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ASP.NET vs. PHP

ASP.NET vs. PHP

ASP.NET and PHP are two of the most popular scripting languages which are both used by web developers in order to creater dynamic websites; they can also be used in conjunction with certain database systems in order to create the desired affect. Certain web hosting providers are able to offer you as the end user a specialist web hosting service that has been specifically designed for the hosting of either ASP.NET or PHP web pages; although the hosting package that you will be provided with won’t be drastically different from any standard package, the server on which your account is being hosted will probably have been specially optimized for the hosting of dynamic websites. Some web developers are specialised in using one specific language for their work than the other, and this puts into perspective which language may be easier to learn as well as which one may be more popular with website designers and developers in general. Both ASP.NET and PHP can also be used in different hosting environments which fuels the need for more specific hosting markets, i.e. ASP.NET specifically requires the use of Windows web hosting services – specialist ASP.NET web hosting packages can also be purchased. As a web developer you may find that one language is better to use when it comes down to a specific task, and you can ensure that this language is even more suitable for the purpose by checking the other features that you will receive as part of your web hosting package.

Hosting

When it comes down to the hosting of your ASP.NET or PHP based scripts, you will find that it is much easier to find a web hosting package that will support PHP scripts and web pages than it may be to find a hosting service suitable for the hosting of ASP.NET based websites. PHP is a scripting language that is supported by both Windows and Linux web hosting servers, and many hosting providers take advantage of this by offering support for PHP scripts and web pages on both operating systems. Since ASP.NET is a Microsoft product you will find that you can only used Windows based web hosting services to host your website on. Although you may see this as a disadvantage to using ASP.NET, web hosting providers that are able to offer Windows based web hosting services generally provide feature packed web hosting package that include at least one Microsoft SQL Server database that you can use in conjunction with your website. Depending on how busy your website is, you may want to consider the following hosting options:

  • shared hosting – hosting PHP web pages and scripts on a shared hosting package is something that would cause trouble for your website and in some cases the other websites that are hosted on the same server as you, the main reason for this being that many web hosting companies use ‘mod_security‘ which can have an affect on the performance of your PHP based website – ASP.NET websites don’t have such strict rules imposed on them meaning that a standard shared hosting package should be more than sufficient for a small ASP.NET based website
  • VPS server hosting – the hosting of PHP pages on a VPS hosting server will probably benefit your website greatly since you are bound to notice an increase in performance both in terms of reliability as well as how fast the hosting server if able to process requests for your website, however it should be noted that a higher end VPS server will be required for larger websites – higher end VPS servers are also suggested if you wish to host an ASP.NET website in a Windows VPS environment, the main reason for this being that Windows as an operating system can be quite resource intensive
  • dedicated server hosting – for the busiest of PHP and ASP.NET based websites, you will probably find that a dedicated server is the only solution for you since VPS hosting servers are too low in terms of the resources that they come with and your website is too large for a shared hosting package – you will find that PHP and ASP.NET based websites become more resource intensive as they get busier, and it is because of this that you should ensure that any websites that you create using either language are as light on the server as possible.

Although the different forms of web hosting that are available to you as a consumer will differ greatly in price, if you know what your requirements are and know what your expectations are of any web hosting service then you should be able to work out the web hosting service that is right for you and can then move on to selecting the appropriate package from thereon.

As a beginner you will probably find shared hosting to be the most beneficial to you since it is the cheapest form available and the management of the hosting server is taken care of by your web hosting provider. More experienced users can consider VPS servers for their ASP.NET or PHP hosting needs, but you require a respectable amount of knowledge in order to be able to manage any server correctly. Dedicated servers are designed for busy and resource intensive ASP.NET and PHP websites, and although they bare a similarity to VPS servers you will require a higher level of knowledge if you want to be able to manage a dedicated server correctly.

