Should you learn C# for Web development?
Since its invention in 2000 by Anders Hejlsberg of Denmark at Microsoft, C# has grown in popularity and usage. ASP.NET which uses the C# programming language for web development is the second most widely used server-side implementation after PHP.
According to statistics from w3techs.com, “ASP.NET is used by 7.8% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.” ASP.NET usage for making websites has slowly been decreasing over the years, but it is still one of the popular choices for many companies and businesses.
The C# programming language runs on the .NET Framework and ASP.NET extends the .NET platform with tools and libraries for building web applications. Because ASP.NET extends .NET, you can use the large ecosystem of packages and libraries available to all .NET developers.
There are many popular websites and companies using C#, some of them include Stack Overflow, Microsoft, Godaddy, Dell, Marketwatch, Ancestry, TacoBell, Diply, Wild Tangent, MSN, and many others. It can be seen that C# is loved, trusted, and used by a lot of big companies and businesses.
Even though C# is popular and widely used, there are many other alternatives that you can use for server-side programming, meaning, that learning C# for web development is completely optional.
WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVES TO C# FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT?
There are many server-side programming languages that you can use as an alternative to C#. Here are some of the popular ones:
PHP is the most popular server-side programming language, it powers more websites on the internet than the rest of the server-side programming languages put together.
According to statistics from w3techs.com, “PHP is used by 77.5% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.” PHP website usage has been decreasing over the years, but it will take more than 25 years to decrease to 50% at the rate at which it is decreasing.
To make your development process easy, quick, and well structured, you can use PHP frameworks such as Laravel, Symfony, CodeIgniter, Slim, Zend, Phalcon, CakePHP, and many others.
PHP is used by many popular platforms and websites such as WordPress, Drupal, Wikipedia, Facebook, Slack, Etsy, Tumblr, MailChimp, etc. PHP is simple to work with and it is a great alternative to C#.
Python has an easy-to-understand syntax that makes it easy to write code. Getting started with Python is much easier than with C#. Python is used a lot by web developers for backend development. According to a 2021 Stack Overflow survey, Python is the third most used programming language by professional developers.
Python Django is one of the most popular web development frameworks, it was used to build part of the Instagram backend. Other python web frameworks that can be used in place of the ASP.NET (C#) include Flask, FastAPI, CherryPy, Falcon, etc.
You can also use Java as an alternative to C# for server-side programming. Java is used by many websites, especially in the enterprise world. You can learn more about how Java is used in Web Development in our article DO YOU NEED JAVA FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT?
Go is an open-source programming language supported by Google, Go is used in web development to power fast and scalable web applications. It is a good alternative to C#. Some of the companies using Go are shown in the image below.
Since its invention in 1995 by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto of Japan, Ruby has grown in popularity and usage to become the third most widely used server-side programming language after PHP and ASP.NET.
According to statistics from w3techs.com, “Ruby is used by 5.9% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.” Ruby usage for making websites has been decreasing over the years, but it is still one of the popular choices for many companies and startups.
Ruby is much easier to work with than other server-side programming languages, its syntax is simple, elegant, and English-like, similar to that of Python. Getting started with Ruby and Ruby on Rails for web development is very easy and you will serve a lot of development time by using this language and its framework.
The popular online E-commerce store builder Shopify was written in Ruby (Ruby on Rails). Other popular websites using Ruby include Twitter, Github, Basecamp, Airbnb, Dribbble, Hulu, Kickstarter, Zendesk, Fiverr, SoundCloud, and many others.
There are many other alternatives to C# that I have not listed here. The availability and usage of many other powerful server-side programming languages and frameworks show that you can work on web development projects without using C#.
It can be seen that even though C# is popular and widely used by a lot of web developers and companies, learning C# for web development is completely optional, you can do without C#. Only 7.8% of all websites use C#, leaving room for other server-side programming languages such as Python, Ruby, Go, PHP, Java, etc.
If you want to make a website but you do not want to write any server-side code, you can use Website builders like WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, Bubble, etc. to do all the heavy lifting for you. You can make powerful websites without writing any line of code.