Should you learn ASP.NET MVC 5 or ASP.NET Core 1?

A common question that I get a lot lately:

Mosh, I’m not familiar with MVC. I have some background in [ASP.NET WebForms, Classic ASP, etc]. Should I learn ASP.NET MVC 5 or ASP.NET Core 1?

A variation of this question is:

I’m confused about what to learn. What is the difference between ASP.NET MVC 5, ASP.NET MVC 6, ASP.NET 5 and ASP.NET Core 1?

So I thought to turn this into a short blog post.


ASP.NET Core 1 is the next version of ASP.NET MVC 5. Yes, the version number is confusing! It has gone through a few name changes. It started as ASP.NET vNext, then changed to ASP.NET 5, next was renamed to ASP.NET MVC 6 and eventually became ASP.NET Core 1.0. You’re not the only one frustrated about these name changes!

Scott Hanselman has explained the rationale behind these name changes perfectly in his post.

The Simple Answer

If you have little or no experience with ASP.NET MVC (any versions), and you’d like to learn it from me, your best source is my Complete ASP.NET MVC 5 course.

ASP.NET Core 1 is based on the same principles you learn in that course. More than 90% of what you learn is the same in the new ASP.NET. There are some improvements in the framework and the tooling. None of these are revolutionary! You can get up to speed with them by reading a few tutorials or watching a few videos. I’m planning to create a short (1 – 2 hour) course that helps developers with knowledge of ASP.NET MVC 5 transition to the new ASP.NET.

Having said all that, in my opinion, ASP.NET Core 1 is not quite production yet. There are still hiccups with Entity Framework 7 and unless you work in a very adventurous team, most teams and projects out there are based on ASP.NET MVC 5 or earlier.

Hope that answers your question.

Hi! I’m Mosh Hamedani and I help ambitious developers take their coding skills to the next level. Over the last 3 years, I’ve taught over 200,000 students through my online courses and my YouTube channel has been watched over 5.7 million times! It’s my mission to make coding and software engineering accessible to everyone.
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5 responses to “Should you learn ASP.NET MVC 5 or ASP.NET Core 1?”

  1. Tiger33 says:

    What problems do you see with core to state that it is not production ready ?

    I understand your comment on Entity Framework 7 but even Microsoft said simply compare the feature set of EF7 and EF6 and if there is a feature you require which is missing then by all means use EF6 with core, and there is a a performance issue currently with the latest 1.0 release of ef7 but they are working on a fix

    I’ve not seen anything in core to question it’s production readiness yet though.

    I’ve built a few apps already with core and i’ve not had any problems

    admittedly the move from rc1 to rc2 to 1.0 was a huge pain , but things have stabilized now .

    I know there is a big move still to come with the project.json and csproj / msbuild but other than that it’s been really stable and a joy to use for me (but if there are other issues which make it not production ready in your eyes I would love to know about them )

    I do agree with you that learning especially via your excellent course on pluralsight is still the way to go – as alot of those skills you can take with you to core if required.

  2. We have had some issues with ASP.NET core. We are using pubnub and twillio to capture voicemails and conver them to text for our enterprise application. We decided to use ASP.NET core for the web service and so far it has been a nightmare. Its just not ready for production yet.

    • Abu Sazzad says:

      Hi Timothy,
      Would you mind share your experience with ASP.NET core in bit details, what sort of problem you encountered? I’m also planning to use ASP.NET Core in one of our upcoming project, so I’m just collecting some stats on ASP.NET core before jumping on it.

      Thanks in advance!


  3. Eugene says:

    I’m totally agree with you, Mosh. Our company has a small amount of programmers and we doing jump to ASP.NET Core with enthusiasm right now. But I suppose that in large companies it will be more harder, because all new technologies are scary for old-school coders and managers. So, ASP.NET MVC5 will be alive for a long time.

  4. Alen says:

    I bought The Complete ASP.NET MVC 5 Course course on Udemy and waiting for some Net Core tutorials from you. Do you have some planned?

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