PHP is quite a common programming language, and you can see its implementation in several places. One of the biggest reasons it is so popular is that it has been around for quite some time now to be the staple for website development. In addition, one can use it for content management, web template systems, and even for the frameworks that power your applications’ user interface.
But everything good comes with a catch, and the same goes for PHP. PHP is the most popular programming language and becomes the first target of attackers when they are trying to barge into the security of a website. This could cause a loss of data or even manipulation of essential documents.
As a result, companies and organizations are looking for PHP alternative to deal with security issues and to have a programming language that is a bit more advanced and should uphold features that are required in the modern day and age.
But what exactly is the PHP alternative? A PHP alternative is a programming language used for developing the types of applications same as PHP is capable of.
Here, in this article, we aim to provide you with a list of the top 10 PHP alternatives you must know before working on the next project. Also, this article walks you through the pros and cons of each PHP alternative. As a result, you can make a better decision as to whether to use the PHP alternative or not.
So let’s begin.
What is PHP?
Not only PHP supports website development but also the development of content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. In addition, it can do everything at the backend of websites, such as receiving data from forms, connecting with databases, creating sessions, sending and receiving cookies, etc.
Moreover, PHP is compatible with Linux, Windows, and macOS operating systems. It works well with all major web servers and databases. More interesting, you can download and use it freely.
Let us walk through some major features of PHP.
- Loosely-Typed: There is no need to define the data types of variables while declaring. The PHP interpreter assigns the data type to variables based on their values at runtime.
- Open-Source: It is an open-source and free-to-use language. Also, most PHP frameworks and libraries are free to use, facilitating the development process.
- Cross-Platform Compatible: Being a multi-platform language, PHP works well on Windows, Linux, Unix, and macOS platforms. In addition to this, it supports various environments, especially XAMPP.
- Error Reporting and Exceptions: E_ERROR, E_WARNING, E_PARSE, and E_STRICT are error reporting constants in PHP that generate errors and warnings. In addition, PHP5 supports exception handling.
- Real-Time Access Monitoring: With the help of PHP, you can get a summary of users’ login access to websites.
- Memory Usage Information: memory_get_usage() or memory_get_peak_usage() are the two functions that provide information about memory usage.
Advantages and Disadvantages of PHP
As every coin has two sides, good and bad. PHP also comes with disadvantages, along with numerous advantages. Let us peek into the pros and cons of PHP.
- PHP has a low learning curve. Anyone can learn it easily.
- It supports code reuse.
- It comes with an extensive set of libraries that provide numerous functions and modules for data representation.
- PHP helps your applications connect with databases easily with its built-in database connection modules.
- It integrates with other programming languages, such as HTML.
- As it is open-source, PHP is not secure.
- The loosely-typed feature of PHP can cause incorrect knowledge to users.
- It is not ideal for large web development projects.
- With PHP, you can change the core behavior of online applications.
- It lacks debugging tools.
- As it is not component modular, PHP comes pretty tough to manage.
10 Best PHP Alternatives That You Should Know About
Let us now move on to discussing different PHP alternatives, along with their pros and cons over PHP.
- TypeScript comes with the optional static typing feature and type inference system via TypeScript Language Service (TLS).
- All the concepts of Object Oriented Programming (OOP) concepts like inheritance, classes, and interfaces are supported by TypeScript.
- It gives developers a false sense of code safety as language checks for the types and some other minor errors. But coders, over time, become highly dependent on it.
Python is one of those PHP alternatives which can work on multiple platforms like Windows, Mac OS, and even in Linux. One can create web applications and workflows, connect them to a database system, and read or modify files.
Furthermore, Python is the language for handling big data and performing complex mathematics. Likewise, one can use it for rapid prototyping or production-ready software development.
- Python, even though it is a high-level programming language, the syntax is still relatively easy to understand and reads like plain English. As a result, it is easy to pick it up and start learning.
- Also, it is a pretty productive language as it is quite simple to read; the developers spend most of their time trying to solve the problem instead of writing the code.
- During the execution, Python automatically assigns the data type to the variables which you have mentioned in the code.
- Python is an OSI-approved, openly licensed programming language. Thus, a developer is free to use it in any way they want and even distribute it as well.
- The standard library which comes with the Python installation is quite vast, and you can find almost every function you need to complete the job. Besides this, Python also has a package manager, making it easier for a developer to import other great packages from the Python package index (PyPi).
- Due to Python being dynamically typed and an interpreted language, it follows line-by-line execution of the code, which leads to slow processing.
- As it provides simplicity to the developer, it does a little tradeoff by using a large amount of memory.
- Python is very rarely used on the client side or on mobile applications as it doesn’t work efficiently with memory.
- With Python, if you want to access the database if you have to deal with its primitive data access layer.
Ruby is another dynamic, open source, and object-oriented programming language which could be a great alternative to PHP. In a lot of ways, we can say Ruby is similar to that of Perl or Smalltalk programming language. One can run Ruby on any platform, including all the versions of UNIX.
