More Importantly…What’s Backing Your Site?

Written by: Gerald Bauer, Owner of JB Systems

I’d like to spend a moment and bring to attention some interesting points about the technology and more importantly, the programming language, that powers our applications and websites coming from JB Systems.

The battle of web-languages has been fought for years, and several languages still exist today. At our beginning, an important decision had to be made. We knew at the get-go our websites needed interaction – something that set them apart from “table-based”, static websites that were at the time very common. Our choices for a language included Java Server Pages (JSP), Active Server Pages (ASP), Coldfusion (a Macromedia/Adobe language) and Hypertext Pre-Processor (PHP). The acronyms are a bit much – but stick with me.

Why We Went With PHP…

Well, to summarize briefly and to provide you with some valid points – here’s our case for PHP:

  1. PHP is an actual programming language. For developers comfortable using languages like Javascript, Python, Java, etc – picking up PHP is typically quite easy.What does this mean for you? Easy – more programmers can be readily found to develop PHP. Your PHP-driven website has a better chance of being supported by other developers (if need be) – especially over languages such as Coldfusion and JSP, as these languages are typically more specialized. Laymen Terms: Cheaper to support
  2. PHP is Efficient. The C library that runs PHP requires far less overhead than running TomCat (JSP engine built by Java) or the Coldfusion Engine (Build by Adobe). ASP runs by default on Microsoft’s IIS server (however, do we really want to discuss the viability or security if IIS?).
    What does this mean for you? Speedier websites and delivery of pages. Since our server doesn’t have all of this bulky 3rd party software consuming processor usage and memory – they can deliver pages faster and more efficiently than others.

    Laymen Terms: It’s more efficient, our servers can run faster than others.

  3. PHP is more popular? I know that’s a bold statement – but don’t believe me?
    I encourage you to review TIOBE Programming Community Index. You’ll find PHP is the 3rd most commonly used programming language worldwide. Languages such as Coldfusion, ASP, Ajax, Ruby on Rails and more were excluded – because, according to the website, they’re not considered full blown languages. This may come as a shock to all of the Microsoft proponents of the world – especially my colleagues at CVTC – but sorry. (Is this where I get to point out Apache web servers outnumber Microsoft ones by over 4-1!  No really… See Here.

    In case you’d like more supporting documentation, the following site (HERE) displays statistics on the top used frameworks. Here’s the scoop:

    PHP – 29.58%
    ASP – 23.98% (Sorry guys)
    J2EE (JSP) – 7.66%
    Coldfusion – 1.92% (eek)

    Laymen Terms: Go with what’s supported the most, especially with technology that changes as often with the web. Again, cheaper to support.

  4. Cost To Developer. PHP is Free. Did you know a Coldfusion license can cost as much as $7,500? Ouch. And what about their upgrades – from year-to-year? PHP, ASP, and JSP are continuously supported and upgraded for free. Throw in the industry-standard MySQL database that powers our “back-end” data storage needs and we can write applications that other developers would need to spend $10,000 on just to get started.

Laymen Terms: We don’t have to charge you as much.

Well, that concludes my summary of why JB Systems (and ~ 30% of other developers in the world) choose PHP as the de-facto technology of choice to power our websites. Hopefully you’ve found this article helpful. Thanks for reading!

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