If you’ve looked at developing your own websites, or even just browsed the web, you will have come across ASP.  ASP stands for “active server pages”, and is a way of creating dynamic, interactive pages, such as forms or blog comments.  It’s a server side scripting package, which means that the script is written directly to the server, rather than the web page.  Any page with an .asp extension will have been created using this system.  In this article, we’ll look at the main features and benefits of ASP hosting, to help you decide whether this is a skill you should consider learning.

Why should I use ASP Hosting?

Perhaps the main benefit of ASP is that it’s easy – perhaps the easiest server side scripting package of all.  If you’re already familiar with HTML, then ASP isn’t a problem, unlike other web application packages that require you learn a different scripting language, such as Perl or C.  ASP is a universal language.  With ASP, you can collect all your HTML data and pass it straight to the application database, using a simple VBScript or JScript command that’s already embedded in your HTML document.

ASP is also one of the longest established scripting packages.  This means that there are literally thousands of scripts and applications that have already been written for you, many of them free.  You should have no trouble finding an ASP application to suit your requirements.  Similarly, ASP is available on most hosting packages, so there are no hassles or worries about compatibility.  Because it was originally developed by Microsoft, ASP is available on all Windows hosting packages, so it’s good news if you’re not comfortable about stepping outside the mainstream.

ASP also allows you to create highly detailed visitor statistics.  This is absolutely vital information, for marketing and web development purposes.  You need to know how your visitors find you and where they come from, so that you can target your website more accurately.

Above all, ASP is well developed and supported by a thriving community of developers.  It owes its rapid growth to the outsourcing of IT functions.  Companies and businesses who can’t afford an in-house IT department will find ASP particularly attractive – in effect, the entire web becomes their IT department.  ASP combines several hosting and management functions in one convenient package.

So, is ASP something that you should seriously consider getting to grips with?  The answer is, or should be, a definite yes.  It’s fast, flexible and, if you’ve got a little experience in building web pages, simple and straightforward.  The truth is, web users don’t just want static information these days.  They expect to be able to interact with web pages, and websites that don’t have some form of dynamic, active content just don’t look right.  If you want to give your website a modern, professional edge, then you need to understand ASP.

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