Ruby vs. PHP: Which Should You Choose?


If you’re looking to make an online website/application, you must have come across development languages that you can use to create them. And even though there are many alternatives you can use, you have to go with the one that best serves your needs. Naturally, this will depend on your particular needs, but chances are you’ll end up having to choose between two of the most used languages in web development: PHP and Ruby.

Both Ruby and PHP have been in use for some time and have proven their worth time and time again. Rasmus Lerdorf developed PHP in 1994 as a templating language, whereas Ruby was created as a high-level language for productivity and syntax elegance. Since then, they both have powered countless web projects.

Which one should you choose, though? It’s hard to say, which is why we’ll look at some of the ways these two languages are different from each other so you can see which suits you best.

Website development

Both languages are highly efficient for creating websites and have their own set of specialties. You can use PHP for developing simple websites, and extra features can be added later as per requirement. Ruby allows you to build complex applications and has Rails, one of the most popular frameworks out there, that make development far easier.

You can also build MVP or prototypes through Ruby while building them with PHP might take a little bit more time. To avoid that, you can partner with a PHP development company such as BairesDev, whose talented professionals and experts can help you take your project from idea to success.

Learning curve

Ruby is a complex language, so you have to put a lot of effort to truly master it. Most people who start to learn Ruby get confused about how to scale and create more significant projects. There are very few experts in the market and a lack of available online resources (at least when compared with other popular languages).

PHP, on the other hand, is very easy to understand. The learning curve for PHP is very gentle, especially when compared to Ruby. It has been in the market for a long time, which means there are many online resources for it. Also, there are many experts available in the market whom you can ask for advice.


PHP projects are simple, so they don’t need a lot of space to run, nor a lot of processing power to perform as you expect. You have to keep in mind, though, that the performance starts to suffer a little once your projects get more complex. But since PHP is more widely used for simple websites, you shouldn’t worry about that too much.

For its part, Ruby is prone to have certain performance problems, mainly because Ruby apps use up more memory to run. Experienced Ruby engineers know about that, which is why they change the runtime syntax to compensate for the laggy code. By doing that, these developers can create modern applications with new technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence that run without major issues.


Since PHP works for simple projects, its websites are easy to scale and don’t need many resources. Also, as PHP has been there for a long time, there is a large peer network. You can easily find online solutions and even ask experts questions regarding scaling and traffic stability.

As we’ve said above, Ruby is much more complicated than PHP, which means that scaling Ruby applications comes with its own hassles and problems. The process of scaling Ruby applications requires more resources and time and if you don’t do it carefully, can impact the app’s performance and speed.

Speed for development

PHP has a lot of available resources and frameworks. But if your project demands too many customized features, the PHP developer will have to write a large amount of code that will require more time and increase the likelihood of errors.

Ruby developers, on the other hand, can use Ruby gems. These are pieces of reusable code that you can apply in your projects to take care of common tasks. Using them, you can code your project without using too many resources, and without having to write code from scratch. This, naturally, impacts the development speed, allowing you to get to your final product much faster.

Costs of development

The competition for PHP developers is tough. There are many engineers available in the market. This drives down the salary for new developers, with senior developers commanding more salary due to experience and expertise. This, in turn, ends up affecting development costs.

The cost of hiring a developer for Ruby is higher since most Ruby developers are specialized developers. Of course, this drives the cost for anyone hiring them to take care of development. Additionally, hosting fees for Ruby applications is more, with only a few hosting companies supporting the framework for Ruby projects to run.

Market share

Since PHP has been there for a long time, it has a greater market share. For a long time, PHP was the dominant language for website development. This has changed over the years but many websites today are using PHP. In fact, PHP is used as a server-side programming language for 74% of websites, while only 4% use Ruby.

For its part, Ruby is slowly but steadily gaining market share. It has very little popularity compared to PHP, but developers are starting to understand Ruby’s significance. They are beginning to create Ruby projects due to its ability to handle complex projects and because of Rails, a highly reliable framework that can offer you a lot of benefits.


PHP and Ruby are very different languages. They both can be used to create a wide variety of websites and applications and each can do so with their pros and cons.

PHP has an easy learning curve and can be used for multiple web servers. It has a vast online community and plenty of experienced software developers who can provide you the help you need to turn your project into a reality. It also has database support and works across many OS and platforms.

But it has issues, such as poor error handling, and limited versatility to create more sophisticated types of applications.

On the other hand, Ruby can be used to develop a vast array of applications and websites. It has an excellent language design and has plenty of Ruby gems that you can use to make your code fast and efficient. It can also be connected to databases, and the applications written in Ruby are highly scalable even when scaling them can be somewhat challenging.

Ruby, though, has a steep learning curve, requires more computational resources than PHP, and there is a lack of informational resources and online communities to help developers out.

Both languages are useful on their own accord, and both can be used to create great projects. It depends upon you which quality/attribute you are looking for. Once you figure that out, you can easily make a decision based on your requirements.