August 28, 2012 | Holly Yalove

Website Geek Speak Deciphered: PHP vs.

PHP versus ASP

I work with a wonderful team of web gurus who are amazingly talented but sometimes speak a secret techie language. If you work with techies, you likely know exactly what I mean. Bless their hearts...

I am in a marketing role and thus a "non-techie techie". I understand enough to be dangerous, but still get lost in their techie speak if ever I try to eavesdrop outside their office. Who me, eavesdrop? Never.

Although we work to shield clients from geek speak and focus on what the website needs to do in layman's terms, sometimes techie terms do creep in. Here are two terms non techies may run into when talking websites: PHP and These are two web programming languages and you will find many a passionate techie when it comes to which they prefer.

Web geeks beware...this is meant to make sense to non-techies and may not be "technically" perfect!

What Is PHP?

First, even if you are a non-techie, you likely have heard the term "HTML". This is the main markup language for displaying web pages. Static HTML pages are delivered to the web visitor exactly as they are stored. Dynamic web pages are generated by the web server in response to the web visitor's action.

PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It is a web programming language originally used to produce dynamic web pages. PHP interacts with HTML and can be embedded in HTML pages. In mommy terms, they play nicely together.

When a website visitor opens a web page, the web server processes the PHP code, and sends the resulting output to the visitor's web browser. PHP can generate HTML, and the HTML page can pass information back to the web server. PHP is open source and thus not a proprietary software.

PHP first appeared in 1995 and is installed on more than 20 million websites and 1 million web servers. Popular Content Management Systems (CMS) written with PHP include WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal. Popular websites that involve use of PHP include,,, and Wikipedia.

PHP vs. is a competitor to PHP. is also a language used to build dynamic websites, but it is a proprietary software developed and marketed by Microsoft. ASP stands for Active Server Pages and runs on a Windows server versus on the Linux platform (PHP runs on Linux). In simplistic terms, I think of PHP versus as Mac (Apple) vs. PC (Microsoft).

Notable websites written in include,,, and The most popular and/or well-known CMS built with is DotNetNuke.

Who Wins?

There are advantages and disadvantages for both, but we vote PHP. Here at VIEO we specialize in WordPress websites which are written in PHP, use MySQL (database), and run on a Linux server platform. Do you have a preference?

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Holly Yalove

Holly Yalove

As VIEO’s chief strategist and one of our principals, Holly Yalove serves as the head digital and inbound marketing strategy for our clients. She has used her extensive management, sales, and marketing experience to dramatically increase our digital marketing business, helping us become the well-rounded agency we are today.

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