24th May
Category: Programming , Industry news , Top Tips and Advice

ASP.NET web development vs PHP

A question we are asked on occasion (and have been asked recently) is; should I build my web application using ASP.NET or PHP? In this brief article we detail our thoughts on why we work with ASP.NET and how this helps underpin our overall mission in being the best technical / development specialist agency in London. 


It's an understandably difficult point for clients to get their heads around - they will meet an agency working with ASP.NET and another working with PHP and both agencies will praise the relative merits of their framework and preferred programming language (sometimes no doubt knocking down the other one) - but how do you know who to believe and which one is 'better' for the given project?

So we thought we'd write a brief response to the question, answering in a similar way to the client who recently asked the question:

Before actually answering the question, one point to make is actually ASP.NET is a framework rather than a programming language, so really the comparison here should be between ASP.NET C#, or ASP.NET Visual Basic (VB), and PHP.

Between C# and VB, C# has emerged as the winner - really there's not a great deal of difference between them these days other than syntax and of the two C# is more concise. The biggest reason though to pick C# over VB is that Microsoft and the community have chosen C# over VB and most example code and applications are now written in C# (often with no VB counterpart) - ASP.NET MVC is also almost always programmed in C# in our experience.

So, onto the comparison of ASP.NET (C#) and PHP...

1) ASP.NET has a steeper learning curve therefore many agencies will likely therefore program with PHP in-house as it can be more easily picked up and learned to a reasonable level. However writing high quality, secure, robust and scalable code is vital and there’s no better platform to enable this than ASP.NET using undeniably the best development tool on the market (Visual Studio).

2) ASP.NET is generally regarded as the better choice for larger applications – particularly using ASP.NET MVC, good coding structure is literally forced on you, and factors such as the coding language being ‘statically typed’ and compiled leads to easier error checking and improved performance respectively. 

3) More important than all of the above are security considerations. ASP.NET provides a good deal of security built-in, and the types of (often Enterprise) applications (usually) built with .NET ensure these developers are aware of security to a greater extent and can ensure this is carried through to all subsequent projects.

All that being said, whichever language is chosen the competence of the development team is more important than the coding language choice. At Webigence we now have a core development team made up of 10 developers working from our offices in Wimbledon, London. Within our team we have real variety and mix of different skills, and we are confident to say that whatever your requirements, what ever functionality you need including, whatever design you want us to work to, we can handle it. 

There are not many really advanced technical web development agencies like ourselves that just specialise in high quality ASP.NET development. So if you have a complex, challenging or bespoke requirement for your website or application, then we are confident in saying that you have come to the right place.


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Blog written by Simon Wilkinson