As a web developer, I have used both PHP and ASP.NET programming languages over the years. Neither language is particularly superior over the other, as each has strengths the other lacks. Many programmers simply have a preference, but others are firmly in support of one or the other. In this article, we will compare the languages and identify some of the best and worst features of each. Depending on your programming background and web development needs, you may find one language stands out above the rest for your current project. In this article we’ll assume you know what ASP.NET and PHP are and have a basic understanding of what they can do. The first language we will look at is Microsoft’s renowned ASP.NET. The code used for the entire site is rather bulky in my opinion and in many cases causes the site to load slightly slower than one written in PHP; however, it does have it’s benefits. For starters the drag-and-drop feature; Microsoft is known for its easy to use software, and ASP.NET is no exception. Using a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) type editor, you can easily drag web components from the handy tool bars onto a page, create a master page to use throughout the website, add a login and forgot password feature, and many other things without typing a single line of code! Their software is designed to help you create basic websites quickly and with little programming knowledge, as well as advanced websites with loads of interactive features. ASP.NET is the perfect solution for those who do not want to take the time to program everything from scratch and don’t mind a lot of unnecessary code bloating their webpages. Note: To get the most out of ASP.NET you must use their development software which can be downloaded for free from here: Now I’d like to discuss my personal favorite, PHP. PHP is a fast, easy to learn language that can accomplish much of what ASP.NET can and more. Whether you type it in a simple text editor like Notepad or a high-end program like Dreamweaver, you’ll be able to develop a website that is comparable to that of one made in ASP.NET. When it comes to adding features like a login, shopping cart, etc. you can either program it yourself or you download pre-written code and install it on your website. Both languages allow you to incorporate pre-made features such as a shopping cart, calendar, survey system, and membership systems. They are both written in conjunction with HTML and CSS, and can be used with client scripting languages such as JavaScript and AJAX. There are some notable differences however; one of those being their database support. MySQL, an open source and affordable database solution, is widely available and supported by most hosting providers for a nominal fee. MSSQL is a bloated database system designed by Microsoft. While it is supported by many hosting providers, you will find providers will charge more money or lower limit to the number of databases allowed compared to MySQL. ASP.NET was designed to work with a MSSQL database and you may find it difficult to work with MySQL or other database types. PHP and MySQL are the most popular duo as they work perfectly together. Mismatching either of the programming languages with alternate databases can lead to problems, particularly when using ASP.NET; nevertheless it is possible with patience, research, and testing. Another notable difference is the syntax used to program interactive features such as the actions after a button is clicked or validating a form submitted to the server. ASP.NET gives you the option to program such things in C# or VB, while PHP merely uses a Perl or C++ like syntax. In fact, that is one of the best features that makes PHP so great. Anyone with a background in C, C++, Perl, Java or JavaScript will find PHP is incredibly easy to learn. Each language has a lot to offer, so I encourage you to spend time with both. For more information about PHP, please visit For more information about ASP.NET, please visit

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