How to Choose The Best DotNetNuke Hosting?

I frequently see posts on the DotNetNuke forums and in my own forums regarding the selection of a hosting provider for DotNetNuke. In my opinion, choosing a hosting company entails more consideration than just price; you also need to take a closer look at the services offered and the ones you actually desire. After that, you can weigh those to determine which hosting company best suits your requirements. As many of you know, I usually point individuals in the direction of 3Essentials. I’ll guide you through my selection process for hosting providers in this post, including the qualities I consider important and the reasons I might go with one over the other.

Think of this as my strategy for using shared hosting. These claims are in no way regarded as official, and before making a choice, you MUST take the time to conduct independent research and draw your own conclusions. Although switching hosting providers is not very difficult, it is a laborious and involved process that you should avoid doing until absolutely necessary.

The Basics

Looking at the general specifications of the hosting package is the first thing I do when assessing a provider. They must, above all, support SQL Server and ASP.NET. You cannot host your DotNetNuke website with a provider if they do not provide these features. The supplied storage space and SQL Server size is the second thing I check. It might be challenging to perform capacity planning on DotNetNuke since it can be challenging to predict how rapidly your website may develop and how much that would impact the size of your file system or database. On the other hand, I’ve discovered that the majority of my clients who are searching for shared hosting can easily keep their DNN installs under 50MB in terms of SQL Server capacity.

The capacity to host several websites is the second area that, from a basic hosting standpoint, you need to consider. Most people host many websites, including DNNs, ASP.NET sites, PHP sites, and others. While some hosting companies, like 3Essentials, only permit you to create DNN sites, others let you host a wide range of other websites. If you have additional needs for your firm, this can be a big deal. The other related item is that some providers may require a multi-hosting package if you intend to have many parent portals due to restrictions on sub-domains or domains.

Dedicated App Pool and Full Trust?

When assessing hosting companies, I then check to see if they offer dedicated application pools and enable full trust mode. Your DNN site is isolated from all other sites on the hosting server by a dedicated application pool, preventing problems on other sites from impacting your site. This is something that not every host offers, and it’s really beneficial in my opinion. Working with DNN is made easier by its full trust support; without it, several modules—particularly those that attempt to interface with other websites, like the News Feeds Module—might not function. You can reduce the amount of trouble you have later when working with modules if you can run DNN in Full Trust.

Supporting Installation on Root

One problem that befalls hosting customers is that they are unable to configure permissions correctly, which prevents them from supporting the installation of DotNetNuke at the root of a domain, You can sort of “hack” your way around this on GoDaddy, but you really should switch to another hosting company if you can’t install DNN at the domain root and you can’t give the ASP.NET worker process full file access.

DNN Support (Where to get it)

The final thing to think about is how much DNN support you really need from your hosting company. Upgrades and performance adjustments are just two of the numerous DNN-related activities that providers like PowerDNN are happy to assist with. However, as a recent community incident has shown, you are occasionally exposed to the hosting provider’s operational procedures. You might be able to save yourself a good sum of money, though, if you feel confident handling this yourself or learning how to do it yourself. Furthermore, you may need to look at DNN Support programs provided by other organizations that support/develop DotNetNuke particular apps if you have several sites to host in addition to the DNN site, which may exclude one of the DNN specific providers. Through my company, IowaComputerGurus Inc., I do provide assistance programs if that’s of interest to you.

Uptime/Reputation In Community

The hosting provider’s stated uptime and the general perception of the company in the community are the last two things I look into. For instance, if you look for hosting on DotNetNuke, you’ll discover a lot of negative feedback about WebHost4Life and GoDaddy, but you’ll also find a lot of excellent feedback about 3Essentials’ fantastic assistance. I take this information into account, but just to be safe, I always take it with a grain of salt. However, there is no better way to assess a provider’s effectiveness than to look at the number of clients they keep and lose over a given length of time.

My Personal Conclusion

After spending a great deal of time with DotNetNuke, I have three general recommendations for where I will direct users. I will begin by stating that 3Essentials is the host of this website and ALL other websites owned by my company, IowaComputerGurus Inc. They will not be switching hosts anytime soon. I’ve been with them for more than a year, and I’m really happy!

Users Needing Detailed DNN Help

I have recently changed my opinion on this area of recommendation.  If you are an individual that is not familiar with DotNetNuke but still want to have a DotNetNuke site, I highly recommend obtaining a support SLA or working with a company such as my own to assist you with the DNN items that you are unfamiliar with.  For certain reasons that I will not name here, 3Essentials is now the ONLY hosting provider that I will recommend clients to.

Users Willing to Handle Upgrades/Module Installs

This situation is the one that depends on the user’s confidence levels and other needs I might recommend 3Essentials.

Users needing more than DNN sites

This situation is one that excludes PowerDNN from the race and I almost always recommend 3Essentials and their B10 Plan which is the one that I use to host all of my sites.  3Essentials support team is very well versed in hosting and has some of the best response times that I have ever experienced.

Conclusion & Disclaimer

I hope that this article has provided a little insight to the criteria that I use to evaluate and recommend hosting providers for DotNetNuke.  Please remember that these are simply my thoughts and are no way blanket recommendations.

Posted in Windows Hosting.