ASP.NET vs PHP

It has always been an arduous task to choose between the two prominent technology stacks — PHP Vs ASP.NET. Selecting the one out of the two depends on how much you know about these technologies.

“Which one to choose from ASP.NET and PHP?” is the question that every entrepreneur and developer asks. The one answer which has been ubiquitous for decades now is “it depends.

It depends on the requirement of your project; it depends on which language best fits your project and many other situations alike.

So, if you are the one among many who are stuck between PHP Vs .NET, then this article is for you. Go through this article, find the differences between the two top technologies —PHP and ASP.NET, pick the right one for your project. Keep reading…

How did We Start over PHP vs ASP.NET?

We started writing this article with a question, “PHP v/s ASP.NET, which is better?” to our Chief Technical Project Manager Mayur Panchal. His witty yet crisp answer helped us make this article even more comprehensive. Let’s see what he had to say about this question.

“I got a call from one of my friends a couple of months back. He asked me the same question, “Which language is the best, Php or Asp.net?” I wanted to tell him to go for ASP.NET. But again I thought, “What was wrong with PHP?”, said Chief Technical Project Manager, Excellent WebWorld..

“I asked him to give me his project details and a little time to give my suggestion to him. I explored, examined the two languages, went through competitive analysis while keeping his project at the centrestage (like I always do with my clients’ projects) and reached at the conclusion that he must go with PHP as of now”, he added.

“The moral of the story is both PHP and ASP.NET are extremely powerful technologies to create impressive websites or web applications but with different benefits and advantages”, explained Mayur.

What you’ll find in this article:

  1. The Basics
  2. Stats and Market Share
  3. Points to Compare
  4. Suitable Websites
  5. Top Websites built over PHP and .NET
  6. PHP Development: Advantages and Disadvantages
  7. ASP.NET Web Development: Advantages and Disadvantages
  8. Final Take

1. PHP vs ASP.NET : The Basics

“What to look before selecting between PHP and ASP.NET?” That’s the question we are going to find the answer about throughout this article. We will be discussing all aspects of these two technologies and simplifying them to understand easily.

We know that selecting a language depends on the type of projects and its requirements -not just the technology stack. All you need to do is to read between the lines, differentiate between the two, match it with your requirement, and go for it.

How will you differentiate between the two?

One hand, we have the world’s most popular and largely used technology —PHP with more than 5.83 million websites worldwide. On the other hand, we have ASP.NET by the tech giant Microsoft which is known for creating powerful and secure websites. That’s complex, isn’t it? But we have simplified it and we are sure you will come up with the right decision once you go through this entire article.

So, Let’s start with;

What is PHP

Created by Danish-Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994, PHP is one of the most popular and favored general-purpose scripting languages to create great web applications or websites for startups, entrepreneurs and enterprises.

What is ASP.NET

Developed and managed by Microsoft, ASP.NET is the most favoured server-side web-application framework which allows developers to create dynamic websites. The technology is known for building highly secure web applications and that is the reason, you will find many top user-centric companies’ websites are built on .NET.

2. PHP vs ASP.NET: Stats and Market Share

According to W3Techs, all the websites with a known server-side programming language, 78.9% are powered by PHP while 9.7% by ASP.NET.

78.9% of websites with server-side programing language worldwide use PHP 9.7% of websites with server-side programming worldwide powered by ASP.NET

Take a look at the survey conducted by W3Techs based on the server-side programming language they know.

Popularity of PHP vs ASP.NET

.NET vs PHP popularity in tech arena

However, when we talk about the entire web, 8.335% of websites are powered by PHP while 2.733% websites by ASP.NET.

Let’s take a look at another survey conducted by SimilarTech based on the entire web and what it found out.

Market share by top websites

PHP vs .NET market share by top websites

As per SimilarTech, there are 1,913,085 websites supported by ASP.NET and 5,834,831 by PHP.

