PHP vs JavaScript: Differences, how to select the best one for your project

Programmers compare coding languages for years. The best programming language depends on the project. As a programmer, you must choose the right language for your project. Both PHP and JavaScript play a significant part in web development. PHP is a server-side language while JavaScript is a client-side language, and both are important. Here’s a comparison of different languages to help developers choose the best for their project

PHP vs JavaScript – Guide to Choose the Best One for Your Project

Comparison between programming languages has been going on for years among programmers. Picking the best language is more dependent upon the project than not on the programming language. As a programmer, it’s your duty to select the best programming language for your project. When it comes to PHP and JavaScript development, they are equally important and have their own role. When we compare these programming languages for web development or web app development the answer is straightforward, PHP is a server-side language while JavaScript is a client-side language, and both of them carry equal significance. To assist developers to decide the best language for their project, here is an in-depth comparison between these languages based on various aspects.

Table of Content

Comparison between PHP and JavaScript

Performance

Centrality

Learning Curve

Developer’s Community

Database

What you can build?

Choose JavaScript if

Choose PHP if

Takeaway

Frequently Asked Questions

We have compared PHP and JavaScript on these bases

  • Performance
  • Centrality
  • Learning
  • Database
  • Community

Performance

PHP

PHP is an asynchronous programming language. So, the next line of PHP code can’t be executed before the previous line of code, making it slower than JavaScript, which is a synchronous programming language. But since the release of PHP 7, the new engine has doubled the performance and improved memory consumption. In comparison to an older version of PHP such as PHP 5.6, PHP 7 can handle twice the request and the performance has increased 2x times.

JavaScript

Unlikely PHP JavaScript is a synchronous programming language, so the block of code can be executed simultaneously, which makes it faster than PHP.

Winner: JavaScript

Centrality

PHP

PHP is a server-side scripting language used in the backend, i.e. it runs on a web server opposite to the client machine. It is useful in delivering dynamic content to the user to use, predominantly from the database. It is not compatible with the frontend, like JavaScript.

JavaScript

Since the release of Node.js, JavaScript has been a full-stack development language that can be used to create both frontend and backend of web apps, mobile apps, and desktop apps.

Winner: JavaScript

Learning Curve

PHP

As a beginner, it is easier to learn PHP development you can start learning PHP and start working on the project and soon become a PHP developer but if you are a beginner JS can be a bit tough for you and can be challenging.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a bit tough in comparison to PHP, you should have more knowledge to start learning JavaScript than PHP. Also, setting up JS is also harder than PHP. Nevertheless, JavaScript is more versatile and brighter with more value than PHP, however, JavaScript development takes a prolonged time to learn.

Winner: PHP

Developer’s Community

PHP

PHP shares about 5% of pull requests on GitHub, which means it has a good community. Companies including Wikipedia, Lyft, Slack, and 9GAG use PHP which creates a larger community among developers. Moreover, according to stackshare.io a huge advantage of learning PHP is the larger community, open resources, and simple development process.

JavaScript

JavaScript is the most popular language on GitHub, with over 18% of the pull request. The codes are open-source and easy to customize. Moreover, giant companies like Netflix, LinkedIn, Trello, Uber, Instagram, and Medius use JavaScript which proves the community is huge.

Winner: Draw 🏁

Read more: Quick Guide for Hiring Remote Developers in 2022

Database

JavaScript

There are many various frameworks of JavaScript which allow the creation of databases. Frameworks like Express JS and Vue JS are popular JS frameworks to create databases.

PHP

PHP supports a wide range of databases that can create a new database. PHP is widely popular for the purpose of making databases as it is simple, secure, and heavy databases that can be created with PHP.

Winner: Draw 🏁

Okay, so what can you build with PHP and JavaScript?

A Website

Website with PHP and JavaScript

JavaScript

JavaScript can be used to create both frontends with animation and effects, moreover various frameworks of JavaScript such as express JS, and Vue JS can be used to create a backend. So JavaScript can be used to create a full-fledged website. Although it can be used for server-side scripting but according to a report from W3tech.com  around 2% of the website uses JS as a server-side scripting language.

