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PHP vs ASP and Others

PHP vs ASP – Which one should your developer opt for?

Almost all our day-to-day activities depend on web technologies. Some of these technologies are crucial, like server-side scripting—for example, PHP, Ruby on Rails, and ASP stack virtually as the leaders. When looking at PHP versus ASP, we compare two of the most popular programming languages for Dynamic Websites. Both can interact with the databases and help with the exchange of information. The platform dependency, compatibility, database access, easily understandable programming language for the users, cost, speed, and efficiency when running on the server side make them choose which programming language is better for their project.

What is PHP?

PHP is a programming language that stands for Hypertext Processor. It started as just a parsing language created by Lerdorf but later was modified by a few different people. This programming language works on Linux and UNIX servers. A scripting language is a set of instructions either to the web browser or the server. Server-side scripting will generally use server resources instead of a user’s computer. It completes all processes on a server and sends the plain page to the client, reducing the client-side computation overhead. In other words, the PHP code is executed on the web server before the data is passed to the users’ browsers. It supports many databases like MySQL, Informix, Oracle, Sybase, Solid, PostgreSQL, and Generic ODBC. PHP vs ASP

PHP is one of the most known general-purpose programming languages. It was designed for web development but has morphed into writing software for various applications. The PHP script is embedded within a web page along with  HTML. PHP is open-source code and accessible. Open source code means the program’s source code is available for anyone (users or developers). If the distribution meets OSI’s condition, it allows modification, improvement, and redistribution using the open-source trademark.


What do PHP Files do?

PHP files can contain text, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The code is executed on the server, and the result is returned to the browser as plain HTML.

Function of PHP

Knowing two or more programming languages helps the developers see how powerful PHP is as a programming language. PHP adds additional functionality to the website that HTML cannot achieve by itself. For example, as being able to generate dynamic web page content; create, open, read, write, delete, and close files on the server; collect form data; send and receive cookies; add, delete, and modify data in a database; restrict users to access some pages on the users’ website, and encrypt data.

Performs Calculations

All kinds of mathematical calculations can be performed using PHP, from basic math such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to complex algorithms.

PHP Collects User’s Information

It allows users to input required information directly for the web page, which means end-users directly interact with the script, resulting in dynamic websites and web pages. For instance, collecting the weight of something from the users that they want to convert from pounds to kilograms can be more extensive information, like adding their data to an address book, posting on a forum, or participating in a survey.

PHP Interacts with MySQL Databases

The Hypertext Processor mainly collaborates with MySQL databases. Their compatibility opens endless possibilities for the users. For example, users can write and submit information to a database and retrieve information from the database. This allows the user to create pages on the fly using the contents of the database. Also, it lets the users perform complex tasks like setting up a login system, creating a website search feature, keeping the user’s store’s product catalog and inventory online, or setting up an automated picture gallery to highlight products.

PHP and GD Library Create Graphics

In joint with GD Library (graphical software for dynamically manipulating images), PHP helps create simple graphics on the fly or edit existing graphics like resizing or rotating images, changing their grayscale, or making thumbnails for them. Additionally, it allows users to edit figures representing a particular person in a computer game and create dynamically changing graphics, such as dynamic Twitter signatures.

PHP Works with Cookies

The cookie is a small file embedded in the user’s computer. Cookies are used to identify a user and store the user’s preferences as given on the site, so the information doesn’t have to be re-entered each time the user visits the site. You can create, modify, and delete cookies and retrieve cookie values using PHP.

Why PHP?

  • Runs on various platforms (Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X)
  • Compatible with almost all servers used today (Apache, IIS)
  • Supports a wide range of databases
  • Is free. Download it from the official PHP resource:
  • PHP is easy to learn and runs efficiently on the server side.

What is ASP?

ASP stands for Active Server Pages. It is a server-side scripting language that allows users to create dynamic websites with the help of server-side scripts, such as VBScript and Jscript. Active Server pages permit server-side scripting for Internet Information Services (IIS) with native VBScript and Jscript. It is an open, compile-free application environment where you can combine HTML, scripts, and reusable ActiveX server components to create dynamic and powerful Web-based solutions.

