PHP and .NET are both versatile and popular web scripting languages, but which is the better solution for your next project? PHP is, by far, the most popular scripting language for web development, while .NET boasts the impressive Microsoft framework, technology and support. Still, there are some compelling reasons that one might consider PHP better than .NET, and the overall developer community tends to favor one over the other.
PHP: The Major Advantages
PHP has quite a few significant advantages over .NET, which has made it the most popular choice in the world of web development. In fact, the popularity itself is an advantage; there are more talented developers working in PHP than in .NET. For companies looking to procure the best talent, they will often be drawing from a pool of dedicated PHP developers. But beyond that, it’s also cheaper and faster to develop in PHP; the language is as simple as it is robust.
Fewer lines of code are required to be written in PHP to achieve the same things in .NET, which improved upon both development time and code base maintenance. PHP can be developed in any platform, unlike .NET, which must be developed on a Microsoft platform and run on a Microsoft server. And the cost of set up can be significant for those creating a Microsoft development environment for the first time.
PHP also comes out ahead as having more open source software available, for development strategies that involve integrating other technology or building upon another product. There is a significantly larger PHP community, with more support and information available than for .NET. All of this means that PHP has a significantly lower barrier to entry than .NET for new programmers.
.NET: In Defense of Microsoft
Between PHP and .NET, the answer frequently comes out as a resounding “PHP.” But there are some arguable advantages to the .NET platform, particularly for those in a Microsoft environment and those who require integration with Microsoft technologies. .NET is a robust development environment and will not hold a developer back in any significant sense; it’s simply often easier to deploy and work with PHP.
Some developers believe that .NET, when properly implemented, is faster and more scalable than PHP. This is arguable because it largely comes down to the technique and talent of the programmer, but it’s certainly true that .NET is no less inherently scalable than PHP. As developing and programming is intensely personal, there are those who may simply develop a preference for .NET or find easier to use. The tools that Microsoft provides offer a clean and standardized development environment that many find attractive. So, again, the chief advantage that .NET has is really in its Microsoft background and support.
Often, there are practical considerations. A choice between PHP or .NET will frequently come down to which your developer is well-versed in. And, of course, hosting environment will also matter. You simply require a Microsoft environment for .NET. There is nothing that can be done in PHP that cannot be done in .NET, nor is there anything that can be done in .NET that can’t be done in PHP, but PHP will usually facilitate the fastest and most cost-effective development.