PHP Vs Javascript: The Right Tech For Your Next Big Project

PHP Vs Javascript: The Right Tech For Your Next Big Project

Some programmers still claim that there is no point in discussing the differences between PHP and JavaScript as both cater to a different purpose in web site development. When it comes to PHP vs JavaScript for website development, the answer is incredibly straightforward – PHP is a server-side scripting language used for backend web development, while JavaScript is a client-side scripting language primarily used for frontend interactivity and dynamic content on websites. PHP and JavaScript together make dynamic websites. However, the advent of Node.js, Angular.js, and React.js enabled JavaScript to be applied to the server-side scripting as well. Hence, PHP vs JavaScript has become a viable topic for discussion. Let us proceed with the similarities and differences of PHP and JavaScript.


PHP- Hypertext Preprocessor is the server-side scripting language. It is one of the fundamental web technologies, with a majority of websites using this language. It empowers developers to build dynamically executed web sites. PHP includes several precise functions and outstanding features that allow the PHP developers to create feature-rich web pages and database driven sites. It helps in building high-level interactive web pages like picture galleries, login pages, etc. As PHP is Open Source, it can run on most of the operating systems available today like Windows, Mac OS, Linux or UNIX, etc. PHP is very easy to learn and use.

PHP Instances

  • Content Management Systems(CMS) like Word Press, Drupal, Joomla, etc.,
  • Servers like SQL, MariaDB, SQL, Postgresql, Sybase, etc.


JavaScript is a lightweight language often mentioned as a client-side scripting language that generally executes in the browsers to make interactive and dynamic web pages. It is widely used for building user-friendly creative web pages as well as non-web projects like game development, mobile apps, PDF and much more. It doesn’t require re-compiling, thereby increases the time efficiency. There are also advanced server-side versions of JavaScript like Node.js, and Angular.js, which enables designing websites with more functionalities than just downloading files.

JavaScript Instances

  • Front-end technologies like Angular JS, JQuery, Ember js, Backbone.js, Reactjs, etc.
  • Server-side technologies like MongoDB, Node.js, Express.js, etc.

PHP and JavaScript Similarities

Before we jump into the clash of PHP vs JavaScript, we should understand some similarities between the PHP and JavaScript. Both are object-oriented and interpreted languages. They are Open Sourced, platform independent, and offer memory management features. They are case sensitive to variables, support frameworks and always demand HTTP to execute. PHP is renowned for its object-oriented scripting features. On the other hand, JavaScript can mimic these features with encapsulated functions recognized in PHP as local variables and methods. The table below details the PHP and JavaScript Similarities:

PHP and JavaScript Similar Features






Easy to use existing code



Case sensitive to variables



Requires HTTP to execute



Supports framework



Platform Independent



Memory Management (garbage collection)






Exceptional Handling




Besides, PHP and JavaScript similarities, these two languages are a powerful combination when used together. Large numbers of websites combine PHP and JavaScript – JavaScript for front-end and PHP for back-end as they offer much community support, various libraries, as well as a vast codebase of frameworks. Developers who build online gaming sites generally combine PHP and JavaScript together, so they can offer reliable and secure platforms that host a wide variety of games. 

PHP vs JavaScript: Differences

Apart from PHP and JavaScript similarities, each has different benefits and utilities depending on how they’re used and when they’re employed. While considering PHP vs JavaScript, it is well established that PHP is the prominent server-side script and JavaScript is the ruler of front-end web development. Keeping this in mind, let us spread some light on the difference between PHP and JavaScript:

1. Usage of PHP vs JavaScript for Web Development

A report from shows the percentage of websites built with PHP vs JavaScript technologies:

Usage of PHP vs JavaScript for Websites as Server-side language

The graph depicts that around 79% of all websites use PHP as the server-side programming language, whereas only 0.7% of websites use JavaScript as the server-side language. Similarly, 77.4% of all websites, which are ranked in the top 1,000,000, use PHP.

However, when accounting the usage of client-side scripting language for websites, JavaScript beats the other languages. Technologies overview from states that JavaScript is the leading client-side language and is used by 95.2% of all the sites.

JavaScript as a client-side programming language

Each language is leading its own area of implementation; hence, you should pick the language based on its feature specifications rather than popularity. Let us move our PHP vs JavaScript discussion forward with other aspects of these languages.

2. PHP vs JavaScript Availability

Availability plays a big role in observing the difference between PHP and JavaScript. It defines who owns the script and who can modify them. PHP is an Open-Source language, and its source code is available free of cost to the public. Internet community owns the language, and it is available for changes from its original design. This is helpful for PHP developers as there is myriad of support offered by commonplace users. JavaScript is a non-free program, and it is an open standard program maintained by the W3C and Ecma International. 

3. PHP vs JavaScript Concurrency

Concurrency means a task is not completed until all the threads and sub-threads have finished the processing. Thereby, all the threads begin and end at the same time. PHP includes multi-threaded blocking Input/output to perform multiple tasks simultaneously with a systematic approach. On the other hand, JavaScript, a single threaded functional script achieves an event-driven model with non-blocking Input/output execution, which ensures everything runs concurrently.

