Server Side Scripting

What's that about?

A server-side scripting language, such as Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) or Active Server Pages (ASP), is a language that's used to program the behavior of the server. The idea behind languages such as PHP was to make repetitive web tasks easier to do. So what's actually happening is that all of the code is being executed at the servers before being rendered on the clients browser. When a client requests a web page, say, a request is sent from the client to the server, the server then processes the request and assembles all the necessary elements of the request, once complete, the server then returns the website back to the client browser in the form of a webpage. A really great advantage of server-side language is that the code often cannot be seen from the clients computer. Instead of viewing the script, typically, you'll only be allowed to view the html markup of the sites layout. When thinking about servers, you have to consider a few things. One of those things would be your server load. The site could falter if you have too many users trying to access the server at once.

Pros & Cons

  • Secure (+)
    • Server-side scripting helps keep activities such as banking or shopping online more secure by not displaying the actual code required to run those sites.
  • Dynamic Loading (+)
    • Server-side scripting allows for users to have content displayed according to how they'd like it to be displayed without having to rewrite code for every single client.
  • Site Speed (-)
    • In the event your site achieve social greatness, and user flock your pages by the hundreds, not having adequate server space could crash your site. But there are tons of ways to avoid this. Like using a content delivery service like MaxCDN.

Client Side Scripting

Sup' with that?

A client-side scripting language, such as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, is a language that's actually interpreted by the clients machine. A client will request a website, and the site itself will be loaded onto the clients computer, which will then be processed and executed by the clients browser. Client-side scripting languages such as JavaScript are predominantly used to created web pages are dynamic in user interaction and experience. Client-side languages are fairly simple to learn which is a huge advantage. It could be a matter of hours before you've created your first webpage in HTML. Because the clients computer reads HTML, the code can be visible to anyone. This could pose a huge security risk depending on the nature and content of the site. With client-side scripting languages, another factor to consider is the clients browser of choice. Though they try their best to keep things plain as possible to let webpages determine the look, different browsers still tend to render the html code a bit differently.

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to learn (+)
    • HTML is super simple to learn and implement. It's often the first language learned because it's local to your browser, it often responds really fast.
  • Uniformity (-)
    • As much as they try not to, most browser have their own set of styling rules which will sometime affect the way content is rendered and delivered. For instance, if you disabled javascript, some of your favorite sites would appear a bit skewed.
  • Not Very Secure (-)
    • Simply right click, and view page source, and you can see all of the HTML code used to render just about any site. Wouldn't be ideal for sites that handle sensitive information or finances.

Here's a few icons from popular scripting languages you're probably recognize.