Let’s settle a bet. Who wins? PHP or ASP.NET?
Those that know me, know that I go with PHP 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In fact, all of my computational biology programs are written in this vastly superior server-side language. If you’re interested in my work, please visit www.biosoft.us.
As for the article below, the author makes a very good case in favor of PHP over .NET languages. I choose PHP for very much the same reasons.
By Jamsheer K for Acodez
PHP is one of the widely used scripting languages, and developers are addicted to it. On the other hand, we have ASP.NET language that has Microsoft as its backup bearer and can be operated across any .NET supported language.
But the ultimate decision is yours. If you are the one in need of the project, then, you are the one who needs to determine whether PHP suits your needs or whether you need to develop your project on the .NET platform?
So, here we will examine the features and benefits of using both that will help you decide which would suit the requirements of your project:
PHP is Hypertext Preprocessor language. It has grabbed all hearts over the internet for the beautiful learning curve that it offers. And, also it has a large developer community following.
Before I begin discussing the differences between the two, let me tell you one difference that you need to bear in mind when thinking about which is the one that will fit your needs.
The point is PHP is a programming language, whereas ASP.NET does not belong to the category of programming languages. C# or VB.Net are the languages usually used with ASP.Net.
That makes it clear! You cannot strike a comparison between PHP and ASP.NET as the latter is a web framework while the former is a programming language.
So, what I am going to do is discuss my thoughts on the benefits and features of both, as you know now that both PHP and ASP.net are two different things.
One of the amazing facts about PHP is that it has been installed across 244 million websites. And, another exciting fact is that it is free of cost and is compiled with a number of frameworks which makes website development easy.
I could not think of a better example than WordPress and Facebook as PHP has powered these.
Now, let us discuss what makes ASP.Net so popular?
ASP.NET being a web framework is also a scripting tool developed by the Microsoft to help developers build web pages and applications for the web.
When using ASP.Net, you are at the advantage of using any .NET programming languages to code.
As we discussed you now know that ASP.NET is used with programming languages now let us examine what are the pros and cons of using PHP and ASP.Net:
It is not a new fact that PHP is free of cost, and as you know ASP.Net is a Microsoft product and hence comes with certain charges.
What are the relative costs when using ASP.Net?
Buying Windows is an expensive affair
Developers are aware of the fact that development using ASP.Net is possible only on Windows. It has been designed to work on Windows.
It cannot be a problem to most developers. If you are using operating systems such as the MAC or Linux, you may use the Mono Project to work with ASP.Net on your system.
If we turn back in time, it can be observed that when Windows is used for hosting it is costlier than web hosting done using Linux.
But, now the situation is different. You can easily get the hosting done using Windows as the hosting costs are more or less similar when compared to Linux web hosting charges.
Integrated Development Environment
Integrated development environment is one of the most important factors that need to be considered from the perspective of cost-effectiveness. As you might be aware, ASP.Net development is executed using the IDE, Visual Studio. A free version of the IDE is offered by Microsoft, which is referred to as the VS Express. It might be an ideal choice for beginners, though professional experts look for something more challenging. PHP can be supported by numerous IDEs available for free and paid as well, and can be run on Linux web hosting and can be used with Windows or MAC.
But, in the end, the choice is of the developer.
What is meant by the performance capability of web applications? It is usually determined by how well the interaction between the database, the script and the server is taking place.
Whenever you are planting a web application in PHP, it will take the LAMP form and by LAMP, we mean Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. The LAMP stack ensures an enhanced performance which is all that you are looking for during web development.
MSSQL is the database that is used in combination with ASP.NET.
The OS and file system that is used on the server profoundly impact the performance. A fact is that Linux Operating System and ext4 file system offer a higher I/O performance when compared to Windows and NTFS file system.
Here, we can conclude that a PHP application that runs on Linux OS has chances of performing better than an ASP.Net application that is hosted on a Windows OS.
This means that the performance and speed of a framework of the platform are interrelated. Regardless of which platform or programming language you are using for developing web applications, you need to bear in mind that the speed of communication between the server and the time taken by the browser to open are closely related.
So, when does the speed get affected?
