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ASP, ASP.NET & Classic ASP: What They Are & What You Should Know

Code on a computer screen.
  • Oct 15, 2018
  • 0
  • by A2 Marketing Team

As a business owner, there are many factors to consider when choosing a platform for building your website. You’ll want to build a site that makes the most of your budget, and optimizes performance. However, with so many options, it can be hard to know which platform to choose.

ASP is a type of website framework with multiple iterations, including Classic ASP and ASP.NET MVC. ASP can be an excellent option for creating large, complex websites that need to be optimized for speed or security. It’s also open source, which means there’s a community developing free tools for it that you can benefit from.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about ASP, including what sets it apart from other website building methods, and the advantages and drawbacks to using it for your business site. Let’s get to work!

A Brief Introduction to ASP

The ASP website.

Before you decide whether to use ASP to build your website, let’s go over a few facts about it. ASP is a type of server-side technology. It’s name stands for “Active Server Pages”, and it’s a tool for building web applications and interactive websites.

The first version of ASP (now called “Classic ASP”) was introduced by Microsoft in 1998. Since then, the framework has gone through multiple iterations, including ASP.NET and ASP.NET MVC. Currently, both of those versions are being merged together into ASP.NET Core, which was introduced in 2016.

What You Need to Understand About ASP

If you’ve never heard of ASP before, you might be wondering why it should matter to you. When you build a new website, you need to decide what tool to use. The most common options include Content Management Systems (CMSs), pure code sites, and website builders. Choosing between these can be a hard decision, so it’s important to understand the differences and make an informed choice.

Website builders and CMSs are software that enable you to create websites without a lot of technical knowledge. They provide interfaces and pre-built elements you can use to alter your site’s appearance and functionality in a variety of ways. ASP, on the other hand, is a type of coding framework that developers can use for ‘pure code’ websites. It makes the task of developing a new site easier than it would be if you started completely from scratch, so it represents something of a middle ground.

There are many advantages to using ASP versus other website-building methods, but also some
drawbacks. We’ll go over these in the next section. However, you’ll also want to consider which version of ASP to use.

The two newer iterations that we mentioned earlier, ASP.NET and ASP.NET MVC, are currently more popular than Classic ASP. This is in part due to the fact that they’re open to a wider variety of coding languages. They’re also object-based, while Classic ASP is not. This essentially means that you can define certain functions of the site and use quick shorthands to repeat them, whereas in Classic ASP you may have to do a fair amount of rewriting. For most newcomers to the framework, ASP.NET is the ideal place to start.

The Pros and Cons of Using ASP for Your Business Website

If you’re thinking about using ASP as the foundation for your website, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of this particular tool. While it can be a useful option, it’s not necessarily the right choice for everyone.

Websites written in ASP provide many advantages, including improved loading times and increased security. ASP is not necessarily more or less safe than a high-security CMS like Drupal, but CMSs are frequent hacking targets. Another pro of ASP is that it enables you to separate your site’s front-end and back-end code, making it easier for designers and developers to collaborate on the same site.

One of the major drawbacks of ASP is that, unless you have a lot of technical experience, you will likely need to hire a web developer to help build your site. Microsoft does have a Windows-only desktop app called Visual Web Developer, which can help newbies use ASP.NET. The application even includes a ‘What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)’ editor and starter website templates for different functions, including classifieds and ecommerce sites.

Still, there’s a steep learning curve no matter which version of ASP you use. You will likely want to at least consult with a web developer before getting started. Therefore, ASP is best for businesses that have the budget to hire a developer, and have the visitor volume or security needs to justify using ASP instead of a simpler CMS or website builder.

Finally, if you do decide to opt for ASP, you’ll also want to carefully consider the hosting you’ll use. A web host that supports ASP sites will help you get started quickly and ensure excellent performance. Here at A2 Hosting, for example, we offer hosting plans for both Classic ASP and ASP.NET, so we encourage you to check them out!


ASP is a group of website framework languages, which enables you to build complex websites that are optimized for speed and security. However, ASP is just one method for building a website, and it’s important to understand the pros and cons before you make a decision about whether to use it.

This framework is ideal for large websites that require a high degree of security and solid performance. However, there is also a very steep learning curve for beginners, so if you choose an ASP framework, you will want to have the budget to hire a web developer. If you don’t need the advanced features of ASP, you may want to opt for a simpler CMS instead.

Image credit: Libreshot.