10 Top PHP Alternatives to Know Before Starting a Software Project

alternative to php

As per a report, 77.6 percent of the people use PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) as a go to programming language for web development.

Even though PHP is popular language, developers are turning to alternatives that are much quicker, easier to learn, and are used for multiple sectors or applications. This article highlights top 10 alternatives to PHP that developers can consider for their projects, before divulging in the alternatives let’s understand what’s stopping developers from using PHP.

What’s Stopping Developers From Using PHP?

PHP – developed in 1995 by Rasmus Lerdorf is one of the oldest server-side scripting language that is used for web development. PHP code is incorporated in HTML and is used for content management systems, web template systems, and web frameworks. Examples of software coded in PHP are WordPress and Facebook.

Despite of PHP’s wide range of usage, web development companies have started preferring alternatives to PHP because PHP is considered as a poor language for security purpose and reliability.

Further, PHP is a forgiving language, meaning this code is less focused and averts defining variable types while coding. This leads to multiple errors that can harm security and performance of a software.

Another reason why PHP isn’t preferred is due to its slow execution. An interpreted language like PHP instead of a complied one like Fortran, results in slow performance, and leads to issues such as cache usage, loops, and string manipulations, hence alternative languages are used over PHP.

10 Top Alternatives to PHP

Here’s a list of 10 alternatives to PHP that developers can use for any software project.

1. Python

Python is a versatile coding language that is used in data analysis and scientific computing. It’s an easy language to learn for early developers and supports varied programming paradigms. Python is considered as a flexible language and is famous in the open-source community too.

Top companies that use python are Yahoo, Google, and NASA, whereas it’s used as a backend language for Bitbucket, Pinterest, Dropbox, Reddit, and more.

Furthermore, Python’s sentence structure is examined without any issues and English words are used as opposed to pictures, for instance, Python utilizes ‘AND’ opposed to ‘&’. This language is used in industries where huge amount of data is managed and processed. Python is involved in tasks such as incorporating machine learning abilities, analytic systems, and automation scripts.

Python is considered over PHP because it’s used for both machine learning and server-side development; whereas PHP is used only for web development and server-side scripting. Python has a superior hold when it comes to library maintenance and ease of learning, but PHP 7.x is faster than Python.

2. Golang or Go

Go or Golang is considered as an alternative to PHP because it’s easy to learn, has speed, technical capabilities, and scalability. Go’s low-level features makes it ideal for developing reliable and fast software. This language is statistically typed, thus helping to detect errors at the beginning of the development procedure.

Golang joins upsides of python and C-like dialects, hence this code is as straightforward as python and as quick as C dialects. Further, Go’s advanced support for concurrency and parallelism makes it an option for creating large distributed applications.

This language is specifically utilized for cloud-native deployment, distributed network services, replacement for existing structure, cloud services, and media platforms such as Netflix, SoundCloud, and YouTube because Go has low latency than Java and more productive than C.

PHP is superior to Golang cause it’s easier to solve questions arisen while writing codes, however Golang is a winner as it displays better performance, runs faster, has low CPU usage, and efficient memory utilization.

3. Ruby

Ruby was designed for software engineering and web development, it’s known for its easy readability. The idea behind creating Ruby, was to develop a language that is easy to learn and fun to use. One of the frameworks of Ruby – Ruby on Rails is widely utilized by companies such as Airbnb, Hulu, Bloomberg, and Twitter.

Further, this language has a clear linguistic infrastructure, thus is perfect for the OOP (Object-Oriented Programming) for junior developers. Ruby is used for e-commerce, web applications, quick prototyping, and custom database solutions.

Both PHP and Ruby have their pros and cons, however as compared to PHP, web applications are developed faster on Ruby. Ruby on Rails comprises handy plugins to quicken the whole process and to work easily with databases. Moreover, Ruby on Rails gains traction for e-commerce application due to versatility, scalability, and upgrades.

4. C#

C# is known for Microsoft .NET Framework that provides several libraries. This code is utilized in business and is used for coding recognized projects. This language is sensible and all features of the code can be used without any issues.

With .NET libraries, C# is preferred for Windows based applications and projects. Further, C# is also used for non-Windows coding such as OS X, Linux, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android.

