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Difference between JavaScript and PHP

Both JavaScript and PHP are two of the most popular and versatile programming languages used for website development.

Many programmers would agree it’s not fair to compare one with the other because they have different purposes when it comes to website development.

While JavaScript is a client-side scripting language, PHP is the most popular server-side scripting language. JavaScript handles things on the browser side without going back to the server side, whereas PHP handles things at the server side.

PHP is based on C language, so anyone with a decent knowledge of C would find PHP easy to master. While both are used to improve the functionality of websites, they have their fair share of pros and cons which definitely put one above the other.

Let’s take a look at the main differences between the two.


What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a high-level scripting language that is synchronous with client-side scripting. It’s a versatile language of the front-end that is mainly used to make web pages interactive and dynamic. It was originally developed to perform client-side functions, but is evolved to provide server-side functionalities too, since the release of Node.js in 2009.

It’s a versatile programming language which is specially designed to build interactive web interfaces to make websites look really good. It’s one of the most powerful programming languages used to create interactive effects within web browsers without interacting with the server side.

In simple terms, it renders web pages in a dynamic fashion to make them look good. It brings web pages to life.


What is PHP?

PHP (short for Hypertext Preprocessor) is an open-source programming language used for used for server-side web development, which means the scripts are only executed on the server that has PHP installed.

Unlike JavaScript, it is tasked with server side functions such as building custom web content, handling request, authenticating users, etc. Today, most of the websites run on PHP because of its strengths as a powerful back-end content management system.

And the best part; it can be integrated with a host of databases including MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Informix, Sybase, etc. What makes PHP so special is its simplicity and portability which makes it easy to master and use. It was originally designed for web development but now evolved as a popular general purpose language.


Difference between JavaScript and PHP

  1. Purpose of JavaScript and PHP

– Both are high-level programming languages used for website development and are great for novice and veterans alike. However, they both have different purposes. While JavaScript is a multi-paradigm high-level programming language which is synchronous with client-side scripting, PHP is the most popular scripting language mostly used to perform server-side functions.

  1. Function of JavaScript and PHP

– JavaScript is specifically designed to build interactive web interfaces and create network-specific applications without interacting with the server side. In simple terms, it can make the website look really good by just changing the attributes of HTML tags. PHP, on the other hand, is tasked with all the server side functions like building custom web content, authenticating users, handling requests, displaying results, etc.

  1. Simplicity in of JavaScript and PHP

– While both improve website functionality, there are some things that JavaScript does well but PHP doesn’t. However, JavaScript seems a bit harder to learn because of its complexity. PHP, on the other hand, is much more powerful than JavaScript with a bigger library but is conceptually simpler to use. For beginners, it would be wise to do PHP first and then go for JavaScript.

  1. Concurrency of  JavaScript and PHP

– JavaScript is a single-threaded functional language that is based on an event-driven model which means everything runs concurrently and the best part; it never blocks. It makes JavaScript ideal for low latency applications such as stream servers. PHP, on the other hand, is a multi-threaded language that is synchronous by nature which means it blocks all I/O operations to perform multiple tasks in parallel with a step-by-step approach.

  1. Applications of JavaScript and PHP

– JavaScript has a clear edge over PHP when it comes to dedicated server hosting making it ideal for large scale projects with larger scope. As a client-side scripting language, it’s used for literally every type of software application including Node.js, 3D games, productivity apps, Internet of Things, and more. PHP is mostly used for developing dynamic web pages but can be used as a general-purpose programming language too. It helps you build dynamic web applications and a lot more.

JavaScript vs. PHP: Comparison Chart

Summary of  of JavaScript Vs. PHP

The main difference between the two is that JavaScript is a client-side scripting language whereas PHP is a server-side scripting language.

However, since the release of Node.js, JavaScript has also been used as a server-side technology allowing you to build scalable network applications.

While both have different purposes when it comes to website development, it all comes down to the purpose you’ll be using it for. PHP has a little edge over the JavaScript because of its simplicity and open source nature, but there are many things JavaScript does that PHP doesn’t.

While JavaScript is ideal for creating network specific applications, PHP is a general purpose language used for building custom web content.

Simply speaking, JavaScript is the language of the front-end, whereas PHP is the language of the back-end.


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1 Comment

  1. Hi Sagar, Thank you for sharing the differences between PHP and Javascript…This helped me in my University assignment, which could be too difficult if I have to look at different web blogs.

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References :

[0]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PHP%2B%2B.png#/media/File:PHP%2B%2B.png

[1]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JavaScript-logo.png

[2]Flanagan, David. JavaScript: The Definitive Guide. Sebastopol: O’Reilly Media, 2006. Print

[3]Haverbeke, Marijn. Eloquent JavaScript. San Francisco: No Starch Press, 2011. Print

[4]Lavin, Peter. Object-Oriented PHP: Concepts, Techniques, and Code. San Francisco: No Starch Press, 2006. Print

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