Linux PHP vs. Windows ASP for Web hosting

There are three major Web development platforms, all of which have advantages and disadvantages which can impact which platform is best suited for the user's application.

There are three major Web development platforms, all of which have advantages and disadvantages which can impact which platform is best suited for the user's application: Microsoft's ASP.NET/IIS/Windows Server; Linux (or other UNIX clone)/Apache/MySQL/PHP -- most often called LAMP; and Sun Java J2EE.x. When the term ASP is used in this particular context, it is referring to ASP.NET and not ASP, which is a similar but entirely different product.

J2EE generally requires high-power -- read expensive -- servers and it is not routinely implemented in most shared or dedicated hosting environments. It is, however, a viable alternative to either ASP.NET or LAMP implementations.

ANALYSIS: Former MySQL boss: Code 'in better shape than ever' under Oracle

ASP and LAMP have a long shared history of competition as the foremost of the Web development suites, dating back to the early 2000s. Their fans are legion and frequently at odds with each other. Any gathering of programmers and coders is reminiscent of the old Miller Lite TV commercials, where one side shouts "Tastes great!" and the other responds with "Less filling!" Just as in the commercials, one side is not really superior to the other, although even that statement is likely to spark a heated debate amongst the "true believers."

ASP.NET and LAMP comparisons

As a general rule, ASP.NET is the choice for any Windows or Microsoft-savvy coder. The development tools are similar to every other MS application and the learning curve is relatively short. Drag and drop WYSIWYG and a plethora of computer languages make it the obvious choice, especially if money is not an option.

Where LAMP is open source and there are no licensing fees, the Microsoft Web development tools do have licensing fees, although the IIS and .NET technologies are routinely bundled with Microsoft Server and Windows Professional operating systems.

Installation of either ASP.NET or LAMP is fairly routine, with some expectation of the usual tweaks to enable the development tools to operate at optimal efficiency. Microsoft uses standard wizards, where LAMP uses a series of dialogs for installation at both the server and client sides, assuming the client is a coder or programmer.

There is little or no client-side software that is not routinely in place for standard users as the major browsers are capable of interpreting and displaying the Web content.

Advantages of either LAMP or ASP.NET

One significant advantage that Apache/MySQL/PHP (AMP) has is that it can be implemented on virtually any host, regardless of hardware or operating system. PHP hosting can run under Windows (WAMP), Linux/Unix (LAMP), Apple Mac (MAMP), Sun/Solaris (SAMP) and others. ASP.NET is run under Windows, or in some cases, can run under a virtual machine or framework in some other operating systems.

The obvious advantage of ASP hosting is language flexibility, error handling, and code-behind structures that allow for the coder to work on a processing module without necessarily impacting the user's display or content. ASP enforces a more structured coding environment than LAMP, although the coder/programmer is ultimately responsible for any web development design, regardless of the tools used to build the site.

The bottom line is there is no supremely superior Web development environment. All three platforms have great features and are less work than a complete build of a Web presence without a development suite. All are superior e-commerce platforms, with large and dedicated user groups for support.

Deciding which one is the best choice for any specific application is entirely dependent on budget, programmer resources, and the Web hosting options available. Generally, if the server is Windows/IIS-based, the only choice is ASP.NET, unless a WAMP installation is a possibility. Conversely, If the server is mot Windows-based, then AMP is the only practical choice.

WebHostingSearch.com is a well-respected online guide for Web hosting companies which offers comprehensive reviews of various hosting providers and other Web-related tutorials.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftampmysqlsoftwareOracle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?