How to get started with AspSpider Free Webhosting
Step by step instructions on how to host your web site.
Here is the steps to create your web site in this site:
1. Register as a member.
2. Go to Dashboard and click on the link "Create Web Site".
3. Enter the required details and press Create Site. Now a web site has been created for you with some default folders and files.
4. Click on the tab Web Hosting in the main menu.
5. Click on File Manager.
6. You will see 2 default folders in File manager - database and webroot. All database files must be uploaded to the folder database. All web site files must be uploaded to the folder webroot. You should not delete or rename these folders.
If you upload any files directly in your root folder, they will not be accessible in your site.
7. Use the button Upload Files to upload files to your folders.
9. If you like to use MS Access database, upload the database files to the database folder. Use appropriate connection string from your code.
10. If you like to use SQL Server database, upload your database file (.MDF) to the database folder. Do not upload the log file (.LDF). Use Database Manager to attach the file to the SQL Server. You may see warnings about missing .LDF file, but you can ignore those warnings.
In order to continue to offer this free service to all members, AspSpider.NET team is enforcing the following hosting rules:
Type of web sites allowed
The primary purpose of this web site is to allow .NET programmers to learn and practice ASP.NET 2.0, get experience in hosting web sites etc. Since this is an educational server, we are not giving any promise on performance, uptime and life of the service.
You may host small, temporary web sites for the purpose of learning and practicing. You are allowed to deploy ASP.NET Starter Kits or other sample projects for learning purpose only.
All websites are allowed to be hosted for a period of 90 days. After 90 days, we will delete your site including all files. YOu are allowed to re create a website on a different domain. For example, if your site was hosted under the domain AspSpider.NET, you may re create the site under AspSpider.ORG
You are allowed to develop and host web sites with the primary purpose of educating others on .NET technologies. Examples are blogs, asp.net tutorials, sample code snippets etc.
If you are temporarily hosting a site for demo or project submission for your college, it is a good idea to have a clear title explaining the purpose of the site. Otherwise it is possible for the administrator to mis understand your site as a commercial site and may delete the account.
Type of web sites NOT allowed
1. Commercial web sites (Classifieds, auction sites, ecommerce sites etc)
2. Porn sites
3. Sites that host or link to movies, videos, music etc.
4. Personal sites that has large pictures or photos (larger than 2 MB total size).
6. Online gaming.
7. Audio, video streaming sites.
8. Hosting any kind of Chat Applications
9. Sites allowing download/upload of files by users other than site owner.
10. Webpages that continuously refresh itself.
Above mentioned web sites are strictly not allowed and will be deleted permantly without notice, as soon as we identify them.
Other Hosting Rules
1. Test your code before uploading. We don't care if you write bad code, but we care if you write code which will consume lot of server resources like CPU, memory etc. Make sure your code does not go into infinite loop or any long running queries.
2. Do not store anything other than simple string into session. Storing large objects into session variables will consume lot of memory.
3. You are not allowed to upload audio and video files. The file manager will not allow you to upload such files. If you create such files in your account by any other means, they will be deleted automatically within few minutes.
4. You may develop and host business web sites here, but we will not be responsible for any financial lose due to problems in the server. Also, we cannot be party of any legal issues arising related to your web site.
5. You should not host any sites that contain data, text, or images, or other material that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, vulgar or otherwise objectionable.
6. Do not host a web site which allows downloading files. (downloading small files as part of the site functionality is OK, but the bandwidth usage of file downloading should be less than 10% of the total bandwidth usage of your site)
7. Web services which consumes more than 10% of the total bandwidth usage of the site are not allowed.
8. You should not have any web pages that automatically refresh itself.
9. You should not have any web pages that AUTOMATICALLY redirect to another site.
10. This is an educational server. You should not host any high traffic web sites here.
11. Check for your database access code. We use SQL profiler and if we find that any site is overloading the Database server with inefficient queries, we may block the site.
12. Your website will be deleted 90 days after the date you created the site. All files will be deleted with no backup.
Violation of any of the above rules may lead to immediate termination of your account. Your files will be permanently deleted without warning. you may not be given an opportunity to backup your files.
