PHP, the most popular scripting language on the internet with millions of dedicated developers and an even larger legion of fans. In the other hand, we have a ASP.net, a platform backed by Microsoft itself that can use any .NET supported language.
PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. PHP originated as a scripting tool that has quickly taken over the internet thanks to its easy learning curve and large developer community. According to one estimate, PHP is installed on over 244 million websites with server support from virtually all major hosts. PHP is also free and boasts a number of frameworks to simplify web development. Some of the major websites written in PHP include WordPress and Facebook.
ASP.NET was developed by Microsoft to provide developers with an easy scripting tool for building web pages and web applications. It is a successor to ASP (Active Server Pages), another platform pioneered by Microsoft in the mid-90s. You can code ASP.NET using any .NET supported language, which made it especially popular among .NET developers. Microsoft’s early domination of the web browser market with IE was also responsible for increasing the popularity of ASP.NET.
Some of the major websites that use ASP.NET are PlentyOfFish.com and MySpace.
Costs: PHP is Better
PHP is completely free, while ASP.NET is a Microsoft product. This means there are certain costs associated with ASP.NET development, namely:
• Buying Windows, since ASP.NET development is possible only on a Windows machine.
• ASP.NET requires Windows hosting.
PHP, on the other hand, is entirely free, runs on Linux web hosting, can be used on Windows, Mac or Linux, and is supported by a number of free and paid IDEs.
Scalability: Both Good
Both ASP.NET and PHP are highly scalable. Consider that Facebook, the second most heavily trafficked website in the world, was originally built in PHP, while MySpace, the website Facebook dethroned as the world’s favorite social network, was built in ASP.NET.
Performance: PHP is Better
Performance for most web applications is a function of the interaction between the script, the database and the server. Most web applications written in PHP follow the LAMP stack – Linux (OS), Apache (server), MySQL (database) and PHP (scripting language). The LAMP stack is extremely popular for web development, and thus, has been optimized extensively for improved performance.
The database used most often with ASP.NET is MSSQL (Microsoft SQL Server), although you can also use MySQL with it. The performance different between a ASP.NET+MSSQL stack and a PHP+MySQL stack are very small with PHP+MySQL edging out ASP.NET.
Another factor that affects performance is the OS and file system used on the server. Most tests indicate that Linux and ext4 file system have better I/O performance than Windows and the NTFS file system. Thus, there’s a good chance a PHP application running on a Linux web host will slightly outperform a similar ASP.NET application running on a Windows host.
Support: PHP is Better
PHP is free and among the most popular scripting languages online. There’s a huge open source developer community that regularly contributes to PHP development. The open-source community also tends to be very helpful, which is a big bonus for beginners.
ASP.NET, on the other hand, is a Microsoft property. While you’ll find plenty of developer boards run by ASP.NET enthusiasts, the scene is nowhere near as vibrant as PHP’s.
Language Popularity: PHP is Better
According to the TIOBE Language Index, PHP ranks as the 6th most popular language online. ASP.NET, on the other hand, doesn’t even show-up in the top 20.
Conclusion: PHP is Better
Unless you are already familiar with the .NET framework or want to stick to Microsoft technologies, there is no discernible need to use ASP.NET over PHP. PHP can do everything that ASP.NET can, and it can do it for free.