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Understanding the Difference Between PHP and ASP

PHP is a recursive acronym for 'Hypertext Preprocessor' and is one of the most commonly used web development languages on the internet. ASP is an acronym for 'Active Server Pages', a Microsoft based tool that is used to help generate dynamic and interactive content on a web sever. ASP is slightly less popular than PHP, but is still a widely used programming platform. Both of these platforms let developers incorporate a plethora of design techniques that are compatible with the end user's web browser and hardware configuration. If you're interest in learning more about the difference between PHP and ASP then you may want to consider the following information.

What is ASP?

ASP is a programming language within IIS (Internet Information Server), which is a software that is installed on Windows servers. Thus, ASP is generally not used in Linux servers or hosting plans that do not use a Microsoft based web server. ASP is most frequently used by larger corporations that also require a Windows web server to utilize other Microsoft software like Sharepoint and Microsoft Exchange Server.

ASP is compatible with all Microsoft applications, many of which are very popular in the corporate environment. Thus, many larger companies are already using Microsoft software, and so their employees do not need to be trained in the Microsoft software environment, making ASP the choice for corporations and Microsoft enthusiasts.

What is PHP?

PHP is a general-purpose programming language that is compatible with UNIX and NT web servers. The programming language is commonly combined with MySQL databases for enhanced functionality of scripts. PHP is a popular framework used for content management systems, and is more commonly used for the development of small to medium sized web sites.

PHP is perhaps the easiest programming language to learn, which is probably why it is so popular amongst novice webmasters. Linux based servers are more suitable for PHP programming, and there are many tutorials available online that provide adequate instruction and education for aspiring PHP developers. Web hosting providers also tend to offer more competent support for PHP, primarily because more hosting support staff are educated in the use of PHP. PHP is more compatible with a larger variety of web servers, whereas ASP can only be used with Microsoft servers.


PHP utilizes a native syntax that was specifically created to be user-friendly for any developer, regardless of skill level or experience. ASP on the other hand, utilizes VBS (Virtual Basic Script), which was near complete abandonment until it was revived by Microsoft. The VBS programming language is considered to be more complex than PHP.

By understanding the aforementioned differences between ASP and PHP, webmasters can make the most informed decision possible when deciding which programming they'd like to learn ad/or utilize first.

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