If you have ever looked up PHP versus ASP.NET or Comparison between PHP and ASP.NET type of articles and blogs on the internet, you will find that there are two happy camps supporting and defending either. And consequently, putting down the other. But the answer is never as cut and dried. When we are talking about two of the leading development languages, it is not a case of which comes out tops but rather which platform is better suited for what kind of projects.
Differences between PHP vs. ASP
One of the glaring differences between PHP vs. ASP is the platform compatibility. PHP works on a number of different platforms including Linux, UNX, Solaris and Windows, while ASP works mainly on Windows platforms. You can use ASP on Linux if ASP-Apache is installed on your server.
To begin with, let’s take a quick look at some core features of PHP and ASP.NET:
|License||Open Source||Open Source|
|Development Languages||VB.NET C#/C# .NET F#||PHP|
|Cost||Has several associated costs||Free|
|Syntax||Similar to the syntax of Visual Basic||Similar to the syntax of C and C++ languages|
What are some common criteria for comparison of PHP and ASP.NET?
Scalability and Maintenance: The simple fact is that whether you choose PHP or ASP.NET, the web application scalability and ease of maintenance depend on:
Deploying the best coding standards
Using a solid framework
Following industry best standards and programming guidelines
So both ASP.NET and PHP fare somewhat similar in this category.
Performance and Speed: There is a prevalent misconception that performance and site speed depend on either platform. Practically, however, there is very little difference between the performance of a PHP-run site or an ASP.NET site. Both ASP.NET and PHP are well equipped to run the routine processes and produce the desired results – accessing file systems, finding images and displaying the pages. The speed is reliant on factors like the database server, end user’s computer and bandwidth.
There is also the myth that ASP.NET is more sophisticated than PHP. PHP may not be an easier language for learners but many big sites like Facebook and MailChimp are written in PHP. There is also the argument that PHP is a faster language at a core level. But core language speed is no longer an issue because modern hardware is blazingly fast. The marginal gain in performance is not really what makes the application fast or slow. It is in fact how the code is written and how the architecture implements it that matter.
Support: PHP is open source and has a far larger pool of developers compared to ASP.NET. However, both have a vast community with thousands of developers that post regularly to forums. If you are ever stuck with a query in PHP or ASP.NET, you will find both communities equally useful. Considering that ASP.NET community mostly comprises dedicated developers, the number of support contributors who are available to post at a given time might be slightly lower than that of PHP. You might get a faster response on the PHP forums and communities.
Cost: PHP is completely free but ASP.NET being a Microsoft product has some cost associated with the development. You may have to buy Windows OS or if you use Mac or Linux, you can use the Mono project to use ASP.NET on your machine. There is a perception that Windows hosting is relatively expensive but now Microsoft have free offerings and Windows servers cost nearly the same as Linux servers. Windows has also embraced the open source and cross-platform movement for a while now.
One more cost consideration is the development environment – the most popular IDE for ASP Dot Net development is Visual Studio. Microsoft does offer a free version called VS Express which may work for beginners but not for professionals. PHP has the advantage that it is free, runs on Linux web hosting, can be used with Windows, Mac or Linux and is supported by several IDEs (both paid and free).
So, to be fair to both PHP and ASP.NET programmers, there are minor gains and losses in either language. The question that most enterprises and businesses should be asking is which language is suitable for their application. Here’s an indicative chart that can give you some idea:
|PHP Is Suitable For||ASP.NET Is Suitable For|
|Small business websites||Enterprise level websites|
|Startups||ERP Apps (HR modules)|
|ISVs (Independent Software Vendors)||Intranet|
|CRM||Enterprise Level CRM|
The Project Matters
Of course, anytime you want to choose a programming language, content management system, database or any other tool necessary for your project, you need to figure out which will benefit you the most. Most discussion boards use PHP because it’s preferred for this type of project, while many e-commerce applications prefer ASP.
This doesn’t mean that ASP cannot provide a good choice for a discussion board and PHP cannot provide a good e-commerce solution. These are just preferences from programmers working with these types of projects.
Hosting for PHP and ASP
Since PHP works on Linux and UNIX servers, which are the most popular in the hosting world, PHP is the easier of the two programming languages to find hosting for. In order to use ASP on these high-quality servers, you will need ASP-Apache, which not all hosting companies support.
Whether you prefer PHP or ASP, ITX Design can help you with the best hosting possible. We offer shared, VPS and dedicated server hosting with full support for PHP programming language and ASP-Apache. However, using our hosting with PHP will save you money because you won’t have to pay for any additional features like you will if you prefer to use ASP.
The battle between PHP vs. ASP doesn’t have a clear winner, as they both work great for different applications. It will depend on the type of hosting and your project, which one will work best for you. If you’re not sure which to use, contact our support team and we can help you with both hosting and a recommendation between PHP and ASP.
Conclusion: Which should you choose – ASP.NET or PHP?
It depends on your developmental team’s core strengths. If you have a strong team of ASP.NET developers, it is more cost-effective to develop in ASP.NET. There is nothing that either platform can’t achieve vis-à-vis the other and therefore you should analyze the suitability of the language for your application rather than going by the popular refrain.
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