Most website developers employ client side and server side script languages for various functionalities, using them to create whole applications that equally appeal to customers and perform well.
While clients side scripting involves scripts run by a browser, server side scripts are executed entirely through a server side scripting environment, with the output returned to a browser as plain HTML. In simpler terms, server side scripting means the information needed to create a dynamic page is done on a web server before being sent to the user.
Key functions of server side scripting include:
- Creating dynamic websites and applications.
- Automating processes like compilation.
- Performing scheduling and data mining.
- Sending emails.
Potential benefits of server side scripting include reduced loading times for web pages, which can improve a site’s Google ranking, and greater protection for user privacy, making it ideal for social media, membership, and eCommerce sites.
Is There a “Best” Server Side Scripting Language?
Selecting a server side language can be confusing because there are so many options to choose from. While nearly all will meet your needs, choosing one that offers the scalability, security, and transaction management your software development goals require it critical to success.
Let’s look at the seven most popular server side programming languages software developers prefer.
Server Side Script Languages
Today you can find the PHP interpreter on over 20 million websites. Its flexibility and easy integration with various databases, including SQL and MySQL, make it one of the most popular server side scripting languages now in use. Facebook and Wikipedia have both made use of the open source software’s wide range of functionalities, amazing array of add-ins, and multilayer security framework.
Java is designed to let developers “write once, run anywhere.” Specifically designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible, engineers prize it for its stability and real time sharing capabilities. Java also easily handles massive amounts of data, making it ideal for large databases. The downsides to Java are that some developers think the language is too complex, and the program can crash in certain situations.
It’s no surprise that Node.js often ranks as a top server side scripting language. Developers value its high performance and scalability, especially when creating websites and services for mobile devices, including smartwatches. And with the help of external libraries or frameworks, it can run any type of software, though some programmers say they find the language’s syntax too rigid or confusing when working on large projects.
Though it’s typically considered a general purpose language, Python is also often used as a server side scripting language. Quick and easy to code in, it’s easily readable and has a vast library of free functions. Other benefits that make the language so appealing to developers are the numerous web frameworks that have been designed to speed up the Python development process and the fact it can be run on any operating system.
With its focus on simplicity and productivity, Ruby is equally prized by new programmers and experienced developers looking to write code more efficiently. Ruby’s stated ambition is to make programming fun again. Software developers who’ve become disillusioned with other languages believe it’s met its goal, saying they use Ruby to address common programming tasks like memory management and concurrency more efficiently.
Microsoft’s free server side scripting language ASP.NET is an open source framework that developers can use to build web apps and services with .NET and C#. One of its most powerful tools is the software program Visual Studio which helps make creating interactive programs much more straightforward. ASP.NET also has the advantage of working with other languages, meaning developers aren’t limited to C# when designing programs.
Like C#, Perl is a general-purpose, high level interpreted and dynamic programming language. Its unofficial acronym translation is “Practical Extraction and Reporting Language,” though some programmers like to refer to it as “Practically Everything Really Likable.” Reasons for its popularity include its easy learning curve, high text manipulation abilities, and straightforward system administration.
Ultimately, there’s no one server side scripting language that’s right for everyone. Each one of these technologies brings something unique to the conversation, and as software developers, it’s our job to find the right combination that fits your project.
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