Whether you’re a beginner web developer or a start-up owner, picking the right technology for your website will be your very first concern. Today the current digital landscape is all about interactive websites and mobile applications. Every 3 out of 5 businesses in today’s market have their tailor-made websites accustomed to user experience.
Although the development ecosystem for web development is full of various modern programming languages, still the competition between PHP Vs Python is always the talk of the town.
So which one is the clear winner between PHP Vs Python? Which one is best for your application? Which is going to give you the best return on your development time?
Well, don’t worry, in this blog we’re going to pit these two languages head-to-head and outline a detailed comparison to find out the perfect pick for your next web development project. Before that let’s dig into a quick review of PHP & Python.
PHP- A recursive acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor
PHP is one of the oldest programming languages which was discovered back in 1994 and is widely used to create interactive websites across the globe. According to W3Techs: An extensive and reliable web technology survey firm, PHP is used by 78.9% of all websites across the internet with a known server-side programming language.
So the notion that “PHP is dead” is purely hysteric and almost 8 out of 10 sites you visit on the internet are using PHP in some way. The language is compatible with all major platforms such as Windows, Linux, Mac, Unix, OS X, etc.
It is compatible with almost all Apaches & IIS servers. The world’s biggest content management system (the one we’re writing on) WordPress uses PHP, which powers 34% of all websites on the internet.
The server-side language comes with various power tools such as C-like syntax that enables the developers to create dynamic web pages; entirely free.
So there’s no doubt that PHP is one of the leading languages which is adored and adopted by a large number of developers and likewise communities online. The language is constantly evolving and many modern websites are still running on PHP.
The latest stable version of PHP is 8.1.8 which was released publicly on 7th July 2022.
Python-The most versatile programming language
As we all know, Python is a high-level, object-oriented programming language primarily designed for mobile and web development. Initially developed in 1989, but gained popularity & momentum in 2000, after the release of Python 2.0.
The most notable feature of Python is dynamic semantics. When Python’s high-level language built-in data structures are combined with dynamic binding and dynamic typing, that makes a perfect mix for Rapid Application Development.
When compared to other prevalent languages, python’s interpreted high-readability syntax makes it easier for developers to learn and code.
Python’s Unicode support feature was appreciated by the Web development market. To give you a context about its popularity- some of the biggest websites for everyday use such as Instagram, Spotify, Uber, Netflix, Google, Pinterest, and Reddit are built using Python.
Python is the most versatile programming language used in every aspect of technology be it data science, data visualization, game development, Machine Learning, Mapping & Geography, and the list goes on. All thanks to its robust library support, and supportive community.
The Latest Python stable Release for windows is 3.10.6.
Python Vs PHP: Head to Head
To create a comprehensive understanding of which language is better; we have compared these languages on some metrics. The variable parameter is Performance, Library support, Complexity, Market momentum, Ease of learning, Community Support, Debugging, Documentation, Rendering, and Syntax. So let’s get started with the difference between Python and PHP. And yeah, we’ll be keeping scores, seems fun.
A few years ago, Python was faster than PHP. But the PHP version 7 completely changed the picture. PHP is 3X faster and quickly processes massive data in one go. The scalability and speed ultimately prefer PHP over Python. +1 to PHP.
Python is incredible: it’s easy to learn, versatile and has thousands of applications with its libraries for data science. But it has few concerns about speed. Although it’s anticipated that the scene will change with Python 3.11 (available in beta).
2. Library Support
PHP has a standard PHP library (SPL), a collection of interfaces and classes that are meant to solve common problems. But Unlike Python: PHP doesn’t offer a strong library support. Although it does offer some notable libraries such as PChart, Dispatch, PHP captcha etc.
When it comes to Library support, no programming language can beat Python. Python incorporates a wide range of innovative ML & Data libraries such as TensorFlow, Scikit, PyTorch, and many more. If you are interested in ML/Data backed website applications, Python is the superior choice. +1 to Python.
3. Complexity: Ease of Use
Both the languages are object oriented. But when it comes to coding/sc ripting; Python beats PHP. Scripting of PHP is very rigid, making the programming language complex and hard to understand. The older version are even more complicated.
Python is an open-source, adaptable, and transferable language. It has high readability and is super engaging. It embraces the whitespace sensitivity and disposes of curly braces. So Python is the Clear Winner in complexity. +1 to Python.
PHP allows developers to make comments on their documentation as it features a complete documentation site. The documentation is in easy and plain language, and any developer regardless of their proficiency can pick up in no time. And the additional concepts make these documents more worthy as it elaborates the concepts with a unique conversational tone. Although it may be confusing for developers, PHP follows the right approach.
