How to Choose the Best Language for Your Project: PHP vs. JavaScript

Do not listen to anyone who says, “JavaScript is only for front-end development, and PHP is for back-end development.”

Before I declare one language superior to the other, there is one point I need to make clear. I don’t want to turn the PHP vs JavaScript debate into an apples-to-apples comparison, so let me explain the main differences between the two languages.

JavaScript, on the other hand, was created as a front-end development language. However, with the release of Node.js in 2009, JavaScript became a full stack language. PHP is a programming language that is only used for back-end development.

The widely held belief that “JavaScript is only for front-end development and PHP is for back-end development” is simply untrue. The question is, which language is more appropriate for your project? You can now use JavaScript to create the entire app, both client and server side.

I’ll compare PHP vs JavaScript for web development based on the following criteria to help you make an informed decision: As a result, if you’re deciding between PHP and JavaScript, the debate boils down to which language you’d prefer to use for back-end development.

  1. a quick overview
  2. Performance and quickness
  3. Adaptability
  4. Universality is a term used to describe a
  5. a neighborhood
  6. Curve of learning
  7. grammatical structure
  8. Apps for which it is best suited

a quick overview

JavaScript is a programming language that allows you to

Brendan Eich introduced JavaScript in 1995, and it is known for its curly-bracket syntax, first-class functions, and prototype-based object orientation. JavaScript is a dynamic programming language that is lightweight, multi-paradigm, high-level, interpreted, or just-in-time-compiled.

According to Statista, 69 percent of developers worldwide use JavaScript, with another 5% planning to do so. As of late 2019, it is the most popular programming language in the world, according to the report.

PHP is a scripting language.

Facebook, Wikipedia, and, of course, WordPress are among the most popular. PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, and it’s a back-end scripting language that’s free to use. According to the W3Tech survey, PHP is used on 79% of all websites. Rasmus Lerdorf created the language in 1994, and it has since gained worldwide recognition.

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Speed & Performance

JavaScript is a programming language that allows you to

The I/O execution model in JavaScript is event-driven, single-threaded, and non-blocking. The event loop and Node clustering ensure such a model.

JavaScript is the best solution for low latency applications, such as streaming platforms, because of this. Because Node.js is asynchronous, it can run through the entire code without having to wait for some functions to complete. The V8 engine, constant server connection, and callback functions speed up Node.js even more.

PHP is a scripting language.

A multi-threaded, blocking I/O execution model distinguishes PHP. PHP, unlike JavaScript, is a synchronous language. PHP is much slower than JavaScript because the second line of code cannot be executed until the first has been completed.

While PHP is undoubtedly slower than JavaScript, some argue that it is more stable. However, this benefit is a bit hazy and not completely proven.

JavaScript, on the other hand, earns a point for its incredible speed. Both PHP and JavaScript’s dependability and stability are open to interpretation.

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JavaScript is a programming language that allows you to

HTML, XML, and Ajax can all be used with JavaScript.

There are a lot of great JavaScript frameworks, and it’s impossible to keep track of them all because new ones come out all the time.

Vue, Angular, and React are the most popular front-end JS technologies, but we at KeenEthics believe Svelte has a bright future.

Node.js is the most popular server-side framework. The framework you choose may influence the speed and cost of development, as well as the performance and other technical characteristics of your future app.

When it comes to package managers, Node.js comes preinstalled with NPM (Node Package Manager). NPM is the world’s largest software registry and greatly simplifies the lives of developers.

PHP is a scripting language.

PHP can only be used in conjunction with HTML.

These solutions have the potential to greatly simplify and even reduce the cost of web development. The availability of CMSs such as WordPress or Drupal is probably PHP’s greatest advantage. Any LAMP stack technology, as well as server solutions like MySQL or PostgreSQL, can be used to extend PHP.

Composer is a PHP dependency management system. PEAR (PHP Extension and Application Repository) is an open source PHP code library with a structured structure. PEAR and Composer are two package managers for PHP.

Overall, JavaScript provides more extensibility options, so it wins the point.

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Universality is a term used to describe a

PHP, like JavaScript, is cross-platform. Despite the fact that both PHP and JavaScript can be used to create mobile apps, their primary purpose is to develop web applications.

JavaScript is a programming language that allows you to

JavaScript is the only technology you’ll need to create a complete web or mobile app. The most significant advantage of JavaScript over PHP is that it is a full-stack development language. The majority of JS vs PHP comparisons claim that JavaScript is only for the front end, but this is simply not true.

KeenEthics’ experience backs this up: as a JS-focused company, we build custom web and mobile solutions from the ground up using only JavaScript.

PHP is a scripting language.

The LAMP stack, which stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python, includes PHP. PHP is only used for back-end development.

Switching between languages is inconvenient and inefficient, and it adds significantly to the learning curve. A software engineer must be familiar with four different syntax systems, as well as HTML and CSS, in order to build a web app using this technology stack.

The greatest advantage of JavaScript development is that it is full-stack development.

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a neighborhood

JavaScript is a programming language that allows you to

The universality (“can be used on front end and back end”), popularity (“it is everywhere”), and extensibility (“there are a lot of great frameworks”) are among the main reasons why developers enjoy working with JavaScript, according to

Netflix, LinkedIn, Trello, Uber, Airbnb, Instagram, eBay, NASA, and Medium all use JavaScript.

The majority of JS frameworks are open source, but JavaScript is not.

With over 20% of pull requests, JavaScript is the most popular language on GitHub.

PHP is a scripting language.

