If you are looking for a .NET-powered content management system that’s powerful enough for large and complex websites, but available for free, then you are in luck. Umbraco just might be what you are looking for.
Many other .NET-based content management systems are expensive, clunky, and not that easy to use. Not with Umbraco. Umbraco is super powerful, but simple to use. The base CMS is free and supported by the community. It also has plenty of commercial add-ons that are sold individually or as part of bundles. You can download and work with the community version and purchase add-ons as needed.
If you want to know how good Umbraco is, just look at the companies using it. Wired.co.uk is using it, as as Vogue. Fox News, Heinz, Peugeot and even Take That is using Umbraco for their sites. Even Microsoft uses Umbraco for some of its sites. That’s how awesome Umbraco is.
Using that, you can achieve a lot of things. While we won’t recommend you to use Umbraco to build small sites or personal blogs (though it can definitely do that), Umbraco is designed for large and complex sites.
If your next Umbraco-powered project fits the bill, then congratulations for picking an awesome CMS. All you need now is good Windows hosting plan, which are in the minority.
But there are a few hosts that specialize in Windows hosting. Our team has reviewed and used over 100 hosting companies. So we have hand picked 5 best hosting services for Umbraco.
The Best 5
- myHosting : One account that gives you both Windows and Linux servers,
- Arvixe : Premium Windows ASP and VPS hosting,
- SmarterASP.net : A specialty hosting company dedicated to providing Microsoft-based Shared and VPS hosting,
- AccuWebHosting : Mid-priced unmanaged and managed VPS ASP hosting,
- SeekDotNet : A Shared and VPS hosting company with a 100% focus on Windows.
Read more about them after the break!
Winner – myHosting – From $9.95/month
myHosting is a VPS and Cloud hosting company that specializes in Windows hosting. It is a subsidiary of Ingram Micro. Established in 1997 in Canada, the company is currently serving over 50,000 customers from 180 countries. It is also a sister company to Mail2Web, a well-known email service provider for businesses.
myHosting offers a diverse range of hosting services, from shared hosting, reseller, and VPS. They specialize in shared business hosting and their personal shared hosting plan starts from just $4.95 a month. The plan comes with unlimited storage and bandwidth plus a free domain if you go with yearly billing plan.
Shared Hosting Plans
Our interest here is in their Business hosting plan since we need ASP.NET to use Umbraco. myHosting’s Business plan costs only $9.95 a month. It offers “unlimited” disk space and bandwidth, and supports an unlimited number of domains.
The Business Plan runs Umbraco CMS on Microsoft Internet Server IIS, but it is also bundled with a standard Linux hosting account! That is, you also get a parallel account that runs a standard LAMP stack. This improves the quality of your life, since lots of other apps are open-source Linux apps. You no longer need to maintain a second account in order to access them. It is the best of both worlds.
VPS Hosting Plans
If the Business shared hosting plan does not meet your needs, you can check out their line of Windows VPS plans. They run Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012 and comes with Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and uses the Plesk panel. A cPanel hosting option is also available.
As of this writing, they have a sale that prices the Custom and Developer plans identically. Go figure!
2. Arvixe – From $27/month
Arvixe has been in the hosting business since 2003, making it a well-established provider. It has a broader range of plans than most, as they maintain parallel lines of plans for both Windows and Linux. Unlike most companies, it does not specialize in Linux hosting or even emphasize Linux over Windows.
Their Windows hosting prices are a bit higher than the corresponding Linux plans, but that is to be expected since Microsoft software is not free.
Shared Hosting Plans
Arvixe has two classes of Shared hosting plans, Personal and Business, with two grades of plans within each category. Given the positioning of Umbraco in the market, we are not recommending Personal class Shared hosting. We believe that you are better off buying the computer resources that are consistent with the business use case.
The Business Class ASP plan costs $27/mo and Business Class ASP Pro is $40/mo. These prices represent a $5/mo premium over their corresponding Linux plans. Business Class customers get a free SSL certificate and a dedicated IP address.
The major difference advantage of the “Pro” version of this plan is that it allows an unlimited number of sites, versus 6 for Business Class standard.
VPS ASP Hosting Plans
The VPS Class ASP and VPS Class ASP Pro are priced at $60/mo and $100/mo. The only differences are in the areas of RAM and storage. Speaking of storage, these prices are for mechanical disks; the SSD option is $10/mo for Business Class ASP and $20/mo for Business Class ASP Pro.
Both plans use Windows Server 2012 and offer unlimited MSSQL 2012 databases. This is the type of hosting plan that has the computer resources to power a sophisticated Umbraco CMS. A parallel Linux-based site is not included.
|VPS Class ASP||4||2GB||50GB||Unlimited||$60/mo|
|VPS Class ASP Pro||8||4GB||100GB||Unlimited||$100/mo|
1. Both plans provide root access.
2. 1GB extra RAM is $20/mo.
These two plans are fully managed VPS that come with the cPanel/WHM and Softaculous installer, and the Cloudflare CDN.
