Key Differences Between JavaScript and PHP

Know Both to Further Your Web Development Skills

If you have an interest or are already working in the web development field, you likely know there are many different computer and coding languages that power the computer programs, websites, and applications we use every day. Two of the most common are JavaScript and PHP. Each language is important in its own right, and web developers should have a working knowledge of both, but what are the key differences between JavaScript and PHP? In this Digital Workshop Center blog, we’ll help you answer this question and detail why all developers should have an understanding of each to be successful in today’s tech-driven job market.

Differences Between JavaScript and PHP

While most experienced developers would agree that it’s not really fair to compare these two development languages, it is important to understand the best uses for each and how to apply them to your projects. Major differences between JavaScript and PHP include:

  • Front-end vs. Back-end – At the most basic level, JavaScript is designed to help developers design websites and programs that clients or users will see on the front end. JavaScript is a highly versatile program that allows you to create websites and pages that are interactive and attractive to users. On the other hand, PHP is a server-side program that is designed to help developers write scripts that tell the server and the computer how to behave together. Users never really see these interactions, as they are at the back end of a website. So in essence, JavaScript is designed for the human experience, while PHP is designed for server performance.
  • Functions – Another one of the key differences between JavaScript and PHP is their intended functionality. JavaScript is designed to make websites look and perform really well by helping developers build interactive sites that would be impossible to accomplish with HTML alone. PHP programming is responsible for all the server-side activity, such as handling requests, authenticating users, and helping to make the site secure. The functions and capabilities of these two languages are completely different, and they each bring different capabilities to the site.
  • Simplicity and Ease of Use – Nearly all developers agree that PHP is easier to use and learn than JavaScript. In order to run a PHP application on a website, you simply need a .php file that is easily installed, and it will begin running. In order to use a JavaScript file on your site, on the other hand, you must include many more lines of code and be able to properly understand how to apply the closures and callback functions standard with JavaScript files.
  • Ability to Run Concurrently – PHP, like many back-end languages, uses multi-threaded, blocking I/O to carry out multiple tasks at the same time. Alternatively, JavaScript uses a different non-blocking I/O execution path to creating a single, main thread of execution. The differences in how these two languages handle concurrent tasks affect the overall user experience on your site.

As a web developer, it’s crucial to understand the functions and features of both languages, as well as the key differences between JavaScript and PHP. By learning both, you’ll have the tools you need to create sites that function exactly as you’re imagining by using the right language at the right time.

If you’re ready to learn more about JavaScript and PHP, check out the classes and certification programs at Digital Workshop Center. We provide hands-on, individual training to help you intimately learn both JavaScript and PHP to ensure that you maximize your training investment and you walk out of the class with the confidence to code any website. Contact us to learn more about our classes and programs.

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