Future Plans of Free Hosting Service
We may introduce Ad Supported services in future so that we can find enough fund to keep this service running. We may convert existing members to Ad Supported without any prior notice.
All rules are subject to change with or without notice.
How to use MS Access database
You can use File Manager to upload your database files to any location under your member folder. You must specify the physical location of the file in your connection string in order to successfully connect to MS Access from your ASP.NET 2.0 code.
However, we strongly recommend to upload your MS Access database files to the folder "database". This is a special folder designed with some special security settings. Since this folder is outside your webroot, nobody can download your database using a URL in your application.
Also, the "Database Manager" will allow you to manage your databases only if it is placed in your "database" folder.
If your database size is beyond the File Upload limits, you may try to truncate the un used space in your database. To do this, open your MS Access database in your machine, go to Tools > Database Utilities > Compact and Repair Database. This may help you reduce the size of the mdb file.
If your database file size is still beyond the file upload limits, you may zip the database file and upload to the database folder. After you upload the zip file, post a request to un zip it through the forum. Our service team can help you un zip the file. However, this option is available only for members in level 2 or above.
How to use SQL Server database
How to use SQL Server Express database
We have SQL Server 2005 Express now available for all members.
You can upload SQL Server Express database files (.mdf) to the database folder using File Manager and attach the database file to SQL Server using Database Manager
How to create a new SQL Server database ?
If you need to use SQL Server Express database, you must create a new database file in your machine and upload to the "database" folder in your AspSpider account. There is a "Attach SQL Server database" feature available in the Database Manager, which will allow you to attach the uploaded database file to SQL Server.
Earlier, we used to create databases directly on the server for members. We have discontinued this feature currently.
As of now, you cannot create a database on the server. You must create locally and upload the .mdf file.
You will not be able to use the auto attach feature to attach database from your App_Data folder.
1. Create a new SQL Server database in your local SQL Server 2005.
2. Detach database.
3. Upload .mdf file to the "database" folder.
4. Use the button "Attach SQL Express Database" to attach the .mdf file to SQL Server.
How to backup SQL Server 2005 Express database ?
There is no backup mechanism avaliable yet.
If you need to backup your SQL Server database, you must first "detach the database" (using Express Manager) and then download it.
The detach process may fail, if your database is currently in use. You may need to wait for several hours and try again.
How to use MS Access database
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where to get started ? How can I create my web site ?
You have to register as a member first and then create a web site from the link My Profile.
Q: Is this absolutely free? Is there any fees for any add on services?
AspSpider.NET web hosting is absolutely free. However, we have recently introduced an account verification charge to verify the owners of the websites hosted here. There is no fees for any add-on services. However, we request that all members must actively participate in our forum.
Q: How long I can use the free services ?
In general, this free service is meant for 90 day use. However, after 90 days, you may continue to use the service if you pay the account verification charges again.
Q: Can I upgrade the hosting account so that I can use more resources ?
We like to keep our server as educational hosting system. We will not accept payments to upgrade a hosting account. However, you may help us different ways in our site and in return, we can offer you additional resources.
Q: What are the limitations of this free hosting ?
Learn what cannot be done in AspSpider.NET member sites.
Q: Can I have my own domain name ?
We do not offer custom domain names. All hosted site will have URLs like http://www.AspSpider.NET/userid, http://www.AspSpider.ORG/userid, http://www.AspSpider.INFO/userid etc.
Q: How much resources you offer like disk space, bandwidth etc ?
By default we offer 50MB to all members. Members who help others in the forum are allowed to use some additional disk space if needed. We will extend the resource allocation on need basis.
Q: Will you discontinue this offer later ?
We have been running this free hosting service since 2004. We don't expect to discontinue this free service anytime in the near future, even though we do not want to make any commitments on continued service.
Q: What is your backup policy ?
We do not take backup of any of your files. It is absolutely your responsibility to maintain backups.
Q: What kind of support you offer ?
Are you in trouble with your hosting account? You can use our Support Forum for getting help. We do not offer any telephone or email support.
Q: I like your free hosting. What can I do for AspSpider.NET ?
You can help us several ways or even join our team.
Connection strings for MS Access and SQL Server Express
How to connect to SQL Server Express ?
