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Client-Side vs Server-Side Scripting

by Iwan Price-Evans on Web technology • May 23, 2022

Client-side scripts are executed by the browser when a page loads, while server-side scripting is performed by a web server before sending the page back to the client.

Both client-side and server-side scripts are used to add functionality to websites. 

Why Should You Care About Server-Side vs. Client-Side Scripting?

There are several reasons why you should care about server-side scripting versus client-side scripting.

  • Server-side scripting allows you to make changes to your website without having to worry about whether those changes will affect other users.
  • Server-side scripting makes it easier to update your site because you only need to upload one file instead of multiple files.
  • Server-side scripting gives you more control over how your site looks and functions.
  • Server-side scripting is generally faster than client-side scripting.

What Are Some Common Uses for Each Type of Script?

Client-side scripting is used to add functionality to web pages without having to reload them. It allows users to interact with the page more quickly by providing immediate feedback. Examples of client-side scripting include JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5.

Server-side scripting is used for tasks that require interaction with a database or other backend systems. Examples of server-side scripting include PHP, ASP.NET, Ruby, Python, Perl, Java, and ColdFusion.

Should I Use Client-Side Or Server-Side Scripting?

In general, you should use client-side scripting when your users need to interact with the browser directly. This includes things like populating form fields, adding event handlers, and displaying dynamic content.

You should use server-side scripting when you want to perform tasks such as saving data to a database, generating reports, or performing calculations.