PHP vs JavaScript: Which Language Is Best Suited For You?

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Some programmers believed that PHP Vs. JavaScript is not a fair comparison. Both of these languages serve a different purpose in website development. But in PHP Vs. JavaScript, the outcome is pretty simple. PHP is known for server-side scripting, while JavaScript is well known for client-side scripting. Both the scripting languages help in making a dynamic website. However, after the launch of Node.js, Angular.js, and React.js, JavaScript can do server-side scripting. So, comparing both the languages is quite fair now.

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Both languages have a different fan base. However, JavaScript has evolved in the past few years exponentially, which made PHP Vs. JavaScript comparison is pretty exciting and a must for programmers who are willing to choose between the two languages and think which one is better. 

The comparison will be between the backend and the server-side scripting of the language. It is more like a personal choice of the user. Whatever you prefer, can be selected from the language of your choice. 

A fair comparison will be between writing a code, executing, and the environment of both the programming languages. The way a user interacts with the compiler—the integration of the language with the browser. Let’s discuss what makes one language different from another one. 

For web developers, however, it is their preference. This comparison will help novice website developers make a better choice between PHP Vs. JavaScript programming languages. 

JavaScript

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Creating JavaScript’s primary purpose was to develop a language that will eliminate the need to recompile the code without taking help from a third-party plugin and seamlessly integrating it into the browser. Since its creation, JavaScript has evolved unimaginably. From the early days of the Netscape browser, it was more famous as LiveScript, which was later changed to JavaScript. 

The most significant change that has been introduced in the language was including Node.js that provided the extra functionality of running and functioning even on the server. The language still holds the multi-purpose and high-level language with a dynamic nature that is the first choice for most developers. 

The stats indicate that JavaScript is more popular than any other language. With over 69% share in the market, the language holds a high market share with a strong community that supports the language. 

PHP

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Rasmus Lerdorf created PHP in 1994. The primary aim is to take care of the backend and server-side scripting. Since then, the language has evolved and is globally recognized for its power to develop a robust backend.

A survey concluded that PHP develops more than 79% of the websites. Even the most popular sites like Facebook, Wikipedia, and WordPress are developed on PHP. 

It’s open-source nature helps developers create their extensions and modify the current ones according to the client’s requirements. 

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PHP Vs. JavaScript

Now, you know the languages’ primary purpose, let’s place both the languages head to head and compare the languages’ full capacity. You can make your choice once you understand the strength of both languages.

Speed & Performance

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The unique feature that separates JavaScript from other languages is the model that it is based-upon. Unlike other programming languages, JavaScript offers a non-blocking and event-driven model along with input-output that operates on clusters of nodes by first creating a loop. The most amazing thing about JavaScript is its asynchronous code, which means you can quickly execute them in one go.

This one-feature lowers the ping, and the latency helps Node.js outshine other programming languages. This improves the speed of the application and makes it faster. Even the V8 Chrome extension was developed on Node.js, ensuring guaranteed high performance. 

For PHP, it is a multi-threading and non-blocking model for the input and output of data. But PHP is synchronous. This means that the language interpreter runs line by line, which means the next line code cannot be executed without going through the last line. This makes PHP a bit slow when it comes to executing the code’s speed compared to JavaScript language. While PHP might lack in speed, it surely compensates it with stability. 

Who Has A Better Community Support?

The reason behind the popularity of JavaScript is that it is a universal language. With the new updates, JavaScript can be used to write back and frontend code; a full-stack developer can easily understand this language and work on it. The framework used in this language is open-source, giving the developers full-room to try things and code as per their need. 

However, the language itself is not open-source, which means on GitHub, there is a lot of debate around the code and how to improve the code to make things work. 

On the contrary, PHP is open-source, which means the deployment of the language is easy. The major player of PHP is Facebook, Lyft, Wikipedia, and the social media platform 9GAG. 

The open-source PHP gives an edge over JavaScript. On GitHub, PHP is one of the most popular programming languages for the community where people help each other try out new things. The open-source nature of the language makes it easy for web developers to adopt the language code and make the changes as per their requirements. 

There is a lot of support for JavaScript too. Website developers can interact with each other and resolve issues whenever they feel stuck. 

The Learning Curve

It’ll take some time for PHP users to understand the syntax and familiarize themselves with the environment. After you learn the basics, you’ll get the code up and running with just a few lines. The return value and the context is easier to understand. It’s digestible and straightforward, which makes it popular among even novice developers. 

In JavaScript, you have Node.js, which can get the server up and running without much effort. But to understand JavaScript, unlike PHP, you need some information before you start coding. For novice developers, you must go through guides before you start coding. 