Helpful Resources

In order to learn any scripting language, we all need to start from somewhere and nowadays we can make use of multiple resources that will teach us the basics of any particular programming language. This statement is no different for ASP.NET or PHP, although the number and kinds of helpful resources available for either scripting language may be affected by their overall status; for example ASP.NET is classed as a commercial Microsoft product, whereas PHP is an open source scripting language which makes it free to use on any web hosting platform. Although you may already class yourself as either a professional ASP.NET or PHP developer there will always be certain snippets of code that you will never be able to remember off the top of your head, and it is for this reason that you may find external resources helpful to the development of certain websites and projects that you may be working on. Since both scripting languages are incredibly popular, there are many websites which are dedicated solely to either ASP.NET or PHP – although these may be classed as helpful resources, they can also be a good source of news on a specific language. The main kinds of helpful resources that you may come across could include:

  • forums – many web developers have setup specialist forums in which they discuss the ins and outs of a specific programming language such as ASP.NET for PHP, and in some cases will also discuss the latest updates that are available – such forums are a great place to start with since there are normally large amounts of tutorials that are designed for beginners, but if you stumble into any problems with anything that is PHP or ASP.NET related then the forum members are normally more than willing to help you solve your scripting problem
  • official documentation – both PHP and ASP.NET have official documentation which you can refer to in order to find out the specific ins and outs of the scripting languages since the official documentation normally disucsses all the different built in functions that the scripting language concerned has as well as how you can go around using them in your scripts – the good thing with official documentation for any scripting language is that it is normally written by the indivdual or group that developed the language originally which ensures its accuracy and authenticity
  • tutorial websites – there are many websites around that are dedicated to giving you tutorials on specific scripting languages including both ASP.NET and PHP, such websites normally provide you step-to-step guides on how to carry out a specific task and normally provide you with code snippets as well as hints that will allow you to ensure that you get the tutorial to work for you – however, it should be noted that some tutorial websites may not be using the most up-to-date code meaning that their tutorials may be incompatible with the most recent versions of specific programming languages.

If you are looking into learning ASP.NET or PHP then you will probably find the above resources the most helpful to you. Although you can purchase books on many different scripting languages in any good book store, they generally tend to cost a lot of money and the code contained in them isn’t guaranteed to work perfectly, so it is up to you to do your own research into the language that you are looking to learn.

However, the amount of resources available does link back to the question on which is easier to learn: ASP.NET or PHP. As Microsoft has developed the ASP.NET scripting language you will find that the official documentation available to you is guaranteed to be more reliable and easier to go through than maybe that of PHP. Microsoft has also opened a dedicated website to ASP.NET which contains many video tutorials and a forum in which you will be able to ask for help on any ASP.NET problem that you may be having. Although PHP is an open source scripting language, that doesn’t automatically mean that any resources available to you will be ‘rubbish’. Although the official documentation may not be as clear as you wish it to be, it is certainly as popular or may be even more popular than ASP.NET meaning that there are many online forums available in which you can request – this also means that there are many more tutorial websites available to you as a user.

The cost of ASP.NET hosting services is certainly a disadvantage for the language, but the detailed official documentation that is provided by Microsoft is certainly one thing that is going to bring many developers around to learning it. Since many web developers build websites and applications for different clients, it is becoming increasingly important for them to be able to use different languages and technologies as per the client’s needs. Some may see PHP as a more popular language than ASP.NET, and although this may give the language an advantage, the official documentation certainly brings it down although the dedicated from PHP forum communities and blogs is something that can bring many around to learning and even using the language.

In conclusion you will find that both PHP and ASP.NET are very reliable scripting languages and that either can be used to build a highly reliable website which is incredibly scalbale when it comes down to the number of users that it can handle. Specialist web hosting services are available for the largest of ASP.NET or PHP based websites and are normally in the form of VPS hosting servers or dedicated servers so that your website isn’t able to affect the performance of other websites that your web hosting provider is hosting, and vice versa. As a web developer you may find that you will have to learn both ASP.NET and PHP in order to meet your customer’s demands when it comes to how they want their websites built and developed; although it may sound unusual, some people do have a scripting language preference, mainly because of the hosting service they are using.

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