Difference between PHP Developer and Web Developer?

If you look on job offer websites, you’ll often see very similar listings for two different jobs: PHP Developer and Web Developer. To most people those two jobs are exactly the same. The reality is that they are not the same at all. Find out what differentiate these two jobs in this blog post.

Since PHP has become a popular choice in web development, many people get  confused about the difference between PHP developer and web developer.

Some will say no, they are the same, both do similar tasks but the former’s language/tool of choice is PHP and hence he is called a ‘PHP Developer’. 

But on close observation of both these professionals’ daily activities, we can give you several reasons why they are different. 

We’ll start with who they are:

PHP Developer – Who are they?

A PHP developer is someone – a software engineer who is proficient in creating websites,  applications, and software programs using the PHP programming language and is familiar with the concepts of creating dynamic content that works on the principle of server-side scripting.

PHP is their language of choice, they are typically adept at the latest version of PHP and any changes or updates to it. They will be developing a website with a backend interface that is visible to the end user.

Web Developer – Who are they? 

A web developer on the other hand, is someone who knows how to make websites, using mainly HTML, CSS or Javascript to design and maintain websites for the public. 

PHP Developer vs Web Developer – what are the differences?

A web developer will typically build a website’s interface from scratch or maintain an existing one by adding features and fixing bugs.

A PHP developer on the other hand will build a web application backend interface, or create dynamic content for a website using PHP and MVC frameworks. 

This means that the web developer will be handling HTML, CSS and Javascript while a PHP developer would work with databases and PHP frameworks.

PHP Developer – What do they do?

The PHP developer would typically be working on the backend of a web application (websites or software programs). 

They will also work on the security, ensuring it is encrypted with the latest security measures. 

A PHP developer would also need to work on the way that users log in and sign up for an account, as well as how they purchase items, etc.

Web Developer – What do they do?

They will typically work on the design of a website, meaning that their job would be to use HTML, CSS and JavaScript in order to create websites that are accessible for all browsers.

Web developers would also work on the interactivity of a website, in order to ensure that it is compatible with all browsers and devices such as tablets and smartphones.

A web developer would also work on the content of a website, by ensuring that it is up-to-date with the latest trends and information.

A PHP developer would not work on the content of a website, but instead focus primarily on its backend interface – hence the difference.

PHP Developer Vs Web Developer – Cost

The cost of hiring a PHP developer will be higher than that of the web developer.

ZipRecruiter , a website that helps you find jobs in your area and across the United States, gives an estimate of $89,182/year or $43.00 per hour as the national average of for PHP developers in the United States while according to Glassdoor, a freelance web developer earns an average yearly salary of $47,880.00.

PHP Developer or Web Developer – How to know the one you need?

An individual needs to know what kind of website they want, and then find a developer in the corresponding field.

If you need a website with a backend interface, then you need to hire a PHP developer. 

On the other hand, if your website is mainly concerned with its design and interactivity, then a web developer would be more suitable.

PHP Developer Vs. Web Developer – Where to find one?

Luckily when it comes to  finding a developer, whether it is for PHP or web development, there are many platforms that can help you.

One such platform is, a website where you can find the talent from around the world 

Another such platform is  the aforementioned ZipRecruiter, which is more popular in the United States.

Then there is LinkedIn and social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) – both of which can be used to find jobs in the field.

All in all, there are many platforms to help you find a web developer or PHP developer.

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