PHP or ASP.NET for killer web applications

When considering the development of a web application, PHP and ASP.NET provide similar results. Finding an experienced, talented and dedicated development team is usually more important than the technology to be used. Great PHP and ASP.NET developers cost the same. And it is a lot. Likewise, successful developments and a high level of support usually cost the same. Again, a lot.

Below, you might think this guy is hard core geek. But he’s just a monkey-geek-whore.




I am often asked which is better, PHP or ASP.NET? A few days ago, I was approached again with the same question.

PHP is a general-purpose scripting language. ASP.NET is more like a scripting framework within the .NET framework; it allows use of several languages. Both are suited equally well for web development. Generally speaking, PHP and ASP.NET can accomplish the same objectives.

When it comes to great developers in either camp, both will cost the same. In other words, a lot. Project failure, going over budget and missed deadlines can happen when using either PHP or ASP.NET; these concerns are better correlated to the capabilities (or lac thereof) of project managers, architects, development team leaders and development team members.

If you have a PHP or ASP.NET team, stick with what you got. Obviously. Stay calm. Unless they all have level 60 characters in WOW, Everquest or they play Travian. In other words, they don’t work and you are paying them. In that case, clean house and start all over again.

If we are talking about a new web application, and you are either outsourcing or recruiting a development team, the answer (PHP or ASP.NET) will be determined by the scope of your vision or project AND your access to cash, financing, etc.


If we are talking about pie in the sky, shoe-string start ups, and you have no clear path to venture capital, Google-type buy out or Wall Street, go with PHP. You will be in good company. Better yet, you’ll find a lot of script kiddies out there that can help you for cheap. And if you can get them to believe…

PHP has many evangelists and a rapidly growing fan club. IMHO, would be programmers prefer PHP because it allows them to avoid thinking through design and solving problems while encouraging them to believe that they are programmers.

What the size of the PHP fan club means to you as an entrepreneur or technology integrator is that there are hundreds or thousands out there that needed the same kinds of things you want in your application and maybe they have done a little work that you can use. Sometimes. In the biz, this is called cost savings.

Aside, the hardcore enthusiasm for PHP and open source annoys me. Perhaps, it is because I have some good friends in that camp; I tire of their cavalier chants and cliches. Obvious to me, this enthusiasm is driven by a humanistic zeitgeist that is “all too human” and I mean this expressly as Nietzsche meant when he used the same phrase.

As for PHP, it’s getting there and fast closing any of the gap left between itself and ASP.NET.


I recommend ASP.NET for web applications, assuming again that you are outsourcing or about to recruit a new team AND if we are talking about…

  1. good “bank” or serious financial backing
  2. a highly available, scalable and extensible enterprise-class web application
  3. serious intellectual capital to be developed and secured
  4. customers who may be represented by hard core attorneys

There are challenges when developing with Microsoft technologies: ramp up and support costs are higher, good programmers are very hard to find and getting new programmers up to speed is not easy. Although the open source community would like to think that there is no such thing as a .NET community; it is there- but .NET communities do not suffer script kiddies and fools.

Development tool licenses, server licenses, and qualification seem pricey at the launch. And since the PHP camp recruits more programmers than the .NET camp, recruiting good programmers for a new team can take time. Finally, most programmers fresh off of campus do not come with independent thinking and problem-solving skills that are needed to get up to speed. Again, this takes time. If you can get them through boot camp in three months, you can do miracles.

Regardless of these challenges, I believe .NET development happens faster and provides for greater value for a worthwhile project. I like the development and debugging tools and I believe them to be superior at this moment to PHP tools. But this is not all it takes to be successful.

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Stan Faryna
July 27, 2007
Washington, D.C.

About Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna is a member of the IAB European Leadership Council and National Director of the Interactive Advertising Bureau Romania. He is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.

Mr. Faryna is editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.


Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

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One Response to PHP or ASP.NET for killer web applications

  1. […] life, love, blogging, friendship, money, corruption, a broken marriage, a hero, Darth AOL, PHP, online strategy, or whatever. […]

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