Awesome ASP.NET 2.0 Shared Web Hosting

Ok, I’ll throw the disclaimer up front.  If you sign up using the link below, I get a referral commission.  With that said, I’m going to try to give a fair review of my current hosting service, Webhost4Life.


A while back I decided that I needed to find a new hosting provider.  My old host had limited support for ASP.Net, and although they allowed multiple domains to be hosted on one account, they required that they all be pointed to the root directory of the hosting account.  This made it necessary to have a gimmicky default.aspx that redirected by the host header, and didn’t support having full web applications in subdirectories.


I ran through trials on several hosts, and ended up signing on with Webhost4life.  I’m on the $20 per month plan, and am very happy with the interfaces that they provide.  The big bonuses in my mind are:



  • I can point any domain name to a subdirectory in my hosting account.
  • I can set any directory in my hosting account as an independent web application, through the web control panel.
  • I have access to SQL server, My SQL, etc.
  • They have a decent online interface for setting file & directory security permissions.
  • They will put you on a server that has the beta .Net framework 2.0 if you ask through tech support.

On the down-side, I have found that they have a tendency to nickel-and-dime for many features.  It’s free to point a new domain to your hosting root, but if you want it pointed to a subdirectory, it’s an extra $10 a year.  Want to use their e-commerce wizard (it’s not that great) then there’s a one-time setup fee.  When they switched me over to the server with the 2.0 framework, there was a one-time fee (and some downtime) since they manually copied my websites over.


Overall I’ve been very happy.  My family picture website runs great, and much faster than on my old host.  Dasblog was very easy to setup, and I’ve got a couple of side projects using ASP.Net with the 2.0 framework, and they’re working great as well.


If you want to found out more, click here, and feel free to comment or email with questions.


Update 7/13/2005: I’m not sure what the problem is yet, but my hosting server has been having some random failings lately.  It usually comes back within a couple of minutes, but the reliability isn’t quite up to par for business purposes.  Just a fair warning for anyone taking the ASP.NET 2.0 route. I never had any reliability problems before I moved to the server with the ASP.NET 2.0 Beta.  To be fair, it is a beta.


Update2 7/13/2005: I had tech support switch the virtual directory for my blog site back to ASP.NET 1.1 and everything appears to be working fine now, and I haven’t had any site drops since.


 

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Scott Hanselman’s 2005 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List

Everyone and their blogger is linking to Scott Hanselman’s 2005 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List, so I figured I would as well. Scott has some awesome tools listed here. A lot of my favorites made the list (Windows Desktop Search, Notepad2,SysInternals,SyncBack, Del.icio.us, Paint.NET). 


One of the listed xml tools, XmlSpy, solved a data conversion problem that I had been fighting for over an hour in just under 5 minutes. If you are doing anything with Xml: authoring, data conversion, whatever, you need to check out this tool.


It’s going to take a while to digest the full list.  Thanks to Scott for bringing this together on one place!

Linkblog no longer on the main feed

I have taken the linkblog off the main feed.  I’ve recently come to the realization that I’m not a big fan of links being inserted into content blogs, so I figured I’d give readers a choice.  If you want links, subscribe to:


http://feeds.feedburner.com/blobservationswithlinks


othewise keep your aggregators pointed to:


http://feeds.feedburner.com/blobservations


or if you just want the links with no content, subscribe to:


http://feeds.feedburner.com/BlobservationsLink


Hopefully this will lower the noise floor a bit.


–Rick

Pick Me! (Blog your way to PDC05)


The PDC team has put together a couple of contests for those who would love to attend the PDC, but who don’t have the budget to do so.  Microsoft is going to send one blogger, and one coder to the PDC, all expenses paid.  This is an awesome opportunity for two lucky individuals.


For information on the contests, visit http://channel9.msdn.com/pdc/


For information on the PDC, visit http://msdn.microsoft.com/events/pdc/


So, here’s my entry…


First,  I would love to attend so that I can get a first-hand look at the latest platform and development technologies.  That’s the core of my argument.  I’m a geek, and I want to see the demos, attend sessions, and soak up as much information as my brain can absorb in the 4 days of the conference.


So, that’s the reason I want a free lunch, what does Microsoft get in return?


Assuming that there’s free wifi:


  • 2-way blogging.  I’ll blog short session highlights for each session that I attend.  I won’t try to recreate the content of the session, but I will provide highlights & interesting information for those who can’t attend.  I’ll also blog (hopefully constructive) critiques of presentations, content, and the venue.  This will be realtime feedback that the PDC team and other attendees can use to make the PDC experience better each day.  I’ll set up categories on my blog so that folks can subscribe to the content that is most relevant to them.
  • Citizen podcaster – I’ll have to work to get my gear setup properly for this one.  The idea here is that I’ll do some low-tech podcasts (I’m thinking my Axim X50v with it’s built-in microphone) with attendees, presenters, and any Microsoft employees I can nab for 1 to 5 minutes.  Short little tidbits for the community and for the PDC team.

In general, I would want to make the most of being there, convey relevant interesting information out to the blogosphere for those who are unable to attend, and provide useful feedback to the PDC team so that everyone has the best PDC experience possible.

 

Wow, I just read through this, and it looks like it’ll be a lot of work if I win.  Sounds like fun!

 

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start.com/3 isn’t quite what I was hoping for….

Microsoft opened up start.com/3 over the weekend and it isn’t quite what I was hoping for.  Granted, it’s pretty cool.  The user interface has lots of DHTML goodness, and is highly configurable, but this is in the realm of Google’s Portal or My Yahoo!.  Basically, start.com/3 is a RSS-centric portal.  To all those who are calling it an aggregator, it’s not quite there yet.  Take a look at Bloglines, Rojo, or Newsgator Online for examples of an aggregator.  Key points are: Unified Viewing of Feeds, Tracking of Read/Unread items, and preferably Nested Folders for organizing feeds.


I’m betting that Microsoft still has an aggregator up their sleeves, and hopefully it’ll have the same great design elements that the latest start.com incubator has shown off.  We’ll just have to keep waiting…