PHP vs. JavaScript: Which Language to Choose for Back End Development

PHP vs. JavaScript: Which Language to Choose for Back End Development

“JavaScript is only for front end development, and PHP is for back end” is just not true. Today, you can develop the entire app with JavaScript, both client side and server side. I will explain the main JavaScript vs PHP difference. If you're trying to decide between PHP and JavaScript, the discussion is reduced to which language you want to use for back end development. PHP vs JavaScript: How to Choose the Best Language for Your Project

If someone says “JavaScript is only for front end development, and PHP is for back end” — do not listen.

Before I jump into claiming that one language is better than the other, there is something I need to clarify. I don't want to turn the PHP vs JavaScript discussion into comparing oranges with apples, so I should explain the main difference between JavaScript vs PHP.

PHP is a programming language for back end development only. JavaScript, in turn, was initially designed as a front end development language. But with the introduction of Node.js in 2009, JavaScript became full stack.

The commonly cited claim that “JavaScript is only for front end development, and PHP is for back end” is just not true. Today, you can develop the entire app with JavaScript, both client side and server side. The question is, which language is more effective for your particular project?

Therefore, if you're trying to decide between PHP and JavaScript, the discussion is reduced to which language you want to use for back end development. And to help you make an informed decision, I will compare PHP vs JavaScript for web development based on the following criteria:

  1. Brief overview
  2. Performance and speed
  3. Extensibility
  4. Universality
  5. Community
  6. Learning curve
  7. Syntax
  8. Apps it is best suited for

Brief overview

JavaScript

JavaScript is a lightweight, multi-paradigm, high-level, interpreted or just-in-time-compiled, dynamic programming language. Introduced in 1995 by Brendan Eich, JavaScript is characterized by curly-bracket syntax, first-class functions, and prototype-based object orientation.

According to Statista, 69 % of developers worldwide use JavaScript and 5 % more plan to adopt this language. The report shows that it is the most popular programming language in the world as of late 2019.

PHP

PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, and it is an open source scripting language for back end development. Developed in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf, the language received global recognition. According to the W3Tech survey, 79% of all websites use PHP. Among the most popular ones, there are Facebook, Wikipedia, and, of course, WordPress.

PHP vs JavaScript: 0 – 0

Performance & Speed

JavaScript

JavaScript is characterized by an event-driven, single-threaded, non-blocking I/O execution model. Such a model is ensured by the event loop and Node clustering.

The asynchronous nature of Node.js enables it to run through the entire code simultaneously without waiting for some functions to be executed. Thanks to it, JavaScript is the best solution for low latency applications, such as streaming platforms. Node.js is sped up even further by V8 engine, constant server connection, and callback functions.

PHP

PHP is characterized by a multi-threaded, blocking I/O execution model. Unlike JavaScript, PHP is synchronous. The second line of code in PHP cannot be executed until the first one is, which makes it much slower than JavaScript.

While PHP undoubtedly loses in terms of speed, some say that it is more stable than JavaScript. Yet, this advantage is quite ambiguous and not a hundred percent proved.

The reliability and stability of both PHP and JavaScript are open to interpretation. But thanks to the outstanding speed, JavaScript wins a point.

PHP vs JavaScript: 0 – 1

Extensibility

JavaScript

JavaScript can be combined with HTML, XML, and Ajax.

There are a number of great JavaScript frameworks, and one cannot even count them because new ones emerge quite often.

The most popular front-end JS technologies are Vue, Angular, and React, but here at KeenEthics we also believe in a bright future for Svelte.

The most common server-side framework is Node.js. What framework you choose may define development speed and cost, performance, and other technical qualities of your future app.

As for the package managers, Node.js comes with NPM (Node Package Manager) preinstalled. NPM greatly facilitates developers’ lives, and it is the largest software registry in the world.

PHP

PHP can be combined with HTML only.

Probably the greatest advantage of PHP is the availability of such CMS’s as WordPress or Drupal. These solutions may greatly facilitate and even cheapen web development. PHP can also be extended with any LAMP stack technology and such server solutions as MySQL or PostgreSQl.

There are two package managers for PHP – PEAR and Composer. PEAR (PHP Extension and Application Repository) is a structured library of open source PHP code. Composer is a dependency management tool for PHP.

Overall, JavaScript offers more opportunities for extensibility, so it wins the point.

PHP vs JavaScript: 0 – 2

Universality

JavaScript is cross-platform, and so is PHP. Both PHP and JavaScript are primarily aimed at developing web applications even though both can be used for mobile app development.

