Windows hosting is serviced on the Microsoft ASP.Net framework. The other main sort of hosting is Linux hosting, that uses the PHP framework for coding apps and websites. Windows hosting generally uses Microsoft SQL (MSSQL) databases while Linux generally uses MySQL databases. This is not always 100% true, but 9 times out of 10 that is the truth. You can also use MySQL databases with Windows.
When you search for Windows hosting on Google, Godaddy instantly pops up. However, there are lots of other Windows hosting providers that you need to know about. I’ll discuss the best ones briefly in this article.
Before deciding to go with Windows hosting over Linux hosting it’s a good idea to understand what Windows Hosting is and who it is for. We’ll dive into that discussion before I outline the top 7 Windows hosts of 2019.
What Is Windows Hosting?
Windows hosting is a type of web or app hosting that uses the Windows operating system. Most of the common web hosting plans offer Linux hosting, for example, WordPress normally runs on Linux hosting. For this reason, it’s safe to assume that when a web hosting provider doesn’t specify the hosting type, it’s most probably Linux hosting.
Linux vs Windows
Trying to choose a new hosting plan can be overwhelming. If you can decide whether you want to go with Windows or Linux first of all, that’s half the battle. If you plan to create your site in ASP.net you’ll need a Windows server. You’ll also want to use Windows if you don’t like cPanel, and prefer using Plesk. Again if you are looking for more control then you might want to go for Windows. For people using Sharepoint or other MS solutions, Windows is great.
On the other hand, if you are looking for cheap shared hosting that you can host your WordPress blog or WooCommerce website on then you’ll want to go for Linux. You can use Windows for WordPress but Linux is more suited to the job. If your site is created in PHP, again Linux will be the OS for you. If you are looking to use Apache, PHP, CGI, Perl or Python then you’ll need to opt for Linux.
Who is Windows Hosting For?
Windows is the best choice for some apps and website owners. Windows runs on a familiar operating system (OS) – the current Windows OS has over 400 million users, it’s easy to use for a lot of people because that is what they are used to. Windows hosting doesn’t use cPanel as Linux does, instead, it uses a control panel software known as Plesk.
Normally programmers are familiar with cPanel and Linux setup, however, that’s a bit of a generalization as you do get Windows developers who specialize in C# and .net.
A good reason to use Windows web hosting is if your organization already uses a lot of Windows or Microsoft tools. Also if your website is built in ASP.net then you’ll definitely need a Windows server.
The Downside of Using Windows Hosting
Although there are many instances where Windows hosting is the best approach. The opposite is also true in many situations. Windows hosting is not as secure as Linux hosting for one. Windows hosting is a bit more expensive than Linux hosting. Windows can also be less stable than Linux based OS. You’ll need to have someone on hand to help you if your Windows website isn’t performing consistently.
Windows hosting is designed for more suited to IT or development teams who are developing C# apps or ASP.net websites. I’d probably go so far as to say Windows hosting is not for new businesses (in general) because shared hosting packages are cheaper, more secure and more accessible. And normally always based on Linux OS.
That being said if you are looking for the best Windows hosting, then you probably have a good idea of what you are using it for. Let’s jump into the 7 best Windows web hosting providers.
1. A2 Hosting ($3.70/ Month)
BEST FOR –Turbo powered Windows shared web hosting
If you are looking for cost-effective shared web hosting that runs on the best tech, then look no further than A2 Hosting. Founded back in 2001, A2 Hosting has an anytime money-back guarantee. You can choose from VPS or shared Windows hosting packages.
A2 Hosting Windows Packages and Pricing
The “Turbo” Windows shared hosting plan for just $8.14 per month is the fastest shared Windows web hosting package around. All of the shared Windows hosting from A2 Hosting has an anytime money-back guarantee and they offer free website migration. So if you have a Windows website elsewhere, you can have it transferred over to A2 Hosting completely free of charge, and with little to no, downtime.
