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May 19, 2023 · 4 min read

C# vs PHP for web development

C# and PHP are two of the most popular backend programming languages. PHP has been around for decades. C# is the relatively new guy on the block (first released in 2002).

The C# vs PHP for web development battle is on!

PHP is a widely-used scripting language with features for web development apps. It stands for “Hypertext Preprocessor”, and the language is embedded into HTML and executed on the server. 

PHP files contain HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code, and these files are saved with the .php extension. The result returns to the browser as plain HTML.

PHP scripts start with the tag <?php and end with ?>. These tags can be used anywhere in the doc.

For example:

<!DOCTYPE html>




echo "!";




Microsoft developed C# to be a modern, object-oriented programming language. The language is pronounced “C sharp” and it’s type-safe, meaning developers can build secure and robust applications running in .NET. 

C# is also approved by the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) and the International Standards Organization (ISO). 

The basic syntax of C# looks like this:

using System;

class Hello


    static void Main()





The question is, which is the best programming language for you?

In this post, we’ll explore the two languages in more detail and help you understand whether C# vs PHP for web development is best.

PHP in more detail

PHP was first released in 1995 and developed by Rasmus Lerdorf. It’s become a popular tool for developing enterprise apps due to its ability to handle session tracking, dynamic content, and database read-write operations. 

PHP can perform system functions like creating, opening, reading, writing, and closing files. Moreover, it can handle form data, save data to files, send it through email, and return it to users. PHP also integrates with popular databases, such as MySQL, Oracle, etc.

In addition, PHP supports a range of protocols, including IMAP, POP3, and LDAP. Finally, PHP4 added support for Java and distributed object architectures, making n-tier development possible for the first time.

PHP’s practical nature is made possible by five important characteristics: security, simplicity, efficiency, familiarity, and flexibility.

C# in more detail

C# is a modern, object-oriented programming language. Anders Hejlsberg and his team at Microsoft developed it.

The language was designed for the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI), which means C# is one of many high-level languages developers can use on different computer platforms and architectures. CLI is a platform-independent development system put together by Microsoft.

C# is also part of the .NET Framework and has many mobile, desktop, web, games, VR, and database applications.

Benefits of C# include its object-oriented, modern, and structured nature and its ability to work on various computer platforms. It also has significant community support and is one of the most popular programming languages in the world.

Lastly, C# has its roots in the C family of languages and is close to other popular languages like C++ and Java. This closeness makes it relatively easy for devs to learn. 

C# vs PHP for web development – the key differences

Now that we know more about PHP and C#, we can look at some of their key technical differences.

Executing files

You’ll need a web server, database support, and a PHP parser to execute PHP files. A PHP parser is a library that takes source code written in PHP, passes it through another tool (a lexical analyzer), and creates its respective syntax tree.

For C#, an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is required for writing C# code. These IDEs are:

  • Visual Studio
  • Visual C#
  • Visual Web Developer

Variable categories

There are no categories of variables in PHP. However, the language uses eight types of variables. These variables are:

  • String
  • Integer
  • Float (floating point numbers – also called double)
  • Boolean
  • Array
  • Object
  • NULL
  • Resource

In C#, there are broadly three types of category variables. These are :

  • Value Type
  • Pointer Type
  • Reference Type

Declaring a variable

PHP uses the $ symbol to declare a variable. For example, $ a = 50.

However, with C#, no extra symbols are needed to declare variables. Instead, you write the type of variable used. For example, int a = 50; // for integer type.

The two languages have many other technical differences, including how they code loops and use libraries.

However, suppose you’re simply looking to understand the key technical differences between the two languages to help you decide whether to hire a PHP or C# developer. In that case, you don’t need to understand all these technicalities.

All you need to know is that you can use both languages in web development, and we can help you find the perfect developer for your project!

Meet available, vetted talent today!

So now that you better understand the C# vs PHP for web development, it’s time to find your perfect developer!

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