The difference between Java and PHP is not only its approach to a type system, there are major discrepancies in approaches to concurrency, reliability and more. Saying that one language is better than the other is never a good idea, it’s all about what kind of problems they solve. Both Java and PHP have their place in IT and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon.
PHP is one of the most mature, ubiquitous server-side scripts on the web. Java is a general-purpose, compiled programming language designed with one mantra in mind—”write once, run anywhere.” Both power dynamic web applications and sites, with their own strengths and nuances.
Once you choose a language for your software project, it can be pretty difficult to change gears unless you perform a major overhaul down the line. That’s why choosing the right language up front is imperative to building a scalable, successful site that accomplishes your business goals.
You’ve probably done a little research into the right language, but it can be difficult for someone without software development expertise to determine which one is right. Here’s a look at two of the most popular programming languages, Java and PHP. A software developer can help you best decide between the two based on your project, but here are some basics to help you make the right decision.
What is Java?
Java was designed as a general purpose programming language for building standalone applications. When Java was released by Sun in 1991, it was initially being used to program consumer electronics like VCRs. Java is a compiled language, so when you compile code it’s turned to intermediate binary for the specific operating system running your software. Its applications are compiled into bytecode that can run on implementations of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The JVM helps bridge the gap between source code and the 1s and 0s that the computer understands. Any machine that has the JVM installed can run Java. In development, Java is primarily a server-side language for the web, and the programming language of choice for mobile development on the Android platform. It also still has a decent presence on the front-end as a Java applet, although this is falling out of favor due to security concerns.
What is PHP?
PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a general purpose scripting language that quickly became the de facto server-side language of choice for web developers after its initial release in 1995. It’s got an advantage in that it was designed and created for the web, versus languages that were adapted to the web (like Ruby or Python). Today, a majority of websites run on PHP, and PHP programmers are still in high demand thanks to its role as the foundation for content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla and a number of modern frameworks like Laravel, Symfony, and CakePHP that have accelerated development with this mature language.
PHP and Java Differences
PHP vs. Java: Major Similarities
SHOULD I USE PHP OR JAVA FOR MY NEXT PROJECT?
As with all languages, the choice really boils down to what you’re trying to build and what resources you have at your disposal.
You should consider Java if your project involves…
- Android Apps
- Enterprise Software
- Scientific Computing
- Big Data Analytics
- General Purpose Programming of Hardware
- Server-Side Technologies like Apache, JBoss, Geronimo, GlassFish, etc.
You should consider PHP if your project involves…
- Software stacks like the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)
- CMS’s like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla etc.
- Servers like MySQL, SQL, MariaDB, Oracle, Sybase, and Postgresql etc.
Both Java and PHP are excellent foundations for a wide variety of software. Which language you choose to use will be determined by what you want developed.
You can manipulate hardware with Java, but it’s not a common language for low-level programming since it’s a “safer” language. Because Java won’t allow you to perform certain functions to protect the PC, it’s preferred for higher level applications.
The best way to make a firm decision is to post your project and ask developers for their opinions. They can tell you which language is right for your project to help guide you to the right solution.