We have installed SQL Server 2005 Express and our members are allowed to use the SQL Server service for free.
If you want to upload or create SQL Server 2005 Express database, see this page.
Connection string for SQL Server Express
You are allowed to upload and attach SQL Server databases. The database will be created with UserId as prefix. For example, if you attach an SQL Express database with the name 'Employees', the actual database name will be YourUserId_Exployees.
Here is a sample connection string to connect to SQL Server from your free web hosting account:
"Data Source=.\SQLExpress;Persist Security Info=True;Integrated Security=SSPI;Initial Catalog=YourUserId_DatabaseName"
Connection string for MS Access database
You may upload your MS Access database to the "database" folder, using the "File Manager". After uploading, you may go to the "Database Manager" to manage files (executing query etc)
You may upload any number of MS Access databases, within the limit of your disk space quota.
Your physical path varies by the domain name you have selected. Here is some sample connection strings to connect to your MS Access databases:
How to use SQL Server 2005 Express database
How to use MS Access database
Free ASP.NET web hosting and account verification
We have been offering absolutely free web hosting since year 2005 for learning purpose. We were raising fund for our hosting services through Ads displayed in our own website while keeping the member websites free of ads.
Over a period of time, the revenue from Ads went down drastically since webmasters are familiar with AdSense ads and they never click on Ads. We didn't want to encourage any unethical practices of encouraging to click as well.
In last couple of years, we were offering this free hosting service at a heavy loss. More than the financial loss, we landed into several legal issues since many people were abusing our system to host phishing websites and illegal sites. We were not able to track the people when we were questioned by legal authorities.
Considering various factors and in order to trace the members who are using our services, we have decided to introduce an account verification charge of US$20 for every member who want to use our hosting services. We will keep our hosting service free but there will be an account verification charge, which is valid for 3 months. After 3 months, if you like to continue the hosting, you have to pay the verification charges again. Each payment will make you eligible for 3 months hosting from the date of payment.
After you make the payment, if you are facing issues with our hosting or if you fail to make our service work for your specific needs, you may contact us for a refund within 7 days from the date of payment. We will be issue you a full refund.
We allow websites for project demos, academic projects, trial websites etc. No commercial websites or websites for serious business are allowed here. Due to the nature of our free hosting services, we don't provide a lot of security or backup mechanism for the websites hosted with us. If you are concerned about the security or worried about losing your files in case of a server crash, then don't host it here.
We use a single server to host all the websites. Files are protected from other users using very basic user control security. Our goal is to provide a platform for learning and demos.
Occasional service failures like server rebooting may occur without advance notice. In normal cases, we may need to reboot our servers once in a week. Customer support is offered only through forum and contact us page. Alternatively, you may contact the webmaster through his Facebook profile.
In case of a major service failure or discontinuation of our services, our liability is limited to giving you a full refund of your payment to us.
How to make the payment
We accept payment only via Paypal. In the next screen you will see payment instructions. Once you make the payment via Paypal, we will manually verify the payment and then activate your account to create the free website. Verification of payment and account activation usually happens in the same day but in some cases it may go up to 2 business days.
Read more about account verification and payment.
90 Day expiration policy
All websites hosted on AspSpider are valid for a period of 90 days only. After 90 days, your site will be deleted and all files will be permanently deleted with no backup.
After your site is expired and deleted, you are allowed to re create the site under a different domain name. For example, if your site is currently hosted under AspSpider.net, you are allowed to recreate the site after 90 days under some other domain names like AspSpider.org.
For example, if your current site url is http://www.AspSpider.net/YourName, after 90 days, you have to delete your site and re create under a different name like http://www.AspSpider.info/YourName
When you re create the site, you will have to re upload your files. We will not automatically transfer your files to another domain.
Why do we want you to change the domain name ?
We do not want members to host established websites here and use it commericially. This free hosting service is only meant for educational and demo purposes. By asking members to change the site url periodically, we can be sure that the site wil not be used for long term commercial purposes.
Member hosted files will not be indexed by search engines.
Your URL and Domain name registration
*** We have currently discontinued offering custom domain names ***
By default, the URL for a member site will be http://aspspider.com/MemberName
Note that you cannot use 'www' in your URL.