The most popular advantages of PHP, according to, are its large community, open source, and ease of deployment.

Facebook, Lyft, Wikipedia, Slack, Tumblr, and 9 GAG are just a few of the companies that use PHP.

Because PHP code is open source, it is more adaptable and customizable.

PHP is only in eighth place on GitHub, with only about 5% of pull requests.

Both PHP and JavaScript earn a point because they have large support communities and are used by large tech companies.

1–4 PHP vs. JavaScript

Curve of learning

PHP is a scripting language.

PHP is much easier to pick up than JavaScript. Creating a server is as easy as creating a single.php file, writing a few lines of code enclosed in <?php?> tags, and pasting the URL into a browser tab.

PHP quirks, such as inconsistency in functions or return values, are also easier to grasp and master than JavaScript quirks or the quirks of some JS frameworks.

JavaScript is a programming language that allows you to

It’s not difficult to set up JavaScript, specifically Node.js, on the server side. However, it is more difficult to learn than PHP. In comparison to a beginning PHP developer, a beginning JS developer requires more knowledge.

However, the time and effort you put into learning JavaScript will pay off handsomely. Because JavaScript is more universal than PHP, the time spent learning it is much more worthwhile.

Beginner developers will appreciate the ease with which PHP can be learned.

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grammatical structure

In most cases, a programming language’s syntax is simply a matter of personal preference. As a result, neither language receives a point.

Perhaps some peculiarities of a particular language will work better for you, and this will influence your decision. In case you’re still undecided about which language to learn, I’ll provide a side-by-side comparison of JS and PHP syntax rules.

  • Brackets of various types, such as curly, round, and square brackets, are used in both PHP and JavaScript.
  • Variables in PHP and JavaScript can be of any type, they can change type, and the type can be checked using a language-specific operator – typeof in JS and gettype in PHP.
  • Arrays begin with “0” in both languages.
  • The foreach() loop, which is unique to PHP, can be easily converted to a for() loop in JS. Both PHP and JavaScript have the same for() loop; the only difference is how the variable inside the for-brackets is declared.
  • Variables in JS are global by default unless they are declared local with the var keyword. Everything within this function or its subfunctions has access to a local variable.
  • In JS, “+” is used for both addition and concatenation.
  • In variables and functions, JS is case sensitive.
  • In JS, there are no associative arrays (key-value pairs); instead, JSON strings should be used.
  • Arrays and objects are very similar in JS and are frequently used interchangeably. An array item can also be referenced as an object item.
  • The fullstop “.” is used to refer to items in objects in JS.
  • The dollar signs “$” are used to denote variables in PHP, but not in JS. Unless declared global with global, all variables are local by default. Unless you pass a local variable as an argument, it will not be available in subfunctions.
  • In PHP, “+” is used for addition, and “.” is used for concatenation.
  • Only variables in PHP are case sensitive.
  • Numeric and associative arrays are both supported by PHP.
  • Arrays and objects are two distinct concepts in PHP, with distinct syntax.
  • The arrow “->” is used in PHP to refer to items in objects.

More syntax differences between PHP and JavaScript can be found in this table and this article. These are some of the most fundamental distinctions between these languages that you should be aware of.

As I previously stated, neither language earns a point because the syntax is a personal preference.

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Apps for which it is best suited

JavaScript is a programming language that allows you to

Because JavaScript is hosted on a dedicated server, it is ideal for large projects. It can be used to create both the front end and back end of almost any type of software application, such as 3D games, AR/VR solutions, IoT products, and so on.

PHP is a scripting language.

Despite the fact that PHP is a general-purpose programming language, it is most commonly used to create dynamic web pages. PHP is the best solution for blogs, learning management systems, and e-commerce websites due to the availability of PHP-based content management systems such as Moodle and WordPress.

Because PHP and JavaScript are so widely used, they both get a point. Once again, each language is unique in terms of the apps it is best suited for, but neither better nor worse than the competition.

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To Sum Up

The PHP vs. JavaScript comparison ends with a score of 3 to 5 – JavaScript wins.

In terms of community support, extensibility, and app compatibility, both languages are fairly good. Meanwhile, it trails PHP in terms of learning curve, despite the fact that the syntax, as we discussed, is a matter of personal preference. In terms of speed and universality, JavaScript is unquestionably superior.

Keep in mind that this does not always imply that JavaScript and Node.js are the best choices; it is entirely up to you and your project.

Choose Node.js for the following reasons:

  • If you want to create a single-page application,
  • If you want to create a real-time application, such as a streaming service or a messenger, you’ll need to use Swift.
  • If you’re planning to build a large project with a lot of data,
  • If you’re doing front-end development with JavaScript.

Choose PHP as your programming language:

  • If you want to start a blog or an e-commerce site, you should first learn how to code.
  • If you’re already using some LAMP technologies.

Do you have a project in mind?

Please contact us if you are ready to change the game and begin your project. My company, KeenEthics, cannot assist you with PHP, but we are a JavaScript company with experience who is willing to take on the challenge.

or How to Choose the Best Technology for Your Web App’s Back End (NodeJS vs Python). What Should You Use for Your App: Angular or React? If you liked this article, you should definitely check out another great comparison:


I’d also like to thank Yaryna Korduba, one of KeenEthics’ most talented web developers, for inspiring and contributing to the article.

The original article can be found here on the KeenEthics blog: Which Technology Is Better for Your Business: PHP or JavaScript?

KeenEthics’ Head of Inbound Marketing. I’m keeping up with tech trends and delving into the world of marketing.

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