A detailed comparison of PHP with Ruby on Rails

All modern technologies gets a boost due to the community, tools, libraries and applications. As an entrepreneur, you might be looking for an innovation that will last for many years beyond the project’s beginning. As a developer, you really want a technology that will remain around long enough, so you could obtain a return on investment. Business owners or developers will certainly frequently base their options on their colleagues and community baseding upon which technologies are extremely advocated. In this short article we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of PHP along with Ruby on Rails. We will discuss how PHP and Ruby on Rails compares with typical topics such as scalability, maintenance, performance, prices, and support.

Comparing PHP to Ruby on Rails is unfair. PHP is much more preferred compared to Ruby on Rails, simply because Ruby on Rails is a web framework, not a programming language. Ruby is the language behind the Ruby on Rails framework, and PHP is the language utilized to compose applications. Ruby on Rails approaches Zend Framework, Codeigniter, Laravel, Symfony2, CakePHP and lots of various other PHP-based web frameworks. So to recognize why there is so much popularity with Ruby on Rails, it’s more to initial picture folks’s searches.

This Google Pattern graph shows that all PHP web frameworks still do not amount to the number of searches done for Ruby on Rails (in blue). Actually the only web framework that is expanding in the PHP world is Laravel. So then why is Ruby on Rails so prominent?

Well, a big part of building a web application is determining what libraries you will make use of, the best ways to arrange your application, and lots of other factors. To this day, many PHP jobs still do not use a mature, proven web framework. Many PHP developers would rather produce a new PHP framework, instead of utilize the preferred structures such as Zend Framework, Symfony2, and so on because of the intricacy of an application, as with any kind of structures you’ll invest a bunch of time discovering how you can utilize it. Therefore, Ruby on Rails tries to simplify the learning process of its framework by using conventions over setup– in shorts, you (the developer or entrepreneur) have little to choose when it comes to running, organizing or perhaps hosting the application.

This may feel like an advantage, and generally, it really is, which is why Ruby on Rails is so prominent. However since then, several PHP web structures have acknowledged this, and are complying with the developmental steps of Ruby on Rails. This could be why the Ruby on Rails’ community growth has actually gone stale in the past few years. Now while the other web frameworks are revealed as a little percent, you’ll still need to bear in mind that PHP is web concentrated. So almost every little thing you write in PHP will certainly operate on the web, while in Ruby, you will certainly have little gift what code you can write to develop a web application.

Scalability and Maintenance

Whether it is PHP or Ruby on Rails, both have the ability to scale. Nevertheless, because of the amount of sources Ruby makes use of versus PHP, scalability issues will occur a lot earlier in your application’s life process. Scaling an application in Ruby on Rails versus PHP will certainly touch on typical issues. Therefore scaling will be based upon how the application was created. There are likewise services online to help deal with scaling concerns such as utilizing Amazon.com Elastic Beanstalk, or Rackspace Cloud Sites. The scenario becomes quite different when you go from wishing to scale, to having to scale. When a developer does not have the experience to scale an application, after that the most typical option is to find online write-ups, tutorials and various other resources to discover. So when it concerns scaling a site, there are plenty of sources written for PHP designers while Ruby on Rails has a much smaller sized pool of information.

As far as simplicity of maintenance, this depends upon the organization of the application. As long as the developer is using a web framework, then the maintenance overall will certainly end up being easier. PHP offers a huge selection of web structures, all created for certain objectives, while Ruby has a much more minimal variety (apart from Ruby on Rails).


Given that PHP is a language, and Ruby on Rails is a web framework, you ‘d need to take performance via a grain of salt. The factor of using a full web framework is to get performance at the cost of speed. So allow’s place some viewpoint on this.

Right here is a chart of a quite easy “hey there globe” application. Here you could see just how fast pure PHP is when it comes to demands– bear in mind, it’s a language designed for the web. However, as soon as you begin to introduce the preferred full stack web frameworks, the performance drops, and the requests per second obtains closer to the Ruby on Rails number. Actually, a popular web framework Laravel carries out even worse than Ruby on Rails. Consequently most benchmarks are useless, because there’s so a lot even more to the performance and speed of an application than the language or web framework. For example, the database system, caching mechanisms, and network delays could include a 10x to 100x decrease. So the design of application is far more important compared to the language or web framework behind it.

Generally, Ruby and PHP are a few of the slowest languages to select from, but Ruby takes a lot more sources compared to PHP does. Via the offered performance problems, both languages have actually taken steps that can help minimize the sluggishness that emerge in everyday applications. Both languages have many runtimes, their core runtimes, such as MRI for Ruby, and Zend Engine for PHP. Utilizing those runtimes are rather sluggish contrasted to various other languages. There have actually been a number of attempts to settle these issues. There has actually been work to run both languages on the JVM, which is what Java uses as its runtime. The reason to run on top of the JVM, is not only speed, but to also utilize everything Java has to supply. However just because they operate on the JVM doesn’t assure a quicker application. There are points on the JVM that run slower. So if you require your application running as fast as possible then there is also Rubinius for Ruby and HHVM for PHP which are designed to run your applications faster, at the expense of limited platform support. For instance Rubinius and HHVM do not support Windows. They do not support everything the core runtimes provide, thus you’ll have to change certain parts of your application to ensure it can run on these high performance runtimes.