We will offer support for custom URL (your own domain name) for selected members. This is purely on our descretion and there is no pre defined rule for the eligibility.
Here is some of the factors that we usually consdier for eligibility of custom domain names:
<a href='http://www.aspspider.com' title='free webhosting'>Free web hosting</a> by AspSpider.NET
We do not require you to place the link in a prominent place, even though it would be great if you can do so. Link can be from any location, even in the bottom corner of your pages.
Note that you have to register the domain name with a registrar, before we can add it to your account.
Once you are ready to go for a domain name, please contact us through the support forum. When you post a request for a custom domain name, include the following details:
1. Have you already registered the domain name or yet to register
2. What is the main purpose of your web site
3. How many hits (per month) you expect in your site when it is fully functional
4. Have already added a link to AspSpider from your web site.
Uploading files to your free hosting account.
How to upload files to AspSpider.NET ?
The only way to upload files to your free web hosting account is, using the File Manager in the Control Panel. We do not support FTP or any other upload options.
Where to upload the files ?
When you go to File Manager, you can see 2 folders:
1. database folder
2. webroot folder.
All MS Access database files must be uploaded to database folder.
If you need SQL Server database, you must upload the .MDF file to the database folder and then use Express Manager to attach the .MDF file to the SQL Server Express.
NOTE: Do not upload .LDF files for SQL Server database. Upload only .MDF files. When you attach .MDF files, you may see warnings about missing .LDF file, but you can ignore the warnings.
All web pages, script files, binaries etc must be uploaded within the webroot folder and sub directories. Make sure you upload the web.config file to the webroot folder. We will create a default.aspx page and web.config file for you. You may edit them or replace them with your version.
If you have a compiled ASP.NET application, the assemblies must be placed under \webroot\bin folder.
What files I need to upload ?
When you create a web application using Visual Studio .NET, it creates several files for you. But you don't need to upload several of them.
Files required to upload
All dll files in the bin folder
All image files
Files NOT required to upload
Is it possible to upload the entire site as a compressed file ?
Yes, you can upload all your web files as one or more .zip files to the webroot folder and extract it there.
Also, you may upload your MS Access database files and SQL Server .MDF files as a zip file to the database folder.
Simply upload the .zip files using the File Manager just like any other files. After uploading, you can see a link next to the file name to 'extract' .zip files. Click on the 'extract' link to start extracting all files in your .zip file. You will have the choice to extract all files to the current folder or to a sub folder.
Extract is a background process. After you initiate the process, it may take 2~5 minutes to complete the automated extract process.
Similarly, there is an option to compress any file or folder from the File manager so that you can compress, download and backup your important files.
Why we are not supporting FTP and Front Page Extensions ?
We run this hosting offer as an absolutely free service. We meet our hosting expenses from the revenue through the advertisements in this site. In order to generate enough revenue to continue this service, we want all our members to visit this site often increasing the page impressions and clicks on the advertisements. If we allow Front Page Extensions or FTP, no one may ever come back here!
Advertisements in member sites
This article is not valid any more. We do not use advertisements in member sites
We started this is as an educational server with no Advertisements in member sites. However, due to heavy demand, we ran out of resources very fast. Considering various inputs from our members, we have decided to add more resources and offer Ad supported hosting service.
If you like to avoid pop under, floating or other disturbing Ads, you may choose for manual Ad selection. Only thing you have to do is, insert one of the following Ad Codes to your web pages. If you have placed the below code, our system will not inject other Ads into your pages.
Option 1: - Rectangular Ad (just like the one you see on the immediate right of this message)
height=280 width=336 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0
Option 2: - Horizontal banner Ad (see the banner Ad on top right corner of this page)
height=90 width=728 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0
Option 3: - Vertical Skyscrapper Ad (like the one you see on the right bar of all pages of our site)
height=600 width=120 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0
You must place any one of the above pieces of code such a way that atleast 50% of the Ad is visible in your web pages without scrolling.
We are currently testing some Ads in the domain AspSpider.INFO. So, if your site is under that domain, you may occassionally see some interstitial or floating Ads.
