What's the difference: between ASP.NET and PHP

We often get asked the question of how PHP and ASP.NET compare, and in what development scenarios one is superior to the other. This always leads us to looking at the various fundamental differences and similarities of the two, which shows that they can’t be as easily compared as some may believe.

The facts: PHP

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a web programming language, loosely based on C and Perl. Scripts can be developed using either object-oriented or procedural programming, as PHP caters for both. It is platform-agnostic, open source, and works with every major operating system as well as most web servers. More websites currently run on PHP than any other language.

The facts: ASP.NET

ASP.NET (Active Server Pages.NET) is a tool for building dynamic, rich web sites and web applications using compiled languages like VB and C#. ASP.NET allows developers to build powerful and compelling applications with the help of Visual Studio, Microsoft’s key development tool.

ASP.NET vs PHP: The differences

Ease

ASP.NET is more than just a coding language. It is effectively a complete framework, offering a wide range of development possibilities. This also means it is structured with a whole different level of complexity. It is not necessarily quick to learn, but it is the obvious choice for anyone who wants the ability to create a complex website structure with hundreds of pages and multiple workflows.

PHP, on the other hand, is a fairly simple language to learn as a beginner. A few basic lines of code can get you started on your development journey. With such a short learning curve, development and deployment become relatively simple tasks as well. PHP is generally thought to be better for projects with limited future requirements for complexity.

Some voices in the developer community will argue that making changes to source code can be much more complicated in PHP, as scaling of the code structure could be a challenge if it wasn’t built for growth to begin with. As for the amount of code required to build large applications, ASP.NET needs drastically less than PHP. In other words, the key is to fully understand the long-term project requirements from the start.

Performance

Website operation speed is often a key factor for customer satisfaction and retention – particularly in the e-commerce world. Both ASP.NET and PHP generally provide high performance in terms of processing speed, which means that any bottlenecks would typically be associated with the database access or the application itself, rather than the underlying language mechanisms.

Security

ASP.NET comes with a suite of built-in Windows authentications and specific configurations which vouch for the safety of any application. For the PHP developer, there are a wide range of security options, templates and tools available to provide a similar level of security. However, when it comes to website safety, no tool is completely waterproof and it is ultimately up to the developer to ensure an application is protected from any apparent threats.

Cost

ASP.NET and PHP both come with web hosting fees, but for projects where either option is a perfect fit, this fee is considered to be negligible compared to the benefits. There is a wide range of hosting options for both frameworks, many of whom offer promotional pricing, but the costs will vary depending on traffic, functionality and required additional services and support.

In the past, ASP.NET would also incur costs for development tools once a project began to scale, but today there are several tools available at little or no cost – such as Visual Studio Code and SQL Server Express. As for PHP development, it is supported by a number of free and paid Integrated Development Environments (IDEs).

Conclusion: Who’s the winner?

We’ve seen time and time again how both ASP.NET and PHP are extremely flexible, scalable languages that can achieve astonishing websites both in terms of functionality, visual impact and ease of use. PHP, which in many ways is considered to be less scalable, sits behind some of the fastest growing websites in the world. This proves to us that the real key to successful web development is not within the coding platform you choose but the resources you invest in.

By employing skilled developers who fully understand and engage with your corporate vision, you will be able to successfully implement any flavour of design and structure – regardless of coding methodology.

 

We have helped clients across a wide range of industries to successfully implement various web development projects. Check out our Clients and Case Studies page to see some real-life examples.

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