When you own a startup online business, you think of marketing, budget, partners, investors, and dozens of other issues that most startup owners worry about. One common oversight is the platform used to get the website running. Once you commit to a platform, it can take months to convert if you change your mind, so it’s important to make the right decision initially.
C# and Windows
Windows environments are usually the most expensive to set up, but the C# language offers true object-oriented programming (OOP). Some PHP developers would disagree, but C# is much more modular than PHP. PHP is more linear in execution (despite its recent OOP architecture) where C# lets you create classes for each part of your application. These classes can be integrated into future code to save time and money in the future.
The ability to stay modular and create OOP code probably doesn’t seem significant to a business person. However, the issue of scalability should always be a concern. Scalability is the ability to add to your existing application without uprooting the entire architecture. Not all additions to your software will be easy or quick, but the code should allow for a developer to add important business logic and data without changing the main infrastructure. This is where C# and a Windows environment are more expensive but beneficial in the long-run.
C# applications are also compiled and more secure. If a hacker gains access to your web server, they can’t immediately steal your source code. The hacker only gets access to compiled DLL files. You can also encrypt important database passwords within the C# solution’s configuration files. The Windows operating system gained a bad reputation for its inferior security, but Microsoft has upped its game with improved patch updates, better security, and closed-source compiled files that protect your source code.
Overall, Windows and C# are seen as an enterprise solution. Several large companies run on a Windows platform. It’s more expensive than open-source solutions, but costs of scalability will save you time and money in the future.
PHP and Linux
You can actually run PHP on a Windows server, but PHP is generally used in a Linux environment. Linux environments are increasingly more popular as Apache and open-source free software are offered as web platforms. For instance, Joomla and WordPress are written in PHP.
A common argument among developers is whether or not PHF scalable. When you work with pre-packaged software such as WordPress, you are limited to the WordPress API. There are plenty of PHP plugins for WordPress, but you are always limited to a certain set of functions available in the software’s API.
The PHP language itself can be scalable depending on the right developer. PHP, Apache and Linux are free, so many first-time programmers gravitate to this environment. Learning a development language is beneficial for the developer, but businesses can’t always afford to hire a new developer. New developer salaries are low, but they don’t always understand how to scale software when they first start out. If you work with PHP, ensure your developer has some experience in system architecture and design.
No one can deny that PHP and open-source are beneficial to small businesses with little startup capital. You can download everything you need to start a website for free. Shared hosting with PHP is also cheap if you decide to have a third-party hosting company. It only costs a few dollars a month for basic hosting.
Which One Should You Choose?
The solution you choose depends on cost and convenience. Most startup owners use the platform they are familiar with. For instance, if you’re familiar with a Windows environment, it might make sense to work with the same environment you know. You can log in to your server and have familiarity with the controls and functionality.
If you don’t have much startup capital, consider a Linux, Apache and PHP environment. This environment will save you startup costs on technology. Most startups have a limited technology budget and need most of the budget for advertising. A Linux server will save you money in the beginning.
One issue with Linux environments is security. With Linux replacing Windows in popularity, more hackers are targeting Linux rather than Windows. Windows still requires security updates, but you can automate the process using the Windows Updater. With Linux, you need to keep up with the latest patches and install them manually.
If you’re not technically savvy and need some help, it doesn’t hurt to ask for an expert opinion. A consultant can help you decide on the right solution for your business.