Everything in Ruby is an object, and each code has its own properties, which are basically variables and actions which are considered methods. Likewise, Ruby follows the concept of the Principle Of Least Astonishment (POLA). What this means is that when a developer is writing code, Ruby behaves as a simple language to minimize any confusion a developer might suffer.
- Ruby comes with a Rails framework, and it is entirely free to use. There are a lot of plugins available for developers to save plenty of their time and effort.
- Due to the Rails framework, it is easier for a developer to make changes to the code or add new features to it even after the application is launched to the public.
- The framework has some of the most advanced security measures to keep the data secure during the development cycle, and the good thing is the security is turned on by default.
- Ruby is said to be a more concise language than PHP. As a result, it allows you to develop features at a rapid pace with the use of 3rd party libraries.
- Every developer needs to follow a strict storage and programming convention. This leads to projects being highly structured and readable as well.
- Ruby has a slow runtime speed, and there are some other frameworks like Node.js and Django, which are pretty faster than Ruby in terms of runtime speed.
- Also, the boot speed is on the slower side as it takes time to load all the dependencies and files before it can launch the application.
Golang is another procedural programming language that is an excellent alternative to PHP programming. It was developed by Google and has been an open-source programming language since its inception. When using Golang, developers have to assemble packages to build a program.
Also, Golang is known for providing efficient management of its dependencies. There are a number of online IDEs of Golang that you can run on your system without having to install it in the first place. Moreover, code written in Golang is directly compiled into machine code, which results in much faster back-end development.
- Golang is a simple programming language, and yet it is incredibly fast in execution. Thus, more and more programmers are upgrading themselves to Golang.
- Golang has IDEs like Visual Studio Code, Atom, Eclipse, DataGrip, and more that make writing code in Golang much easier and faster.
- Golang supports a wide variety of scalability, and one can perform the execution of multiple functionalities at the same time, making it suitable for adding changes to the code in the future.
- Golang has been infected with internal inconsistencies, which makes us hard to believe that it is a simple and easy language to learn.
- The introduction of automation could lead to errors, and in most cases, it solves low-level language problems by using the concepts of a high-level language.
Java is the one programming language that is ruling the world of web development. It has been a preferred choice of both young and experienced developers for more than two decades now. Java works on the principles of multi-platform, network-centric, and object-oriented programming.
This makes it an excellent PHP alternative, a single programming language that can be used in almost every aspect of web and application development.
In addition to this, a developer can use it as a platform to create web-based applications as it is a fast, secure, and reliable programming language. Right now, Java is used in game development, cloud computing, big data, Artificial intelligence (AI), and IoT.
- Java has been around for quite some time now, which leads to a number of resources available for free for new programmers to try their hands on. There are detailed documentation, comprehensive books, and even course support present to aid developers throughout the learning curve.
- It comes with inbuilt functions and libraries, so in lots of cases, developers don’t need to create everything from scratch.
- Java has some of the highest active community members, and they help fellow programmers with their problems or challenges.
- Moreover, there are a ton of tools available online for a Java developer for different platforms. As a result, once the code is written, it can run on multiple platforms like Mac OS, Windows, and Linx without just a few adjustments.
- You can download an untrusted Java code from the internet and then run it in a save environment to see if it does any harm or not. These untrusted codes cannot read or write files from your hard drive, nor can they send a virus to the host system when executed.
- Both the memory and the processing of Java code require a higher level of performance which results in an increase in hardware cost.
- Low-level support for programming is missing, such as the absence of pointers.
- Programmer, while writing or executing the code, has no power over the garbage collection as Java does not provide functions like Delete() and free() to work with.
C# is pronounced as C Sharp, and it is a modern world general-purpose, object-oriented programming. It was developed by the employees of Microsoft under the initiative of .Net. C# is known for being a strongly typed programming language, and its roots can be found in the C programming family. The first version of C# was launched in 2001, and the latest version, C# 10, was recently launched in November 2021.
- Due to C# being a higher-level programming language, its syntax, principles, and dependencies work similarly to C, C++, and Java.
- It is widely used for creating desktop and web-based applications. If you are looking to develop apps that can run in a Microsoft environment, C# is the best alternative for PHP.
- C#, over time, has built a significant fan following. As a result, you can find massive active communities and forums where problems are being discussed, and solutions can be found with ease.
- For those who are looking to build their professional career in game development, C# is the first language they need to master. Windows ecosystem dominates the desktop market, and every game which is developed for Windows uses C# for development.
- When creating a code using C#, you cannot expect it to be the absolute best in terms of performance.
- It is massively dependent on the .NET platform. Thus, developers need to have good hands-on experience with the .NET framework before writing code in C#.
Elixir follows concurrent programming in addition to being a general-purpose application language. The creators of Ruby on Rails found some issues in it, and when they tried solving them, they came up with the idea of developing a new programming language called Elixir.
The goal of creating Elixir is to make a programming language that can run on top of Erlang’s Virtual Machine (EVM) and BEAM, which is compatible with Erlang’s ecosystem. There are a lot of similarities you can find when working with Elixir and Ruby. Elixir is mainly used for developing applications that need to be fault-tolerant, scalable, and easily maintainable applications.