There are three kinds of scenario across which the speed of the platform can be tested:
The first time you can note the speed is when your website communicates with the server. Here, we will not test the platform speed but what matters is the speed of the backend database servers.
Now, what happens is while the web application tries to interact with the database file that is embedded in the file system utilizes the speed of the OS on which it is working.
As we have already discussed that ASP.Net is a framework and has its functionalities limited to the Windows-based platform, but the scenario is different with PHP as it works across all operating systems no matter what. One of the reasons is that it is open sourced.
Speed and performance are the two advantages that you can enjoy over the servers when using PHP, unlike ASP.Net that exhibits a poor performance.
But PHP or for that matter no programming languages could provide the speed and efficiency of ASP.NET when it comes to code compilation and execution.
Scalability: Which is better?
When it comes to the scalability factor, we can find that both PHP and ASP.Net are highly scalable. It depends on how proficient the developer is when using either of them.
Some of the most heavily trafficked websites in the world like Facebook & Wikipedia are powered by PHP and on the other hand websites like Microsoft, StackOverflow etc are built using ASP.Net.
As we have already discussed PHP is one of the scripting languages that is free of cost. It is open source, and also the developer’s community keeps on contributing to the PHP network.
Tools and Editors
I have observed that most of the PHP developers love to use text editors such as the VIM and Notepad++, rather than implementing a full-fledged IDE.
But, if you prefer to work with an IDE while using PHP, then you will get strong support from editors such as the Eclipse, which is absolutely free of cost.
As you know, ASP.Net is backed up by a variety of IDE’s, but you can use it with Microsoft Visual Studio. It is not free but has ample of features and is one of the most flexible IDEs.
This means that if you have some money to invest then choose ASP.Net for your needs.
How easy it is to learn?
When it comes to learning as a beginner, you might find it difficult to acquaint yourself with ASP.Net as it is written in C#, which is derived from C and as we know the syntax of C is complicated and difficult to interpret no matter, however, proficient the programmer is, they struggle.
PHP is simple and easy to learn as there are only a few lines of code that you need to work upon.
One of the things that a developer loves is freedom.
PHP unlike ASP.Net offers you with the freedom to code anyway!
As you know PHP is open-source and it gives you the freedom to do anything you wish. Of course, I do agree that there should be some restrictions. When using PHP you get the freedom to use or code using text editors such as the Emacs, Notebook++, Bluefish, jEdit, or even the Notepad that you use.
But, with ASP.Net, your freedom is limited. Maybe you could use only Microsoft Visual Studio.
Another exciting feature about using PHP is that there is no specific OS that it is inclined to.
You can run it on any of the following OS such as:
I don’t know whether it is worth mentioning here or not, because PHP users are quite familiar to the fact that the community is too large. And, this is quite clear from the fact that the number of PHP Frameworks that are being added to the community is on a hike.
So, when in doubt, or when you are trying to fix certain things such as session management, the database access libraries, or code reuse, you can find help from the various PHP frameworks that are available.
Here, I am listing out a few of the popular PHP Frameworks and this includes:
According to BuiltWith, PHP has a clear edge when it comes to the popularity of Programming Language Usage. As per the data of April 2018, among the Top Million websites, PHP has a share of 67% and ASP.NET has a share of less than 50% of this – at 30%.When it comes to the Top 100K sites PHP again has a dominant share with 57% and ASP.NET at 37%. When the stats is about the top 10K websites PHP has 53% score and ASP.NET has 37% share.
These stats shows that PHP is clearly a favourite among developers due to various reasons, and on the other hand, the popularity of ASP.NET is on a decline.
We have already discussed points that specify how well PHP provides support to its users and one of the reasons it is the favorite of people and also, why they prefer PHP over ASP.Net.
Also, apart from all these fantabulous properties, PHP is good at fixing problems.
Whenever you develop a web application, you are bound to encounter problems. So, then, how do you fix or overcome these issues that crop up while you have to deliver the project on time?
Unlike, other programming languages such as ASP.Net, you can find out with quite an extended ease where the issue is arising from and how to get rid of these with a little help from the PHP community.
Whenever you make a request to fix up an issue, PHP clears up and refreshes to help you start over. What does it mean? An issue with one request will never interfere with the other. You are free to work with the others at your own pace.
