PHP vs JavaScript: Best Comparison in 2022

In the PHP vs JavaScript It’s important to start by identifying that JavaScript is mostly a front-end language, while PHP is strictly a backend language.

It’s not fair to compare one language for backend to another for frontend development. However, since the release of Node.js, JavaScript has become capable of serving both client-side and server-side purposes. Therefore, some conclusions can be drawn for people considering which language to learn.

PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor

Now the PHP vs JavaScript represents PHP, which dominates server-side development. Both PHP and JavaScript are scripting languages, meaning they provide a script containing instructions to be interpreted at runtime. For example, PHP is a fully backend language, meaning that its scripts will be interpreted on the server. On the other hand, JavaScript scripts can be interpreted both in the browser and on the server.

What is PHP used for? Web development with PHP includes such actions as managing cookies, collecting information from web pages, and turning static web pages into dynamic ones. Does this sound similar to JavaScript? Because it is.

PHP vs Javascript logo

Creating dynamic PHP web pages is one use of this scripting language. Sometimes it can be enough to combine HTML and CSS to create static websites that rarely change. However, PHP can provide an extra dynamic effect. However, dynamic elements can also be achieved using Node.js JavaScript. Therefore, the dilemma becomes: which scripting language is more suitable?

Another important aspect of what PHP is used for is creating dynamic PHP web pages with MySQL. PHP works with a number of databases, but the most popular is MySQL. How does it work? Well, you can use PHP to connect to a database and present content on HTML pages.

There are usually two steps to learning PHP:

  • Learn programming language concepts, syntax and other features.
  • Learn to work with a framework that will significantly increase your chances of building successful projects. For example, the Laravel framework is one of the best and most popular PHP web development frameworks.


PHP vs Javascript logo

JavaScript is a scripting language that is heavily involved in web development and dynamically changes static web pages. You can add JavaScript code directly to an HTML document using </script> tags. Another option is to create a separate .js file and reference this external file in the HTML document.</p>

What is JavaScript used for? JavaScript’s web development capabilities allow websites to perform actions such as updating certain parts of a page without reloading the entire site, displaying pop-up messages, or introducing animations in 2D or 3D graphics. Overall, the main impact is on client-side development, but JavaScript is now able to perform server-side actions as well.

Node.js is an environment for running JavaScript code on the server. It is the main contender when it comes to the PHP vs JavaScript. Then browsers download the results and present them in web applications. Web development in server-side JavaScript (Node.js) includes the Google 8V JavaScript engine, a single-threaded non-blocking event loop, and a low-level I/O API.

Thanks to the event loop, Node.js provides more efficient request management. For example, while the file system is reading a file, Node.js is working on other requests. After the system reads the file, it sends it to the browser. In other words, while Node.js is waiting for one task to complete, it jumps to another.

Web Development: PHP Vs JavaScript

Comparing the use of PHP vs JavaScript can be based on backend or frontend development. From a frontend perspective, JavaScript runs in the browser right after the HTML and CSS appear on the web.

This tactic ensures that the main structure and appearance is ready before the JavaScript script is executed. In addition, JavaScript ensures that new content will be presented to the browser on the client side (which is a dynamic web page in the frontend sense). PHP is not an option for frontend development. So you’re left with JavaScript.


The biggest difference between JavaScript and PHP is the fact that PHP is strictly a server-side language, while JavaScript can be used for full-fledged development. However, let’s look at some other differences when it comes to PHP vs JavaScript:

  • One of the advantages of using PHP instead of JavaScript is that PHP can communicate with databases such as Oracle or MySQL.
  • While both JavaScript and PHP are interpreted scripting languages, the method of interpretation differs. All popular browsers have built-in JavaScript interpreters. On the other hand, PHP needs to be installed (installation is easy) when used on the server side.
  • Even if you have experience using JavaScript for the frontend, that doesn’t mean you’ll be ready to use Node.js right away. You need to learn about callbacks, blocking and setting up Node.js to make it work.
  • Developers report that PHP is easier to use than Node.js. One example is that Node.js typically requires multiple lines of code.
  • Another difference between PHP and JavaScript is that PHP executes commands synchronously, which means it waits until one command finishes before another can begin. JavaScript does the opposite: multitasking.

