This argument, about whether Ruby on Rails Programming is better than PHP or not, is probably as old as the technology itself. However, there has never been any conclusive answer to it. This could be because each developer has a unique way of analyzing and using languages which give him a sense of comfort in say a particular language only. So, for some (like me) Ruby on Rails programming is the best possible solution to all web development attempts and for some others, nothing beats PHP.
In spite of this variance of opinions and my bias towards ROR, I have attempted to chalk down a comparative analysis between ROR and PHP. Let us observe certain key areas of concern and how both these technologies fair individually on these parameters.
Performance of the Applications
There is no doubt about the fact that PHP is much faster in terms of application performance as compared to ROR. However, a noteworthy point in this direction is that a required action can be achieved writing a much shorter code in Ruby on Rails than in PHP. So although it gives you a better run speed, the effort to be put in PHP is quite more as compared to ROR.
Testing is an indispensable part of any development practice. It is evident that testing is much simpler and achievable in Ruby on Rails as compared to PHP. A PHP page testing would require a lot of time and infrastructural competence, where as Ruby on Rails gives you the option of doing it quickly and efficiently.
PHP has more companionable frameworks like CakePHP, codeigniter and Zend. Of course, Ruby isn’t too far behind because it too has many compatible frameworks apart from Rails including Sinatra, vintage etc. The best thing about it is that both these languages have a very good MVC architectural framework.
PHP has a slight edge over Ruby here, because an application created in PHP would occupy less space in the memory as compared to one in Ruby. This automatically makes PHP applications run faster than Ruby ones.
Whether you wish to Hire ROR developer r a PHP developer, the efforts you have to put it will be more or less equal. I would never proffer that when you hire ROR developer you can do that easily and not so for PHP. The basic process of hiring anyone to handle a project for your own business is a difficult one. You have to be well versed with your requirements from the product, your requirements from the developer, the budget you have in mind and the technology that you want to go for.
It is always advisable to seek advice from a professional so that he can help you out by understanding the nature and scope of your project. If you need help and are not convinced by the answers you have gotten from the people around you, you can always search it out on any popular search engine. There are many online forums and threads especially made to help non technical people understand better about these technologies. You can also spend a little time in researching your competitors to get a better understanding of market responses.