PHP vs Java

PHP vs Java has been an age-old debate. Developers have always been divided over the superiority of PHP or Java. Both sides have great arguments but never a clear conclusion. The reason is that both languages have merits suitable for certain tasks. 

So, how do we decide which language wins? The answer is simple. There are no good or bad programming languages. However, they might be more or less suitable for the project at hand. Comparing the key similarities and differences between PHP and Java will help make your decision easier.

PHP vs Java Stats

Java has a far greater talent pool than PHP. Yet experts for both languages are in-demand year around. So, once you have made that decision and need to hire a PHP developer or Java developer, be ready to face some hiring competition. 

If you are still debating whether you should go for Java or PHP, here are some key features to consider: 

  • Language type and purpose 
  • Development cost and time 
  • Security and stability 
  • Performance 
  • Features 

Let’s compare PHP and Java in detail: 

Language Type and Purpose 

Both Java and PHP are open-source languages. It means that the source code is available online, free of cost, for anyone to learn, apply and re-distribute. They are object-oriented languages built on the concept of logical objects that are created, utilized, and manipulated to perform specific tasks or processes. 

PHP was originally created for web development as a server-side scripting language. But now, it is also used to make dynamic web applications and sites. As an interpreted language, it runs on the go. This means that whenever an action is performed, relevant code is sent to the interpreter, which is converted into machine language to execute the command. 

Java is also well known for developing powerful web applications. However, it is a general-purpose compiled programming language. It only requires writing code once, which can be used on any platform or device where Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is installed. JVM is a kind of translator that converts the code into machine language and executes the commands. 

Writing code once is convenient. But it has a downside too. Java makes it harder to make changes in the code. Being a compiled language, the entire code will have to be recompiled, even for minor changes, which is unsuitable for heavy applications. With PHP, making changes is much easier, no matter how many or big. 

Development Cost and Time 

While choosing the right language for your software development project, it is important to consider what task you need that program to perform. Sure, PHP is a thrifty option and will deliver the project in less time with a smaller budget. But the functionality that Java offers must be weight against the end goal. 

That’s why, in most cases, the speed and cost of a development project are not the deciding factors unless you are willing to sacrifice quality for quick delivery and the economy’s sake.

PHP vs Java - Did you know

Security and Stability 

A project’s security and stability are crucial points to consider. Skilled, experienced developers can create a security program in any language, whether PHP or Java. But Java comes with many built-in tools that enable project security. That’s why Java is a safer option than PHP. However, it can restrict certain functions with low-level programming and stabilizes only after the project rolls out. 

Considering these points, you can choose Java for high-level applications to ensure security and higher functionality. In contrast, PHP-based applications are made secure by relying on shared hosting and other security frameworks. Plus point – they are stable at every stage. 


The performance of any Software does not directly correlate to the chosen language. It depends more on factors like the skill and capabilities of the developer. Yet, a language can make software fast and robust. 

When a Java-based application is launched, the process is slow. It only speeds up after loading completely, requiring the user to wait. In the case of PHP, every stage of the process is stable. Every line of code is executed as soon as it is translated, adding speed to the action. Therefore, PHP is the answer if your project does not require processing Big Data to provide sophisticated solutions. 


Java and PHP both are widely used. But Java takes the lead when it comes to choices for tools, libraries, and frameworks. It offers a richer set of APIs, allowing integration with several external and third-party platforms. Java also has better debugging tools. 

Uses of Java and PHP

Java is used for: 

  • Android applications  
  • Web applications (Google Sheets, online forms, shopping carts) 
  • Enterprise applications (used by banks, schools, governments, and charities) 
  • Web servers (Apache Tomcat, Rimfaxe Web Server (RWS), Resin, Adobe JRun) 
  • Software tools (Eclipse, IntelliJ Idea, NetBeans IDE) 

PHP is used for: 

  • Websites 
  • eCommerce apps 
  • Scripting (DevOps tools, automation) 

Before we move on to the conclusion, here are some examples of Java and PHP. Exploring these examples allows you to see what possibilities PHP or Java offer.

Real World Examples of PHP and Java

The Verdict – Or Something Like That 

There is no clear answer. The decision between PHP and Java depends on your project goals and development preferences. The following points reflect the choices and compromises that you must consider before you side either way: 

  • For small to mid-sized projects, PHP is better. But if it is a big complex project, Java is ideal. 
  • Expecting several future changes or updates? Choose PHP. 
  • PHP is cheaper and takes less time to deliver, but you may have to compromise on functionality. 
  • Java offers better security and higher functionality, while PHP provides more stability. 
  • PHP-based applications run smoothly and at a greater speed. Meanwhile, Java apps take their sweet time to launch. 
  • Java has richer APIs and more tools, libraries, and frameworks than PHP 

The debate between PHP vs Java will carry on. But in the grand scheme of things, the quality of your project depends on your developer’s skill. So, pay attention to the expertise of your PHP developer or Java developer. Should you need help to find expert Java or PHP developers, talk to us.