ASP.NET vs PHP Popularity

From the market position also, PHP seems to be ruling the roost, at least from the W3Techs point of view. Here’s the result;

PHP vs ASP.NET Market Positions

In all probability, ASP.NET seems to be lagging, especially when we see these findings. We can easily assume that we should go with PHP, but that is not the case, nor the only selecting factor. That means there are various factors which come into play when it is to select a programming language or a web development framework.

3. ASP.NET vs PHP: Points to Compare

Features to Compare PHP ASP.NET
Released Date First appeared in 1995 January 5, 2002
Latest Stable Release PHP 7.4.10 .NET 4.8
Type General purpose programming language Server-side application framework
Community Support PHP has larger community support Dedicated community support but lags behind as compared to PHP
GitHub Stars 23.78k 19.2k
Runtime Environment Built-in features which can be used on Server-Side development ASP.NET Core uses an environment variable called ASPNETCORE_ENVIRONMENT
Cost Free to use Costly (need to pay for web hosting)
Complexity Easy to learn Stiff learning curve
Solution Best for client-facing user interfaces Best for a highly secure website and functionalities
Speed Average speed Decent speed
Security Less secure as compared to .NET Highly secure

From speed, performance, scalability and cost to popularity, tools and flexibility, everything needs to be compared well to conclude. We’ve done it for you. Let’s understand some of the top points to compare things in detail;

Speed & Performance

When it comes to speed and performance of an application, there’s a misconception that we have been nurturing for decades is that it depends on the programming language we select.

WRONG… Much of this part depends on the way we write code.

The prima facie of the evidence says that “yes”, to some extent (a little), it matters.
So for us, there is nothing to compare on this point, still, if you want to make it neck-to-neck, then ASP.NET has the edge over PHP. However, the statement may not be accepted as there are many great websites which are based in PHP.

Scalability

Both PHP and ASP.NET are scalable, though you may often find that scalability fluctuate between applications. Sometimes web apps built on PHP do well from a scalability perspective and sometimes apps built on ASP.NET.

Let us give you a different perspective: the scalability of the application depends on the complexities of the technologies. For example, PHP has the lowest learning curve as compared to ASP.NET.

And, if you are a DIY entrepreneur, then it can be a suitable option for you. However, if you are looking to hire a dedicated developer, then you need to focus more on hiring the best available talent rather than selecting a language. A skilled developer can make your website scalable, irrespective of what language you choose.

And that’s the point we’d like to add here —more than language, the development talent you hire matters the most.

Cost

If you want to hear in one line, then PHP is leading over ASP.NET at this point. Being open-source, using PHP is absolutely free. You will have thousands of resources available to work with.

ASP.NET is also free, though you have to pay for web hosting. However, it’s not a big concern to deter you from outsourcing the project.

The point we’d like to add is, PHP is functional across all machines equipped with Mac, Linux or Windows OSs while ASP.NET will run only on Windows. However, if you like to run .NET across other OSs, then you have to use the Mono project.

Tools and Editors

Even though PHP developers love to work around text editors like VIM and Notepad++, there are a couple of good and free IDEs, such as Eclipse, if you like to use one.

As far as ASP.Net is concerned, it is backed up by a variety of IDEs, but using them might cost you and is compatible or usable with Microsoft Visual Studio only. The good part is, .NET IDEs come with a flexible range of features which can turn development process into an easy affair.

From a learning perspective, ASP.NET holds stiff learning curve as it is written in C# while PHP is simple.

Freedom and Flexibility

Freedom and flexibility are something developers love to have while working around any project. ASP.NET as compared PHP does not give that freedom,

Being open-source, PHP bestows complete freedom to developers. From writing code using text editors like Emacs, Notepad++, Bluefish, jEdit to the Notepad that you use, PHP offers complete freedom.

With limited freedom, you can use only Microsoft Visual Studio with ASP.Net while you get several OSs to use for PHP.

