- Brief overview
- Performance and speed
- Learning curve
- Apps it is best suited for
PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, and it is an open source scripting language for back end development. Developed in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf, the language received global recognition. According to the W3Tech survey, 79% of all websites use PHP. Among the most popular ones, there are Facebook, Wikipedia, and, of course, WordPress.
Performance & Speed
The most popular front-end JS technologies are Vue, Angular, and React, but here at KeenEthics we also see a bright future for Svelte.
The most common server-side framework is Node.js. What framework you choose may define development speed and cost, performance, and other technical qualities of your future app.
As for package managers, Node.js comes with NPM (Node Package Manager) preinstalled. NPM greatly facilitates developers’ lives, and it is the largest software registry in the world.
PHP can be combined with HTML only.
Probably the greatest advantage of PHP is the availability of CMSs like WordPress or Drupal. These solutions may greatly facilitate and even make web development cheaper. PHP can also be extended with any LAMP stack technology and such server solutions as MySQL or PostgreSQL.
There are two package managers for PHP – PEAR and Composer. PEAR (PHP Extension and Application Repository) is a structured library of open source PHP code. Composer is a dependency management tool for PHP.
PHP is a back end development language only. PHP belongs to the LAMP stack, which stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python.
To develop a web app with this technology stack, a software engineer needs to know four different syntax systems, as well as HTML and CSS. Switching between languages is neither convenient nor efficient, and it complicates the learning curve badly.
Stackshare.io shows that the most beloved advantages of PHP are a large community, open source, and simple deployment.
PHP is used by such companies as Facebook, Lyft, Wikipedia, Slack, Tumblr, and 9 GAG.
PHP code is open source, which makes it more flexible and customizable.
On GitHub, PHP takes only the eighth place with about 5 % of pull requests.
<?php?> tags, and entering the URL into the browser tab.
PHP wins a point for learning simplicity, beginning developers will definitely appreciate it.
The syntax of a programming language, in most cases, is just a matter of personal preference. Therefore, neither of the languages win a point here.
Yet, I will provide a side-by-side comparison of JS and PHP syntax rules in case you are here thinking about which language to learn. Maybe some peculiarities of a certain language will work better for you, and this is how you will make your choice.
- In both languages, arrays start with “0”.
- In JS, variables are global by default unless declared local with var. A local variable is available for everything within this function or its subfunctions.
- In JS, both addition and concatenation are done with “+”.
- JS is case sensitive in variables and functions.
- There are no associative arrays (key-value pairs) in JS, you should use JSON strings instead.
- In JS, arrays and objects are very similar and often interchangeable. An object item can be referenced as an array item as well.
- In JS, items in objects are referenced with a fullstop “.”.
- PHP makes use of dollar signs “$” to denote variables, whereas JS has no such sign. All variables are local by default unless declared global with global. A local variable will not be available in subfunctions unless you pass it in an argument.
- In PHP, addition is done with “+”, and concatenation is done with “.”.
- PHP is case sensitive only in variables.
- PHP allows both numeric and associative arrays.
- In PHP, arrays and objects are completely different things with different syntax.
- In PHP, items in objects are referenced with an arrow “->”.
As I said, neither language wins a point here because the syntax is a matter of personal preference.
Apps it is best suited for
Although PHP is a general-purpose programming language, it is primarily used for developing dynamic web pages. Considering the availability of PHP-based content management systems such as Moodle and WordPress, PHP is the best solution for blogs, learning management systems, and e-commerce websites.
To Wrap Up
- If you plan to develop a single page app,
- If you plan to build a real-time application, such as a streaming service or a messenger,
- If you plan to build a large project with heavy data load,
- If you plan to develop a blog or an e-commerce website,
- If you are using some of the LAMP technologies already.
Do you have an idea for a project?
If you have enjoyed the article, you should definitely read another wonderful comparison: Angular vs React: What to Choose for Your App? or NodeJS vs Python: How to Choose the Best Technology to Develop Your Web App's Back End.
I would also like to say thank you to Yaryna Korduba, one of the awesomest web developers at KeenEthics, for inspiring and contributing to the article.