The scripts can be written in two forms, at the server end (back end) or at the client end (server end). The main difference between server-side scripting and client-side scripting is that the server side scripting involves server for its processing. On the other hand, client-side scripting requires browsers to run the scripts on the client machine but does not interact with the server while processing the client-side scripts.
A script is generally a series of program or instruction, which has to be executed on other program or application. As we know that the web works in a client-server environment. The client-side script executes the code to the client side which is visible to the users while a server-side script is executed in the server end which users cannot see.
Content: Server-side Scripting Vs Client-side Scripting
|Basis for comparison||Server-side scripting||Client-side scripting|
|Basic||Works in the back end which could not be visible at the client end.||Works at the front end and script are visible among the users.|
|Processing||Requires server interaction.||Does not need interaction with the server.|
|Affect||Could effectively customize the web pages and provide dynamic websites.||Can reduce the load to the server.|
Definition of Server-side Scripting
Server-side scripting is a technique of programming for producing the code which can run software on the server side, in simple words any scripting or programming that can run on the web server is known as server-side scripting. The operations like customization of a website, dynamic change in the website content, response generation to the user’s queries, accessing the database, and so on are performed at the server end.
The server-side scripting constructs a communication link between a server and a client (user). Earlier the server side scripting is implemented by the CGI (Common Gateway Interface) scripts. The CGI was devised to execute the scripts from programming languages such as C++ or Perl on the websites.
The server-side involves three parts: server, database, API’s and back-end web software developed by the server-side scripting language. When a browser sends a request to the server for a webpage consisting of server-side scripting, the web server processes the script prior to serving the page to the browser. Here the processing of a script could include extracting information from a database, making simple calculations, or choosing the appropriate content that is to be displayed in the client end. The script is being processed and the output is sent to the browser. The web server abstracts the scripts from the end user until serving the content, which makes the data and source code more secure.
Server-side scripting languages:
After the advent of CGI, multiple programming languages were evolved such as PHP, Python, Ruby, ColdFusion, C#, Java, C++ and so on for server-side scripting among which some of them are described below:
PHP: It is the most prevalent server-side language used on the web which was designed to extract and manipulate information in the database. The language is used in association with SQL language for the Database. It is used in Facebook, WordPress and Wikipedia.
Python: The language is fast and contains shorter code. It is good for beginners as it concentrates on the readability and simplicity of the code. Python functions well in the object-oriented environment and used in famous sites like Youtube, Google, etc.
Ruby: It contains complex logic which packages the back-end with database utility which can also be provided by PHP and SQL.
Definition of Client-side Scripting
Client-side scripting is performed to generate a code that can run on the client end (browser) without needing the server side processing. Basically, these types of scripts are placed inside an HTML document. The client-side scripting can be used to examine the user’s form for the errors before submitting it and for changing the content according to the user input. As I mentioned before, the web requires three elements for its functioning which are, client, database and server.
The effective client-side scripting can significantly reduce the server load. It is designed to run as a scripting language utilizing a web browser as a host program. For example, when a user makes a request via browser for a webpage to the server, it just sent the HTML and CSS as plain text, and the browser interprets and renders the web content in the client end.
Client-side scripting languages:
HTML: It is the fundamental building blocks of web programming which provides the frame to the website. It describes the arrangement of the content.
CSS: CSS provides the way to design the graphic elements which help in making the appearance of the web application more attractive.
Key Differences Between Server-side Scripting and Client-side Scripting
- Server-side scripting is used at the backend, where the source code is not viewable or hidden at the client side (browser). On the other hand, client-side scripting is used at the front end which users can see from the browser.
- When a server-side script is processed it communicates to the server. As against, client-side scripting does not need any server interaction.
- Server-side scripting is useful in customizing the web pages and implement the dynamic changes in the websites. Conversely, the client-side script can effectively minimize the load to the server.
- Server-side scripting is more secure than client-side scripting as the server side scripts are usually hidden from the client end, while a client-side script is visible to the users.
Client-side scripting and server-side scripting works in a coordinated manner with each other. However, both the scripting techniques are very different, where the client-side scripting emphasize on making the interface of the web application or website more appealing and functional. Conversely, server-side scripting emphasizes on the data accessing methods, error handling and fast processing etcetera.