For JavaScript, you need hours of debugging and understanding the basics before you start getting the handsome returns. This is necessary because the nature of JavaScript makes it a universal language, so the developers prefer it as a language that can deliver results.

The Concurrency in PHP Vs. JavaScript

This means that all the threads and sub-threads must be finished first before the processing begins to complete the task. Thereby, the threads must start and end at the same time for the instances to run smoothly. 

PHP offers a multi-threaded input and output blocking that easily supports various threads running at the same instance. With JavaScript, a single thread script follows an event-driven approach and the non-blocking on input and output, ensuring concurrently running without creating any delay in the execution.

Modules

Modules are generally programs within programs. They have a particular set of functionalities, which can interchange as per the requirement of the developer. 

The PHP supporters often complain that Node.js projects are not at all stable as PHP ones. The community has grown so much, but the systems are barely in place. You need a lot of work to make changes in the modules and even then, they are not that safe. But the launch of Node.js has helped some make changes easily. 

For this reason, Node.js has a package, which can check a malicious code in each packet and make the necessary changes. The toxic code can easily be eliminated without much effort.

PHP has an edge in this area. You can easily export features in PHP on other platforms too, which is a plus point. 

Node.js is trying hard to cope-up with this but so far is not as successful as PHP in this practise. But as technology grows, this drawback might be addressed at some point in the future.

Case Sensitivity

One of the main concerns of web developers is the case sensitivity of the language. It’s the distinction between the upper case and lower case letters that makes all the difference. 

PHP is a case sensitive language where variables may not work if used with the wrong syntax. You cannot use a different case while costing as it will not work. 

So in PHP, you want to create a variable and use it; here what will happen:

$dog = “tommy”;


Now here $ Dog is the variable. But if you use $DOG at any place, it won’t work at all. 

But with PHP functions, you don’t have to worry about case sensitivity because they don’t have such a problem. You can create a function like 

Function dogrun() {

// your code goes here

}


And later in the code, if you use DogRun(), it will understand and run without any error. 

But this is not a good coding practice. As a developer, you must maintain consistency regardless of the language using it or not. 

With JavaScript, the variables are case sensitive. This means that Dog will be different from DOG. So, you need to ensure that you are using a similar case while coding. 

The Runtime Environments

Both the languages have their runtime environments. PHP Vs. JavaScript integrates with the browser effortlessly. With PHP, there is a Zend Engine compiler, which makes it reliable, and in the past few years, its popularity has gained importance among website developers. 

On the other hand, with its Node.js launch, JavaScript has gained the capability to perform data analysis and create a user’s custom experience. JavaScript uses a V8 JavaScript runtime that has boosted the speed of the language. 

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Comments

Comments provide a helping hand to the developers. They provide a bridge between the programmer and the other programmer. The compilers and interpreters don’t worry about them at all. 

In PHP, you need # for a single line comment. 

Like 

# This code must not be read. 

For multi-line comment, both PHP Vs. JavaScript has /* to begin and end the comment. 

/*

The comment starts here

Now you can get back to coding. 

*/

The best approach is to use the languages in combination 


Both PHP and JavaScript are popular languages and create a powerful impact on the final product when used in combination. Most of the websites now prefer to combine both the languages and gain the full advantage of the features offered. The frontend of JavaScript and the backend of PHP give the community support, libraries, and various frameworks necessary to develop high-end websites. 

To create a stable website using both the languages, it is necessary to consider this. It can only be done if you have the time to understand the power of both languages. But it is highly recommended that you stick to only one language if you don’t have ample time to invest. 

Closing Thoughts

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In the end, you can say that the battle of PHP Vs. JavaScript is a never-ending loop. At times, one language seems to take the lead while other languages might be on top. 

However, the difference between both languages cannot be accessed without a response from the user. This means that it all boils down to the personal choice of the requirements of the user. You can choose one language over another when you think that the project might be a good fit for that language.

  • You are looking to create a one-page application. 
  • You are planning to create a streaming service like Netflix. 
  • You are willing to create a CMS website with WordPress or Joomla, or Drupal. You can easily customize a theme or create from scratch. 
  • The data load is heavy, and the project is ongoing, which makes it a perfect fit. 
  • You are building the frontend.
  • You are planning to develop a blogging website or an eCommerce store. CMS platforms like WordPress or Joomla can quickly be developed. 
  • If you are planning for a LAMP-based technology, then PHP is the right choice for you. 

All and all, it is a personal choice of whatever your project demands. Look at what features you need and go with that choice. You can even combine and use both the languages to get most of the benefit from both the languages.

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