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Which web platform would you use?

datavirtue (1104259) writes | more than 2 years ago


datavirtue writes "I'm about to embark on developing active content (database driven, and web services) for the first time for my website and I have grown to love PHP. Knowing that there are other web development platforms available, and noticing some disdain for PHP in some circles, I'm curious to know which platforms slashdotters prefer along with the reasons why. Before I get started into heavy development I would like to get some opinions and more facts. Why shouldn't I use PHP?"

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Only for simple stuff (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542054)

I'd only use php for simple stuff. If you are going to spend more than, say, a man-month on the code then I'd look elsewhere. Just the lack of threading alone can be annoying. I end up doing a lot of stuff on the client in JavaScript to make up for the lack of threading, which while very web 2.0, I feel it is a bit hacky and delicate.

meh (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543378)

If you're comfortable with PHP, then stick with it - but make sure you're at least using 5.3, so you get namespaces. I'd say the other big and well-supported alternative is Python, though some people prefer Ruby. My mind just doesn't wrap around Ruby syntax, so YMMV.

If you're the only developer working on your stuff (or one of only a few), and you're not wanting to scale hugely, then PHP is more than adequate for the vast majority of tasks, and the amount of pre-made stuff available, and the documentation, is going to be impossible to beat.

It's more important that you work with tools you know inside and out than it is to find the thing that is 'perfect', especially since perfection is impossible. :)

You may find more value in learning a great templating system for PHP, rather than obsessing over PHP vs Python vs whatever.

PHP will do just fine... (1)

mr.dillinger (2542624) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543652)

Background on me: Web developer since 1994, PHP developer since 2000.

You can easily support hundreds of concurrent users (per minute, not per hour or daily) with a good PHP VPS setup. Don't think that you have to learn something new, just do it right from the start. People will tell you to build using this or that, but honestly PHP powers some of the biggest sites on the net, so ignore them. While there are limitations they can be easily overcome by a little planning, a good host, and some caching.

My setup has handled over 300 concurrent users with next to no slow down. I typically get sub 1.0 second page load times in Google Webmaster Tools, so it's a good template to start with. It can easily handle over 10,000 very active users a day (if you get more than that you can always scale up the hardware, I use a $50 per month VPS):

1. Start off with a good dedicated server or VPS. I use LiquidWeb or their cloud partner StormOnDemand. Excellent host with the best support that I've ever had in 17+ years as a developer. If in doubt call their 800 support number and count how many rings it takes to get a live person. Storm plans start at $35 a month and you can scale up to beastly 96GB servers quickly.
2. Install APC (or another opcode cache). the guys at LiquidWeb/Storm should be able to do this for you. You can make pages load 10x faster with this.
3. Use a good FAST framework. I love CodeIginter as it's simple, but you can do awesome things with it. It also has full page caching that is nearly as fast as plain HTML. You can deliver thousands of pages per minute if you set things up properly.
4. Put assets (images, css, etc.) in to a folder with a "far future expires" .htaccess and properly version them. This will mean that your visitors will download it (and request it) one time. Follow Yahoo and Google's general guidelines on high performance web sites and you'll do fine (Good Performance == Good SEO).
5. Plan ahead. Make sure you set things up so that you can move to dedicated database servers (easy with CodeIgniter) and cache as much as possible with APC (or whatever opcode cache you use).

If any of this sounds like a lot it's most of the same stuff you would do with any other language. The second and third biggest problems most pages have are poor shared hosts and not properly caching. Once you get those two issues taken care of the rest is cake. The number one problem is getting the page made in the first place. That's why I would say to use what you know, and get it done. Even if you screw up you can always go back and fix it later. Better to get something out there ASAP. Trial by fire teaches you a lot.

Feel free to contact me for help.

Re:PHP will do just fine... (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38545916)

Thanks for all the info Paul! I'll go over this post with a fine tooth comb. CodeIgnitor already looks to be right up my alley, thanks again.

I'd rather choose PHP over ASP (1)

TrekkieGNU (2544806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572538)

Apart from being a Linux guy, I have had experience on working with both of them, and I see that if, by chance, the server crashes, installing PHP is rather straight forward, you just download the lastest WAMP (for Windows) or install all of the packages (in Linux), do a short configuration and you have yoru site back online y less than hours! Instead, when you choose ASP, you have to install lots of things for which there is little documentation, or you have to ask the administrator of the site (yourself) about why the site is not working and believe me it take a lot of time, internet reading, looking for missing .dll files, and maybe even recompiling part of the project, los of KB patches applied before you have your site back on line...
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