- Lite ($3.70/ month) – 1 Website, 5 Databases, Unlimited Storage, Unlimited Transfer, Plesk Onyx 17.8 Control Panel and Free SSL & SSD
- Swift ($4.44/month) – Unlimited Websites, Unlimited Databases, Storage, Transfer, Plesk Onyx 17.8 Control Panel, Free SSL & SSD
- Turbo ($8.14/month) – Unlimited Websites, Unlimited Databases, Unlimited Storage, Unlimited Transfer, Plesk Onyx 17.8 Control Panel, Free SSL & SSD, Turbo (Up To 20X Faster), A2 Site Accelerator
- Fast shared Windows hosting
- 24/7 live chat
- 99.92% uptime
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Free SSL Certificate
- Anytime money-back guarantee
- High renewal rates
- No Turbo on the lower plans
2. HostGator ($4.76/ Month)
BEST FOR –Shared hosting for personal or small business hosting
Founded back in 2002, Hostgator is now a big player and aware winner in the hosting space. Their reseller hosting packages are extremely popular. They also offer either shared, VPS or Dedicated hosting packages for Windows. Their shared Windows hosting starts at just $4.76 and for that, you’ll get unmetered everything, the only thing you are restricted to is the number of websites you host. You can host just 1 website on their “Personal Plan” and 5 on their “Enterprise Plan”.
HostGator Windows Packages and Pricing
Hostgator offers two Windows hosting packages, both offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, and you also get free SSL certificates. You’ll also benefit from the Parallels Plesk Panel and MSSQL. The packages they offer are as follows:
- Personal Plan ($4.76/month)– 1 Domain, unmetered Disk Space, Unmetered Bandwidth, FREE SSL Website Security Certificate
- Enterprise Plan ($14.36/month) – 5 Domains, unmetered Disk Space, Unmetered Bandwidth, FREE SSL Website Security Certificate, FREE Dedicated IP
- 24/7/365 Customer support
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- 45-Day money-back guarantee
3. WinHost ($3.95/ Month)
BEST FOR – Windows specialists who offer one-click Windows Applications
WinHost is a web host that is focused on providing premium Windows hosting. If you want to take advantage of a host that offers one-click installation for Windows-specific applications, then WinHost is ideal for you – you can deploy CMS systems like nopCommerce and DotNetNuke in minutes. Additionally, WinHost offers free website transfers, so that you can ask them to port your website over to their websites to minimize stress and downtime.
WinHost Windows Packages and Pricing
As with most hosts, the longer you sign up, the cheaper the hosting gets. If you want additional security you can add SiteLock on for $19.95 per year. However, if you opt for one of the higher tier plans, you’ll get this for free. They price their hosting both by how long you sign up for and also the number of FTP users that you want to add to your account.
- Basic Plan ($3.95/month) – 3GB disk space, 50GB bandwidth, 10 FTP users
- Max Plan ($7.95/ month) – Unlimited disk space and bandwidth, 30 FTP users
- Ultimate Plan ($15.95 /Month) – Unlimited disk space and bandwidth, 100 FTP users
- Power Plan ($39.95 /Month) – Unlimited disk space and bandwidth, 250 FTP users
- 24/7 Support
- 99.9% uptime
- One-click app installer
PRO TIP: Remember to sign the BAA to activate your HIPAA compliant email hosting.
4. Bisend ($3.95/ Month)
Best for – Managed hosting for small to medium-sized businesses US / Hong Kong
Founded back in 2011, Bisend is owned by Light Red Tech Co Ltd, which is a UK based company. Bisend specializes in Windows hosting – as such they are a great choice. They have invested in decent tech, like powerful solid state drives (SSD). This means they have great performing servers. If you’re looking for a company that has their servers built with the latest Microsoft Windows technology and specializes in this area, look no further than Bisend.
Bisend offers shared and VPS hosting packages on this tech. Making them great for performance. You’ll get the leading industry standard control panel for Windows – “Plesk” when you choose to host with Bisend. Bisend uses servers in both the US and Hong Kong, as such they are best for people who are serving customers/ visitors in those regions. They also provide a ready-code environment so that you can get coding as soon as you purchase a server from them.
Bisend Windows Packages and Prices
When you choose to host with Bisend you get a free domain name for the first year and free SSL certificates. They also allow you to choose from their US or Hong Kong server locations. Below is a list of their Windows Hosting Packages and Prices.
