PHP is one of the most used and oldest scripting languages for server-side development, powering over 42 million websites at present. When it comes to custom application development it has grown and matured for two decades. There are so many enhancements to the performance brought by version 7, boosting the speed of up to 100 percent, compared to version 5, and lowering memory usage.

The renowned programming language reigned in and opened new doors for new opportunities in the development field. Today, over 80 percent of the web is PHP-powered. Furthermore, the majority of the search engines and social media platforms run successfully on it as well.

It’s fair to say that most web developers and custom software developers who have been around for some time now most likely started with PHP, or have worked with it at some point at least. There are however different programming languages that have surfaced, and giving stiff competition to the PHP environment. Still, it survived the onslaught and continues to thrive in the web development world. Why?

Why PHP Continues to Thrive?

The answer is simple. It continuously adds predefined functionalities, which are used commonly. Millions of developers are only working on PHP alone, thus there’s big support available on the web. Should you get stuck in the process of development, you could simply search on Google and you get a ready-made code.

PHP is the fastest, cheaper, and easily available choice for customers. That’s why it’s much preferred by a custom software development company. Moreover, it does not fall behind any other language when it comes to speed and security. If you are a developer of PHP solutions, you need not worry, it would be the number one choice for customers for many more years.

Nevertheless, it won’t hurt and a worthwhile endeavor to keep updating with other technologies and break the bounds of a specific technology. If you are not however comfortable with PHP or want to check out other new technologies, then there are available alternatives for server-side development.

Top 10 Alternatives to PHP

1. JavaScript

It’s rapidly becoming one of the best PHP alternatives. It helps build interactive sites and all the major web browsers support its codes. Because of this, there’s no need to install other extra tools for running JS codes.


Codes run on the browser of the visitor and thus often known as a client-side language. Creating new interactive apps is extremely fast using CSS, HTML, and amalgamation with JS makes it so much better. At present, the hottest technology when it comes to web development is Node.js, a runtime server-side environment of JavaScript.

2. Ruby

Another language that is gaining popularity and importance as an alternative to PHP. It’s an object-oriented language that manages memory usage automatically. It’s a dynamic powerful language, which is beginner-friendly and concentrates on productivity and simplicity.


An MVC Ruby web framework, Rails took language to new heights. For most custom software development providers, it’s the go-to framework because it focuses on convention-over-configuration patterns and quick prototyping. There are also other Ruby frameworks available, including Cuba, Hanami, Sinatra, and so on.

At present, there are a lot of people learning the language and its different libraries. Additionally, the majority of programmers could also add new libraries and maintain them regularly.

3. Java

An all-time favorite for a lot of developers and reigned the software development environment for a long time. Inherently, Java is fast and since it’s strongly-typed as well, it provides a better development experience, allowing a developer to write code that’s less buggy. There are plenty of frameworks that use Java for server-side development, such as JEE and Spring.


Java is blessed with a Virtual Machine, making it fast and could do numerous operating systems without effort. The library moreover is quite extensive and has vast community support, which is jam-packed with expert developers, best web development practices, and default design patterns. It helps programmers resolve their uncertainties and develop high-end apps from scratch.

Must Read: Top 10 Java Web Frameworks For Startups in 2020

4. Python

The most significant advantage of the language is that it’s readable like English and extremely easy to understand. The syntax could be read without any problems and quite the same to English since it uses the word AND, rather than ‘&&’. A lot of people contribute to its documentation and its functionalities.


Documents are extremely well-written and could be read and learned easily by all programmers trying to learn it. Furthermore, programmers could become part of groups or a group of developers providing custom software development. Python is popular because there are so many big organizations that use it.

A lot of organizations, such as Google, Dropbox, Toyota, Citi, and others use it extensively. Moreover, it bangs on security and is very scalable. Therefore, because of its flexibility and easy to pick up, it stands as the most beloved framework today.

5. Go

A rich compiled programming language created by employees of Google in 2009. An open-source language, it uses static typing and garbage collection and is said to be much simpler than Python. Developed to be a simple language, it does the work of quickly compiling the source code compared to others.