4. PHP vs JavaScript Integration with External code

You can combine PHP code only with HTML Code. On the other hand, JavaScript code can be combined with the latest technologies like HTML, XML, and Ajax. 

5. PHP vs JavaScript Runtime Environments

Both PHP and JavaScript encompass different runtime environments. However, both can be effortlessly integrated with HTML code; each requiring different interpreters to run their code. PHP follows simple installation approach and uses Zend Engine as a compiler a well as the run-time engine. The reliability, extensibility, and performance of the Zend Engine play a significant role in the increasing popularity of PHP. With the introduction of Node js, a JavaScript runtime environment, JavaScript gets the capability to perform tasks that other server-side programming languages can do like controlled access to content, data analysis, and customized user experience. Both the browser JavaScript and Node.js execute on the V8 JavaScript runtime engine. 

6. PHP and JavaScript Simplicity

The significant difference between PHP and JavaScript is how simple they are to learn and use. Comparatively, JavaScript seems harder to learn due to its complexity, advanced features, usage of event queue and violation of certain rules supported by other programming languages. Though PHP is powerful with its bigger library, it is simpler to use. PHP offers a function for each operation you can come up with. Many popular websites including Facebook use PHP because of its simple-to-use nature. 

7. PHP vs JavaScript Comments

Comments are the programmer’s readable explanation added while coding to make the script easier to understand for humans. Interpreters and compilers generally ignore them. The following diagram compares PHP Vs JavaScript comments by listing which language supports which kind of comments.

PHP Vs JavaScript Comments

PHP Comments

JavaScript Comments

<?php // PHP single line comment 1

# PHP single line comment 2

/* PHP multi-line comment */

echo "<p>Hello!</p>";


// JavaScript single line comment

/* JavaScript

multi-line comment */

alert(“Invalid user name.");

8. PHP vs JavaScript Variables

When learning or programming two different languages, it is helpful to compare PHP vs JavaScript variables as these languages use different ways to declare them. PHP considers all variables as local unless it is declared as Global. In JavaScript, to declare a local variable, you should use the keyword “var”, or else it would be taken as Global by default.

PHP Vs JavaScript Variables

PHP Variables

function bar()


    $variable_a = 'value';     // Local variable declaration.


     function bar)


     global $variable_b;   // Global variable declaration.

     $variable_b = 'value';



JavaScript Variables

function bar()


   var variableA = 'value'; // Local variable with use of "var".


function bar()


   variableB = 'value'; // Global variable, no "var" declaration.



Another important thing to consider is the Boolean variables. PHP accepts the keyword “true” in both lowercase and uppercase. However, JavaScript recognizes the keyword only when it is completely lowercase. For example:

PHP Vs JavaScript Boolean Variables



is_boolean(true); // TRUE

is_boolean(True); // TRUE

is_boolean(TRUE); // TRUE

typeof(true); // 'boolean'

typeof(True); // 'undefined‘

typeof(TRUE); // 'undefined'


Similarly, the difference between PHP and JavaScript continues in Case Sensitivity. Though both are case sensitive in recognizing variables, PHP is not case sensitive while dealing with class or function declaration but JavaScript maintains case sensitivity for these also. 

9. PHP Vs JavaScript Objects & Arrays

The main difference between PHP and JavaScript is PHP treats objects and arrays as different entities with different syntaxes while both are interchangeable in JavaScript. JavaScript allows switching the syntax of objects and arrays freely. In addition, JavaScript doesn’t have associative arrays.

PHP Vs JavaScript Variables

PHP Objects and Arrays

// Define an array.

$roo = array(); // New empty array.

$roo = array('a', 'b', 'c'); // Numeric index.

$roo = array('a' => '1', 'a' => '2', 'c' => '3'); // Associative.


// Define an object.

$foo = new stdClass(); // New empty object.

$foo->a = '1';

$foo->b = '2';

$foo->c = '3';


JavaScript Objects & Arrays

// Define an array (longhand).

var roo = new Array(); // New empty array.

var roo = new Array('a', 'b', 'c'); // Numeric index.

// Define an array (shorthand, more common).

var roo = []; // New empty array.

var roo = ['a', 'b', 'c']; // Numeric index.

// Define an object.

var foo = {}; // New empty object.

var foo = { // New populated object.

   a: '1',

   b: '2',

   c: '3‘


When to use PHP vs JavaScript

If you are in the middle of choosing the right back-end technologies, just consider the following points:

Pick PHP as your back-end language when your project covers:

  • Solution stacks like LAMP (Apache, Linux, MySQL, PHP)
  • CMS like Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, etc
  • Servers like PostgreSQL, MariaDB, Oracle, Sybase, etc.

Choose JavaScript when your project covers:

  • Front-end technologies like Angular js, React js, Backbone.js, Ember.js, etc.
  • SPAs (Dynamic Single Page Applications)
  • Server Technologies like MongoDB, Express.js, Node.js, etc.
  • Solutions Stacks like MEAN (Express js, Angular js, MongoDB, etc.)

On the comparison of PHP Vs JavaScript, PHP can hold a slight upper hand because of its open-source availability and simplicity. Instead of comparing these languages, better combine PHP and JavaScript to reap the benefits of both.


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