Although Classic ASP (also known as “ASP Classic” or “ASP”) has been gradually superseded by ASP.NET, there are still many kinds of websites built and maintained with it across the Internet. In this tutorial, we will take you through the journey of installing IIS and setting up a classic ASP website on it. Below is a short introduction to classic ASP.
What Is Exactly Classic ASP?
Simply speaking, classic ASP is Microsoft’s first server-side scripting engine, with which you can set up and run various dynamic web applications. With the use of ASP, you can also combine script commands, COM components and HTML pages to produce interactive web pages that won’t be affected by the type of visitors’ web browsers. That is to say, any web pages containing ASP can only run via a server that fully supports ASP. That’s the reason why ASP is defined as “Active Server Pages”, no server, no active pages.
How to Set Up a Classic ASP Website on IIS?
Having got a rough idea about classic ASP, let’s get to the meat of this guide – setting up a classic ASP website. Note that, the entire process can be divided into three main steps provided that you are running Windows Server 2012 R2.
Step 1 – Install Internet Information Services
For those of you who want to play around with ASP on the Windows operating system, you should firstly install Microsoft’s IIS (namely “Internet Information Services”). Luckily, IIS comes free with Windows 7, 8, 10 and Vista editions, and it is possible to use the inbuilt UI (user interface) or a command line to perform serial configurations. If you’re running the Windows XP Home Edition, then you will need to make use of the Web PI (Web Platform Installer) to install IIS. To manually enable IIS for further configurations like URL rewrite, you can refer to this post.
Step 2 – Create a Classic ASP Website
To proceed, just open the “Start” menu and then click to enter “Control Panel” section. As is shown, there are various computer settings, and all you need to do is to follow the route of “System and Security” > “Administrative Tools” > “Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager”.
From the next “Connections” window, right-click the “Sites” to “Add Web Site”. This will open a new dialogue box where you will be prompted to enter a friendly “Site Name” in the text box. If you don’t want to use the “DefaultAppPool”, just select another “Application Pool” from the drop-down list.
The below “Physical Path” requires the physical path of web site’s folder. To select another folder from file system, simply press the “Ellipsis” button next to this option. As the filled-in physical path is pointing to a remote share, you also need to press this “Connect as” button to modify the “Path credentials”. Pay attention that, the “Specific User” and “Application User” options allow you to create or disable specific permissions to access the path respectively.
Within the “Type” list, choose the web site protocol between “http” and “https”. By default the “IP address” is set to “All Unassigned”, but you can select a static one for the web site. By the way, the default “Port” number is 80.
In the meantime, you can enter a “Host Name” for the web site in the respective blank box, such as www.besthostingforasp.net. If you wish to access the web site immediately without making any customizations, simply check the box saying “Start Web site immediately.” Do remember to press the “OK” button to save all changes.
Step 3 – Configure Settings to Your ASP Applications
The default application settings offered by IIS 8 can also be further configured to your reference via the above IIS manager. To do so, just revert back to the UI (user interface) and double-click the “ASP” option under “Feature View”.
Obviously, the ASP page has been sorted into three minor sections, including “Behavior”, “Compilation” and “Services”. Depending on personal preference, each option out there is editable. For instance, the default scripting language of ASP is VBScript, but you can specify another different language like Jscript within the “Compilation” area. Before making any changes, you’d better read the related function explanations by moving the mouse over the option out there. If done, just click to “Apply” all changes from the right-hand “Actions” pane.
It is also possible to re-configure the above ASP application settings with the command line. To be frank, this method is much flexible but requires above -average technical knowledge, which is meant for tech-savvy person only. More references on how to use command at a command prompt to make ASP application settings are well-documented in this IIS guide. Be sure to test whether your website can function as expected at length.