PHP vs. HTML: What’s the Difference, and Which Is Better?

JavaScript vs. HTML

PHP vs. HTML: What’s the Difference, and Which Is Better?

There are various programming languages used in the world today. Although each language has unique applications, they are typically used to create websites, applications, and programs. PHP and HTML are the most commonly used programming languages, but which is better?

Deciding which of the two is the better programming language depends on your needs and preferences. However, each language has its benefits and shortcomings, making it ideal for various tasks. Therefore, to determine which is best suited for a particular project, it is crucial to understand the difference between them. This article will give you a detailed comparison of the key differences between PHP and HTML to help you make an informed decision. Continue reading to learn more about which of the two programming languages are best suited for your project.

PHP vs. HTML: Side-by-Side Comparison

PurposeServer-side scripting languageMarkup language
Learning CurveIt is easy to learn but takes longer to masterIt is easy to understand and master
IntegrationCan integrate with databases, CMS, and frameworksLimited integration options
FunctionIt creates dynamic web pages, executes codes in the back end or server side of the web, and has a greater scope of useIt creates static web pages, executes codes in the front end of the web, and has a smaller scope of use.
File Extension.php.html or .htm
ExecutionInterpretedRendered by the web browser
The PHP language grew without a written formal specification or standard until 2014.


What Is PHP?

PHP, or Hypertext Preprocessor, is a widely used open-source back-end scripting language. As a programming language, PHP is typically used to design dynamic web pages. Indeed, PHP is the language used in the back-end coding for most sites on the World Wide Web. PHP is also primarily used in writing tasks involving information exchange. The PHP-written code loads and then displays the webpage to the end user. You can also use PHP to perform calculations and establish database connectivity. In addition, you can generally achieve any task that needs logical coding using PHP. You can also use it for desktop application development and command-line scripting.

What Is HTML?

HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is one of the oldest programming languages. It is also the most commonly used language to design impeccable, attractive front-end web pages. Tim Berners-Lee, who also founded the World Wide Web, created HTML in 1991. HTML is an incredibly easy-to-learn language that allows you the power to design and create anything you want on the web. Indeed, virtually all websites are built with HTML, since it is one of the three critical components of the net. That includes JavaScript and CSS. Another critical aspect of HTML is its use of tags that direct a browser on how to display pieces of text. These tags also dictate how a browser displays images, divisions, and hyperlinks. 

PHP vs. HTML: What Is the Difference?

Language Type

As mentioned earlier, HTML is a markup language. That means that it is the backbone of every site’s front end. On the other hand, PHP is a back-end or server-side scripting language. Generally, HTML is a client-oriented language, while PHP is a developer-oriented language. 

Learning Curve

A learning curve is the rate of progress in gaining experience or learning a new skill. In terms of programming languages, it represents the ease of learning a language. Typically, learning and writing HTML is far easier than PHP.

HTML is so easy that even when you make a mistake and use the incorrect tags, the code will automatically adjust in most cases. In contrast, due to its strict nature, PHP does not allow you to make any mistakes when writing the code. While it is easy to learn, its rigid nature demands that it take longer to master.


Integration is the ability of programming languages to incorporate other languages to create dynamic web pages. PHP and HTML can easily integrate with frameworks like AJAX and create immaculate and dynamic websites. However, PHP also integrates with databases like Oracle and MySQL to generate even more dynamic web pages.

Their storage method is also quite different. Typically, you will save HTML files using a .html extension and PHP files with a .php extension.


PHP is more powerful in its functionality than HTML for various reasons. Developers can do more with PHP than they can with HTML. For instance, developers can use PHP to store data in databases and create secure login pages, something they can’t do with HTML.

You can also use PHP to customize your content according to user interaction. It is so powerful because PHP’s web pages are dynamic, while HTML websites are typically static. Another difference in functionality is that HTML is user-oriented, while PHP is developer oriented. This difference means that you cannot use HTML for server-side programming. Instead, you only use it on the front end of webpage development. On the other hand, you can easily use PHP for server-side programming. 

HTML code
The non-breaking space originated alongside HTML.


PHP vs. HTML: Must-Know Facts

  • PHP has a greater scope of use than HTML. However, when integrated with JavaScript, CSS, and PHP, you can significantly increase the range of HTML.
  • HTML is predominantly used to design beautiful front-end web pages, while PHP performs code execution on the server side.
  • HTML typically results in static web pages, while PHP creates dynamic ones.
  • While HTML can only integrate with other frameworks like AJAX, PHP can also integrate with databases. 
  • Nearly all browsers support HTML.
  • HTML is easier to learn and takes less time to master compared to PHP.
  • PHP provides cross-platform compatibility by supporting all major operating systems. These include Windows, Linux, Mac, and UNIX.
  • HTML allows you to format text and create web page tables, footnotes, and headers.

PHP vs. HTML: Which Is Better?

For System Development

As mentioned, PHP is developer-oriented and is best suited for server-side code execution. For this reason, PHP would be the ideal language for developmental purposes. Further, PHP has a greater scope of use, allowing you to execute functions that HTML can’t. In addition, PHP also supports the major operating systems, hence cross-platform compatibility. This feature is vital since you might have to test your website on various operating systems.

For Creating Attractive Web pages 

Creating a good-looking web page is vital for attracting and retaining web visitors. Therefore, if you wish to accomplish this, HTML is the ideal language. HTML allows you to format text and create web page tables, footnotes, and headers. This function is essential as it allows you to dictate how your web page will appear to your visitors. Further, HTML is also suitable for this function since it executes code on the front end of web pages. 


Overall, PHP is a far superior language to HTML. It has a greater scope of use and supports cross-platform compatibility. However, depending on the application, HTML can also hold its own.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is HTML?

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It is a markup language used for creating web pages and other types of content that can be displayed on the web. HTML uses tags and attributes to structure and format content.

What is PHP?

PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. It is a server-side scripting language used for creating dynamic web pages and other web-based applications. PHP code is executed on the server before the content is sent to the web browser, allowing for the creation of dynamic and interactive content.

Which is better, PHP or HTML?

PHP and HTML serve different purposes and are used in different contexts. HTML is primarily used for creating static web pages, while PHP is used for creating dynamic and interactive web pages and applications. The choice between PHP and HTML depends on the specific needs of the project.

Can PHP and HTML be used together?

Yes, PHP and HTML can be used together on the same web page or application. HTML is used for structuring and formatting content, while PHP is used for creating dynamic content and interacting with databases and other web technologies.

Do I need to learn PHP to create web pages?

No, it is not necessary to learn PHP to create web pages. HTML is sufficient for creating static web pages, and there are many tools and platforms available that allow you to create web pages without writing any code. However, if you want to create dynamic and interactive web pages or web-based applications, learning PHP (or another server-side scripting language) may be necessary.

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