Programming Packages for Your Server

The choice of which programming language to install on a web server has been a hot topic for years.  Just like HTML editors, every user has their favorite scripting tool and has solid reasons for their choices.  Let’s review some of the most popular options available for server-side programming technologies.


Perl is a mature programming language that is actually older than the World Wide Web itself.  You may be wondering how a web development tool was around before the web.  Perl wasn’t actually designed for web development, yet as a multipurpose language to handle various tasks that involve text manipulation, which is exactly what web development entails.  As an open-source language, Perl is free to use and can be run on any operating system.


Developed by Microsoft, ASP (Active Server Pages) isn’t exactly a server-side programming language, but a framework that allows you to integrate various languages.  For example, ASP lets you build with VBScript, JavaScript, C and C++ among others.  ASP is great for creating dynamic web pages, performs well, and tends to be easier to learn for anyone familiar with Microsoft client-side programming languages.  Though still in use, ASP is not longer in development as it has been replaced by ASP.NET.


PHP is one of the most widely used server-side programming languages on the market.  It has a large community of developers and is often referred to as the “Perl killer” and best open-source alternative to Microsoft’s proprietary ASP.  PHP can do just about everything Perl can, but tends to do it easier and faster.  PHP integrates seamlessly on both Apache and IIS web servers and runs efficiently on virtually any platform.

These are just a few popular programming languages that can be installed on your server.  Each has their advantages and disadvantages, but all enable you to create dynamic content that dramatically enhances the look and feel of your HTML pages.