Comparison of syntax rules and popularity: JavaScript versus PHP

Is PHP easier than JavaScript? This aspect depends on your programming level and several arguments:

  • You may want to use JavaScript for frontend and backend development with the same language.
  • If you have studied Java in the past, PHP will be easier to master.
  • However, experts consider PHP to be more mature, which means that there are more resources to help you learn (code examples, advice on how to deal with errors and other glitches).
  • PHP is a powerful language and its programming concepts are easy for beginners to understand.
  • Node.js is not extremely difficult for beginners, but it definitely has more unique features that beginners will have to adjust to. After all, JavaScript as a language is more complex than PHP. Therefore, it also becomes more difficult to learn Node.js.
  • PHP frameworks like Laravel are still widely used in web development, even though Node.js has become more popular over the years. PHP remains the main language for backend web development.
  • PHP developer salaries are some of the lowest in the programming world. Why? Because there are many PHP programmers in the industry. Therefore, the job hunt can be more intense.
  • There are many online services that can be used instead of contacting a PHP developer. If you want to start a blog, instead of seeking help from developers, you simply create a WordPress account. However, PHP really shines when it comes to creating original projects that cannot be created from a template.
  • Node.js is unable to handle CPU intensive applications because it is event driven and single threaded.

Node.js and PHP performance comparison

Before the release of PHP 7, it might have been easy to say that Node.js wins the PHP vs JavaScript. However, PHP 7 is built on the PHPNG engine, resulting in 2x faster performance and 50% better memory consumption (compared to PHP 5.6).

Node.js is still faster than PHP when there is no need to process data in real time. Therefore, when you need to create chats, games, videos or large data streams, you may want to choose PHP.

jQuery vs. PHP

jQuery vs. PHP is an interesting question because jQuery is not even a separate programming language. It’s a library (or API) filled with additional functionality for JavaScript.

Using jQuery saves time for JavaScript developers because they don’t have to write the code themselves. Also, raw JavaScript is more difficult than jQuery. Note that the jQuery library only provides code for frontend development.

Therefore, jQuery and PHP have very little in common. For example, if you are a PHP programmer, you will not consider using jQuery (since this library does not provide PHP code).

Angular.js vs. PHP

First, Angular.js is another JavaScript framework. So PHP is a programming language while Angular.js is just a library to facilitate the development of single page applications.

A single page application refers to an application that dynamically updates pages without reloading entire new pages from the server. For example, dynamic web pages do not reload when you click on buttons such as categories or other additional information.

PHP and JavaScript together

It might seem unfair to say that PHP is better than JavaScript, or that you should definitely learn JavaScript before PHP. In fact, the best option is to master both instead of finding a winner in PHP vs JavaScript.

Together, PHP and JavaScript refer to the idea that you use Node.js as a complement to PHP. For example, PHP can create complex logic that deals with databases or other high-load tasks. On the same project, you can use Node.js to manage big data streams and create a better user interface.

You can use a combination of languages ​​for your project to make it dynamic. It’s common practice to use AJAX to update certain parts of pages based on user input without reloading them completely.

Let’s say you have a username field and you’re tracking user activity in it using JavaScript. Once visitors enter their user information, JavaScript sends the entered information to a PHP script and waits for a response. The server sends a response indicating whether such a username exists on the server or not.

The above scenario is one of the most common ways to use PHP and JavaScript together.


We have provided you with a thorough comparison of PHP vs JavaScript. Although PHP is easier to learn, it is capable of creating full-fledged websites. On the other hand, we have JavaScript, which is more complex but is one of the most popular languages ​​around.

For frontend development you will definitely choose JavaScript because PHP is only for server side development. However, when it comes to choosing between PHP vs JavaScript in terms of Node.js, the discussion becomes more complex.

PHP may be slower than Node.js, but the PHP user community is larger, which means there are more resources and tutorials to learn from. In addition, PHP offers many frameworks like Laravel, Symfony, Zend and others that make web development even more efficient. Although Node.js also offers many frameworks and resources, the support system is not as mature.

A final note on this topic is that PHP is the main programming language for backend web development. For best results and easiest administration, we recommend using PHP and JavaScript together.

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