There is no other programming language that could beat the speed at which PHP is capable of operating.
As you know PHP doesn’t take up the system resources in abundance which makes it easy for PHP to operate at a speed faster than other scripting languages.
Unlike other programming languages, PHP doesn’t create a lot of fuss when it comes to hosting. It is easy to host PHP and there are many hosts that are ever ready to host PHP.
If you are planning to use PHP with other software, you need not worry; it will never slow down the other processes. PHP will help maintain the speed without interrupting the other processes.
Like we have discussed in almost all the points, PHP is supportive across all other platforms and processes and so is it when it comes to Databases. It is integerable and scalable and supportive to databases that includes MySQL.
WordPress is one of the popular examples if you ask me. It implements PHP coding with MySQL for its content management system that makes things easier.
This is how a number of popular influencers have been managing thousands of blogs per day.
Wikipedia is another example of such a system that utilizes a combination of PHP and Database.
So, now you know why you should use PHP over ASP.Net.
Do you know there are a number of popular sites that implements PHP and I have got a list of them:
Wikipedia, WordPress, Facebook, and most of them have been implemented on Linux OS.
Now it saves us of any doubts and we have the answer to all our questions.
PHP is simple and easy to learn
Anyone who has used PHP knows it well that how easy and simple PHP is to learn and use. So, how do we at Acodez say that PHP is simple and easy to learn?
It is because our team of web developers have been using it all this time and recommending clients to use PHP framework for developing their sites. We would say that this simple and user-friendly programming framework is something that anyone with little or no technical knowledge or IT background can grasp quickly. So, when we interact with our clients we provide them with an outline of how PHP works and we are pleased to know that it impresses them.
It is because they find it easy to understand even though they might be someone not from the IT background. And, in the long run they realize that this is something they need in case, if there are emergency situations when they have to update or modify certain details and cannot wait till someone from the support team arrives.
But, when it comes to ASP.Net the situation is different. It is not easy and simple as PHP is and the bet is if you come from a non-IT or non-technical background you will feel life is turning bitter as you plunge deeper into learning ASP.NET.
Coding in PHP
As we have already discussed it is very easy and simple to learn and understand PHP. So, is there any doubt when it comes to coding in PHP?
Have you observed there are way long similarities between PHP and C?
PHP was written in C when it was unveiled for the first time. This was to retain some of the scripts that were taken from PERL scripting language. Don’t you think its awesome?
So, if you have an idea about C language, PHP becomes easier when coding. Also, there are no complications as such in C language while working with PHP.
The ease with which PHP operates has been creating quite a fuss among the programming language community that is always on the hunt for challenges.
In such situations, the community is of the opinion that ASP.NET is better. ASP.NET offers a number of programming options unlike PHP which follows the same pattern. But, we cannot blame PHP as it has made it easier for a number of start-ups to set up a website with ease without creating any complications.
Of course, PHP is not streamlined to meet the modern needs but ASP.NET is and provides a vast number of options to programmers.
PHP and ASP.Net have been around for a long time now. But more number of people prefer PHP over ASP for the flexibility that it offers.
You can use PHP in almost any context and with any operating systems. But, when it comes to ASP.Net we are all doubtful about its flexibility.
Also, PHP is available with most of the relational database systems and provides the flexibility to run with any kinds of web servers which again makes it the most compatible framework unlike ASP.Net which does not operate with all.
PHP has its own disadvantages
Well, when something has a number of pros why can’t we accept the fact that it has weaknesses too.
Yes, PHP has its own set of disadvantages when compared to ASP.Net.
When it comes to coding, we have already discussed that it is very easy to code using PHP, but the drawback is that it can only parse code within its delimiters. Anything that extends beyond the delimiters will be sent to the output which is something that we do not want.
Then, you will find class naming collisions as PHP is devoid of namespacing which is a drawback. The variables that you will use in PHP really do not come with a type which could be again another drawback.
Also, PHP is not suitable for building Desktop Applications which can be termed as another con of this language.
So, who wins?
(Tommy) Again. In my own words, I say PHP. Hands down. No question.