Best Windows Hosting Provider 2020
Our 2020 Best Windows (ASP.net) Hosting Award goes to A2Hosting, one of the fastest-growing, and the fastest performing web hosting providers in the world.
Since its launch in 2003, A2Hosting has focused on providing its customers with optimized servers, ultra-reliable service and industry-leading support from their expert support team. At A2Hosting, you get the best versions of all your favorite Windows software including ASP.NET, SQL Server, Windows Server and more!
Try it absolutely risk-free with an anytime money-back guarantee.
Why is A2 our Top Windows Host?
If you’re just looking for a top-of-the-line windows-based host, we’ve got the suggestion you need: A2Hosting is our winner for the 2020 Best Windows Hosting Award, and it comes recommended from the ground up.
A2Hosting offers simply one of the best, most comprehensive, and safest ways to host your servers on a Windows platform. However, before diving into the specific areas we like about the host in regards to all things un-Linux, why not let us guide you through some of the overarching reasons we love A2Hosting as our preferred host?
For starters, A2Hosting offers some of the most competitive pricing schemes of any hosting provider we can name: Their Windows-based plans start at only $4.90 a month, which is on-par or better than almost any other peer we know of—and we know them all! To add a cherry on top, that scant five dollars a month earns A2Hosting's consumers unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disc space, and as many email accounts as the user can stomach. It sounds like a bargain to us, but if you’re still not sold, let’s take a look at some of the incredible services the provider offers.
Not only is A2Hosting easy on the wallet, but it also comes with 99.99% guaranteed server uptime, ensuring you will never be without your website. The host also rewards each of its new users with anytime no questions asked money-back guarantee. If you aren’t happy with A2Hosting after more than a month’s use, the company issues a full refund without even the need for a previous contract.
Now that we’ve got some of the initial goodies out of the way, let’s dive right into what makes A2Hosting the absolute best way to host your website on a Windows base! To kick things off, A2 is one of the only providers around to offer Windows hosting with Plesk control panel, Microsoft SQL, Access Database, ASP, and ASP.net. The host also supports every major coding environment around, including Perl, PHP, Ajax, and Python, making it a cinch to create dynamic web content on the fly.
A2 Hosting is a high-performance windows hosting provider. Host your sites on their fine-tuned SwiftServer platform. Choose their Turbo Server option for up to 20X faster page loads compared to competing Windows Hosting options. A2 Hosting will move your site to their servers for free so you can experience their blazing fast service for yourself.
All in all, A2Hosting offers simply the best Windows hosting experience around, combining industry-leading software support, rock-solid up-time, and special attention paid to each and every customer. A2 easily earns our highest recommendations, as well as our award for being the Best Windows Host in 2020.
- Free SSL Certificates
- Free SSDs
- Plesk Control Panel
- 1-Click WordPress, Joomla & Drupal Installs
- A2 Site Accelerator
- Perpetual Security Protection
- 20X Faster Turbo Servers
- 99.9% Uptime Commitment
- Free Account Migration
- 24/7/365 Guru Crew Support
- SwiftServer Platform
- Anytime Money Back Guarantee
- ASP.NET 2.x, 3.x & 4.x
- Microsoft SQL Server 2016
- Windows Server 2012 & 2016
- Access Database
- MVC 4 or 5
- Classic ASP
- .NET Core 2.0
- Silverlight 4 or 5
- FTP / SFTP
- SSL & Free SSL
- IIS 8.5 & 10
- MySQL 5.6
- PHP 5.6, 7.0 or 7.1
Best Windows Hosting Nominees - January 2021
How to Choose the Best Windows Hosting Provider?
As you shop around for different web hosting providers and packages, you'll find that there are hundreds of different options to choose from. Determining which host will meet your needs can be a challenge, and selecting the operating system of your server is just one consideration. Even so, Windows and Linux are the most popular choices for most commercial applications.
Linux is often the most popular selection for servers; however, Windows hosting plans offer a variety of unique benefits and features that you can't receive from a Linux hosting package.
Most importantly, most people are already familiar with Windows by using the operating system on their personal computers. If they're new to server management, they might prefer this degree of familiarity and will choose Windows web hosting over other options available on the market.
Below, we’ll try to help you make the right decision. If you intend to choose a Windows web-hosting package over another operating system, there are still some things you need to consider. To help you as you make your final decision, we’ll present the benefits of choosing Windows web hosting along with potential drawbacks and other considerations.
Windows Web Hosting Explained
The average person probably knows Microsoft Windows as the popular desktop operating system found in most homes and offices. What they may not know is that there are also server versions of this best selling operating system software that can be found serving as the backbone of many web hosting services. Though once considered unreliable in comparison to Unix-based solutions, users are coming to discover that Windows hosting can be a viable option.
There are several web hosting platforms to choose from, but Windows is becoming a popular choice among individuals and organizations alike. Part of this is related to the name recognition aspect. Most people are much more familiar with this well known Microsoft product, despite the fact that Unix has deeper roots in the industry. In these instances, it is often perceived as the safe choice. The other part has to do with the evolution of Windows and how it has advanced over the years.
Windows web hosting refers to a server that uses Microsoft Windows as its operating system. As with other server operating systems like Unix, Linux, and macOS, Windows allows you to host a website or web application if you use it in conjunction with dedicated server applications.
Windows hosting comes with Microsoft's Internet Information Services by default, which is the most popular web hosting application that most people choose. They prefer this application because it's native to Windows; however, you do have other options in this regard.