You can run PHP on;

  • Linux
  • Unix
  • Windows
  • Mac OSX

Community Support

Being an older programming language, PHP has larger community members as compared to ASP.NET. The former being used widely, you can find plenty of developers active on the forum, ready to support you. At the same time, the latter has dedicated developers and maybe fewer support contributors. However, both ASP.NET and PHP have active community forums, and you are likely to get support for your problems.

Our observance with both forums is that you will get answers from both ASP.NET and PHP, though the latter assures that you get answers for all your queries.

4. PHP V/s ASP.NET: Suitable Websites

When it comes to PHP V/s ASP.NET, both are programming languages with a different set of benefits. So, you can remain dependent on one for all your projects. Here’s which programming languages suitable for what websites;

PHP can be suitable for ASP.NET can be best fit for
  • Startups
  • Small entrepreneurs
  • Small/Medium websites
  • Independable Software Vendors (ISVs)
  • Beginner level CRMs
  • PoS software
  • All enterprise-level web applications/websites
  • ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Applications
  • Internet
  • Other enterprise-level web applications like CRMs
  • Heavy traffic website

5. Top Websites Built over PHP and .NET

As we have learnt that there are thousands of websites built across the two platforms. PHP has 5.83 million websites, while ASP.NET has around 1.9 million websites. Let’s take a look at some of the top websites from both technologies;

Websites powered by ASP.NET Websites built using PHP
  • StackOverflow
  • Microsoft
  • GoDaddy
  • DELL
  • Visual Studio
  • WildTangent
  • Diply.com
  • TacoBell.com
  • Ancestry.com
  • Marketwatch.com
  • Facebook
  • Wikipedia
  • WordPress.com
  • Flickr
  • Yahoo!
  • iStockPhoto
  • Tumblr
  • Mailchimp
  • Baidu
  • Flipkart

6. PHP Development: Advantages and Disadvantages

Throughout this article, we have discussed the same —benefits, pros, or cons of the two popular programming languages.

Advantages:

  • It’s free to use
  • PHP is both a programing language and a framework
  • Easy learning curve
  • Easy to find dedicated and skilled developers
  • PHP web development is cost-effective
  • It comes with a library of functions, reducing work.
  • Excellent performance

Disadvantages:

  • Scripted which increases the chances of a security breach
  • PHP applications run slower as compared to applications of .NET
  • If you’re looking for PHP for making desktop applications, then it’s not suitable

7. ASP.NET Web Development: Advantages and Disadvantages

Like PHP, ASP.NET also has some pros and cons, though whether to use it or not will depend on the project, again, yeah. Here’re some of the top comparisons. Let’s explore;

Advantages:

  • Highly scalable, even better than PHP
  • Easy customization, add/remove features when needed
  • Open source cross platform and easily compatible with other .NET frameworks
  • Loaded with plenty of useful tools and features
  • Fast development/Excellent set IDEs, Text editors

Disadvantages:

  • Difficult to learn, need to hire skilled developers
  • Dedicated developers, inadequate community support
  • It runs across Microsoft server
  • Expensive as compared to PHP

8. PHP Vs. ASP.NET: Final Take

Let us repeat what our CTO said earlier —both technologies are the best and come with different benefits. So, the thing you need to keep in mind is to analyze your project, go through comparison, and then select the technology, whether PHP or ASP.NET suits the environment.

Why Use PHP for Web Development

If you are a start-up and looking to build a small business website, then PHP web development is the right choice for you. At the same time, it’s free and has been around the tech arena for more than 5 years.

Why Use ASP.NET for Web App Development

If you plan to build highly secure websites or enterprise-level websites, then ASP.NET is a good option. It comes with a comprehensive software development environment and is loaded with a range of features that can help you build a robust web application.

However, PHP can also be suitable, provided that you give more priority to hiring skilled talent.

Conclusion

We have included everything which should have been compared with. Explore them and make a decision wisely. If you are still stuck in between these two technologies and looking for precise solutions, then connect with our expert who will help you sort everything from selecting technology to developing a robust and scalable web application.