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  Windows Web Hosting

In the most basic sense Windows web hosting is a software suite which serves web sites and processes Internet information on a server running Microsoft Windows Server. Microsoft Windows Server uses a built-in application called Internet Information Services (IIS). IIS is the application which renders HTML pages for a browser. Essentially the web browser is "downloading" the web pages that are stored on Microsoft Windows Server, via the IIS application. Microsoft Windows web hosting also supports an array of database formats such as MS Access, Microsoft SQL, MYSQL and Excel.

Microsoft Windows web hosting uses Active Server Pages (ASP) technology for server-side scripting. ASP is a comprehensive solution for presenting dynamically generated web pages. ASP has many built in math, date, string and array functions. Active Server Page (ASP) technology allows for the dynamic generation of web pages.

With “.NET” (read as “dot net”) technology web servers using Microsoft Windows web hosting may run custom or off-the-shelf applications on Microsoft Windows web hosting. The “.NET” technology is language independent which implies that application developers may use any programming language to implement custom web page functionality. Custom functionality may include e-mail, shipping costing and web site security.

Also, with Microsoft Windows web hosting comes ease of use. Microsoft Windows Server has many built-in features which assist with server administration. Administering the servers may not be a time consuming task; however, training personnel to do this is. With Microsoft Windows Server the web host may spend less time training staff and thus save on business expense.

With all that is good with Microsoft Windows web hosting there is a dark side. On security, it is user beware. Just as with Microsoft operating systems and software, so with Microsoft Windows Server, security has always been an issue. It is important that an active security update plan be designed and followed. One need only read about the prevalence of hacking to understand the importance of a security plan. Finally, on the topic of price, Microsoft Windows web hosting typically costs more than other options. Custom programming is expensive and there are not many freeware or shareware options available.

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