In terms of php versus asp I don't think there'd be much of a difference. They both should handle anything you want them to do. Depends on what you're comfortable with for programming purposes. As far as linux or windows, I like the open-source aspect of linux, and in shared hosting environments the cost of having a site on a linux box tends to be a little cheaper than on windows.
welcome to WebmasterWorld, jayro!
i also prefer the flexibility of open source solutions.
Depends. Which platforms are your developers more comfortable in? Is there a learning curve, if so, in which is it steeper. As a Software Engineer, I know that it is possible to develop good applications in both Php and Asp.net. The opposite is also true.
Now, this is also a business decision. You have to take into account the costs of development, delivering and maintaining the application on your chosen platform.
Finally, what is the nature of your web application/site. Does your site have any special requirements? Unique business logic that can optimally be achieved on one platform and not the other?
I think there is never a definitive answer. It is all relative to the situation you are in
I would also look at any applications you may use. If there is a php store program you want to use, that points in that direction.
Personally, I started with ZERO knowledge, and went the FreeBSD/Perl/php route as the initial costs are much lower. Support is a bit more spotty, but Google has helped me figure out every problem I have faced. YMMV
Before you develop a strategy, you need to know what you want to do. Once you know that, you need to decide how you want to do it. Research your solution. Do you have existing experience in a particular environment you can leverage? Does an existing solution fit your situation already, and what does it run on?
That said, I prefer PHP to ASP for projects I develop myself.
I am a strong advocate of PHP/MySQL. Here's why: Huge base of public domain code. Frameworks. API libraries. Examples. Full packages you can customize. PHP coders like to share. Don't underestimate the value of that. It's a lot easier to leverage somebody else's work then to redo it yourself. Even if you do not use the code--it's nice to have code to look at to get ideas.
Support network. In my opinion. PHP/MySQl people are more inclined to offer help and advice.
Lower costs. Server software is free--that's usually reflected in hosting costs
Why get in bed with Microsoft? Why lock yourself into them if you do not need to. They make bad decision after bad decision. They do not make decisions in your best interest.
If you go PHP/MySQL you will be dealing with Open Source people more often--I think that's a plus--they are generally more helpful and more uh... open to sharing.
Both technologies can probably do what you want to do. Unless you are working in a strongly MS environment and interfacing with MS backends, why choose ASP/MSSQL?
That being said--it really depends on what you are doing and if there are packages already available that do what you want in PHP or ASP. If there is something there... use it.
Without being a developer/programmer, I can still say PHP/MySQL hands down. If for no other reason, .htaccess with mod_rewrite is available on Linux/Apache, and I can't imagine a site not having that kind of functionality, especially an ecom or dynamic site.
Yes, Marcia has a good point, don't forget the webserver software.
MySQL and MSSQL are from the web development point of view nearly identical and also PHP and ASP offer roughly the same type of functionality, although with a different syntax.
The big problem lies in the webserver software IIS versus Apache where Apache is the most versatile of the two. IIS also has a design flaw where URLs are case insensitive which can potentialy give huge duplicate content problems in the search engines. I.e. a page can be indexed as /Page.Html, /page.html, /PAGE.HTML and all other variants available.
If you choose for the Apache webserver, the logical decision is to install PHP and MySQL and use the Linux platform.