3. SmarterASP.net – From $29.95/month
SmarterASP.net is a wonderful specialty hosting company. It is dedicated to providing Microsoft-based hosting solutions in a world that’s dominated by the LAMP stack. They offer the full range of plans:
- Economy Shared hosting plans: Priced from $2.95 to $7.95,
- Premium Shared hosting plans: Priced from $29.95 to $79.95,
- VPS plans: Priced from $59.95 to $179.95.
The have three datacenters but they are all in Los Angeles, California. So you know which area of the world they serve! The use SAN disk arrays, but have not yet upgraded to SSD. SmarterASP.net offers a generous 60-day money-back guarantee and they have 24/7 support.
SmarterASP.net is practically unique in the industry in that they offer a full 60 day free trial on Windows ASP hosting! They do not even ask for a credit card until you decide to buy. You can’t go wrong with an offer like that.
The 60 day free trial is a real, usable Shared hosting plan — not some token plan that is so limited that you can’t actually do any meaningful testing. You get 1GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, ASP.net, PHP, AJAX, MSSQL (1GB), and MySQL, automatic backup, and 24/7 support for the length of the trial! This is a great way to find out if SmarterASP.net is right for you. If you decide SmarterASP.net is right, you will be able to make an informed decision about how much computer resources you really need.
Shared Hosting Plans
Here are is their line of “economy” Shared hosting plans. Note that the 60 day free trial is included in this list.
The plans run Windows 2012, ASP.net 4.5., and Windows Server IIS8 or 7.
Semi-Dedicated ASP Hosting
Semi Dedicated is the name that they give to their premium line of Shared hosting plans that are located on servers that are not overbooked. They use Windows 2012 or 2008 and IIS8/IIS7.
Unlike regular shared hosting, each Semi-Dedicated server has only 5 to 10 customers. In this way, every customer has all the resources they need to keep their busy site running without any performance issues.
Semi Dedicated plans gives you the performance of a VPS at a fraction of the cost. These plans fit midway between economy Shared hosting and a VPS.
Windows 2012 ASP VPS Plans
SmarterASP.net’s VPS plans have everything you could want or need in a Umbraco hosting package. They are built on Window 2012 and MSSQL and have the generous capacity that you expect from a VPS. Root access is included.
These Windows ASP plans are bundled with a CentOS-based Linux plan. In this way, you can run any of of the open source apps that run best on top of LAMP.
4. Accuwebhosting – VPS – From $19.50/month
Accuwebhosting is a well-established provider that has been in business since 2003. Their headquarters and only datacenter is in Denver, Colorado. Unlike most hosts, they emphasize Windows hosting and have a full line of hosting plans, from economy Shared hosting all the way up to dedicated Windows servers.
Of interest to us here are their mid-range plans: VPS. VPS has the horsepower to serve a full-featured Umbraco CMS. Accuwebhosting has both unmanaged and managed solutions and offer many different grades and options.
Accuwebhosting runs Microsoft Windows server 2012 or 2008, ASP.net 4.0, and MS SQL 2008/2012. You make your choices at the time of the signup.
Unmanaged Windows ASP VPS Hosting
For Umbraco, we recommend at least their “Super Economy” (a.k.a., unmanaged) VPS. No panel is included, but the panel a $7/mo option. A CDN is a $3.95 option. Also, you can buy fully managed service for $12.96/mo.
Even though it is tagged with this unflattering label, it comes with a healthy amount of computer power: 1GB RAM and 35GB of storage. Depending on the demands on your site, you may or may not need to upgrade beyond this.
Here is their price schedule for their so-called “Super Economy” VPS plans. These plans are unmanaged and have root access. This is all you need to install and run Umbraco.
“Premium” Windows ASP VPS Hosting
The premium line of plans are more generous in computer resources and offer the same set of options as the “Economy” plans. A CDN is a $3.95 option and you can buy fully managed service for $12.96/mo.
5. Seekdotnet – From $8.98/mo
Seekdotnet.com is an American company who owns their own datacenter in Dallas, TX. They boast that they have 100% focus on Shared Windows hosting. All accounts are hosted in Windows 2008 Server with Microsoft IIS7. If this is what you need, they are designed to feature it!
They have separate lines of Personal and Business shared hosting. Because of the positioning of Umbraco, we are not recommending personal Shared hosting. Their Business Shared hosting servers are less crowded (or maybe even not crowded), so performance will be better. They claim that their personal hosting has 120 shared clients on each server.
Since they specialize in Windows hosting, you do not get a parallel Linux hosting account.
MSSQL is available at $5/mo.
The Umbraco CMS one of the best open source CMS products that runs on .NET. You can download and use the community edition for free and begin creating your site using nothing but the freeware. If the needs arise, you can purchase add-ons and support. You only need to find a quality hosing provider who supports the Windows environment. We have recommended 5 excellent Windows hosts; some have parallel Linux plans as well. They all have plans that are suitable for an advanced app like Umbraco. If you want to find out other companies, then use hosting services comparison tool to find them and evaluate them yourself.