Difference Between PHP and ASP.NET

PHP and ASP.NET are two heavyweight scripting languages in a battle. At one side there is PHP which has a large fan following and millions of dedicated developers. On the other side, there is ASP.NET which is introduced by Microsoft and can use any.NET supported language. The question is which one is the better choice? This article compares PHP and ASP.NET to form a verdict of the better platform.

PHP Overview

PHP is a scripting tool, which owes its popularity to its easy learning curve and a large community of developers. PHP is a free tool that is installed on over 244 million websites, according to one estimate and is supported by all major hosts virtually. PHP simplifies web development with its large number of frameworks. Facebook and WordPress are among the major websites written in PHP.

Some of the major websites written in PHP include WordPress and Facebook.

ASP.NET Overview

Microsoft developed ASP.NET as an easy scripting tool for developers to build web pages and web applications. ASP.NET is a successor to ASP (active server pages) which was another platform introduced by Microsoft in the mid 90’s. A reason for the popularity of ASP.NET was Microsoft’s domination of the web browser market with IE. MySpace and PlentyOfFish.com are among the major websites that use ASP.NET.

Some of the major websites that use ASP.NET are PlentyOfFish.com and MySpace.

Language Popularity

PHP ranks as the sixth most popular language online, according to the TIOBE Language Index while ASP.NET is not even in the top 20.

Some major websites based on PHP include:

  • Facebook
  • Yahoo
  • Wikipedia
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Apple
  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • WordPress
  • osCommerce
  • PrestaShop
  • Joomla
Ease of Coding

PHP wins ease of coding hands down. ASP.Net is difficult to earn because it is usually written in C#. Experienced programmers also find its syntax complicated and difficult to read and for new programmers, ASP.NET is a hard language to pick up.

When compared to PHP, it is very easy. You can start building creative websites right away after learning a few simple lines of code. Compared to all other programming languages, coding that uses PHP is easy.


PHP has a large community support from online developers who constantly contributes to its development. It is also one of the most popular scripting languages online that is free. The helpfulness of the open source community is a big bonus for PHP developers.

On the other hand ASP.NET is the property of Microsoft and while there are a lot of developer board run by ASP.Net’s followers, they are not as vibrant as PHP’s.


For most web applications, performance is a combination of the interaction between the database, script and the server. Most web applications that are written in PHP follow LAMP stack- Linux (OS), Apache (server), MySQL (database) and PHP (scripting language). Because LAMP stack is so popular for web development, it has been optimized over the years extensively for better performance.

ASP.NET most often uses the MSSQL. There is a small difference between PHP with MySQL and ASP.NET used with MSSQL and PHP edges out ASP.NET.
The OS and file system used on the server are another factor that affects performance. Linux has better I/O performance than Windows and the NTFS file system, according to most tests.

A PHP application running on a Linux web host will most likely work better than a ASP.NET application running on a windows host.


In terms of scalability, both scripting languages are highly scalable. Facebook, the website that stands on second in attracting the most traffic was built in PHP originally and MySpace that was dethroned by Facebook as the world’s most favorite social network was built in ASP.NET. This shows that as long as the programmer knows how to scale their application, both languages are highly scalable.


In conclusion, ASP.NET is most often the wrong technology for a project.