As with Linux and a few other server operating systems, you can install popular web hosting tools like the Apache webserver on your Windows server. In addition, users will also have the ability to create a WAMP stack if they want to run specific web applications like Magento or WordPress.
Pros and Cons of Windows Hosting
As we mentioned earlier, many people are more comfortable using an operating system that they are already familiar with. While not everyone has used Linux or Unix, most people use Windows on their personal computers every day. Even so, this isn’t the only reason that people choose Windows since many web designers typically aren’t involved in server-side configuration.
For example, if you decide to use a .NET framework, you will need to host your website on a Windows-based server. Anything written in .NET requires Windows, and there are no exceptions.
Benefits of Windows Hosting
No matter which Windows web-hosting provider you choose, you’ll typically see the following upsides and benefits:
One of the most important benefits to point out right off the bat is the flexibility that Windows web hosting will provide you. You have the option to run Apache or IIS as your server software and can even replicate a LAMP stack. This kind of flexibility is hard to find in other web hosting options.
If you ever decide in the future that you want to move your website from a Windows host over to a Linux host, you can if you set up your server correctly. You can also do the reverse too, which is convenient if you ever need to make changes in the future.
One of the most obvious benefits of choosing Windows web hosting is the familiarity that it offers most people. Chances are you’ve used Windows before, and you probably use it every day on your personal computer. When it comes to hosting a website, knowing how to run the software that you use to configure the server is a huge advantage.
For example, if you were to choose to use a Linux web hosting service, you'd need experience and knowledge of working with a command line interface. While some people might be entirely comfortable with this, most people aren't. You can find tutorials and learn as you go, but if you were to enter only one wrong command, you could send your website crashing down or open a security flaw.
On the plus side, you can also work with the command line if you use Windows Server Edition if you prefer while still enjoying the other benefits of Windows web hosting.
The final benefit of choosing Windows web hosting is the compatibility that it offers. It works well with all of Microsoft's other products such as Outlook, and your provider should off you the ability to use Outlook as your webmail service.
Windows hosting is supported by numerous Microsoft applications specifically designed to run in the web server environment. However, it is also compatible with a variety of open-source technologies, including Apache, PHP, and MySQL, which are typically found on Linux and other Unix-based servers.
5. Regular Software Updates
Microsoft updates its operating systems and other software programs on a regular basis. This means that you can ensure that your applications are fresh with the latest security patches and updates, instead of jeopardizing your operations by waiting for open-source communities to respond.
Potential Drawbacks of Windows Hosting
Even though there are dozens of reasons that you should choose Windows web hosting, there are still some drawbacks and downsides that you need to consider before moving forward.
1. Frequent Reboots
This is the most problematic downside of choosing Windows web hosting. The system is notorious for its frequent reboots, and there aren't many ways to get around this. While the server edition of Windows doesn't have nearly as many reboots as standard Windows, you'll still experience more reboots than if you chose Linux.
2. Stability Issues
Users will also shy away from Windows web hosting because of potential performance issues that the server ensures. Because the server will have a graphical user interface and other add-ons, it can sometimes experience interruptions that negatively affect the stability of the server. If your website must be stable at all times, you might want to consider a different web hosting choice.
The final reason that you might want to avoid Windows web hosting is if the cost is a huge concern for you. Windows isn't free like Linux or Unix, which means that you'll need to pay a yearly licensing fee. Some people might be okay with this, but if you want to save some money, look at other options.
What to Look for When Choosing a Windows Hosting Provider?
While it is true that most Windows web hosting plans are relatively straightforward, there are still a few things that you need to look for to make sure that you’re making the right decision.
The following are some of the considerations to keep in mind as you shop around. Every hosting provider will be different, but across the board, we've found these to be some of the most critical aspects of web hosting.
Right off the bat, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting the best value for your money when you choose Windows web hosting. While most plans offering similar features will cost relatively the same, you should also pay attention to the price tag. You’ll almost always pay more for Windows web hosting than you would with Linux hosting simply because of licensing costs along.
In addition to the overall cost of the web hosting package, you also need to pay attention to the software that your chosen Windows web-hosting package will support. It’s easy to assume that it will support all of your site’s software but this is rarely the case. If you intend to run things Apache, PHP, or MySQL, you’ll want to know beforehand that your hosting provider will support these.
As with any web hosting service, you should never choose a provider that cannot promise 99% uptime. In this day and age, there is no excuse not to keep your website up 99% of the time. The more important that your site is, the more critical uptime becomes. Even though Windows might require frequent reboots in comparison to other operating systems, 99% should still be guaranteed.
Another important consideration to keep in mind as you shop for Windows web hosting providers is the type of customer support that they offer. While it is true that Windows is easier for average people to use while they manage their website, you still want to know that your Windows web hosting provider will be there if you run into a problem.
Look for 24/7 phone support and try and avoid any provider that uses a ticketing system. This could mean that your problems last a couple of days and if your website is your business, for every minute that it’s down, you’re losing money.
The final thing that you should consider as you compare Windows web hosting providers is the software that they offer their customers to manage and configure their servers. They should provide you with a management console like Plesk or a cPanel alternative like Enkompass to help make your life easier as you get your server up and running.
The server edition of Windows has become incredibly intuitive over the last few years and is the number one choice for many developers. Going with a Windows-based solution could be a wise move because of the familiarity and compatibility with a number of different web apps.
Even so, make sure that you’re choosing the best Windows web hosting and compare them with others on the market. Check customer reviews, look for 5-star customer support, 99.9% uptime, and compatibility with your desired apps.
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