Do you know that PHP and Java are among the top 10 programming giants, and choosing one as the best is a complicated decision? Developers’ preference of a language is based on its compatibility with the system and project goals. Let’s explore the merits and demerits of both in detail to decide which one is a better option for web development.
In this digital era, where machines and computers have taken over human labor, learning programming languages to drive these computers has become crucial and prolific. A programming language acts as an intermediary between humans and computers and helps create codes that direct computers to behave in a certain way and carry out particular tasks. Programming skills are the top in-demand skills in the modern market, with an average salary of around $100K per annum. As the market is copious with various programming languages, choosing the best is a bit challenging, especially for people who aren’t tech-savvy. No programming language is poor; it’s just that they are more or less suitable for particular tasks.
Java vs. PHP
Be it known that Java and PHP both are titans in the community of programming languages and are used worldwide. According to Statista, as of 2021, Java has been ranked as the top programming language worldwide, whereas PHP is 11th. However, it does not deny that PHP is one of the popular programming languages and is preferred by developers for various tasks. Let’s delve deeper into the ultimate battle between Java and PHP in web development.
Structure of Programming Language
Java is a compiled programming language. Programmers write a source code shared on a Java Virtual Machines (JVM) that compiles it into a binary language and makes it compatible with the operating system. On the other hand, PHP is an interpreted language. The code written by developers is processed to an interpreter that translates it into machine language and executes the program smoothly.
Java and PHP both are object-oriented as well as open-source. Java is a client-side programming language that is widely used for developing enterprise-level web apps. However, PHP is an efficient server-side, open-source coding tool primarily employed to build responsive portals. PHP was designed principally to build dynamic sites and web applications. On the contrary, Java is a general-purpose programming language. Although it serves the purpose of web development, its code can only be used once in systems where JVM is already installed.
The programming codes often need alteration or upgrading, which becomes intricate with Java. The web development cost with PHP is cheaper as it allows the use of any code without paying for it and has simpler processing. However, Java requires proper purchased licensing. PHP is best suited for small applications, whereas Java is the best choice for larger web applications. Due to its open-source structure, PHP can be easily used across all operating systems, including Linux, macOS, MS windows, etc. On the contrary, Java operates only with systems that have JVM installed.
Cost-Effectiveness and Speed
Time is a rare commodity. Tech giants spend as much on time efficiency as on quality processing. Development in PHP is time-efficient and cost-effective as Java needs a compiler twice during the process. PHP makes it simpler and cheaper to edit programming codes through interpretation. However, cost-effectiveness or speed is not the only factor to consider since Java still takes the lead in many ways. Many enterprise-level tasks are still preferred to be done using Java for quality output. Also, Java is quicker in developing enterprise applications. It can process multiple instructions simultaneously and quickly using certain threads. It has the best-developed multithreading solutions so far. In contrast, PHP affects memory consumption during software development and reduces its efficiency. It doesn’t ideally support concurrency in web development.
With a tremendous increase in the mobile market, the demand for mobile apps is also skyrocketing. In turn, the popularity of Java has increased substantially. Since PHP requires unique frameworks to develop mobile apps and is comparatively costly, Java takes the lead.
Java app needs additional time after launching to become fully functional. However, PHP speed stays stable throughout the process.
Libraries and Frameworks
Libraries in programming languages are a collection of prewritten codes, procedures, scripts, classes, configuration data, etc., which developers can use to optimize tasks effectively. Such libraries and frameworks are one of the main reasons people resort to particular languages. They are used to carry out similar tasks multiple times, within the same project. PHP and Java both have rich, power-packed libraries and frameworks. However, Java still soars above PHP. Java has a richer set of third-party Application Programming Interfaces (API), making it best suited for intricate enterprise-level systems. It enables integration with many other third-party platforms. Java also has a variety of excellent debugging tools that are critical during coding. Each of these tools offers unique features and increases the productivity of Java developers. For instance, its Spring framework is easy for small development teams to work collaboratively in an organized manner without any technical conflict. Major enterprises using Java include Amazon, Aliexpress, Linkedin, Uber, Google, Netflix, Instagram, etc.
PHP also offers a wide range of frameworks that increases the efficiency of developing dynamic web pages. According to w3Tech’s research, it is used as a server-side language by almost 80% of websites. As PHP doesn’t require any special environment like JVM, that’s where it gains a competitive edge over Java. Its Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA) approach makes it an efficient and preferred choice for cross-platform processing. Several huge websites use PHP for back-end development, i.e. Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Tumblr, Slack, WordPress, Etsy, and Flickr are to name a few.
However, as PHP is designed particularly for back-end development, it’s not suitable to be employed for front-end development. Java frameworks are comparatively well-documented and easier to install.
Security of a project/code is of foremost importance in the modern era than ever before. Pandemic has given rise to horrible cybercrimes, which demand robust security systems in development. Java is widely considered to be the most secure programming language by the top developers. With every new version, Java brings even better security features to give high-end protection to applications. Java functions with a Byte-code verifier that runs inside the virtual machine. This Byte-code checks the code fragments for illegal codes that may violate access. Java’s structure doesn’t support explicit pointer. It provides special security APIs that ensure network security through encryptions and other methods.
Its security features are much advanced and built-in and do not require any third-party plugin or support. PHP, on the other hand, requires external frameworks to enhance security features due to the lack of built-in security. External frameworks require additional investment, which makes it difficult for programmers to prefer PHP over Java. At the same time, Java may not be an ideal choice for low-level programming since it may not allow some functions due to security criteria. Therefore, it is one of the significant reasons why apps developed using PHP allow share hosting. However, Java-based apps have dedicated hosting. Library level safety, run time security check, and no concept of pointers are some excellent features that enhance cyber security. In a nutshell, Java is soaring above all other programming languages regarding its robust security systems.
Developers always prefer to use a programming language with more straightforward syntax. However, both PHP and Java have a competitive edge over the other web development languages due to their easy-to-learn syntax. The preference varies from one developer to another based on their experience. The discussion is open, and everyone has their argument. Some recommend Java due to its easier and English-like syntax. However, when it comes to easier library functions, PHP takes the lead.
Which Language Has A Broader Scope?
In a nutshell, we can conclude that both PHP and Java have specific benefits, and preferring one over another depends solely on the tasks ahead. Developers opt for one of these depending on their suitability for the tasks being carried out. In a broader sense, Java is widely used for enterprise-level development; however, PHP can be used on a comparatively smaller level primarily due to its security, libraries, and framework confinements. Nonetheless, it still is one of the most popular languages worldwide. If you don’t want to pay for the license and enjoy a well-structured programming language, go ahead with PHP. Java still is one step ahead in many ways, as mentioned earlier.
Suppose you can’t manage the web development part yourself due to lack of time. No need to worry about it! outsourcing4work is one of the leading IT companies worldwide to partner with for proficient developers. Our future-oriented approach and 100% remote model are ideally in accord with modern consumer needs. Visit our website and check our IT services. You are welcome to grab a free initial consultation to explore our services and delve deeper into the latest web development trends. Make it your strength and compete with the world in a better way.