Benefits and Disadvantages of Server-Side Scripting

Server-side scripting is a method of programming for the web that relies on software running on the server to execute instructions rather than the user’s browser or installed plugins.  In this way, the resulting page or web application appears to be a regularly generated HTML page at the time of loading.  Some of the benefits include:

  • It reduces the load on the user’s computer, as it does not require plugins or browser scripting technology (such as Javascript).
  • You can use it to dynamically create pages on the fly.  New pages can even be instantly created based on certain user interaction.
  • Website owners can create their own applications or use content management systems to maintain their websites without needing to edit code.

Some disadvantages are:

  • It requires the scripting software to be installed on the server
  • Many scripts and CMS tools require databases in order to store dynamic data
  • The nature of dynamic scripts creates new security concerns, in some cases making it easier for hackers to gain access to servers exploiting code flaws.

Most of the websites today use some form of dynamic content, and most of that content is managed with server-side scripting.  Some of the most common scripting languages and systems are Perl, PHP, ASP.NET, Java Server Pages, Ruby, and Python.  Many server-side scripting languages are cross-platform and open for anyone to use.