PHP is one of the most popular programming languages. According to surveys by Stack Overflow, it has remained in the Top-10 for the past decade. It’s no wonder why — with its open source distribution, low barrier to entry, and reasonable performance it has earned its reputation. However, it is often not the best fit for many projects, either because of security concerns, fewer debugging options, or having more advanced alternatives. In this article, we will discuss what to use instead of PHP, how hard it is to switch from it to its competitors, and how to choose the best language for your project.
Java is one of the most common alternatives to PHP for web development, though it is also used for mobile and desktop applications as well as various Internet of Things software (e.g. for smart cards and other similar devices). Java is a general-purpose language that has been on the market for over 20 years, and is widely considered efficient, secure, and reliable — almost all Fortune 500 companies use it in one way or another. This object-oriented programming language exists in a number of implementations, including Java SE and Jakarta EE (uses the same language but was renamed for copyright reasons).
The most notable feature of Java is JVM — Java Virtual Machine. It allows the language to adhere to the philosophy of “write once — run anywhere,” as any device capable of running JVM supports pretty much any program written in this language.
These are the advantages of using Java:
However, Java isn’t perfect, as there are some disadvantages as well:
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Besides its cross-platform capability and flexibility, the fact that it is easy to work with and performs well also contribute to its popularity. It is used in companies like Uber, Netflix, and PayPal.
But there are also cons:
Python has exploded in popularity recently, thanks to its conciseness and efficiency in fields like machine learning. Currently, it holds the 4th spot on the list of most popular programming languages. It is also a valid choice for web development, so people looking for an alternative to PHP should consider it.
Like other languages on this list, Python has a large community of users and extensive library support, which means some tasks can be made easier by integrating existing code.
This is what Python has going for it:
However, Python is not perfect:
Ruby is not as widespread as other programming languages on this list, but it is effective for many tasks and thus can be a good alternative to PHP. Ruby is typically used as a “Ruby on Rails” (RoR) combo which contains the scripting language itself and a web framework for it.
Its users include Twitter, Basecamp, and Kickstarter.
The advantages of Ruby are as follows:
However, there are some disadvantages:
So suppose you’ve had a PHP-based website for a while and are looking to update it. Should you hire PHP developers or should you switch to another technology? And how hard would it be?
As is often the case in software engineering, the answer is “it depends.” In some cases, tried and true solutions are the best. In others, you stand to gain something, e.g. more speed, lower maintenance budget, better security, etc. This also depends on the nature of your project, as a simple website or an e-shop would have totally different requirements than a complex web application.
This is what you should note when deciding whether switching from PHP is the right move:
In short, the complexity of the migration differs widely between projects. So reach out to us for a free consultation and get a better understanding of your specific case.
Choosing a suitable language for a project is a matter of picking the right combination of important aspects.
And if you need professional help in selecting the most fitting tech stack for your project, feel free to reach out and talk to our business analysts and software architects.