any database access, and that access is limited to Access. For an additional $20 / month (making it $65 / month) you can get 50 MB of SQL 7 database storage! On-site technicians and a wonderful support staff make iNNERHOST my #1 recommendation. They even have custom dedicated server plans for larger businesses.


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