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PHP vs ASP: An in-depth Comparison

PHP vs ASP: An in-depth Comparison

PHP (PHP Hypertext Preprocessor) and ASP (Active Server Pages) are the two most commonly used web development tools. These tools are used to generate content on the web server, thereby giving developers and website owners the ability to incorporate a variety of design techniques that will be compatible with the end-users computer and their particular software clients.


ASP is a Microsoft based utility, used in IIS (Internet Information Server) which is a software that is used with Microsoft servers. Therefore ASP is not usually used outside of Microsoft servers. ASP is most commonly accommodates the needs of larger corporations.


PHP is a developer’s utility that is compatible with NT and UNIX servers, and is commonly used with the MySQL database. PHP is used more commonly used for smaller or medium sized development projects.

Both of these development tools have their advantages, and choosing one will require you to assess your needs and review the following information.

Reasons To Use ASP

Although ASP is not as simple to learn as PHP, it is commonly used by larger corporations for the following reasons:

  • ASP is compatible with all Microsoft applications, which are extremely popular in the online corporate world. Therefore corporations use this development tool to make business transactions smoother, as everyone tends to use Microsoft based applications.
  • Most larger corporations are already running a wide variety of Microsoft programs, so their employees are already trained in the Microsoft environment. Therefore training costs are diminished.
  • As most large corporations used Microsoft based databases, selling a corporation is easier when the business databases are already compatible with the benefactor’s. Being able to easily integrate with new systems is an important part of acquiring a new business.

Small and medium sized businesses also choose to run ASP for the above reasons. Many smaller businesses are also in the habit of using Microsoft based applications, which also makes ASP a necessity for them. Attempting to use Microsoft application data with a PHP-based web site is considered quite difficult, and is generally avoided. Therefore the main reason to choose ASP would be it’s simple compatibility with all Microsoft products.

Reasons to Use PHP

Many programmers and developers prefer PHP, as it is extremely simple to use in comparison to ASP. PHP carries more features, and lets developers create database driven sites with very little effort. Users can also create dynamic web pages, full of rich content, as PHP is open source and can be modified and expanded by any willing developer. Many developers that use Linux and MySQL also enjoy using PHP. Web developers generally prefer PHP for the following reasons.

  • PHP has a very short learning curve, and any novice can learn how to use it based on the plethora of educational information found online. Since PHP is so popular among independent developers, there’s an endless amount of instructional material to be found online, including video tutorials, manuals, and heavily-populated programmer forums.
  • Web hosts are increasingly offering support for PHP, which makes it easy to find a cost efficient and suitable web host that is compatible with PHP run websites.
  • PHP is compatible with many kinds of servers, whereas ASP is only compatible with Microsoft servers.

Other Differences

Unlike ASP, PHP uses its own unique programming syntax and language. The PHP language is extremely simple in comparison to ASP programming language. The PHP parsing engine was specifically designed to make programming easy. ASP uses a programming language called VBS (Visual Basic Script), which was on the verge of extinction before it was revived by Microsoft. The VBS programming language is considered primitive and more difficult to use than PHP.


In the end, the winner of PHP vs. ASP can only be decided by the developer. If you’re looking for a development tool that is simple to use and compatible with multiple servers, then PHP would be your choice. If you need a development tool that offers guaranteed compatibility with all Microsoft applications, then your choice should be ASP.

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24th February 2010
Posted by Web Hosting Consultant in Best Web Hosting Tips

One Response to “PHP vs ASP: An in-depth Comparison”

  1. Bob says:

    This comparison is inaccurate at best. ASP.NET (The latest version) uses Javascript, not VBScript. For code behind, any of the .NET languages will work, i.e. C#, VB, IronPython, C++…

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