Enjoy features of professional, paid web hosting plans, including SQL Server Express at no cost!
We offer support through the forum.
There is no telephone support and no email support
When you post a support request, make sure you check the box "This is a support question to the ASP.NET team". Otherwise our support team may not notice your message.
Also, if you are not satisfied with the response from the support team, you may respond to the message as 'Re Open' with your comments.
How soon we will respond to support request ?
We have team members in different parts of the world, covering different time zones. Usually, we respond within couple of hours.
However, during our initial weeks, there may be cases where we do not have immediate answers.
Sometimes we may need to develop the feature you are requesting. Our team is usually very quick in responding to such requests. We will discuss such requests and implement in a day or two, if we decide to develop it.
Server is down !
If the server is hanging or down, send us a message using the contact us page. All of our team members are subscribed to this email id and we might respond quicker than support forum.
We are sure you will be happy with our great services. Just in case if you have any concerns, read our satisfaction guarantee below:
We give 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you as a hosting account customer is not happy with any of our services, we guarantee that we will refund 3 times the amount you paid to us during the previous 2 months.
For example, if you have paid US$ 0.00 per month, we will refund 0 x 2 x 3 = US$ 0.00 to you.
We will refund using the same method of payment. If you paid us using credit card, we will refund the amount to your credit card.
If you are not happy with our service, please let us know. We will be happy to see you off.
Site deletion policy
Deleting a member site
We have an automated process which will continuously scan for inactive members, sites that do not follow the minimum requirements, sites that consume too much memory, sites that often crash and make the server instable etc. Depending on the severity of the problem, our automated process may send warning mails or delete the site permantently.
If you do not login for 30 days, you will get a warning mail. If you are still not logging in for another 7 days, all your resources including your files and databases will be permantly deleted.
If you login after you get the warning, you can ignore the received warning. But again, after 30 days of inactivity, the process will repeat.
The total bandwidth used by downloadable fils in your website should be less than 10% of your total bandwidth usage.
You are not allowed to host large downloadable files and allow others to download. You can allow to download small files as part of your web site. But your website should not be primarily meant for downloading files.
For example, if you have a website to maintain inventory for a company, you may allow your customer to download an excel file with the current inventory data.
But if you have a web site for Mobile phone Ring tones, you are not allowed to host ring tones which members can download.
Total bandwidth used by webservices should be less than 20% of your total bandwidth usage (not bandwidth quota).
The bottom line is, you are not allowed to host a web site which is primarily some web servies. But you can create web services to support your primary web site.
If you have web services, ensure that the traffic in web service is less than your web pages.
Most of the free hosting plans in the web world come with one or more of the limitations:
What make AspSpider different ?
We offer professional web hosting for free. Our web servers are fast, reliable Windows 2003 servers with Pentium 4 processor.
Our web servers are hosted in world class data center and are comparable with other basic/professional paid hosting services.
We insert no annoying advertisements in member web sites, if you prefer to choose the Ad Type and display it in an appropriate place in all of your web pages.
Except for live support, we offer great services, comparable with many other paid hosting services.
This is a free hosting service and we like to keep this free for as many as possible. For this reason, we have limited the resource usage for each member.
If you need to upgrade to a plan with more resources, please check out shared web hosting companies.
If you are looking for some additional disk space for genuine educational purpose, read more about disk space usage
Disk space, bandwidth and other resources
This is a free hosting service and we like to keep this free for as many members as possible. For this reason, we have limited the resource usage for each member. Eligible members can request more resources like bandwidth, diskspace etc.
How much disk space I can get for my free web hosting account ?
Every member will get 10 MB space by default. However, you can earn upto 100 MB disk space by qualifying actions.
How do I qualify for more resources ?
It depends on several factors. Sometimes, we may just look at the quality of your web site and offer more resources. (We like to see our members developing great web sites here.)
Post Article and get 5MB space: Posting articles and resources related to ASP.NET is the easiest method to earn lot of disk space. Please do not post articles copied from other websites. You can use 5 MB additional space for each qualifying resource you posted.
