Ruby on Rails vs PHP: Which One to Choose for Web Application in 2019

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Novice web developers often wonder: “Which technology is best suited to create a secure backend? What programming language should I use? What is the difference between Ruby on Rails and PHP? What are their advantages and disadvantages?” Some of those questions we’ll try to clarify in this article. Ruby is a very powerful and convenient programming language that is intended for a rapid application development. Its creators have followed the statement “The programming language should be convenient for humans, not for machines.” to the letter.

Ruby on Rails is a web framework that implements the most advanced technologies, which facilitates the development of websites and applications, and can improve the productivity of web developers. PHP is a programming language used to write web applications. PHP allows a building of a qualitative product in short time, starting with the simple “contact us” form and ending with blogs, forums, or eCommerce web-site creation.

Benefits of PHP

Simplicity. PHP script can consist of 10 000 lines or single line – it all depends on the specifics of the problem. The programmer has no need to load any libraries or specify the special compilation options. PHP mechanism simply begins executing the code after the opening escape sequence “<?” and continues until the moment it meets a closing escape sequence “?>”. If the code has the correct syntax, it is executed exactly as the developer listed. PHP scripts can be embedded directly into the code of HTML pages.

Resources. For PHP, plenty of frameworks (Symfony), libraries (Doctrine), applications (such CMS, like WordPress and Drupal, for instance) exist, and more appear every day. The language is properly and comprehensively documented, the net is saturated with information resources and guides.

Flexibility. Despite the fact that it is recommended to incorporate the PHP scripts into HTML code, it can easily be inserted into JavaScript, WML, XML or other kinds of languages’ code. This language is also browser-independent as the PHP scripts are interpreted server-side before being sent to the client and can be transferred to any device that runs a browser.

Disadvantages of PHP

Simplicity.  It is not a mistake – the language, due to its low entry barrier, attracts large numbers of “underskilled” PHP developers that have shallow mastery and little or no knowledge of the concepts of programming culture and discipline. The carelessly written code is easily exploited by hackers.

Limited opportunities for bug tracking. PHP’s exception processing module is poorly developed, which is why in large projects failure localization and debugging often become very non-trivial tasks.

Now that we have reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of PHP, let us turn to Ruby on Rails.

Benefits of Ruby on Rails:

  • Possibilities for language extension with the help of libraries written in C or Ruby;
  • High level of security;
  • Intuitive syntax.

 Disadvantages of Ruby on Rails:

  • Studying the language below the entry level can be hard;
  • Lack of resources for studying;
  • Somewhat worse performance in comparison with other languages used in web development.

Final thoughts

With each passing day, web development becomes increasingly complex and the days when the single IT engineer could have created an entire application from scratch are gone. For beginners, we recommend studying PHP, because, in order to become a professional Ruby on Rails programmer, it is desirable to have a base of knowledge and experience with other programming languages. Experienced developers recommend using PHP for large projects and RoR for smaller.

As an experienced and established web and mobile development company, in this article we sought to share a bit of our wisdom with newcomers. Using the provided information one can choose the language that suits them best of discussed two.
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