- You can take the benefit of both Metaprogramming via Macros and polymorphism via protocols. It also puts a lot of emphasis on creating a code with higher-order functions and recursions.
- It has a built-in tool for your remote debugging, dependency management, and even code compilation. Keep in mind that Elixir is a dynamically typed language, so all the types will be checked on the runtime rather than a compilation.
- Furthermore, it uses a lightweight thread for the execution, which is known as process. All these processes are isolated and run by the CPU independently. This allows Elixir to be fast and programmers to write a concurrent program with efficiency.
- One can perform the scalability on Elixir’s code by adding a number of machines to the cluster or by using the resource in a much more efficient way.
- Application development using Elixir is pretty expensive compared to PHP as it requires a highly qualified individual who has experience in developing apps using the Elixir programming language.
- One needs to know about the Erlang platform to create a functional code in Elixir, as it is heavily dependent on it.
Erlang is considered to be both general purpose and functional programming, which uses a runtime environment for its code. This PHP alternative is designed in a way to have inbuilt support for concurrency, distribution, and even fault tolerance. The developers intended it to be used for telecommunications, but in the modern age of the Internet, it is diversified into sectors like eCommerce, computer technology, and even banking as well.
If you are thinking about using Erlang for developing code, you first need to have some working knowledge of C, C++, or Java to make the learning process a little bit easier. Erlang supports multithreaded processing, which leads it to the market of reliable servers and embedded systems.
- With the implementation of Erlang, you will be able to create an application using simple code syntax, which can easily be comprehended by fellow developers. It follows all the rules of the functional programming paradigm, which leads to Erlang having simpler syntax than PHP.
- It allows the development of concurrent programs which can be scaled whenever you want and even be distributed while providing a higher level of security.
- The community of Erlang developers isn’t the largest, but it is the close-knit one, and the ones who are in it are pretty mature in Erlang’s implementation. This allows newcomers to have excellent community support.
- A new developer might find himself being overwhelmed as the provisions of Erlang are hard to set up, and deploying applications is complicated as well.
- It is tough to deal with exception-related errors since the format of error reporting isn’t user-friendly.
For creating large-scale applications, C++ is considered to be the best alternative for PHP and other programming languages. It is a general-purpose language that comes with imperative, object-oriented, and generic programming features. You can find C++ underlying in significant platforms such as Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac, and more.
The main difference between C and C++ is that it brings the concepts of object-oriented programming that includes the use of defined classes for the C programming framework. A program, once written in C++, can work on various operating systems or platforms with ease.
- C++ follows multi-paradigm programming, which means you can write the code in multiple styles. It can work with logic, structures, and even procedural programming. The three main paradigms of C++ are generic, imperative, and object-oriented.
- C++ provides developers an added benefit of low-level manipulation of data to a certain extent. Some of the well-known compilers and embedded systems are created with the help of C++.
- When creating a code using C++, you have complete control over how to manage the memory of the code using Dynamic Memory Allocation via pointers.
- A code written in C++ is compatible with C, and in programming terms, every error-free code is known as a C++ program. A C++ code can run with the .cpp extension.
- Applications that are resource intensive can be built on C++ as it allows them to run in a small-scale environment as well as on large-scale systems as well such as servers.
- Pointers are a bit complicated to get your head around at first. Also, it consumes a lot of memory, and misuse of wild pointers can lead to situations like system crashes.
- There is no built-in thread, as C++ was developed a long time ago, and threading is a new concept. Even though C++ now supports Lambda functions, it is still not an easy task to make it work with C++.
So these are some of the best PHP alternatives that we have listed for you. PHP is a great programming language, but there are new kids in the world of programming, and they do have the upper hand in comparison to the old languages like PHP.
We hope this article has served you well and you have found the right programming language as the alternative for PHP. If you still have any questions regarding the alternatives to PHP, then feel free to write us down in the comment section, and we will provide you with the appropriate answer. Till then, happy learning.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Python an excellent PHP alternative?
Python is considered to be a great alternative to PHP. Even though PHP has a low learning curve still over the long term and the complexity of the project, Python comes in handy in most cases.
2. What is PHP used for?
PHP can read, write, create, open and close files in a system. It can handle forms, gather data for a user, save it in a file and send it via email or even return it to the user. These are the main functions you can perform with PHP, and this means all the projects and applications that are built using PHP work on these principles.
3. Does PHP have a future?
PHP has been the most used programming language for developing websites, and we have seen many new programming languages taking useful features from it as well. As a result, PHP has a future, not the brightest one, but it does have a future.
4. Is it worth learning PHP?
As we said before, PHP is still one of the most used programming languages of all time for website creation and back-end development. Also, it is better to start your back-end development journey with PHP as it helps you to work on your basic skills in programming. On the other hand, for those who are looking to work on server-side programming, this is a great programming language to start their career with.
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Sameeksha is a freelance content writer for more than half and a year. She has a hunger to explore and learn new things. She possesses a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.