I personally started off as an ASP developer and swore by the word of M$. I had developers telling me how great this language was or how great this other language is. Nothing could persuade me otherwise, regardless of how ridiculous the pricing was for hosting with M$ SQL servers and ASP capabilities.
It wasn’t until I started playing with ASP.NET that my opinion changed. Granted, ASP.NET is a very powerful web programming platform…I can’t deny that! And it’s pretty easy to jump into if you already have good ASP experience. But configuring an ASP.NET environment with IIS is a major pain in the ass! I spent more time debugging problems with my configuration than I spent actually attempting to learn how to do something with it. I ended up tossing all the books I was reading aside and told myself, “There’s got to be an easier way!”
Enter the LAMP environment (Linux/Unix, Apache, MySQL, PHP). Just about the easiest web development environment there is to learn on! I was up and working on pretty complex sites in no time! Plus, it’s so much cheaper to host a site with it! PHP is such an efficient language that I even found converting existing ASP sites a real breeze! Converting an existing ASP.NET shouldn’t be too difficult either if you really know what you’re doing.
And, yes, if you really need ASP.NET then you have no choice but to go with a hosting provider that runs Windows servers. ASP.NET won’t run on anything but Microsoft servers. This is but just another benefit of using a LAMP environment…there’s more than one OS that can run PHP, MySQL, and Apache! Linux, Unix, FreeBSD, Solaris, and Mac OS X are all operating systems that can run a LAMP environment. Consider the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) on Windows servers and hosting (whether you are using a third party hosting provider or hosting it yourself) and how it compares to open source alternatives like Linux/Unix. You’ll see that there’s a pretty big jump in the TCO between the two. Might look into that as well.
Just some food for thought for ya!
"I can learn to resist anything but temptation…"