- Standard ($3.95/ Month) – 1 website, 10GB SSD Disk Space, 50GB Bandwidth, 50 Email Accounts, Site Memory: 256MB, 2GB Database
- Pro ($5.95 / Month) – 5 websites, Unlimited SSD Disk Space, Unlimited Bandwidth, 100 Email Accounts, 2x faster than the “Standard hosting”Site Memory: 512MB, 4GB Database
- Business ($13.95 / Month) – Unlimited Websites, Unlimited SSD Disk Space, Unlimited Bandwidth, Unlimited Email Accounts – 4x faster than Pro plan, Site Memory: 768MB, 8GB Database
- 24/7 Support
- Instant provisioning
- Code-Ready Environment
- Free SSL Certificates
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Limited Server Locations
- New hosting company
5. DiscountASP.NET ($10/Month)
BEST FOR – Certified Microsoft Golden partner, good for beginners
Discount ASP.NET was founded back in 2003. They are a website host and a certified Microsoft Golden partner and they are fully licensed under the Microsoft’s Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) Program. Discount ASP.NET operates out of data centers in the US and Europe/ UK. and offers 24/7/365 support. If you decide to go with Discount ASP.net then you’ll benefit from a free domain name. Their name is a bit deceiving as they are not particularly cheap as the word “Discount” would suggest.
ASP.NET Packages and Pricing
Unlike most other hosts on this list, ASP.NET offers just one ASP.NET hosting plan. This could be a pro or a con. The plan comes with free months free if you pay upfront for a year. The features offered are as follows:
- Base Web Hosting Plan($10 / Month) – 1000MB disk space, 80GBB monthly data transfer, free website migration, control panel, 500 email addresses
- First 3 Months FREE
- 30-Day money back guarantee
- Expert support
- Charge for MSSQL databases
- Just one package
6. 1&1 IONOS ($2/ Month)
BEST FOR –Reliable, cost-effective, feature-rich web hosting
1&1 IONOS are one of the biggest and best web hosting companies in the world. They were founded in 1998 and currently have over 12 million customers. As a well-established web host, you know that you can put your trust in 1&1 IONOS. They also offer 24/7 customer support, should you need to resolve any issues. Although I was tempted to put these guys at the top of the list, they do up their price to $8 after the initial period (6 or 12 months) has expired, so I put them in their relevant “realistic” place on the list. After all the article did say more than just IONOS. But realistically – they are fantastic at what they do.
Amazingly all three of IONOS’s Windows plans come in at $1 for at least the first 6 months. The “Business” plan stays at this price for a massive 12 months, which is impressive. Here is an overview of their ASP.NET hosting packages and pricing:
- Business ($1/month for 12 months, then $8 per month)- 1 Website, 100GB storage, 25 MSSQL DBs, 25 email accounts free domain
- Pro ($1/month for 6 months, then $10 per month)- 5 Website, 250GB storage, 100 MSSQL DBs, 100 email accounts free domain, SiteLock malware protection
- Expert ($1/month for 6 months, then $14 per month)- 50 Websites, 500GB storage, 500 MSSQL DBs, 500 email accounts free domain, SiteLock malware protection, Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- 90-Day money-back guarantee
- No live chat
7. GoDaddy ($5.99/ Month)
Godaddy is one of the most popular hosts on the planet. They offer 24/7/365 customer support, DDoS protection, and 99.9% uptime. Their shared Windows hosting plans use Windows® Server 2012 R2. They offer a nice backup service, but sadly it’s not bundled with the plans, you need to pay an extra $2.99 per month for that. However, I’d say that it’s pretty necessary for keeping your website safe because in the event your site gets hacked you’ll be back up and running inside one click.
GoDaddy Windows Packages and Prices
When you decide to host your Windows website with GoDaddy, you have a choice of three plans as follows:
- Economy – 1 Websites, Free domain name, 100 GB, Unmetered Bandwidth, Business Email, 10 x 1GB MySQL databases, 1 MSSQL (200MB) database, 50 FTP accounts
- Deluxe – Unlimited Websites, Unmetered storage, Unmetered bandwidth, Business email, 2 MSSQL databases, 25x 1GB MySQL, 50 FTP accounts
- Ultimate – Unlimited Websites, Unmetered storage, Unmetered bandwidth, Business email, Unlimited MSSQL databases, Unlimited MySQL, Unlimited FTP accounts
- Largest WebHost
- 24/7/365 customer support
- Backup and Restore
- Unmetered Bandwidth
- Free domain name
- Odin Plesk
- You need to pay extra for website auto-backups
The Bottom Line
There are some instances where Windows hosting is perfect, and others where you’d be best to opt for a Linux server.