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Which language is better for ECommerce sites



8:56 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hey everone. Alright I'm getting into ECommerce, and I was wondering about PHP and ASP. Like I have asked around and a lot of people say you should use MySQL and PHP, and others say ASP and Microsoft SQL. I was curious what everyones oppinion is on this matter.

Is PHP fast than ASP? Which one is easier to learn? Is MySQL better than Microsoft SQL? Which one is more secure?

I have fooled around with the ECommerce startup kit from ASP.Net, and right now I'm messing around with osCommerce. I was just curious which way I should go first, ASP or PHP.....

Thanks guys.



9:04 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hi Wes,

This all depends on what facilities are available to you; how far your business ideas are progressed; what previous development experience you have, what funding you have etc. etc.

There is no straight forward answer.

If you have been programming in Visual Basic for years and writing apps that connect to Access databases via ODBC for example; then you will be feel right at home with an ASP / MS-SQL set-up.

If, on the other hand, you are new to all of this and don't have a huge budget, go the open source option and set yourself up with a Linux box, Apache, PHP and MySQL.

Is PHP fast[er] than ASP?

Too many outside influences to call. Performance of hardware and quality of code (particularly where database development is concerned) has a bigger impact of "speed" than the language you use.

Which one is easier to learn?

Between ASP and PHP, there is no real difference. PHP will come quickly to anyone with a C background, whereas ASP will come quickly to anyone with a VB background.

Is MySQL better than Microsoft SQL?

"No" as the general answer, but this again is subjective to some extent. Microsoft SQL Server is an extremely mature and capable database server, with features, scalability, stability and raw grunt that totally eclipse MySQL in comparison - but with that of course comes expense. For hobby and small scale ecommerce sites you can go a very, very long way with MySQL; but I don't yet know of a global banking corporation that holds your account details on MySQL.

Which one is more secure?

Too many outside influences to call.

Hope that gives you something to think about!

[edited by: dmorison at 9:46 pm (utc) on Oct. 28, 2003]


9:14 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just thought I should mention that C to PHP is like VB to ASP - if you've coded one, then it's actually pretty easy to get onto the other.

If you're intending to get an "out of the box" eCommerce solution, then it'll simply (heh) be a case of maintaining and tweaking. On the other hand, if you want to code something from scratch then mess around with the basics of both first, see which you prefer.

I personally can't see anything that really puts one above the other for use, though I'll stick to PHP myself ;-)



9:20 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Way back in the late 90's I chose PHP/MySQL and never looked back. Was it the right decision? I know this: I can do just about anything with a website using this language and database combo.


9:23 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Thanks guys. I have programmed in VB and C, but not majorly. I seem to be liking MySQL over MS SQL. It is cheaper, and I'm not much of MS. PHP and ASP - I guess everyone has their oppinions, and I will just have to make mine up. I think I will be starting with PHP then going from there.

Thanks though for the info :)



9:24 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


This relies entirely on who your host is and what they support. I, personally, think that Linux is more stable and a PHP backend will be better for you. However, I am sure a million people will tell you that ASP is much more reliable.
It will come down to what you are most comfortable in, or if you are outsourcing it, what your cheapest option is...



9:34 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

My host uses Linux. Hes a buddy of mine so we are helping each other out. Currently though he doesn't have PHP or MySQL working on his servers though which really doesn't help. So I have to use IIS to learn, which was a HUGE pain to set up.


9:45 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Since something like 65% of websites are running on Linux servers, I think you are going to find far more available to you on this platform.

I having shopping carts on both platforms and I find the PHP carts to be far easier to work with, but the biggest thing for me has been the cost of developement:
1) I can often find free modules that I can use in PHP that do exactly what I need
2) I can usually get an answer on forums about modifying code
3) If the above two don't work, I can get an excellent PHP developer to do the work for far less money than I would pay an ASP developer.

I think ASP was once regarded as the premium solution for big clients, and then PHP was thought to be for the small guy. That difference is pretty much gone now.


9:48 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator jatar_k is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

also see the many threads referenced here
PHP or ASP, which is faster? [webmasterworld.com] message 3


6:13 pm on Nov 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

yahoo uses mysql.

mssql is more expensive, but with a stable abstraction layer a simple database is as good as one that supports transactions.


2:01 am on Nov 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've worked with PHP and have recently started learning ASP, having some experience with both C and Visual Basic.

If you are doing your own programming, then I'd recommend PHP for cleaner and more straightforward coding, particularly for database connection and querying.

To me, ASP seeems overly dependent on object-oriented programming, to where you might need 10-20 lines of code to set up an ADO connection.

Be careful not to underestimate the power of MySQL. There are terabyte MySQL databases out there. Some comparison tests give MySQL the edge over SQL Server for raw power.

Unless you really need triggers and stored procedures, I recommend going with the fast and powerful MySQL. The MySQL Control Center software provides database design features comparable to SQL Server Enterprise Manager.

Did I mention that PHP, MySQL, and Control Center are all FREE downloads you can run under IIS or PWS on your desktop for development?


5:45 am on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Welcome to WebmasterWorld, KevinCarlson

Great first post! I agree with you MySQL is overall very good over M$ SQL.


11:53 pm on Nov 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I vote for PHP with mySQL over Linux.


4:51 am on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I agree with you MySQL is overall very good over M$ SQL.

No way. MSSQL blows the doors of MySQL.

I use both MSSQL and MySQL and have never had a performance issue with MSSQL - that can't be said for MySQL. I have seen MySQL go down on intranets and watched it give up the ghost on a popular discussion forum. In both of those circumstances, MSSQL was brought in and saved the day.

Of course, is was not cheap!

I personally use MySQL as my central database and feed it with 7 MS Access databases (yep, I run eComm sites on Access).


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