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ASP vs. PHP: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 23, 2023
ASP (Active Server Pages) is Microsoft's server-side scripting technology, while PHP is an open-source, server-side scripting language.

Key Differences

ASP, or Active Server Pages, is a server-side scripting technology developed by Microsoft. PHP, on the other hand, is an open-source server-side scripting language known for web development.
ASP typically integrates with IIS (Internet Information Services), Microsoft's web server, while PHP commonly pairs with Apache or Nginx web servers, though it can run on others.
ASP scripts usually use VBScript as their default scripting language, though other languages can be implemented. PHP uses its own scripting language which has C-like syntax.
In terms of databases, ASP often interfaces with Microsoft products like Microsoft SQL Server. PHP, meanwhile, frequently connects to MySQL databases but can interface with a wide range of database systems.
Cost can be a differentiator between the two. Since ASP is a Microsoft product, there might be licensing fees involved, especially for the server OS. PHP, being open-source, is generally free, though costs can arise based on the chosen infrastructure and additional tools.

Comparison Chart


Developed by Microsoft

Common Web Servers

IIS (Internet Information Services)
Apache, Nginx

Default Scripting Language

PHP scripting language (C-like syntax)

Database Integration

Commonly with Microsoft SQL Server
Often with MySQL but supports many databases


Licensing fees for some Microsoft products
Generally free, though costs can arise from infrastructure

ASP and PHP Definitions


Can use VBScript as its scripting language.
Most of our ASP applications are written in VBScript.


Can be embedded into HTML.
You can insert PHP scripts directly into your HTML code for dynamic content.


Stands for Active Server Pages.
ASP allows web pages to be more interactive by accessing databases.


Primarily used for web development.
With PHP, you can create dynamic web pages with ease.


Microsoft's server-side scripting technology.
The website's dynamic content is powered by ASP.


An open-source server-side scripting language.
The blog is developed using PHP and MySQL.


Typically integrates with IIS.
To host an ASP site, you might need an IIS server.


Has a C-like syntax.
If you're familiar with C, you might find PHP syntax familiar.


A competitor to technologies like PHP and JSP.
Our team debated between using ASP or PHP for the project.


Commonly used with MySQL databases.
Many content management systems use PHP and MySQL together.


Any of several venomous snakes, especially the viper Vipera aspis of southern Europe, the cobra Naja haje of Africa and the Middle East, or the horned viper.


What does ASP stand for?

ASP stands for Active Server Pages.

Which company developed ASP?

ASP was developed by Microsoft.

Is PHP open-source?

Yes, PHP is an open-source scripting language.

What is a common database used with PHP?

A common database used with PHP is MySQL.

Can ASP run on non-Microsoft web servers?

While ASP is designed for Microsoft's IIS, it can run on other servers using third-party tools, though not common.

Can you embed PHP within HTML?

Yes, PHP scripts can be directly embedded within HTML code.

Is there a cost associated with using ASP?

While ASP itself might not have a direct cost, associated Microsoft products and server OS might have licensing fees.

Which is older, ASP or PHP?

ASP was released in December 1996, while PHP was released earlier in 1995.

What's a common web server for ASP applications?

A common web server for ASP is Microsoft's IIS (Internet Information Services).

Which web servers can PHP run on?

PHP commonly runs on Apache and Nginx but can operate on various web servers.

Can ASP applications be hosted on Linux servers?

With third-party tools like Mono, it's possible, but native support is for Windows servers.

Does PHP have its own scripting language?

Yes, PHP uses its own scripting language with a C-like syntax.

Can PHP interact with other databases besides MySQL?

Yes, PHP can interface with many databases, including PostgreSQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server.

What's the main use case for PHP?

PHP's main use case is web development, powering dynamic web pages and applications.

Are there any major websites powered by ASP or PHP?

Yes, many major websites have used or continue to use both ASP and PHP, including various Microsoft services for ASP and sites like Wikipedia for PHP.

Is ASP.NET the same as ASP?

No, ASP.NET is a more modern framework, whereas ASP refers to the older Active Server Pages.

Does PHP support object-oriented programming?

Yes, PHP has supported object-oriented programming since version 5.

Is VBScript the only scripting language supported by ASP?

No, while VBScript is the default for ASP, other languages like JScript can also be used.

Are there modern versions or successors to ASP?

Yes, ASP.NET is a modern successor to the classic ASP.

How do ASP and PHP compare in terms of performance?

Performance can vary based on the application, infrastructure, and optimization, so direct comparisons can be subjective.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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