It’s a concurrent language, and being compiled also, contributes to its being very rapid in developing a website. Moreover, the team that built it also created an amazing IDE, which is an extremely critical factor in the process of development. Considered to be a combination of Python and C-like language, it could be as simple as Python and as fast as C.

6. C#

A language developed by Microsoft, with a syntax the same as to that of C and thus any programmer that knows C could learn it seamlessly. C# is quite intuitive for you if you’re familiar with Java or C++. The language is very close to the .NET framework, providing a lot of libraries that could be used easily in the field.


It stands to be a logical language and considered a well-developed one. It adheres to all industry paradigms and thus covers all the elements used. Also, it could be used for any non-Windows programming, such as on platforms like OS X and Linux.

Also, it supports smartphone apps, like Android, iOS, and Windows phones. Since it has .NET libraries, it’s considered as one of the best solutions in terms of using Windows-based apps. It does not need any external libraries and could be built easily and used for programming and building various web apps.

7. Elixir

A dynamic functional programming language designed for scalability, concurrency, and simplicity, and invented by a core member of Rails. It has a rich language framework called Phoenix, but relatively young compared to others, thus writing from scratch may be needed.


For flexibility and scalability, you can count on Elixir and Phoenix. The makers stated that they simultaneously were able to serve two million users, opening the door to new possibilities.

It’s not a better Ruby version, but a replacement for Ruby. It’s a new language with different goals. Since it’s a compiled language, it offers better performance, high availability, and better scalability.

8. C++ Language

It may be surprising to know that there is nothing out there that C++ could not do, which of course includes website development. There are different web frameworks available, and when it comes to speed and performance, could even be much quicker than typical frameworks.


C++ is a general-purpose, powerful programming language that could be used for developing browsers, games, operating systems, and so on. It supports various programming methods, such as functional, object-oriented, procedural, and more, making it truly powerful and flexible.

9. Rust

A very popular and much-loved programming language to develop web apps. While Rust is not mature enough to replace frameworks such as Django, Rails, or Laravel, it still has basic features and when it comes to API service, it does the job with client-side architecture. Since it’s secure, most of the dangers and risks in developing websites could be eliminated with it.


Rust is memory-efficient and blazingly fast, without a garbage or runtime collector. It could power performance-critical services, integrate easily with other languages, and run on embedded devices. It has a friendly compiler, great documentation with top-notch tooling, and useful error messages.

10. Erlang

On this list, this is one of the most powerful alternatives. A concurrent functional programming language, Erlang is designed particularly to handle large amounts of real-time app traffic. Extremely important are availability and reliability, to an extent that adding new features could be done in a streamlined manner, while the application handles large transactions.


For the HTML generation, it may not be the best option, but for sure it’s ideal for building backend REST API. It’s great for building massively scalable real-time systems with high availability requirements.

Some uses of Erlang are in banking, eCommerce, telecoms, instant messaging, and telephony. The runtime system has in-built concurrency support, distribution, and fault tolerance.


As you can see, there are so many programming languages that could serve as an alternative to PHP. The languages discussed are among the top ten of the many more, which provide a lot of facilities that outnumber PHP. Your choice boils down to your specific requirement and what you think could best help you reach your goals.

Writer note

Eric Jones is a Strategist. He would like to share ideas on technological trends, with 5+ years of experience He has been exploring the area of technology to produce interactive content on various subjects, including mobile apps, software development, and design, tech, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1- What are the Top PHP alternatives?

A1-There are many other scripting languages that can be used as alternatives to PHP such as JavaScript, Ruby, Java, Python, Go, C#, Elixir, C++, Rust, Erlang, etc. These are several languages, and there are several more that have a range of facilities that overtake PHP.

Q2- Does PHP Dying Language in 2020?

A2- PHP may not be the latest or the most advanced programming language. And that it doesn’t mean that it’s dead. As per statistics from W3Techs, PHP is used by 78.9 percent of all sites with a defined server-side programming language.

Q3- What’s unique in PHP?

A3- There are many explanations why PHP is such a popular language. It gives you a full set of functions and classes right out of the box. It’s much simpler than many other languages.