PHP vs JavaScript : Major Differences Between PHP and JavaScript

PHP VS JAVASCRIPT: Two Languages Poles Apart

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PHP VS JAVASCRIPT: Two Languages Poles Apart

Fresh graduates out of college look for a bright career ahead. Computer programming and software/app development offer highly lucrative careers. If you are good at programming, you need to decide if you want to work on the client-side or the development-side. Most popular is PHP for the development side and JavaScript for client-side. This is the obvious difference, but there are some other differences too that you need to know.

Both JavaScript and PHP are scripting languages suited for web development as both are used on the majority of the websites. Some popular websites such as Facebook, Wikipedia, and Flickr were built with JavaScript and PHP. One of the most popular content management system and website development platform, WordPress, is built using PHP and JavaScript.


JavaScript is capable of doing a lot of things PHP used to do. As both front-end and back-end development can be handled through JavaScript, it is considered more potent than PHP. There are some significant differences between PHP and JavaScript that I would like to discuss in this blog. Also, I would like to add something about the functionalities and attributes of both of them.

Major Differences Between JavaScript and PHP

JavaScript is used by tech giants and multinational conglomerates like Netflix, Walmart, and PayPal to build internet applications. In the beginning, interactive web pages were the start, but now web and mobile applications, real-time applications, and games can easily be created. Every browser has a separate JavaScript engine to execute the codes for quick action.

PHP is different from client-side JavaScript as the code is executed on the server-side and HTML is generated, which is then sent to the browser, which receives the results of running that script, but the underlying code is hidden. A PHP program can generate dynamic page content and collect form data along with send and receive cookies.

PHP scripts are used on the server-side, but you can also write PHP scripts for desktop applications. PHP runs on almost all major Operating Systems such as Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux, to name a few.

Let’s start discussing php vs javascript and offer you some major differences. First up is language type and then will go on to discuss other features and attributes.

  1. Language Type

As discussed above, both JavaScript and PHP are scripting languages. JavaScript was known to run only on the browser, but Node.js changed it all. Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript run-time environment that executes JavaScript code outside of a browser. Node.js lets developers use JavaScript for server-side scripting to produce content for web sites which is dynamic in nature. Node.js offers you to use a single language on both client and server-side.

  1. Open Source

PHP is open-source and hence it is free to use and develop. A large community is dedicated to providing and has a good support base. Since it is free of cost all you need to start working with PHP is a PHP parser, a web server (such as Apache), and web browsers like Google Chrome. JavaScript is an implementation of ECMAScript and ECMAScript is an open standard but not open source. JavaScript downloads are free there is no need to pay for the scripts written in JavaScript.

  1. Concurrency

JavaScript is an asynchronous language and provide single-threaded programming. When we compare it to PHP, it is an asynchronous and multi-threaded language. Ajax with JavaScript can be used to bring in the asynchronous functionality for creating excellent web development facilities.

  1. Database Access

For a server-side language such as PHP, accessing the database is easy but not in the case of JavaScript. As it is a front-end language needs an environment for directly accessing the database. 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.

Accessing the database using a server-side language such as PHP is easy; however, JavaScript being a front-end language needs an environment for directly accessing the database. 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.

  1. Simplicity

JavaScript is a programming language. Hence if you know another programming language, then learning JavaScript will be much easier for you. Similarly, PHP is also regarded as a programming language easy to learn. There are online tutorials and manuals available online for JavaScript and PHP.

Both are interpreted languages, which means that you can make changes to your code and run it again to see the effect without having to recompile the code.

  1. Platform Independent

Both JavaScript and PHP are platform-independent, which means they can run on all major Operating Systems such as Linux, Windows, and Mac. JavaScript can run on any browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Edge (previously Internet Explorer), etc.

  1. Security

When it comes to being secure, PHP is the developer’s choice as it is secure than JavaScript. The reason is PHP code is not visible in the browser. JavaScript code is prone to security risks and is very much vulnerable. You can secure your JavaScript code by using some tools, but still, PHP is far more secure than JavaScript.

Final Verdict


JavaScript is currently being used by an overwhelming majority of the websites. You can also create web pages that work well across various browsers, platforms, and devices. JavaScript Frameworks are available in the web market like AngularJS, ReactJS, NodeJS, etc. and by using them, development time and effort are significantly reduced. For large-scale web applications, JavaScript is easily the better one.


The simplicity of the code and being free to use are features that make PHP a great choice for developers. Huge set of standard libraries makes development quick with PHP. If you are comfortable with Object-Oriented Programming and the use of libraries and frameworks, then PHP must be your first choice.

Wrapping up the debate, you can use both JavaScript and PHP collaboratively for the best results, depending on your application development requirements.

Over to you

Please offer your valuable feedback for this blog or ask any questions by using the comments section below.

Hammad Husain
Hammad Husain
Hammad Husain is a Senior Digital Content Producer at Dubai Monsters. He is passionate about reading books, mostly related to current affairs, memoirs, latest trends in technology and sports. In leisure time, he likes to use the Internet and spend time with his family.