Scripting vs. Coding: What Is The Difference?

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Maybe you have wondered what the difference between the words "scripting" and "coding" is. In this article, you will hopefully find an answer to this question. The "too long didn't read" answer is that "scripting" means writing short programs and "coding" covers all programming. For more information, read the whole article.


Coding is an umbrella term for writing any kind of code

Let’s first start with the word coding. By coding, we mean writing any type of code in any computer language in general. Coding is an umbrella term that encompasses all programming languages and programming styles.

By the way, what about the word programming? Turns out, "programming" is the synonym of "coding". It means exactly the same. Writing any code in a computer language. You can say "coding language" just as well as "programming language". It doesn’t really matter which of the two words you use.


The word "script" sometimes refers to a short program

The word script is sometimes used interchangeably with program (as you can hear in online coding videos). However, "script" is more often used when the program is short, for example, all in one file. Larger object-oriented projects with many classes and many files, on the other hand, are not typically called scripts. A short program, a script, can be written in any language, for example, in Python.


JavaScript & PHP are scripting languages

In the case of websites, the difference between coding vs scripting becomes the difference between concrete programming languages. HTML and CSS, a markup language and a style sheet language, describe a website’s structure and look, whereas two scripting languages, JavaScript and PHP, make the content dynamic.

HTML describes the basic structure of a website using tags like <html>, <body>, <p> (paragraph), or <h2> (heading level 2). CSS describes the look of the website using classes like .button-green or .psmalltext.

PHP, a scripting language, can load content from database and display the list of current articles, and JavaScript, also a scripting language, can describe how the website shall dynamically change once the user clicks a certain button or drags a slider.


Takeaway: Scripting is just one particular type of coding

Coding is an umbrella terms and means writing any kind of code, scripting is just one specific type of coding. In the case of programs, scripting can mean writing short programs in one file. In the case of websites, markup and style sheet languages HTML and CSS describe the structure and look of a website, whereas scripting languages PHP and JavaScript are the languages that make the website’s content dynamic.


This article is brought to you by Coding Job Guide, a free internet guide to finding a well-paid software development job.