#Tech | 7 min read | Updated: 6/29/2023

Ruby vs PHP: The Big Battle

Updated: 6/29/2023
, Web Developer
7 min read

In the fight of two’s, only one can win. 

Who would it be: PHP or Ruby?

Ruby and PHP programming languages have been competitors since day one of their first appearances. Since then, the fight in the ring of web development between the two technologies has been ongoing. 

But the time has finally come to decide once and for all who would be the champion of the fight.

We are going to present to you nine rounds of intense back and forth battling of two professionals. 

So, without further ado, let me introduce today’s opponents: Ruby vs. PHP.

Php vs Ruby
Ultimate comparison of Ruby and PHP programming languages


PHP vs Ruby: let the battle begin

Round 1: Areas of use

Both Ruby and PHP are perfect for building MVPs, prototypes and e-commerce websites which is why many startuppers choose them for development.

A solid MVP is extremely important to get into the business for any kind of startup. Both Ruby and PHP are used for building MVPs, though Ruby has a faster time-to-market cycle thanks to its numerous gems.

Still choosing between CMS and developing your project from scratch? 

Check out: How to build your project: from scratch vs ready-made software

Winner: Tie

Round 2: Learning 

Is it easier to learn PHP or Ruby?

Well, both programming languages offer tons of information on learning but truth to be told, learning a PHP language is a little bit easier since Ruby is a complex technology

Very often people who are familiar with coding tend to choose Ruby, but for newbies who are learning it on their own, it can sometimes be challenging to comprehend all the ins and outs. 

The tendency of PHP developers springing up like mushrooms is understandable: it is the most commonly learned programming language in the university. Therefore, it is no wonder that the number of developers is increasing year after year.

Having said that, it is safe to conclude that PHP has a larger pool of developers, whereas it is easier to find skilled workers for Ruby. 

Winner: PHP

Round 3: Cost 

Since there are so many PHP developers, the competition is pretty high. 

The good thing: the hourly rate of PHP developer is lower compared to Ruby. 

Here’s the bad thing: due to the number of PHP developers that learn this programming language because of its easy learning curve or just because of the hype, the quality of code reduces. Unfortunately, choosing PHP as a core programming language can end up costing you more than choosing a more expensive technology.

Winner: Tie

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Round 4: Popularity

There is no point in saying otherwise – PHP is more widespread than Ruby. One of the factors of popularity is the number of websites built with particular programming languages. 

According to Builtwith, a tool that shares which technologies a website is using,  there are more than 42 million websites that include PHP as their programming language, whereas the number of websites built with Ruby is much lower, around 14,644. 

The reason for this is that PHP is more often used for small projects and projects where it is advisable to use CMS (for example, WordPress). 

In addition, there is a large number of PHP developers on the market and the language itself has a larger popularity buzz.

However, according to Google Trends, the search for PHP has been dropping quite significantly for the past 15 years. 

The demand for Ruby, by comparison, has remained stable since 2009. PHP is slowly decreasing because it is influenced by the growth of other back-end technologies like Node.js, Python, and Ruby.

Popularity or Ruby versus PHP
Chart of google requests for PHP and Ruby programming languages

Related: Ruby vs Python: Which one to choose?

Winner: PHP

Round 5: Evolution

Both languages appeared in the ’90s and since then launched many updates. However, quantity doesn’t always equal quality. 

Looking at the history of both languages, it becomes clear that PHP evolves more dynamically in terms of its functionality and speed. 

The last PHP minor update happened in 2019, however, the major update hasn’t happened since 2015. The rumour is that the next major update will happen in 2021.

If we talk about Ruby’s update: the Ruby 3.0 is planned for 2020, just around Christmas. 

Winner: Tie

Round 6: Ruby vs PHP performance

To tell you like it is: PHP is much faster due to the language architecture, history and most importantly its philosophy.  

PHP vs Ruby speed: The majority projects that are built with PHP are simple and doesn’t consume a lot of memory. It is easier to scale a PHP website since small projects don’t require over-the-top features and don’t take up a lot of memory.

Ruby, on the other hand, takes more memory and has some speed limitations. This programming language focuses on bigger projects that require many customizable features. So, in order to scale your Ruby project, you’d need to use additional tools and integrations.

Winner: PHP

Round 7: Frameworks  

 Ruby on Rails is the most popular framework of Ruby, whereas PHP has two popular frameworks: Laravel and Symphony.

So which framework to choose: PHP or Ruby for web development?

Both programming languages are used for creating web apps. If you are going to build a web app, you will need to use a  framework to fulfil your needs. 

Ruby on Rails vs Symfony vs Laravel:

Ruby on Rails was one of the first frameworks that used the MVC-principle and changed the world of web development. 

After presenting this framework, many other programming languages started to integrate this principle into their frameworks. One of the copycats was Laravel.

Ruby on Rails offers lots of libraries, known as ‘gems’. They come with simple and well-written documentation. These ‘gems’ help to speed up the development process. They are also a must-have if you are building a large-sized project.

Check out: Ruby on Rails development services

PHP frameworks like Laravel or Symphony offer third-party integrations but the number of it is incomparable to Rails. 

Based on a comparison of three frameworks, it can be said that Ruby is still one step forward owing to the ease of RoR tools and perfect documentation.

Winner: Ruby

Round 8: Community

It is the fact that PHP has a bigger community; however, Ruby has a more dedicated one. Nowadays, there are a few unmixed communities that focus only on Ruby or PHP. It is more common to come across framework communities. PHP has more communities due to the number of used frameworks, whereas Ruby on Rails has a more passionate and friendly community. 

Winner: Ruby

Round 9: Syntax

PHP and Ruby have different philosophies which influence their syntax greatly. 

Ruby was developed with the main goal to make coding fun and developers happy, unlike PHP, which was designed to solve problems.

Ruby’s syntax is clean and beautiful. No one can argue that it is a coding masterpiece.

What does a clear syntax do for business?

Development speed. And sometimes speed is a crucial factor for business.

Winner: Ruby

Ding, ding, ding!

And it is a DRAW! Let’s give it a round of applause!

After-the-battle comments: throughout the fight Ruby and PHP have been going alongside, throwing punches at each other and not admitting defeat. 

Both programming languages have their strong sides.

PHP is easier to learn, is more popular, develops more dynamically and runs a bit faster.

Ruby is more niche-focused, has more libraries, has a vibrant and active community, spectacular syntax and quality and effectiveness of its framework – Ruby on Rails will amaze you.

PHP vs Ruby

PHP and Ruby are both server-side scripting languages with distinct characteristics. PHP is widely used for web development, especially in content-heavy applications, while Ruby, known for its elegance, simplicity, and developer-friendly syntax, excels in building clean and maintainable code. Consider project requirements and community support when choosing between them.


No one lost in this battle. 

Being in web development for 10 years we can say that there are NO BAD LANGUAGES. 

There are unique requirements of the project and inexperienced developers.

As for us, we both work with Ruby and PHP languages. And recently, we’ve been ranked as TOP Ruby on Rails development company in the world by Clutch.

If you have any doubts about choosing the right technology for YOUR project, drop us a line for consultation.

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