ASP.NET vs PHP (Take your pick)

After just one month in the second semester of the Web Development program, I can already feel that I am being invaded by two language giants, namely ASP.NET MVC with C# and PHP. The question arising in my mind is how to choose between them. Plus, we have been hinted from our Career Connection class that we will definitely face the dilemma when employers will ask us for our preference during interviews.

Either of them can be used to tackle any project at hand, but obviously, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s now dissect the advantages and disadvantages of each one of them.

Picture showing an analogy of PHP fighting against ASP.NET


  • Net’s main advantages are its flexibility and object-oriented features. Both C# and Visual Basic.NET (VB.NET) can be used as programming languages, thereby allowing multiple developers to work on the same project since we still have the .NET framework and its CLR.
  • Another advantage is the huge library that comes with the Microsoft .NET framework. The library is organised into inheritable classes according to specific tasks, which saves developers precious time on many common tasks. Also, Visual Studio, being an awesome IDE is equipped with debugging functions, and is incorporated with the IntelliSense feature that eliminates the need for developers to memorise methods and variables.
  • PHP, on the other side, is considered to be relatively inexpensive and secure. The most notable thing about PHP is that it forms part of a software bundle (LAMP) that includes Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. They are all considered to be cheap, scalable and secure web applications.
  • Another advantage of PHP is that it is cross-platform. It is available for many operating systems compared to ASP.NET and it also runs on many popular web servers and is compatible with many relational database management systems. However, we must take note that ASP.NET is catching up in terms of expense as they lean towards being open-source.


  • The main disadvantage of ASP.NET is that it can be more expensive than PHP since the applications run on IIS. Furthermore, it needs more web server resources than PHP, hence it requires either better servers or a greater number of them.
  • PHP can tend not to be suitable when it comes to large applications. Also, being weakly typed, implicit conversion may easily lead to unexpected bugs. And lastly, unit testing is easier in ASP.NET rather than in PHP, which can take more time in performing unit testing.


What’s my move?

Photo of white knight chess on chessboard for gameCurrently working with both PHP and ASP.NET, I can say that both languages have their strengths and weaknesses. PHP is inexpensive, secure, fast and reliable. ASP.NET MVC is easier to use and maintain because of its class libraries and it can be more structured with rapid development time.

Finally, since the same can be accomplished by either ASP.NET or PHP, I believe the choice really comes down to what a client is looking for in terms of price, speed, security and reliability. Hence, this decision should be made on a project by project basis and eventually it’s great to have both languages under the belt as a Web Developer.