This language doesn’t require external libraries, thus with embedded code and Win application, C# can be assembled to build varied web applications.

Between C# and PHP, developers use paid Microsoft products to do work, whereas PHP doesn’t need paid products as the free tools function well. C# is debated for it’s complexity and pleasing tandem. This language is an object-oriented programming code, and PHP isn’t one.

5. Java

Java is a simple and a versatile language, thus is used for any type of software project. Several tools, frameworks, and other resources are available online while learning Java. Further, Java is an object-oriented programming language and is highly-typed that offers cleaner and structured code.

This language provides support for concurrent and parallel tasks; it is capable of running on varied operating systems as it is a portable language. Java is fast, minimizes writing baggage codes, and has substantial development experience. It provides frameworks for creating and managing multi-cloud strategies and modular applications.

Java is preferred over PHP because it is constantly updated every six months and is considered as per industry standards.

6. Elixir

Created in 2011 by José Valim, Elixir is used for making scalable and fault tolerant codes; this language is adopted by several well-established companies such as Bleacher, Pinterest, Moz, and Report.

Elixir is an interesting language due to its Actor Model aspect as this makes it an object-oriented language. Elixir is a better alternative to PHP because it’s reliable and runs on the Erlang virtual machine. Stable design of Elixir helps to identify and solve issues before they go out of hands.

7. Erlang

Erlang was developed by Joe Armstrong in 1986 and is a functional programming language. This language is utilized to create a robust and a high performing system. Erlang is used by well-known companies such as Google, Facebook, Netflix, and WhatsApp.

Erlang, just like Elixir is a fault tolerant language, and is a good choice for applications and real-time systems that require high availability.

Further, Erlang is used across sectors such as banking, telecom, computer telephony, e-commerce, and messaging. This language’s runtime system offers support for concurrency and distribution.

Even though PHP is pragmatic, flexible, fast, and has the ability to power everything from blogs to famous websites, Erlang is considered over PHP due to its distributed and real-time applications.

8. JavaScript

JS or JavaScript was developed by Brendan Eich in 1995, and is used on the world wide web for interactivity, animations, data processing, and more. JavaScript is easily found online and is utilized on the server-side for powering web servers.

Consider choosing JavaScript for projects such as –

1. SPAs (Dynamic Single Page Applications)

2. Front-end technologies such as React js, Angular js, Ember js, and more.

3. Solutions Stacks such as MEAN

4. Server technologies such as Express.js, MongoDB, Node.js, and more.

JavaScript is a simple language to learn, thus is helpful for those learning basic coding. PHP holds a upper hand in terms of its open source capability and simplicity as compared to JavaScript.

PHP views arrays and objects as separate entities with different syntaxes, whereas JavaScript allows changing the syntax of arrays and objects and doesn’t possess associative arrays, hence JS is preferred over PHP.

9. Rust

Rust is a programming language developed by Mozilla that runs quickly, ensures thread safety, and avoids segmentation faults. The idea behind Rust is to create a safe and modern language that developers can use or rely on. With Rust, reliable software is created in less time and minimum effort.

This language combines low-level control and performance of C++ or C with syntax of Ruby. Rust is capable of preventing memory leaks, dangling pointers, and null pointer errors. Rust is superior to PHP due to its extensive libraries, a surging community, and safety.

10. C++

Developed by Bjarne Stroustrup in 1985, C++ is utilized for graphics, system programming, and scientific computing. This language is adopted by companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple.

C++ has numerous application domains and is considered for developing desktop applications and system programming. C++ is a better alternative to PHP due to its strong performance record and the ability to process massive data.

Furthermore, errors can lead to issues, however this isn’t the case with C++ due to its code safety feature and strong typing, thus making it a reliable code to use for software development.

How to Choose a Suitable PHP Alternative?

Before choosing a PHP alternative, be clear about the pros and cons of every alternative programming language. Choose a PHP alternative based on performance of the language, simplicity, and the ability to fix bugs. For complex software projects, alternatives such as Java, Python, or Golang are useful because they are easy to learn and guarantees speed.

Ensure that the idea of software is clear in the head and what all features need to be integrated in the application, and which type of coding will work for it. The above listed top 10 alternatives to PHP will help to start a project and are probably the safest bet!

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