Scarcity is a fundamental concept of economics. So if you have ten PHP developers for every one Ruby developer, and the role of the project depends on the language, than there will be a clear winner in costs. PHP, due to its heavy competition, has lower prices. As a business owner, if your intention is based on prices after that this should be a quite helpful incentive. There is the saying, “You get what you pay for”, but it doesn’t mean you have to pay the same amount for the encounter available. PHP has a very easy learning curve. On top of that numerous PHP programmers are new to programming generally and programming web applications in particular.

On the other hand, Ruby is a harder language to learn, so people who do choose that language already know how to program. It’s very organic to have a PHP developer move to Ruby on Rails, and their experience in the PHP globe transfer to Ruby. In reality many Ruby developers were once PHP developers. So why would developers jump to Ruby on Rails? Well this answer would coincide for virtually every other programming language besides PHP. In every various other language (other than PHP) the language will certainly limit you on the code you can write, as well as what is available to use. Thus there becomes a common method of building web applications in that language. For example, C# has ASP.NET, Python has Django, Node.js has Express, Lua has Orbit, and the list takes place. So to place this in perspective, let’s say you had the selection to involve with a large audience, or be amongst choose professionals that discuss the exact same goals. It would make good sense that one of the most distinguished applications should be developed on the languages that have the biggest audience, for that reason PHP is the target language. Applications like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Facebook, are just a tiny fraction of the numerous applications available, which are written in PHP.

When it comes to holding your Ruby on Rails applications, the costs could rise extremely rapidly. You will have a tougher time finding holding that sustains a Ruby on Rails application, and the big brand names are not cheap. They start at $40, and quickly jump to $500 or more. There are even some companies that provide free organizing, but will certainly charge a great deal of fees when needing to broaden your hosting requirements. Mostly all hosting companies that provide Ruby on Rails hosting will also provide PHP hosting as well. Some of the cheaper hosting companies give old, outdated versions of Ruby (the language), therefore restricting you to older variations of Ruby on Rails. They additionally run your Ruby on Rails application as CGI which is the slowest way to run your web application.

Support And Online Resources

PHP has a very large pool of developers and online resources. Ruby on Rails also offers many resources online, but there are a much more contents offered for PHP. Nonetheless, lots of contents you will find for both PHP and Ruby on Rails, are often out of date or wrong. This is the nature of relying upon the Internet for resources. There have been initiatives in both communities to create definite guides. For example, PHP has phptherightway.com, which will assist novices stay clear of usual mistakes, such as security, installation, multilingual, coding practices, testing, etc. While Ruby has a large selection of podcasts, and specialist video content.

There are additionally websites like stackoverflow.com that provide even more up-to-date sources. On stackoverflow.com, for each Ruby on Rails concern, there are five PHP concerns. The most elected concern have 480 choose Ruby on Rails while PHP’s the majority of voted inquiry has 2660 votes. One odd aspect is that there seem to be numerous more concerns concerning Ruby on Rails after that Ruby the language. There are likewise odd discoveries in Ruby on Rails, as it’s more about the movement then the language or code.

In fact, its strangeness has obtained so much traction, that Ruby on Rails has unique niche neighborhoods such as railsgirls.com, which is a site designed to assist women create online applications. They go around the globe urging females to gain involved in technology. On the PHP side there is also phpwoman.com, which has been around for over 7 years, but lack the viral traction that railsgirls.com produced. And that’s the thing to remember, a lot of Ruby on Rails’s popularity is spawned from the community, by beginning with very dedicated individuals, it has developed something that has such a strong market value. It doesn’t matter that it is sluggish, or that there are options that are much better, people view and want to come to be a part of the community.

Time To Set up

Both languages feature fast development times, due to being an interpreted language. For Ruby on Rails there was the famous video, “Create a Blog in 15 Minutes”, which attracted lots of web developers from all languages. That video established the bar on what a web framework needs to do, in order to rapidly build applications. Since then, succeeding videos have been generated in various other languages and structures, like creating a blog in 20 mins via PHP CodeIgniter. An additional point Ruby on Rails is known for is scaffolding. Scaffolding is the process of generating code based on some known parameters. Scaffolding is a quite powerful tool to assist get your application to market. FuelPHP provides a bunch of comparable capabilities that Ruby on Rails scaffolding offers.

Editors And Tools

This is an area where PHP outmatches Ruby on Rails. PHP supplies a large range of editors and tools. When it comes to benchmarking, profiling, and debugging, PHP succeeds in just having more options. It is wrong to assume that there is something that Ruby on Rails can do, that PHP can refrain. However there are things that both do well, and both don’t do as well, or may not be achieved as easily.

Most of the concern about PHP’s limits are relevant to hosting costs. For example, to do certain points in PHP you need an expansion, called a pecl. Numerous shared hosts will have a handful of these installed, but you can not install your own. Thus if you did want to install your own you ‘d have to rely upon a Virtual Private Server, Cloud Server, or Dedicated Server, which are simply as pricey as Ruby on Rails hosting as it needs the same requirements. So most PHP software that comes from the PHP community must depend on older language features and crippled capability as they are designed to run in shared-hosting settings.

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