JavaScript

The greatest advantage of JavaScript over PHP lies in the fact that JavaScript is a full-stack development language. Most JS vs PHP comparisons emphasize that JavaScript is front end only, but that is simply not true. You can develop an entire web or mobile app with no other technology than JavaScript.

The experience of KeenEthics proves it: as a JS-oriented company, we develop custom web and mobile solutions from scratch using only JavaScript.

PHP

PHP is a back end development language only. PHP belongs to the LAMP stack, which stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python.

To develop a web app with this technology stack, a software engineer needs to know four different syntax systems, as well as HTML and CSS. Switching between languages is neither convenient nor efficient, and it complicates the learning curve badly.

JavaScript development is full-stack development, which is the greatest advantage of it.

PHP vs JavaScript: 0 – 3

Community

JavaScript

According to stackshare.io, the main reasons why developers enjoy working with JavaScript are its universality ("Can be used on front end and back end"), popularity ("It is everywhere"), and extensibility ("there are a lot of great frameworks").

JavaScript is used by Netflix, LinkedIn, Trello, Uber, Airbnb, Instagram, eBay, NASA, and Medium.

Most JS frameworks are open sourced but not JavaScript itself.

JavaScript is the most popular language on GitHub with over a 20% share of pull requests.

PHP

Stackshare.io shows that the most beloved advantages of PHP are a large community, open source, and simple deployment.

PHP is used by such companies as Facebook, Lyft, Wikipedia, Slack, Tumblr, and 9 GAG.

PHP code is open sourced, which makes it more flexible and customizable.

On GitHub, PHP takes only the eighth place with about 5 % of pull requests.

Both languages have huge support communities and are favored by large tech giants – both PHP and JavaScript earn a point.

PHP vs JavaScript: 1 – 4

Learning curve

PHP

PHP is much simpler to start learning than JavaScript. Setting up a server is as simple as creating a single .php file, writing a few lines of code enclosed with tags, and entering the URL into the browser tab.

Also, PHP peculiarities, such as inconsistent functions or return values, are easier to understand and master than the peculiarities of JavaScript and of certain JS frameworks.

JavaScript

Setting up JavaScript, namely Node.js, for server side is not that complicated. But it is more difficult than PHP. A beginning JS developer needs to have more knowledge than a beginning PHP developer.

However, the effort you put into learning JavaScript totally pays off. Since JavaScript is more universal than PHP, the learning effort brings much more value.

PHP wins a point for learning simplicity, beginning developers will definitely appreciate it.

PHP vs JavaScript: 2 – 4

Syntax

The syntax of a programming language, in most cases, is just a matter of personal preference. Therefore, neither of the languages can win a point here.

Yet, I will provide a side-by-side comparison of JS and PHP syntax rules in case you are here thinking about which language to learn. Maybe some peculiarities of a certain language will work better for you, and this is how you will make your choice.

  • Both PHP and JavaScript make use of brackets of different types, including curly, round, and square brackets.
  • In both PHP and JavaScript, variables can be of any type, they can change type, and you can check the type by calling a language-specific operator – typeof in JS and gettype in PHP.
  • In both languages, arrays start with “0”.
  • for() loop functions identically in both PHP and JavaScript, the difference is only in how the variable inside for-brackets is declared. foreach() loop, which is unique to PHP, can be easily transformed into JS for() loop.
  • In JS, variables are global by default unless declared local with var. A local variable is available for everything within this function or its subfunctions.
  • In JS, both addition and concatenation are done with “+”.
  • JS is case sensitive in variables and functions.
  • There are no associative arrays (key-value pairs) in JS, you should use JSON strings instead.
  • In JS, arrays and objects are very similar and often interchangeable. An object item can be referenced as an array item as well.
  • In JS, items in objects are referenced with a fullstop “.”.
  • PHP makes use of dollar signs “$” to denote variables, whereas JS has no such sign. All variables are local by default unless declared global with global. A local variable will not be available in subfunctions unless you pass it in an argument.
  • In PHP, addition is done with “+”, and concatenation is done with “.”.
  • PHP is case sensitive only in variables.
  • PHP allows both numeric and associative arrays.
  • In PHP, arrays and objects are completely different things with different syntax.
  • In PHP, items in objects are referenced with an arrow “->”.

These are some of the most basic differences that you should know about these languages. Check this table and this article for some more syntax differences between PHP and JavaScript.

As I said, neither language wins a point here because the syntax is a matter of personal preference.

PHP vs JavaScript: 2 – 4

Apps it is best suited for

JavaScript

JavaScript has dedicated server hosting, which makes it perfectly suitable for large projects. It can be used to develop both the front end and back end of almost any software application type, including 3D games, AR/VR solutions, IoT products, and so on.

