Comparing JavaScript and PHP Programming Language

In this tutorial, we will learn about PHP and JavaScript, and their differences in detail. Both languages are used for web application development. Here, we will learn how and where we can apply them along with their advantages, application areas, and code examples to create high-performance web applications.

What is PHP?

PHP is a server-side scripting language that is used to create web applications. The PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It was created by Rasmus Lerdorf and first released in 1995. It is influenced by C, C++, and Java language.

It is mainly used to create web applications where it works server-side. We can use it to fetch data, store data into the database, and can be used to write business logic for the application. 

PHP is popular among web developers to create quick solutions with less effort. If a developer has knowledge of either C or Java then can easily understand and write code in PHP.

There are several PHP frameworks available to make PHP more productive. The PHP frameworks such as Laravel, Symphony, CakePHP, Yii, etc are very popular.

For more detail, you can refer to the official documentation here.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is an open-source client-side scripting language that is used for client-side data handling. In a web application, handling client-side data is very important which makes JavaScript an essential part of web development.

It was created by Brendan Eich and first released on December 4, 1995. JavaScript file is saved with .js extension.

In web applications, JavaScript can be used to validate data client-side. For example, when an application receives user data such as username then to validate that the username should contain only alphabets can only be performed by JavaScript.

For more detail, you can refer to the official documentation here.

PHP vs JavaScript – A Brief Comparison

In this table, we are describing key differences of PHP and JavaScript language.

PHP JavaScript

It is a server-side scripting language.

It is a client-side scripting language.

It is used to create dynamic web pages.

It is used to handle the client-side.

It is an object-oriented language. 

It is a prototype-based language.

It was created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1995.

It was created by Brendan Eich in 1995.

Its file extension is .php.

Its file extension is .js.

It supports integration with various libraries like mail API, database handling, etc.

It can be integrated with Jquery, AJAX, etc to make the UI more under control.

It cannot work client-side. It means it does not run on browsers.

It can work on the client-side and server-side both by using the nodeJS runtime environment. 

It is secure since it executes on the server-side.

It is less secure.

It is not fast compared to JavaScript.

It is faster than PHP.

PHP Code Example

Since PHP is easy to learn and write so writing a simple Hello World application does not require much code and effort. We can print “Hello World” by using a simple statement. PHP code requires a PHP tag to enclose the code so that compiler can treat it as PHP code. See the example below where we are printing a message to the browser and notice it is wrapped with a tag.       


PHP code can be embedded into HTML code to create dynamic web pages. See, we created a simple “Hello World” application with HTML tags.


JavaScript Code Example

JavaScript code works client-side on the browser so we can simply use it on an HTML page. Here, we are using internal JavaScript to create an application.

JavaScript Code Follows:

Benefits Of Using PHP

The following are some advantages of using PHP language.

  • PHP is an open-source Scripting language.

  • It is easy to learn.

  • It has a rich set of library functions

  • It supports a wide range of databases such as MySQL, Oracle, MongoDB, MariaDB, etc.

  • It is platform-independent, which means code written in PHP can execute on Windows, Linux, and even on Mac OS.

  • It is secure it executes on the server-side. It means code not available at the client-side on the browser.

  • It has a vast and worldwide developers community to support.

  • It is very effective for creating dynamic web applications on a budget.

  • It has numerous frameworks such as Laravel, Yii, CodeIgnitor, etc for fast web development.

Benefits Of Using JavaScript

The following are some advantages of using JavaScript language.

  • It has performance due to the JIT compiler for JavaScript.

  • It is easy to learn, code, and embed.

  • It takes less response time due to browser-side execution.

  • It supports all the major browsers such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.

  • It has several frameworks such as NodeJS, AngularJS, ExpressJs, ReactJs, etc.

  • It is easy to debug and test at the client-side.


How To Use PHP?

We can use PHP code either at the client-side or server-side. It means if we create a dynamic web page then we can add PHP with HTML code. If we just want to write business logic then no need to add with HTML, simply write code in PHP at the server-side.

See the example below where we created a simple “Hello World” application using PHP.

This approach is good when we are writing code for business logic at the server-side. Since at the server-side only PHP code is required to perform operations and communicate to the database. Here, no need to embed code into HTML since HTML does not work on the server so doing so makes no sense. 

PHP Code with HTML Code

This approach is good only when we want to create dynamic web pages that contain some dynamic data carried by the PHP code from the server-side so we can embed that into an HTML page to make HTML on the fly.



How To Use JavaScript?

To use JavaScript in the web application there are mainly three ways: inline, internal, and external. Here, we are explaining with examples to use these ways.

// Inline JavaScript Code Example

If we use JavaScript code at the same place where it is required in the HTML tag then it is called inline JavaScript. For example, if we want to show an alert message when user click on a button then we can use the JavaScript code like this:


// Internal JavaScript Code Example

If we use JavaScript at a single place in the HTML page header then it is known as Internal JavaScript. Here, we used the

JavaScript Code Follows:


// External JavaScript Code Example

We can use an external file(.js) to keep JavaScript code separate from the HTML and other language code. It makes the web page more clean and organized. To work with external JavaScript just create a file, write code into it and save it with the .js extension. This file will be treated as a JavaScript file. To link this file to the HTML page, simply use this tag inside the tag of the web page.

This tag will read the code from the file and all done!

Top PHP Frameworks

The following are some popular PHP frameworks that are highly in demand.

  • Laravel

  • CodeIgnitor

  • Symfony

  • CakePHP

  • Yii

  • Slim

Top JavaScript Frameworks

The following are some popular JavaScript frameworks that are highly in demand.

  • Angular

  • Vue

  • React

  • NodeJS

  • BackBoneJS

  • Aurelia

  • Polymer

  • Meteor


Applications Build Using PHP

The following are the big applications and brands that use PHP.

  • Wikipedia

  • Tumblr

  • Facebook

  • WordPress


  • MailChimp


Applications Build Using JavaScript

The following are the big applications and brands that use JavaScript. Almost all web applications use JavaScript, some of these are:

  • Netflix

  • Facebook

  • Uber

  • Google

  • PayPal



  • Youtube

  • Amazon


FAQs About PHP Vs JavaScript

Que. Which is better JavaScript or PHP?

Answer: PHP and JavaScript both are different languages and serve different purposes. For example, PHP is used for server-side handling while JavaScript is used for client-side handling. So both are king 

Que. Is PHP harder than JavaScript?

Answer: PHP and JavaScript both are very easy languages to learn and code. However, JavaScript is a little bit easier to learn compared to PHP. 

Que. Is PHP Safer than JavaScript?

Answer: Yes, PHP is safer than JavaScript because it executes on the server-side.  

Que. Can PHP replace JavaScript?

Answer: No, PHP and JavaScript both serve different purposes and are part of their own domain. Nobody can replace anyone neither PHP nor JavaScript.

Que. Is PHP a dying language?

Answer: PHP is one of the most popular server-side languages. According to a survey, PHP is used by almost 75% of all websites. So, thinking of such is not a good idea.


In this article, we clearly see that PHP and JavaScript both are strong languages and have several features. JavaScript is used to handle the frontend and necessary for validating client data at browser and PHP is necessary for building dynamic web pages. You should learn both languages if you want to be a web developer. 

We have seen a descriptive comparison of PHP and JavaScript in detail. This tutorial also discussed the benefits of PHP and JavaScript.

We used several code examples of PHP and JavaScript to understand the language and the syntactical difference of both languages. We also covered some common FAQs that will give extra shots of information.