PHP

Because PHP cannot develop the front end of a website, it cannot produce a fully functional website. However, PHP can generate a highly secure and large database for any website. In terms of server-side scripting, PHP outperforms JavaScript, with 77.5 percent of websites using PHP and only 2 percent using JavaScript. According to a W3tech survey, the world’s most popular website uses PHP as its server-side scripting language.

Here is the report from W3tech:

Source: w3techs

Web Apps and Games

Web applications and games

JavaScript

JavaScript is versatile and can be used to create web apps like Google Maps, webmail, and web browser game.JS, and HTML5 together can create games that can run on a web browser.

PHP

PHP is not that versatile to create games and web apps, however, most games and web apps and games need a database that can be created by using PHP.

Choose JavaScript if

  • Your website is a real-time website, a streaming service like YouTube, or Netflix, or an application like a messenger.
  • Website is a single-page website
  • Website is a heavy website that needs to make frequent requests with the server to serve the information.
  • Website is fancy, consisting of high-end animations

Choose PHP if

  • A website is a blogging website or eCommerce website like Amazon, eBay, or Flipkart.
  • If you want to build a plugin for WordPress, hire a PHP developer

Takeaway

We compared both programming languages on a number of factors. In comparison, PHP is easier to learn and can create a complete backend for any website, but JavaScript is difficult to learn and can just create a frontend. Early decision is critical. Also, it is crucial to decide whether to develop on PHP or JavaScript. ultroNeous provides dedicated web development services, contact us now for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Can JavaScript Do that PHP Cannot?

The answer to the question is not straightforward, as both of them have the most similar characteristics and features. Both are better at doing certain things differently from others. However, JavaScript can be used in the frontend to create animation, UI components, popup, forms, and many more which can’t be done using PHP. As a developer, it’s your duty to choose the language wisely, depending on your project.

Is PHP easier than JavaScript?

As a beginner, learning PHP is easier and considered easy, and it doesn’t take too long to master PHP. However, if you want to put a lot of effort into a single language, JavaScript, is a long way to go. Learning and mastering JS takes a long time as it has many frameworks.

Why is JavaScript the most popular and widely used language?

According to the report from stackshare.io, the main reason behind the huge popularity of JavaScript is because of its universality (“Can be used on both backend and frontend), popularity (used everywhere from small single-page websites to complex websites), and extensibility (“There are many frameworks).

What are the key differences between JavaScript and PHP?

PHP is popularly known as a server-side scripting language, while JavaScript is popularly known as a client-side scripting language.
PHP supports databases, while JavaScript doesn’t.
PHP can’t be used to design the frontend development, whereas JavaScript can be used for frontend development.
JavaScript executes on the browser, while PHP doesn’t execute on the browser.

  • What Can JavaScript Do that PHP Cannot?

The answer to the question is not straightforward, as both of them have the most similar characteristics and features. Both are better at doing certain things differently from others. However, JavaScript can be used in the frontend to create animation, UI components, popup, forms, and many more which can’t be done using PHP. As a developer, it’s your duty to choose the language wisely, depending on your project.

  • Is PHP easier than JavaScript?

As a beginner, learning PHP is easier and considered easy, and it doesn’t take too long to master PHP. However, if you want to put a lot of effort into a single language, JavaScript, is a long way to go. Learning and mastering JS takes a long time as it has many frameworks.

  • Why is JavaScript the most popular and widely used language?

According to the report from stackshare.io, the main reason behind the huge popularity of JavaScript is because of its universality (“Can be used on both backend and frontend), popularity (used everywhere from small single-page websites to complex websites), and extensibility (“There are many frameworks).

  • What are the key differences between JavaScript and PHP?
  1. PHP is popularly known as a server-side scripting language, while JavaScript is popularly known as a client-side scripting language.
  2. PHP supports databases, while JavaScript doesn’t.
  3. PHP can’t be used to design the frontend development, whereas JavaScript can be used for frontend development.
  4. JavaScript executes on the browser, while PHP doesn’t execute on the browser.

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