PHP

Although PHP is a general-purpose programming language, it is primarily used for developing dynamic web pages. Considering the availability of such PHP-based content management systems as Moodle and WordPress, PHP is the best solution for blogs, learning management systems, and e-commerce websites.

Once again, in terms of the apps it is best suitable for, each language is different but neither better nor worse than the competitor. Both PHP and JavaScript are quite universal, so both get a point.

PHP vs JavaScript: 3 – 5

To Wrap Up

The comparison between PHP vs JavaScript ends with the score 3 to 5 – JavaScript beats PHP.

Both languages are fairly good in terms of community support, extensibility, and apps they are suited to. JavaScript is certainly more efficient in terms of speed and universality. Meanwhile, it loses to PHP in terms of learning curve even though the syntax, as we concluded, is just a matter of personal preference.

Just keep in mind - this does not mean that JavaScript and Node.js in particular are always the best choice - it's up to you and your project.

Choose Node.js:

  • If you plan to develop a single page app,
  • If you plan to build a real-time application, such as a streaming service or a messenger,
  • If you plan to build a large project with heavy data load,
  • If you are using JavaScript for front end development.

Choose PHP:

  • If you plan to develop a blog or an e-commerce website,
  • If you are using some of the LAMP technologies already.

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Advantages of Hiring PHP Developer for your Website Project

Advantages of Hiring PHP Developer for your Website Project

PHP - Hypertext pre-processor, a scripting language used by many people in developing web pages, but most of us are unaware even of the full form. To train someone and make them learn this whole language is as difficult and time-consuming as it is...

PHP - Hypertext pre-processor, a scripting language used by many people in developing web pages, but most of us are unaware even of the full form. To train someone and make them learn this whole language is as difficult and time-consuming as it is to learn the language yourself. That’s why PHP developers are there to make your life easy. This article will give us the advantages and requirements of Hire PHP Developer for our very own website project.

First of all, let us understand the value the right developer brings to the project and why it is important for your business.

A website is a major component of any company/business and is very important for its face value, the way it represents the company on the internet is critical for any business to succeed. This is the reason why companies are looking for PHP developers who can develop their webpage.

If you're planning to do an online business, your PHP programmer will be the first person to transfer your thinking onto the webpage. You should, therefore, employ developers from PHP to make your hypothetical idea a reality.

With this software programming language, PHP developers all-around can easily build website frameworks, web content management systems, web template systems, and various other web-based designs.

Some of the reasons why we need to outsource these developers are:

Not everyone is the best in each field, all of us have our specific skills and talents hence, PHP developers are also the best at what they do. The time and money spent on the training of the in house employees would be saved if the professional PHP developers are hired. Instead of multitasking, if the employees were to focus on what they’re good at it would increase productivity too.

The PHP developers would be much more professional than the in-house workers. It would lead to the seriousness of work. Hence, on-time delivery is guaranteed with hired PHP developers.

In addition to these benefits, you would also be able to track your project through every stage in constant communication with your online team. These advantages make it incredibly popular and smart to hire a PHP developer.

The PHP developers have in-depth knowledge of PHP, HTML and various frameworks in terms of technical capabilities. Hiring PHP developers are advised to give your website a professional look based on PHP.

Much of web success depends on the involvement of social media. The developer can add to your social networking pages a feature that explicitly redirects visitors. In addition, SEO experts also suggest better connections to the website's social network.

Just like a tailor stitches our dresses according to our preferences and is ready to make last-minute changes. A PHP developer will also be available at the nick of your call to make the website just the way you want it to be and have a customized solution for every problem.

Read also: Why & How to Hire Dedicated PHP Developer

At some point in your business, you’re going to have problems regarding your webpage due to the rapidly changing technology, instead of struggling with ideas like these and not being able to come up with an appropriate solution a PHP web developer could help us with our problems just like any technician would help us with the problems we face in our offices or any architect would help us with designing the structure of a building or any interior designer would help us with setting up our home. The PHP development company are hubs of workers who would help us overcome these problems and are always there.

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Hire PHP Developer and Web Developer for your Online Business

Hire PHP Developer and Web Developer for your Online Business

PHP is widely used open-source scripting language it helps in making dynamically easy your websites and web application. Mobiweb Technology is your best technical partner and offering you solution for any kind of website and application...

PHP is widely used open-source scripting language it helps in making dynamically easy your websites and web application. Mobiweb Technology is your best technical partner and offering you solution for any kind of website and application development. To hire PHP developer and web developer at affordable prices contact Mobiweb Technology via [email protected]

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