PHP vs. Javascript: When to Choose What and Why

Web developers widely use PHP and JavaScript. PHP is a server-side script. In the beginning, JavaScript was a client-side script, but from 2009, after the introduction of Node.js, JavaScript was also used as a server-side script. So, as a web developer, which one should you choose?

Here are the differences between PHP vs JavaScript ​​you should look at.

Runtime environments

Both languages ​​can be embedded in HTML. Both need an artist. The JavaScript interpreter is integrated in standard web browsers. PHP is supported by the Zend Engine and is very easy to install.


JavaScript has problems with shared hosting and other things. PHP has no such problem. Therefore, PHP is considered by many to be a more efficient language than JavaScript. Using JavaScript can sometimes be complicated.


PHP is a straightforward language compared to JavaScript. When you set up a server, you only need a ‘.php.’ file. The codes are simple. Setting up a JavaScript server is very complicated. You need more lines of code.


PHP uses multi-threaded and blocking I / Os to do different jobs in parallel. But Javascript can get event-driven and non-blocking I / O. It uses only one thread of execution.

Most websites are developed with PHP and JavaSript. They have a large code base of libraries and community support for PHP and JavaScript, simplifying their use for website development. The selection is based on your requirements and skills.

What is PHP?

PHP is short for PHP Hypertext Preprocessor. It enables developers to create dynamic websites that are used to develop web applications. In contrast to static websites, the content can change at any time due to user actions or data updates. PHP particularly supports the simple evaluation of forms with which a user can send data to a website.

It enables collaboration with many different database systems; MySQL is mainly well supported, for example. Both components work together as best as possible. Many content management systems are programmed in PHP and save their data in a MySQL database. Compared to other programming languages, PHP offers many advantages

What is Javascript?

JavaScripts are inserted within the HTML code of a website and are then executed by the browser. This means: As long as a browser does not run JavaScript, the action behind it will not happen either. Usually, however, all browsers are set to execute any JavaScript found.

However, browser plugins such as NoScript ensure that you can globally deactivate any JavaScript found on any website. On the one hand, this provides, for example, that you no longer see advertisements on most websites. On the other hand, many pages don’t work anymore. This can even go so far that you won’t see anything at all, because the complete loading of the page depends on JavaScript.

Here is a great example to understand the big difference

Imagine that you run an online bookstore.

There is a function on the search page that allows you to search for the ISBN.

A valid ISBN is a self-checked number, so an algorithm can be used to check whether an entered sequence of digits can be an ISBN at all. The same applies, for example, to barcodes for sales packaging.

If a number is now entered there, it makes sense to check whether this can be valid directly. However, it does not make sense to send this to the server as a request until this has been clarified.

If a barcode or an ISBN has a number rotator, it is likely that the number cannot be a valid barcode / ISBN, since neighboring digits are weighted differently in the check digit.

It makes no sense to send a request to the server if it can be ruled out beforehand that this number is valid.

Since the algorithm for these test methods is clearly defined, this can also be calculated entirely independently of the server. So you could check something completely with Javascript.

This has three advantages:

  • The server is not so often burdened with requests that may pass nonsensical values.
  • After processing the ISBN check, the page does not have to be rebuilt!
  • There is no communication between the server and the client at all – which, like 2nd, proves to be an advantage, especially with slow Internet connections.

With Javascript, you can make changes during web development without having to exchange data with the server. Everything happens on the browser of the client that loaded the page. Once the browser has charged the page, functions can still be executed.

It’s different from PHP. PHP is only ever executed on the server. Once the page is loaded and you want to implement a function, a new request must be sent to the server. This causes traffic and requires a new page structure every time. This can take a long time, especially if many or large graphics are displayed on the page. All functions with PHP are processed when the browser shows the page.

However, what Javascript alone cannot do is, for example, open a file on the server, or output its content, run a database query on the server. Something like that is only possible with PHP.


Both, JavaScript and PHP have different use cases and both solve different problems. It is necessary to highlight the problems you are trying to solve before selecting the language of your choice or making the decision to hire PHP developers or hire Javascript developers.

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