Pros & Cons of PHP & .Net for e-learning application development

I have to develop an e-learning application. For which I wanted to know which platform is best. PHP or .Net. I would be integrating third party applications in my project.

Someone please guide me in right direction.


There is nothing one of these can do that other cannot do. So go with the one you know.

Uh-oh. ;) It's getting hot in here already...

In terms of language abilities, it doesn't matter which one you choose. Both these languages can do what the other can do, and in fact, it's typically not a concern what you can do in programming languages... they can all pretty much do the same things, and certainly when it comes to the web.

There are potential concerns though.

ASP.NET runs only on Microsoft Windows servers or open-source third-party extensions which may not be as mature as the official one from Microsoft. So if you're going for multi-platform support (which I personally consider to be a bare requirement for any website), you should pick PHP, since the official PHP release runs on just about any platform. Mac, Windows, Linux, HP-UX, FreeBSD and more operating systems than most people have heard of.

The second concern is hosting. All the required software for PHP is free and open-source, including the operating systems that it runs on, so getting cheap PHP hosting is easier than finding cheap ASP.NET hosting. In the industry, this is usually dealt with by having the attitude that licensing/hosting fees don't matter, and typically that's true because hosting cost is negligible in comparison with the salary of an average programmer. But if you're doing this on your own and/or on an extremely low budget, hosting cost may matter to you, whether you host the website yourself or with someone else.

Third and lastly, you may have a preference for certain development environments. While there are highly sophisticated development environments available for PHP (namely Eclipse), it cannot be escaped that for a newbie in programming, Microsoft Visual Studio is probably easier. As far as I know, Visual Studio cannot be used with PHP, but it's the native development environment for ASP.NET, and although I personally consider Microsoft to be one of the worst things that has ever happened to the computing industry, I must admit that Microsoft Visual Studio is a top notch product. You can download a free version called Visual Studio Web Express, from Eclipse you can find at

In the end of the day it all boils down to taste aside from the platform compatibility issue, so if that's not a concern to you, it doesn't matter which one you pick.

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