SBP Blog

Programming languages for web development

Sep 30, 2013 by Adrian

Web development toolsFor more than 2 decades of web development, we have a staggering number of websites today, around 650 million in April 2013. In April 2008, the Internet contained only 165 million websites, so in 5 years 485 million websites have been created (~ 922 websites per hour!). But what are the programming languages that sustained this web development frenzy?

1. Client-side programming


JavaScript is used in many of the biggest websites (Google, Facebook, Yahoo), and its popularity is due to the fact that it's easy to learn, easy to code, and debugging is a breeze. Also, by using the Node.js software platform, web developers can create an entire application in JavaScript, both server-side and client-side, which is an awesome thing.

HTML5 and CSS3

Although HTML5 is relatively new, its popularity is increasing rapidly and the future of web development seems to be heading towards a HTML5 dominated Internet. I think that a big part of HTML5’s success is the support of major software companies, such as: Microsoft, Google, Apple, and even Adobe. Also, no one can deny the potential that this markup language has for web development, even though for the time being it has some limitations in terms of reliability, tools for graphical development etc.


Ajax stands for "Asynchronous JAvaScript and XML" and is a group comprised of several web development techniques. One of the most important things about Ajax is that it can handle some events that will not disturb the normal flow of the website, which means that a lot can be done on the webpage, without refreshing it.

2. Server-side programming


is a server-side web application framework that is used to produce dynamic web pages. Developed by Microsoft, it was released in January 2002 as the successor of the ASP technology. Given the fact that is built on the Common Language Runtime, the web developers are able to code ASP.NET by using any supported .NET language.


Java is one of the most popular object-oriented computer programming languages. By using Java, the web developer can run the code on any platform, without the need to recompile, and this allows for great flexibility and ease of use. Also, Java is easy to learn, code, compile and debug.


PHP is a server-side scripting language. It was created for web development, but also as a general-purpose programming language. It is one of the most used scripting languages in server-side programming, mainly because it is free, easy to learn and has built-in functionality for many typical tasks. Also, the PHP community is huge, so you'll be able to find solutions for almost any problem related to web development.

These are some of the most used programming languages for web development, if not the most used. Some are old in the business, some are new ones, and they all have strong points and weak points, so it’s up to the web developer to decide which of them is worth the time.

Which of these programming languages is worth your time?


lano commented on 10/1/2013 8:35:34 AM

I never use any of these "language" for web development. I use Node.js for all my ecommerce website and python for all my big projects with complex blueprint.

I never know why PHP is so popular, it's a piece of shit, just like Flash for me. For the information I went to a webdev formation 2 years ago and we learn no object php and jquery... It was a shame for me...

gnubie commented on 10/1/2013 12:54:13 PM

Use cases often define the choice of language. By this I mean use case of the developer not the problem.
-Single developer or small team on LAMP stack - PHP
single developer or small team on WAMP - ASP
Team of developers - JAVA

Budget - both time and money is also a defining factor when deciding.

Jurandir commented on 10/1/2013 1:28:03 PM

PHP is the worst option for any project. We did a lot of web projects here since 2000 and we used Java, then REBOL and then Ruby/Rails. The last one is the best option ever. As lano said PHP is a piece of shit.

Paul commented on 10/1/2013 4:23:31 PM

Java can be a great choice but it has some shortcomings which might be critical in some projects (see more in, for example, "Java: To Learn or Not to Learn?" at In fact, all these languages and technologies have their restrictions and fields of best application, and it's always better to take them into account when starting a new project.

Sebastian commented on 10/2/2013 6:31:18 AM

The server side programming list looks like something from 8 years ago. We use ruby, node and go in the backend.

Adrian commented on 10/30/2013 9:26:04 AM

Hi Sebastian,

While it's true that Ruby and Node.js enjoy some popularity nowadays, PHP, Java and .NET are still the most used server-side languages, and they are still boosting great popularity. In fact, the number of websites that use them seem to increase. So although newer programming languages (for example Ruby) bring new, useful functionalities, this doesn't mean that the older ones (for example PHP) are outdated.

For example, some websites show that PHP has ~70% usage, ASP.NET has ~20%, while Java has ~4% (also, Java is the leader for websites with high traffic).


PHP training in chennai commented on 8/8/2014 5:44:40 AM

thanks for sharing such informative post.
PHP is widely used scripting language among the web developers.


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