Ruby on Rails vs PHP Laravel



Finally, a breakdown for the Ruby on Rails vs PHP Laravel debate! If you know these two programs, you also know it’s not really fair to compare them. Both Rails and Laravel are frameworks for their associate programming languages. They are two means to an end, each with its own web development ecosystem and its own distinctive set of pros and cons. It’s not about which is the “best” — it’s about which is the best suited for a particular company’s needs. So, which one of these web development tools should you choose?

1. Learning Curve

The primary decision driver in selecting Ruby on Rails vs PHP Laravel is the skill sets and preferences of your developers. If they are dedicated PHP advocates, go with it. If they vastly prefer Ruby, your choice has also been made.

But let’s assume that you’re either starting from scratch or you’re trying to standardize on one development platform. Here’s where things get sticky. PHP is easier to learn than Ruby, so easy that you really don’t even have to know how to code to be productive. If you can make an HTML web page, you can work with PHP Laravel. However, there is one drawback, PHP’s ease of use translates into a slew of bad coding. In contrast, Ruby is known for being complicated to learn. The people that do work with Ruby tend to be seasoned coders who are very well versed in development.

2. Scalability

Ruby on Rails is famously prone to scalability issues, thanks largely to Twitter blaming the site’s frequent early failures (the “Fail Whale”) on Ruby’s limitations. There is some truth in that, but not as much as we’ve been generally led to believe. The ability of Ruby on Rails to scale has improved greatly over the past few years. Unless you’re in charge of running Twitter, chances are you’re unlikely to run into a scaling issue. If you do come across a problem, it can most likely be fixed by a commodity hardware or a cloud space with services such as Elastic Load Balancer. Also look to Rails with Capistrano and
Chef for scaling to multiple server environments very quickly.

The bottom line, both Ruby on Rails and PHP Laravel will present scaling issues if you need scaling without limit. But assuming you’re not Twitter, Google, or Facebook – chances are scalability isn’t going to be an issue for you with either of these two programs.

3. Resource Needs

Ruby on Rails generally demands more resources than PHP, but both have come a long way in reducing resource drain and application sluggishness. Ruby developers are often skilled enough to avoid creating bottlenecks that will slow app performance, but PHP Laravel beginners may struggle with these issues. Also be aware that hosting costs for Ruby and PHP applications can be steep – cheaper or even free hosting often translate to slow performance for your web application.

4. Community Support

A great asset to your web development tools arsenal should be resource guides and tutorials. PHP Laravel has a huge and very enthusiastic community of developers and slews of online resources for everything from step-by-step troubleshooting guides to frameworks, applications, and libraries. Ruby on Rails has a smaller community, but its resources tend to be better quality, almost certainly because people who work with Ruby tend to be advanced developers who have deep appreciation for careful documentation.

And the Winner Is…

Both! It’s virtually impossible to say “use this, not that” when it comes to Ruby on Rails vs PHP Laravel. The differences that once existed between them are now narrowing. Notably, PHP with Laravel has advanced PHP’s possibilities, as some of the more useful features of Rails and .NET have been engineered in, making Laravel as close as you’re going to get to Rails via PHP.

What you choose for web development tools it really comes down to what skill set is most available in your company. Asking people to switch from their platform of choice would be counterproductive.

In the starting-from-scratch scenario, you may want to hire your developers before settling on a platform. Focus on getting the best developers available to you, and then provide them with their tools of choice. Building a great application is less about programing languages and framework; it’s about the quality of the developer’s code and the soundness of the thinking that went into it.

Joseph Janecka
Joseph Janecka is the Vice President of Information Systems and Technology for SalesStaff, where his responsibilities include alignment of technology systems and management of SalesStaff’s vast data assets. Joseph’s contributions to client campaigns include alignment of marketing automation, enriched sales and marketing analytics, and campaign tracking enablement – resulting in increased pipeline velocity and an enhanced level of qualification for leads and appointments delivered to SalesStaff customers. In his position, Joseph continues to execute on a comprehensive Information Technology roadmap and set the vision for the future of SalesStaff’s information systems.
Joseph Janecka

Written by Joseph Janecka


Joseph Janecka is the Vice President of Information Systems and Technology for SalesStaff, where his responsibilities include alignment of technology systems and management of SalesStaff’s vast data assets. Joseph’s contributions to client campaigns include alignment of marketing automation, enriched sales and marketing analytics, and campaign tracking enablement – resulting in increased pipeline velocity and an enhanced level of qualification for leads and appointments delivered to SalesStaff customers. In his position, Joseph continues to execute on a comprehensive Information Technology roadmap and set the vision for the future of SalesStaff’s information systems.

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