Post Forum Answers and get 1MB space: Being an active member in the AspSpider.NET discussion forum is a good way to earn more disk space. Help other members by answering their technical questions in the forum. We will consider only meaningful and long descriptive messages.. You can use 1 MB additional space for each valid answer you posted in the forum to the questions posted by other members.
Link to AspSpider and get 20MB space: By providing a link (as shown below) to AspSpider.NET from the footer of all pages of your website, you can earn upto 20 MB space.
<a href='http://www.aspspider.com' title='free web hosting' target=_blank>Free ASP.NET hosting</a> by AspSpider
How to request additional disk space
We do not have a formal space request procedure any more. You are allowed to use additional space based on the disk space award criteria given above. You can judge your posts yourself and use appropriate amount of additional space.
How long we will offer this free service ?
Most of the free hosting companies offer free hosting plans for a limited time and then ask you to upgrade you to a paid plan.
We are not into web hosting business. As of now, we have no plans to get into this business. We will continue to offer this free web hosting service as long as we can.
What will happen to member files, if this service is discontinued ?
If we discontinue this service due to normal termination (say, our team is tired of web hosting and want go for a vacation in Europe for 1 year!), we will announce this in 30 days before and publish in this web site. We will give reasonable time to all members to safely move all their files to another hosting provider.
If this service is terminated due to act of god (like Katrina, Rita or Psunami !), just forget your files with us! Our service is terminated with effect from yesterday! If you have a back up, you are lucky.
What if this service is taken over by another company?
If this service is taken over by another company, we will try our best to ensure that the terms of the new company is as close as what we have currently. However, we may not be able to guarantee anything.
Help AspSpider team to serve you better
We offer our free services with the help of our sponsors and advertisers. We get paid based on the number of clicks and views of the advertisements in our site. This means more visitors to this site is equivalent to more fund. As we have more fund, we offer more benefits to members in terms of disk usage, powerful servers and more bandwidth.
The bottom line is, more traffic to this site is better service to you.
Here is some ways you can help us get more traffic to our site. In return we offer you more resources and privileges in this site.
1. Put our Ad in your pages.
2. Put a link to our site from your home page or all pages of your web site. We may not get many visitors coming to our site by clicking on the link, but we get more traffic through search engines. Search engines count the number if links to a web site. As we get more links from other sites, search engines give higher ranking to us.
90% of the traffic is coming through search engines. So, each additional link from other sites adds lot of value.
You may use the following html to link to us:
<a href='http://www.aspspider.com>Free web hosting</a> by AspSpider.NET.
Providing a link to us from your web site will qualify you for additional 10 MB disk space.
3. Be an active participant in the forum. Post answers to the questions posted by other members. When you post new messages or answers to existing threads, make sure you are making meaningful posts. We do not want you to post in the forum just for the sake of increasing the numbers.
Active participants in the forum will get additional disk space and your own domain name support.
4. Email or talk to your friends and colleagues about this free hosting service.
5. Post or write reviews about this service in your blog and other discussion forums.
We are trying to build a community of hosting members in this site. Be an active member of the community through the forum and we will reward you more resources.
Requesting additional hosting resources
When you are ready to request additional resources, please post your request in the forum. Remember to include the following information:
1. Justify your requirement (for example, if you are requesting more disk space, explain what are you going to upload, why you need more space etc)
2. Mention how you are eligible for more resources. If you are eligible by actively participating in the forum in this site, you don't need to mention it (We can find it out). But if you have published a review or article about our service in another web site or event, provide details.
We do not backup your files. It is your responsibility to maintain backups of your files.
In case of a server crash or hack, your files are permanently lost. Please make periodic backups of your data and files.
We are working on the features to allow you to backup all your files on one button click. Meanwhile you may want to write your own code to backup all your files.
If you are using database, you are advised to make periodic backups of your database files.
In case of a system crash, we may format the server and re create all user accounts. In that case, we may not be able to restore your files.
All websites will expire after 90 days. Our automated service will delete all of your files with no backup.
How to backup your SQL Server Database ?
We are working on various options to allow our members to backup the database periodically, without active involvements of support team and without compromising security of other members data.
How to backup MS Access database?
MS Access databases can be treated like any regular files. You can download the .mdb files using the File manager.