Comparison Between ASP.NET and PHP

03 May. 2017 Software Development

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.

PHP vs ASP.NET Performance

PHP vs ASP.NET Performance Comparison

PHP vs ASP.NETOur experts can help you to choose the right platform for your next development project

To begin with let’s take a quick look at some core features of PHP and ASP.NET:

Feature Microsoft ASP.Net PHP
License Open Source Open Source
Programming type Compiled Scripting
Development Languages VB.NET C#/C# .NET F# PHP
Development Tools
  • Visual Studio
  • Mono
  • NetBeans
  • PhpStorm
  • Any other editor
Server OS Windows
  • Linux
  • Mac
  • Windows(Limited)
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?

  1. 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:
    • Programmer expertise
    • 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.

  2. 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 core level. But core language speed is no longer any 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.

  3. 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.
  4. 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
CRMs Enterprise Level CRMs
Billing/Invoicing Websites

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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