What is an ASP file?

An ASP file is quite like an HTML file. It contains text, HTML tags, and scripts executed on the server. Jscript and VBScript are the two widely used scripting languages for an ASP. VBScript is pretty much like Visual Basic, whereas Jscript is Microsoft’s version of JavaScript. However, VBScript is the default scripting language for ASP.

ASP script can be written with any HTML editor, such as Notepad. However, other professional editing software like Microsoft Visual InterDev can make life easy for any website developer.


Advantages of ASP


Dynamic web page

ASP supports scripting languages, which run on the web server. A user’s web page can be dynamically created. For example, users can create their web page to greet each user when they log into their page and change the language based on preferences and country.


Database Access

ASP enables users to quickly build a rich database functionality into their website, such as form processing.

Free availability

It is free so users can download the webserver from Microsoft’s website. In addition to that, it does not require having any unique tool to write an ASP code. A user can use any text editor like Notepad.



Microsoft created ASP, which no doubt performs better on the Microsoft operating system than Linux. PHP works on most web servers, including IIS. It serves all major operating systems such as Linux, Microsoft Windows, Open BSD, and Mac. PHP has a lot of tools and upgrades and is not difficult to install. ASP is based on COM or Component Object Model, the overhead for the server. Other comparisons between PHP and ASP are:

  • PHP source code makes it a faster script engine. Code optimizers can be used to improve the performance of the compiled code.
  • Microsoft’s patented ASP, whereas PHP is a free and open-source product.
  • The complexity of the code is higher in ASP compared to PHP. Microsoft visual studio provides a rich and powerful IDE for ASP website development, while other parties develop IDEs for PHP.
  • Hosting cost is lesser in PHP than in ASP.

One of the main differences between PHP and ASP is platform compatibility.

ASP is platform-dependent, and PHP is platform independent.PHP works on many different platforms, including Linux, UNIX, Solaris, and Windows, while ASP works mainly on Windows platforms. The user can use ASP on Linux if ASP-Apache is installed on the user’s server.


IIS is required to run ASP, and IIS isn’t free. However, PHP runs on Linux, which is free, so there’s no cost associated with it. Even connecting the database with ASP can be expensive because it uses MS SQL. PHP uses MySQL, for the most part, which is an open-source choice and free to use.

Base Languages

The Base Language is another difference between ASP and PHP. PHP uses C++ as the base language, while ASP uses a Visual Basic syntax used by most Microsoft products. PHP’s base language is very similar to C/C++, considered the best programming language by many programmers.


Looking at the speed will show another difference. ASP and PHP don’t run at the same rate. PHP is known to be a little faster because it runs on its own memory space. On the other hand, ASP is built on COM-based architecture, which is a bit slower.

PHP provides many of the necessary tools free of charge, while ASP offers many tools, but they come with an additional cost. PHP has many in-built features, such as an email from a web page, FTP, and encryption mechanisms. On the other hand, ASP does not have many built-in features, and additional components may be required at an additional cost.

Which is Better – PHP or ASP

Both programming languages have their advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes, it comes down to the programmer’s preference, but it is about what type of hosting the users prefer. Users who plan to use Linux or UNIX servers will most likely want to use PHP. This is because most hosting companies support Linux and UNIX servers.

Anytime the users choose a programming language, content management system, database, or any other tool necessary for their project, they need to figure out which will benefit them the most. Most discussion boards use PHP because it is the preferred choice for such projects, while many large custom applications may lean towards ASP. This does not mean that ASP cannot provide a good choice for a discussion board and PHP cannot offer a good e-commerce solution. These are just the preferences of programmers working on these types of projects.

Final Take on PHP vs. ASP

The selection between ASP, PHP, and other programming languages may vary due to the scale of the website, development and hosting cost, support and deployment time, platform dependency, compatibility, base language, database support, and availability. After all, they are both server-side scripting languages and are used to develop dynamic web pages. Other programming languages (PHP and ASP) have merits and drawbacks. Sometimes, it comes down to the preference of the programmers and users. Some developers prefer other technologies like Ruby on Rails to these two leading server-side scripting languages.

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