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  1. #1
    eCommerce specialist hotnuts21's Avatar
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    Active server pages question

    Hello guys,

    Ive never dabbled in asp, and I dont know nothing about active server pages so I thought I should ask in here. I just had an email from a friend and here it is,

    I am working with a client to develop a basic Web site, not doing any online selling etc, just a simple site with a few basic pages, contact form etc.

    They are using a Web developer who has elected to build the site with asp's. My thoughts are that the site should be built using basic html as this will allow the client to make changes easily using basic wysiwyg software.

    Specific questions:

    Do you think there is a need for the use of asp's in this instance?

    Secondly, the client wants full control of the site once built. If the site is built using asp's will this present a problem with regard to maintenance? i.e. Are asp's easy to edit for someone with limited skills) or ideally, do you need to establish a content management system with the developer?
    Now my thoughts on this are, the developer could build the website in plain HTML and use a programme like macromedia contribute to keep it updates. The site is to be simple, also the client wants to manage this not have to learn asp.

    I think the developer is trying to get more money out of the client, by building the site in ASP he will then have to build him a CMS for later updates etc.

    Your thoughts please guys!
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict Shalin's Avatar
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    Well by using ASP he would indeed try to make it easier to maintain the website . (if he is a good developer). For instance, lets say you have a top navigation - if he would be using HTML the day the client decides to change or add a link to the navigation they would have to do it to all the pages manually .. in ASP your developer would be segregating the top by writing a top.asp which will be included in other pages.

    So when you have make 1 change to top.asp it would reflect in all other pages.

    Contact form would certainely need ASP page to have it processed (if he is not using frontpage extensions to do the same).

    Now what you should do is: ask the developer for an explaination on why he wants to stick to ASP. Besides, if the site is simple ASP would be as good as HTML for some one to learn.

    I hope this helps.

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  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot buono's Avatar
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    Possibly, but it depends what the client wants.

    If the client is happy with a contact form going via a mailto: then plain HTML would be fine.

    I have a couple of sites in my stable that are a mix.

    I have built a CMS in ASP for their news articles, and for things like tournament schedules, they can use Contribute to add the contents of their MS Word file.

    As long as the client is aware of the possible limitations of only using the HTML/Contribute combination, that would be my chosen path with a site such as the one you describe.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot buono's Avatar
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    The navigation point above can also be covered using a Dreamweaver template that uses an include file.

    Be easy enough to have the include file editable using Contribute.

    Strongly agree with the point of getting an explanation of why he wants to use ASP. Also, it would be a good starting point for ASP development if everything was well commented.

  5. #5
    eCommerce specialist hotnuts21's Avatar
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    Hmm, Maybe I put this in the wrong forum, your all going to be pushing the virtues of ASP, no matter what. A somewhat biased opionion

    Dont forget that this client is trying to build a website on a budget and the chances are the pages will not need to be changed. However I do agree that if they want a better website down the road then it would be best to go with HTML.

    Now what you should do is: ask the developer for an explaination on why he wants to stick to ASP. Besides, if the site is simple ASP would be as good as HTML for some one to learn
    I think you are thinking like a developer not everyone wants to learn html or asp, they want to get on with running their business.

    Its a difficult one thats for sure, even with contribute though you can add pages etc and links if need be, just through an wysiwyg interface.
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict Shalin's Avatar
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    well ASP is used to create dynamic content on the page. If he is not really going to have much of dynamic content that you can be sure that ASP is a good HTML saved with .asp extension.

    ASP doesn't replace HTML at all. I hope you get that point straight.
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast Soky's Avatar
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    I have to agree... building in ASP is easier but I understand your portability concerns.

    Here is a way your manager can quickly convert an asp website into HTML... It doesn't matter how stuff is set up on the server because you will be calling all the pages just like a visitor would....

    USE HTTrack http://www.httrack.com (free) or any other website copier and set it to save the files as htm. This is a method I have used saving jsp, cfm, and even ihtml to convert to ASP and it works in reverse as well. My applications have been to output my sites for disk based use... but from your query, I think this strategy would serve your purpose.

    Caveat: Depending on the complexity of the website; you may experience some issues with .js files. (Nothing is ever easy)
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  8. #8
    Yugo full of anvils bronze trophy hillsy's Avatar
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    Don't forget, you can call a page "ASP" even if it only has vanilla HTML in it. This leaves open the possibility for additional functionality at a later time without renaming all your files, breaking links etc. It also allows you to do basic stuff like SSI's.

    This is what we do on our intranet. Even if it's an HTML page we still call it ASP. And it still plays fine with Contribute.
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  9. #9
    eCommerce specialist hotnuts21's Avatar
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    Yeah good points, I have passed them onto my friend and its upto him then!
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  10. #10
    eCommerce specialist hotnuts21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soky
    I have to agree... building in ASP is easier but I understand your portability concerns.
    Just an aside, this is going to be a 4 page website, do you really think its easier to build that in asp than to knock it out with dreamweaver using a DW template?
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  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast Soky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotnuts21
    Just an aside, this is going to be a 4 page website, do you really think its easier to build that in asp than to knock it out with dreamweaver using a DW template?



    Eh... no. (As I swallow my pride)
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  12. #12
    The doctor is in... silver trophy MarcusJT's Avatar
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    If it's such a basic site, then there might seem to be little point in using ASP, but as has been said already, by giving ASP extensions to the plain HTML pages, you leave open the possibility of adding dynamic content without breaking incoming links (i.e. from search engines, users' bookmarks and sites which have linked to your site).

