JavaScript and PHP: Main Differences
- May 28, 2012

Each dynamic language has its own specific functionalities, preferences as well as their own advantages and disadvantages. It’s best not to limit your knowledge to one language as the combined knowledge of both creates a multitude of possibilities. In this article we would look on the best sides of JavaScript and PHP in order to define what tasks they would solve best of all.

Types of Dynamic Languages

There’s a simple division of programming languages on both client and server side. JavaScript is a typical representative of first languages introduced and PHP is second. Client side works directly in the user’s browser. The browser performs all commands and actions on web page.
Depending on which browser or even device used can produce different results causing users to see the same exact website layout. Some users prefer Internet Explorer, Opera, Chrome and some Firefox. Each browser uses its own unique methods for query processing. So in this case the browser – is referred to as the client that interprets all written code which is displayed to the website visitor.
Server languages are a little bit different. All code executes on the server (that place where the whole website it hosted) so the users browser displays only results. The final end user or website visitor cannot figure out which language was used such as PHP by simply opening a page source.

Briefly about PHP

PHP during many years has become one of the most popular languages selected for web-development. It provides a much bigger options, abilities with more instruments than classic HTML provides. Opening the doors for developers to create bigger and more complex web pages.
The main differences of HTML is how it processes work with a page divided in two stages.
1. Special PHP-interpreter process with PHP code and compiles simple HTML code based on result of operations execution.
2. Browser receives a final HTML code and works with it. This stage is the standard and the only one in case of writing pages on only HTML.
PHP could be used like separate language or in pair with HTML in the form of special inserts.
The main reason PHP remains popular choice is that HTML is static and cannot provide different data in particular cases. HTML accepts inserts or snip-it pieces of PHP code so you can receive various results depending on existing or various conditions.. PHP is very useful in creation of dynamic web pages.

Briefly about JavaScript

Also known as JS this language is mostly used to make web pages even more interactive. It executes directly into the user’s browser and operates with DOM model of the web page.
According to DOM, a web page could be presented in the form of tree structure of different objects. You can interact with each of them in order to receive necessary result.
JavaScript code is written directly within the HTML code of page. In order to place it you need to use special pre-tag script so the server will perform the initiating of certain different language request.
You can use JavaScript code in special container or directly inside HTML code. But best practice is only first variant and any actions implement separately like functions.
JS language actually allows developers to fully manipulate the entire web page structure and its elements. Mostly it is used for creation for different animated elements, photo galleries, sliders and other visual elements. It can also be used to produce different data provided to the user.

Resume

These two languages are different by principle. One is client, another – server programming language. JavaScript is object-oriented language that interacts with different objects on page.
There’s a difference within the principles of work. PHP is multithread and can operate a few queries at once, when JavaScript cannot do it by itself. If PHP can work only inside HTML. Another language could also be implemented using XML and AJAX. 
In closing, JavaScript cannot be used as an alternative for PHP. It’s more like an additional supporting language, facilitating and expanding the abilities of performing processes within a web page.

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