Bookmark and Share


Here at we teach two ways to program dynamic web pages: ASP and PHP. Which one is right for you? Which one should you spend your precious time and resources learning? This lesson will talk about the benefits and drawbacks of both of these technologies and try to give you the direction you need for choosing one technology over the other.

Advertise on

PHP: PHP Hypertext Protocol

PHP has become a somewhat mature dynamic server side programming language over the past few years. As of writing this article PHP 5.x is the current release and millions of web pages are using PHP (we are at Tizag). PHP is a free technology you can download for many different Operating Systems (see our PHP Install Lesson for information on how to install PHP).

Compared to ASP, PHP is very easy to pick up and learn a little at a time. PHP is an ideal language for the weekend or hobbyist programmer. Seems like all green pastures in the land of PHP.

However, businesses do not readily embrace PHP for many reasons. A great deal of companies are running operating systems such as Windows Server 2003 or one of the Window NTs, which have been optimized to run Microsoft's proprietary language ASP.

Companies usually are reluctant to switch technologies when they already have a history with one type of technology. Such a transition requires retraining or even retraining much of their staff.

ASP: Active Server Pages

ASP is a technology that is included with Internet Information Services (IIS) which is included in Windows 2003, NTs and XP Professional. If you own XP Home Edition then you will need to pay a couple hundred dollars to upgrade to XP Professional before you can begin your ASP programming career.

As far as programming languages go, ASP is definitely not as straightforward as PHP. The language has a plethora of confusing programming patterns that will take a while to learn. Besides that difficulty, there is also much less free information on the internet, preventing you weekend programmers from getting a quality education for no money down.

On the other hand, ASP and ASP.NET are widely used in the business world. If you are looking to get a high paying job, ASP or ASP.NET would be a darn good start to improving your desirability to employers.

This isn't to say that you couldn't get a job with PHP, because you can, but rather you would just have an easier time if you took the ASP path. A search on of ASP vs PHP near a major city resulted with 47 jobs for PHP and 321 jobs for ASP.

ASP vs PHP: Conclusion

Are you looking for a job and have time and resources to learn a rather difficult technology? Learn ASP. Want to program in your spare time, as more of a hobby than a career? PHP will treat you just fine. There are plenty of exceptions to these conclusions, as they are more a suggestion then anything else. Hopefully, this will make your decision a little easier.

Bookmark and Share

Found Something Wrong in this Lesson?

Report a Bug or Comment on This Lesson - Your input is what keeps Tizag improving with time!

Advertise Here

More Tutorials!
Microsoft Office Tutorials Artist Tutorials