php

78.9% of all websites use PHP as their server-side programming language.

Some of the names include giants such as WordPress, MailChimp, and Facebook. 

97.9% of all websites use JavaScript as their client-side programming language. 

Source

Some of the names include Google, YouTube, and Amazon.  

Confused about whether you should hire PHP developers or JavaScript developers? We’re here to clear your confusion. 

In the next five minutes, we’ll help you decide the winner of the PHP vs JavaScript battle. The article will compare 10 aspects of the two programming languages:

  1. Performance
  2. Speed of coding
  3. Security
  4. Documentation
  5. Extensibility
  6. Universality
  7. Popularity
  8. Talent pool
  9. Community
  10. Learning curve

Note: the information is true at the time of writing. That’s March 2022.

PHP vs JavaScript — a step-by-step comparison

  1. Performance

PHP 

PHP is characterized by:

  • A blocking I/O
  • A multi-threaded execution
  • Synchronous nature

The synchronous nature doesn’t allow PHP to execute the second line of code until the first line is executed. 

Thus, if you’re asking, “Is PHP faster than JavaScript?”,  the answer is no. 

JavaScript

JavaScript offers a single-threaded, event-driven, and non-blocking I/O model. Furthermore, the programming language offers node clustering and event looping as well. 

The synchronous nature allows JavaScript to execute each line of code simultaneously. The feature makes JavaScript the perfect choice for low-latency applications such as streaming platforms. 

Winner

JavaScript offers faster and more efficient performance than PHP.

  1. Speed of coding

PHP

More than 1,000 in-built functions allow developers to create specific tasks. You can access the list of operations online or create your own functions for giving commands. 

The logical and well-organized PHP syntax makes coding even easier as well.


JavaScript

JavaScript comes with features such as: 

  • HTTP requests
  • Operators
  • Syntax
  • Event queues

Add to it the asynchronous nature of JavaScript and the programming language offers a slower speed of coding than PHP.

Winner

PHP offers a faster speed of coding than JavaScript. 

  1. Security

PHP 

Here’s how the security features of PHP protect the system:

  • PHP code runs exclusively on the server. 
  • The in-built security features protect the system against security threats such as SQL injections, data tampering, and cross-site request forgery. 

You can increase the security level of PHP by:

  • Deploying PHP apps on cloud servers
  • Using SSL certificates for HTTPS
  • Hiding files from web browsers

JavaScript

JavaScript is the 4th most vulnerable programming language — after Java, PHP, and C. Furthermore, the JavaScript security threat increases when you use JavaScript on the client-side server. 

Use the below-mentioned security best practices to receive better protection for your website:

  • Using HTTP
  • Opting for HTTP-only cookies
  • Manipulating the DOM with innerText

Winner

PHP is more secure than JavaScript.

  1. Documentation

PHP

PHP documentation comes in 9 languages:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Russian
  • Japanese
  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • Turkish

The English version offers the most accurate information. The other versions can be confusing as they are translated versions.  

Furthermore, you can download the documentation as well.

JavaScript

JavaScript documentation is based on the latest drafts of ECMA-262 and ECMA-402. The documentation offers answers to all the fundamental questions developers have while coding.

However, the documentation language isn’t beginner-friendly.

Winner

Both PHP and JavaScript offer adequate documentation. However, the developers of both programming languages can do better when it comes to documentation. 

  1. Extensibility

PHP

PHP is compatible with:

  • Leading Content Management Systems such as WordPress and Drupal
  • HTML
  • LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) stack technology
  • Server solutions such as MySQL and PostgreSQL  

Furthermore, you can extend PHP using PHP package managers such as PEAR and Composer as well. PEAR is an open-source code library offering a hierarchical design. Furthermore, Composer is a PHP dependency management tool.

Also read:

Types and Examples of NoSQL Databases

40 Best Free and Open Source NoSQL Databases

Why NoSQL is the future of IoT

Adapting NoSQL Syntax to SQL Databases

MongoDB, Cassandra, and HBase-the three NoSQL databases to watch

5 Questions Enterprises Should Ask When Selecting a NoSQL Database

What are the Best Practices for SQL Server That Saves It from Damages?

What Data Scientists Need to Know About SQL

The Limitation of MySQL Database in a Typical Big Data Environment

Business Intelligence Benchmark for SQL-on-Hadoop Engines

JavaScript

JavaScript is compatible with:

  • React
  • Angular 
  • Vue

Furthermore, you can combine JavaScript with:

  • XML
  • HTML
  • Ajax

JavaScript extensibility features include over 30,000 Visual Studio Code extensions such as:

  • npm intelliSense
  • ESLint
  • JavaScript (ES6) code snippets

Winner

JavaScript is a better choice than PHP when it comes to extensibility.

  1. Universality

PHP

PHP is an internal programming language. Thus, developers can use PHP only to write server-side code. 

Furthermore, developers must learn 4 syntax systems to create a web application with PHP. However, switching between the languages is difficult and comes with a steep learning curve.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a cross-platform full-stack programming language. Thus, developers can build an entire web or mobile app with JavaScript. 

Winner

JavaScript offers more universality than PHP.

  1. Popularity

PHP

PHP powers 76.2% of all websites in the top 1,000,000 websites.

Furthermore, PHP holds a 45.43% market share. 

Source

JavaScript

67.7% of all developers opt for JavaScript as their preferred programming language, as per data from the Stack Overflow 2020 survey. 

Source

Furthermore, developers search more for JavaScript than PHP as confirmed by Google Trends. 

Source

Winner

Both the programming languages are equally popular. 

  1. Talent pool

PHP

6.3 million developers worldwide work with PHP. 

PHP developers in the U.S. earn $115,345 a year on average with the highest number being $130,163 a year.    

JavaScript

12.4 million developers worldwide work with JavaScript.

JavaScript developers in the U.S. earn $106,408 a year on average with the highest number being $131,013 a year.

Winner

Both the programming languages offer a vast talent pool, thanks to their demands. 

  1. Community

PHP

WordPress. Wikipedia. Slack. 

These are some of the tech giants that put their trust in PHP. The credit goes to the open-source code of PHP which offers a customizable and flexible programming language. 

Furthermore, PHP ranks 8th on GitHub with 8% pull requests.

JavaScript

Airbnb. Instagram. LinkedIn. 

These are some of the tech giants that use JavaScript. The reasons behind such a reputation are the extensibility and the versatility of the programming language.

Furthermore, JavaScript tops the chart on GitHub with 18% pull requests.

Winner

Both PHP and JavaScript come with backings from tech giants and massive communities. 

  1. Learning curve

PHP

An easy learning curve is one of the top benefits of PHP. Developers can set up a server by:

  • Creating a single .php file
  • Writing several lines of code enclosed in <? php?> 
  • Entering the URL in the web browser tab

Furthermore, developers can understand and master PHP features including return values or incompatible functions much more easily than JavaScript features.

JavaScript

JavaScript offers a steeper learning curve than PHP. Furthermore, developers need to learn CSS and HTML to grasp basic concepts of JavaScript.

However, you can find numerous books, websites, courses and online tutorials on learning JavaScript.

Winner

PHP offers an easier learning curve than JavaScript. 

PHP vs JavaScript — which programming language should you choose?

The winner of the PHP vs JavaScript battle will depend on your needs. 

Choose PHP if you’re using Content Management Systems such as WordPress and Drupal. Furthermore, opt for PHP if you’ll use the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) solution stack.

Go for JavaScript if you’ll use the MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, and Node.js) solution stack. Furthermore, JavaScript is best suited for developing dynamic single-page applications.

You can use both PHP and JavaScript together for even better results as well.

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