    Furthermore, it would be useful to have an email form on the "contact us" page which sends the email from the server-side rather than using the user's email client - the latter is a rather amateur way of doing it and if the user doesn't have an email client at all, it won't work! This server-side email sending needs some form of server-side scripting - be it ASP, PHP, CGI/Perl or anything else. Hence, if the server supports ASP, you may as well use that.

    Just my $0.02!

    MarcusJT
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  13. #13
    The doctor is in... silver trophy MarcusJT's Avatar
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    Incidentally, I should add that sheer simplicity of the site requirements means that any other server-side scripting language could be used instead of ASP. You will find PHP hosting *much* cheaper!

    However, perhaps the developer only codes in ASP... or has his own ASP web space that he's eager to charge you for...
    MarcusJT
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  14. #14
    eCommerce specialist hotnuts21's Avatar
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    Yeah that was what I thought when it was mentioned to me.

    As for giving all the pages the asp ending, I had already thought of that, and mentioned it thanks for all your help
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  15. #15
    SitePoint Guru asterix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillsy
    Don't forget, you can call a page "ASP" even if it only has vanilla HTML in it. This leaves open the possibility for additional functionality at a later time without renaming all your files, breaking links etc. It also allows you to do basic stuff like SSI's.
    Indeed.
    I do it the other way round though, all extensions are .html and .html is mapped to the ASP engine.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Guru asterix's Avatar
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    I don't really see why this site needs to be done in ASP. Or for that matter in Dreamweaver / Contribute either.

    Vanilla HTML is fine for a 4 page web site, partitioning out the navigate into an ssi is probably also over the top, I mean, 4 pages is not much.

    The contact form would be good done server side, but front page server extensions can be had from nearly every hoster, and at the least a simple PERL cgi, there is no need for ASP. ASP is really cool if you must use an MS Server and you need some dynamic content. If you are not tied to MS then PHP is equivalent but less expensive. If you have zero dynamic content you need HTML. You can even make screen shots of the clients desktop and publish some 1024 x 768 gifs

  17. #17
    eCommerce specialist hotnuts21's Avatar
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    As I said at the beggining there is a need for the client to update the site, not at regular intervals, but maybe every 1-2 months. So the need for either a CMS (over tht top) or something like contribute, which is ideal for someone who just wants to update his site the quickest and easiest way without having to learn html. Just point and click.

    As for ASP, I totally agree, but I also pointed out this is not my client. A friend is a business advisor and one of his clients, is building this site, and has contracted a web developer. However the developer wants to build the site using ASP. My friend thougth this odd, and asked for my opinion. My thoughts on asp are very narrow, and so i thought to give a fair response I should gather some information, hence this post.

    I think the developer is taking the p**s, he could build the site in html 4 pages very quickly. But he wants to use ASP for what reason I am not sure, but i have given my opinion based on my own thoughts and the response in this thread. I do not think asp is the right solution for this projects (i did mention about naming pages asp etc) and I think thats the consensus in here. A simple html site will suffice with contribute.

    Dont you agree
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  18. #18
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    I do [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img] I've used Contribute and I like it - it's ideal. Bound to be cheaper than getting this developer to make a custom built CMS system.

    Edit:


    I forgot to mention Contribute has issues with some Windows servers - in the sense that it simply won't work with them!

  19. #19
    The doctor is in... silver trophy MarcusJT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotnuts21
    Dont you agree
    I concur.
    MarcusJT
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    - Please think, Google, and search these forums before posting!

  20. #20
    eCommerce specialist hotnuts21's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention Contribute has issues with some Windows servers - in the sense that it simply won't work with them!
    I didnt know that, maybe I should suggest the client drops the developer and hires me Its not my choice however, obviosly hes been sold by the developer, all my friend can do is advise!!

    Thanks for all your help guys
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  21. #21
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Namely Fasthosts - if you have a hosting account with Fasthosts and want to use Contribute, then forget it! Though they may have sorted it out by now, I dunno....

  22. #22
    The doctor is in... silver trophy MarcusJT's Avatar
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    But you'd have to be stark-staring-mad-as-a-hatter-off-your-trolley to even consider using Fasthosts...!

    MarcusJT
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  23. #23
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    I dunno, they're ok as far as they go. Their support is *very* good (I had my call answered immediately at close to midnight on a bank holiday)... They're too expensive for me though.

  24. #24
    The doctor is in... silver trophy MarcusJT's Avatar
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    The pricing and their support coverage is good, but it's the quality of the hosting service itself which is sadly lacking. In recent years it's improved tremendously with their new load-balanced server farm, but it's still a very basic service in terms of functionality.

    It took me ages to find a host that provided the service that I needed for the right price, and so I'm pleased to support and recommend www.servercentre.net. Their own site could definitely do with a bit of work, but the service that they offer is second to none (compared to the other hosts I've come across) - Fast servers, more components than you can shake a stick at (see here), oodles of bandwidth, great webmail engine, and a powerful domain control panel.

    Anyway, enough promo, I don't get paid for this!
    MarcusJT
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    - *very* old blog with some useful ASP code

    - Please think, Google, and search these forums before posting!

  25. #25
    Yugo full of anvils bronze trophy hillsy's Avatar
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    Off Topic:


    What's their customer support response and uptime like? I am looking for a good UK-based Windows host at the moment (not for my own sites, for some work I'm doing for a small UK business)
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