php vs javascript

Which is Best for Your Project — JavaScript or PHP?

With an ever-evolving array of new and innovative tools for web development, software engineers are finding new ways to reduce development time and save money while building superior products for their customers. Until recently, the JavaScript programming language was used solely for rendering client-side pages, while server-side rendering relied on PHP. 

Today, newbie frameworks like Angular.js and React.js, along with Node.js runtime environment, threaten to make PHP obsolete, since they enable JavaScript to be used for both client- and server-side rendering, and for full-stack development.

javascript vs php

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Client-Side vs Server-Side Rendering

When a web page is requested by a user’s browser, the page is delivered (rendered) to the browser by the website’s server. If the website is configured for server-side rendering, the browser will display the page on the user’s screen directly from the server. If the site is configured for client-side rendering, JavaScript is deployed in the user’s browser and the page is displayed directly from the browser. 

While distinguishing between client-side or server-side rendering may seem like splitting hairs to the average user, being able to use a single programming language for both frontend and backend development dramatically simplifies the development process.

What is PHP?

PHP is a widely used website programming language whose acronym originally stood for “personal home pages,” and now stands for “hypertext preprocessor.” Upwards of 75% of websites are currently configured with PHP. The language is embedded in HTML (hypertext markup language), the standard markup language for creating web pages, so it is highly compatible with HTML. PHP is open-source, so it is free to use, and PHP hosting is relatively inexpensive. 

But PHP has been losing ground in recent years as new languages like Python gain the attention of developers in response to growing demands for machine learning, artificial intelligence and data science. In addition, Node.js has simplified web development by enabling the use of JavaScript for full stack development.

javascript versus php

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Benefits of JavaScript vs PHP

JavaScript was introduced in 1995, only a year after PHP, but its adoption by developers was slow to gain traction. However, since the advent of Node.js runtime environment, JavaScript has gained popularity among developers in response to growing consumer demand for automation, dynamic graphics and interactive website functionality. 

JavaScript is designed to create and control dynamic and interactive web pages with features like animated graphics, interactive forms, autocorrect features and image slideshows. JavaScript works in concert with traditional coding languages like HTML and CSS to automate and animate a website’s features. 

JavaScript has several advantages over PHP:

  • While client-side rendering was once slower that server-side, new programming tools like Node.js and Python have made JavaScript the preferred language of developers for speedy delivery
  • JavaScript is compatible with HTML, XML, AJAX, and a growing number of JS frameworks. PHP can use and be integrated with JavaScript and modern JS frameworks, and serve only as a server-side technology if desired.  
  • Now that JavaScript is a full-stack development language, it can be used for both frontend and backend development. Web app development with PHP requires developers to know HTML, CSS and several syntax systems, and to be able to switch between languages

On the downside, JavaScript is a bit more difficult to learn than PHP, and it is not open-source, although many of its frameworks are. 

Some use cases for JavaScript include:

  • Streaming services like Netflix or Hulu
  • Chat applications that run on multiple devices
  • Stock trader applications that track prices, perform calculations, analyze data and create charts and graphs
  • User tracking and communication applications that allow you to monitor user behaviors, gather statistics, and interact with targeted groups
  • ML and AI projects
  • Browser plugins like LastPass or Wikibuy
php javascripts

Deciding on JavaScript vs PHP

Many developers still prefer PHP for client-side rendering due to its ease of use and low learning curve. But with a growing demand for new technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, we can expect to see a gradual but growing shift away from PHP. When deciding whether to use JavaScript or PHP for your project’s programming language, consider the following factors:

  • The scope and nature of you project
  • The client’s requirements
  • The need for scaling and machine learning functionality
  • Requirements for cloud integration
  • Security needs
  • Other project-specific needs and requirements

Website Engineering at Tateeda 

When it comes to building a top quality business website with flawless functionality, nothing beats experience. From selecting the best tech stack to writing code, the seasoned professionals at Tateeda draw on years of expertise to build a custom website that meets your requirements and exceeds your expectations. Contact Tateeda today, and see what a difference professional experience makes in website development.

Written by

Igor Kravchuk

Frontend Team Lead

Expert Mobile/Web Developer with Top Skills in Angular, Flutter, Typescript, and Dart.

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