KillerPHP Blog

Why ASP, ASP.NET, JSP, Ruby and Cold Fusion Suck .. for web designers.

November 7, 2007

The article’s title (I admit,) will get some people little miffed at me. But, what can I say, the truth hurts!

Seriously, this statement is valid and is worth talking about because there are a lot of web designers out there who are considering the leap into building dynamic (database driven) web applications. And with so many choices (ASP, ASP.NET, Ruby etc …) it can be very frustrating when trying to make that choice.

Of course, I believe (and know) that PHP is the choice language/technology for web designers. But why are the other technologies not a good choice for web designers?


ASP was great in 1996-98 … but since ASP.NET took over in about 2000, Mircrosoft has left classic ASP behind. Sadly, ASP users saw their favorite dynamic web page technology quickly fall behind the competition in terms of capability since Microsoft jumped ship.

ASP.NET is the new version of (classic) ASP but ASP.NET has little resemblance to classic ASP. In fact, ASP.NET looks a heck of a lot more like JSP/Java!

As such many an ASP user felt lost because thought ASP.NET is powerful, it can be very daunting to learn if you are not a hard core programming nerd.

… And that is why still to this day, there are many ASP coders out there – ASP.NET is just too complex for the average web designer.


The Java solutions/technologies for building dynamic websites are just way too complex for any web designer to jump into. Only a crazy fool like me would jump into this overly complex, verbose Titanic of a language. Java has its’ place, but it’s not in the hands of web designers.


Ruby is a nice nimble language like PHP. But it works with some advanced object oriented concepts that might trip up a lot of web designer types who just want to learn how to process a form and maybe edit a blog.

Besides that, Ruby web hosting is much more rare than PHP hosting. Seriously, what hosting company doesn’t offer PHP hosting as part as their basic package?!

Answer: none.

Cold Fusion

Initially designed with web designers in mind, Cold Fusion code looks like HTML tags. It is good for smaller projects and is easy to learn, but it has two major things going against it:

  1. It is not Free.
  2. It is not widely used: no jobs, no hosting, small diminishing community.

Bottom line: Cold Fusion is a dying technology – a place you don’t want to be.


So why is PHP such a great choice? Well first of all, the negatives I mentioned about the other competing technologies … PHP does not have. On top of that, I can say this about PHP:

  • PHP is easy to learn.
  • PHP is powerful and cutting edge.
  • PHP has a huge and growing community that you can leverage.
  • There is no out there with hours free (easy to understand) training videos!



Stefan Mischook