PHP vs JavaScript: In-Depth Comparison of the Two Scripting Languages

php vs javascript

PHP and JavaScript are both scripting languages that web developers use frequently. But each has its own nuances and use cases.

In this post, we’ll explore the differences between the two, and when you should use each language in development projects.

Let’s begin by looking at how these languages came into being.

PHP vs JavaScript: Origins

PHP is an open source language created in 2004 by Rasmus Lerdorf. The name came from Personal Home Page Tools — a set of scripts used by Rasmus to track visits to his site.

With the launch of PHP 3.0, the language got a reverse acronym: PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It’s simply known as PHP now.

JavaScript was created in 1995 by Brendan Eich of Netscape to bring interactivity to the Web. Originally known as Mocha, the name was changed to LiveScript, and later JavaScript to take advantage of the Java language’s popularity.

Today JavaScript is officially known as ECMAScript, but JavaScript is what most people still call it.

So, both languages have been around for some time.

Now we’ll look at some of their other similarities.

Did you know that JavaScript was originally known as Mocha? Or that the name PHP came from Personal Home Page Tools? ? Learn more about these popular scripting languages right here ⬇️Click to Tweet

PHP and JavaScript Similarities

Language Type

PHP and JavaScript are both scripting languages. This is as opposed to ‘pure’ programming languages such as Java or C++.

Scripting languages tend to be interpreted rather than compiled. That means they are translated into machine code via a third party rather than directly. This has an impact on their runtime.

Think of it this way: imagine you want to translate a web page from your native language into Navajo. If you didn’t know the Navajo language you’d need an interpreter to help you, and the translation would take more time.

This is why compiled languages tend to be faster than interpreted languages.

Typing of Variables

Another commonality is that PHP and JavaScript are weakly typed.

This means that when you create a variable in either language, you do not need to assign its data type: it is assumed.

So, you can write the following in PHP:

$x = 'Hello world';

$y = 'Bonjour le monde';

Or in JavaScript:

var x = 'Coding is fun';

let y = 'No, honestly';

In both languages, these variables will be recognized as strings (sets of characters).

This is opposed to a strongly typed language like Java, where you must say what type of variable you are using when you declare it:

int x = 5;

Both PHP and JavaScript are dynamically typed: in other words, you can change the type easily by redefining

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This article was written by Claire Brotherton and originally published on Blog – Kinsta.

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