Hostasp.net first thoughts

I’ve been looking around for a cheap host for .NET. It’s more expensive than Linux shared hosting. I didn’t want to spend too much being that I just want to play around with it to familiarize myself with the technology – so I’m not asking for much. What I do need is a plan where I can create more than 1 MSSQL database and support .NET framework version 4.

I found Hostasp.net from http://www.microsoft.com/web/Hosting/Home. This page has a large, extensive list but little feedback. I took a chance with that company for its price and features. It’s been a day and here are my first thoughts.

The company is based out of India. There’s a huge time difference so I was concerned about contacting someone via email and getting a response in a reasonable time frame. I sent a question using their ticketing system and the response took a little over 3 hours, not bad. I also found a 15% off coupon so it even made the already low price more appealing. So I figured it was worth a try. Here are my likes and dislikes based on a 24 hour period.

LIKES:

  • The deluxe hosting plan for Windows is $48 annually. This includes unlimited databases (MSSQL and MySQL), up to 5 domains hosted, a dedicated IP address, and a free domain name.
  • The set up took under an hour. I receive emails for every update on my account during the set up.
  • It supports up to .NET framework 4 (but currently have an open ticket regarding this)
  • You can request a month trial for .99 cents. You just have to submit a ticket.
  • You can request to cancel your account and get a refund, anytime.
  • The test pages I have created seem to load quick. Although I haven’t made complex pages yet, just simple ones for testing.

DISLIKES:

  • They have a phone number you can call but it’s long distance (international). There’s many different ways to provide phone support customers in the US even though a company is based elsewhere. VOIP is the number solution. They could at least use Skype to get a US number, whether 800 or any area code, and it would still be a local call since many cell phone plans include free long distance calls to and from the US.
  • There is a way to chat with someone from their website but during the day (my time) it’s usually unavailable or away.
  • The control panel is a little weird but I’ve been using cPanel and probably expect certain things or used to how things are. This might be a bias dislike.

So far I haven’t been able to test what I need to with this host. I checked out Godaddy’s plans. With any purchase of a domain from them, you can get free hosting, supported by ads. This didn’t work since the free hosting doesn’t support .NET framework version 4. So I ended up getting the low plan just to test things.

I’ll continue to play with Hostasp.net for a few more days and see if I can get it to work. We’ll see whether I keep this host or go with Godaddy.

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