Monthly Archives: February 2011

What to start with, ASP.NET or PHP?


For further reading, more php and codes please go to Sanjib’s Scribble
Well, I’d like to write about this in INDIAN context. That is, I presume, you are about to start your journey as a web developer in India, and thinking about learning a web language. Now, keeping this condition in mind, what you’ll do? What will you learn first? And why this but not that?
I’ll keep writing it in several parts. Because I have not enough time and bandwidth in my data card to keep going on for a long journey, but I promise I’d keep it as short as possible.
Before starting I’d apologize for not including Python, Java or Rubi on Rails in my discussion mainly for two reasons.
1) I don’t know them.
2) For dynamic web site, the competition is fierce between these two technology and I have some live experiences about them.
If you are Indian, PHP is the best options for you to start. Not ASP.NET. Why?
Let me write down the reasons first. Next I’ll explain them in detail. I don’t claim, that this is final judgement and won’t suggest you to follow my reasons blindly. What I write, writing from a realistic point of view. You may agree or disagree. Whatever your opinion I’d like to get your comments.
Here are the reasons why PHP is better to start with.
1)Cost effective.
2)Open source.
4)You don’t have to buy any software.
5)A good demand in small or medium company.
6)Takes less time to learn and start with.
7)Compactness and simple integrity with MySql database.(If you can conceptualize array, 50% job has been done!)

Now I’d like to clarify from my experience. One by one.

1) Cost : As a web developer, you’ll find that cost will play a very important role in the future. Whenever, you’d like to contact a hosting company they will always ask more money for a windows hosting which is needed for ASP.NET. For PHP you need Linux hosting that is almost half the amount for the same space and bandwidth. In Windows, it takes more cost because you need to hire an extra SQL Server. In PHP, MySql is in-built. So you need not spend extra dime for it. Form my experience I can say, in Linux hosting there are other advantages or features like blog, wiki, E-Commerce, image gallery projects like wordpress, phpbblog etc. In windows hosting you can not take advantage of such open source frameworks. What ever you want to do in ASP.NET, you have to do single handedly.
Some will argue here, there are many starter kits and open source projects available in ASP.NET also that you can download free from official site. Then where is the difference?
The difference is in installation process. In ASP.NET you may find some open source projects like blog, wiki etc. But to install them in a separate folder is quite cumbersome. On the contrary, WordPress or PHPBB type projects(run in php and MySql) are ready to install easily and quite user friendly.
So LAMP is not cheap in that sense but cost-effective.
2) Open Source
PHP/MySql is Open Source. If you want to learn more about it, please google it or read Wikipedia. You’ll get more idea about it. Basically it means, it is free, easy to use and there are much more free support from the community in every step. You can also edit the source code that you get from elsewhere.
ASP.NET is more user friendly, no doubt. But, if you want to learn the basic, core ideas on which the passage of data depends, then PHP is the best bet. If you can conceptualize array, then 50% job has been done.
4) You don’t have to buy any software.
To learn PHP/MySql you need not buy any software. This is free and that is why it is so much popular.
5)A good demand in small or medium company.
As the job market is concerned, small or medium level companies opt for free open source softwares. So PHP developers are in demand always.
6)Takes less time to learn and start with.
If you are from a computer background learning PHP is much easier. Logic plays a vital role. If you can follow the logic, how the logic flows, how data transfered from one page to other through array(name=>value) combination, the job has been done.
7)Compactness and simple integrity with MySql database.(If you can conceptualize array, 50% job has been done!)
The best friend of PHP is MySql. They are like Marx and Engels. You may type SQL in your PHP page and get the desired effect in your web page. Also, the hosting companies come with this great combinations so you start with an advantage.