On the contrary Python doesn’t follow any such rule as it does not allow comments. In Python, the documents are less conversational, which sometimes makes them difficult to read and understand. In documentaion, PHP wins over Python. +1 to PHP.
5. Market Momentum
In the Stack Overflow 2018 survey, PHP was not even in the list of the highest-paid programming language while Python was listed with an average of $98,000 (in the US). In the same report, Python was listed as the most wanted language with 25.1% (PHP with only 4.1%) and the 3rd most loved with 68%.
Python provides an extensive set of libraries, modules, and packages for quick completion of the project. When compared to the work demand for PHP vs Python, Python developers are in huge demand with 11% of total job postings. Most Python jobs fetch a good sum of salaries in the Job Market than PHP. So if you wanna look for financial aspects, Python is the clear winner. +1 to Python.
6. Ease of Learning
if we talk about building suitable, high-scale applications for developing effecient wesbistes from the scratch, the PHP is the undeniable winner. But when it comes to general pupose language, easy syntax and learning the basics, Python takes the bag.
Python is pretty simple to learn. You can pick up on general-purpose, high-level programming quickly when compared to complex low-level programs. Python is one of the easiest programming languages in the market, all thanks to simple syntax use. One more point to Python.
7. Community Support
It’s almost impossible to write code scripts without bugs. We all struggle with them and visit Stack Overflow or reddit forums for answers. Fortunetely both PHP and Python as excellent community support. PHP is been in web-development since ages. And it’s the oldest and most prevelent server-side languages for web development. In Stack Overflow survey of 2018, it constitute around 30.7% of total questions or problems, only a slight lesser than Python.
Python is often considered as the fastest-growing major programming language.It offers a global community with millions of developers who interact online as offline on various platforms. They also help steer the community with large, global, and regional events. If you are a beginner python programmer, you will have no difficulty looking for support. A small win for Python Here!
In this particular section, both PHP and Python get a tie. PHP’s XDebug comes with some powerful features such as stack breakpoints, Path Mapping, etc. Although in PHP, you do require some additional setup work. Both PHP & Python takes one additional point.
Similar to PHP, Python’s PDB (Python Debugger) comes with some powerful features offering a stable, powerful, and excellent debugger tool that keeps your application smooth and secure. In addition, You do not require any setup in Python; you only need to push a “debug” button to check the Python codes.
Developers often pick language which offers syntax-error-free programming. When compared, PHP has a complicated sytax implying certian restrictions during coding.
Python provides ease to its developers as it allows them to write code without thinking of the restrictions that normally fail the code during the build. It also has a high readability score, assisting the developers in debugging.
Here PHP takes a lead over Python, as it offers a conclusive rendering approach. The considerable community support and easy documentation benefit the PHP in rendering.
On the other hand, Python finds difficulties in the rendering process as it is not as clear and straightforward as PHP; hence PHP is a perfect choice for rendering.
The Final Conclusion – Python Vs PHP
(Drumrolls) So after comparing both the language; Python Vs PHP, on every critical parameter, the final score arrives at 4:7. Python takes a lead in 6 crucial parameters, while PHP leads in 3 matrics, while both languages hold a tie for debugging.
Although, it’s still difficult to pick one programming language as both are best in their ways. Whether its functionalities, features, documentation, library support or other factors, both are excellent. So in the end it’s not entirely about Python Vs PHP; the choice of language depends upon your business requirement.
If your application idea at some point of development needs Machine Learning and its counterparts, Python app development is the ultimate option to go. Similarly, if you are looking for scalability and large-scale applications, PHP is the right pick.
If you are looking to learn the basics of python for free, maybe we can interest you in our IIT-M affiliated & curated Python Course. The Course follows a structured-vetted curriculum to help you with every crucial aspect of Python Programming Language. You can also pick PHP from our free or premium course catalog.
1. Which is more secure, Python or PHP?
In terms of security, Python is the preferred choice for developers and businesses. In fact, many governments rely on and spend money to develop Python-based systems & tools. PHP is less robust than Python.
2. Is python easy to learn?
Definitely, Python is one of the easiest, general-purpose languages with high readability. If consistent, you can pick Python in just 7 to 10 days. Start your Python Journey Today.
3. What is Python used for?
Python has vast applications. Python is a general-purpose language, implying it can be used to create a variety of different programs and isn’t specialized for any specific problems. It is often used to build websites and software, automate tasks and conduct data analyses. Python is the chosen language for Machine Learning and Deep Learning models.
4. What is PHP used for?
PHP is a server-side scripting language that is embedded in HTML, it’s mostly used to manage databases, dynamic content, session tracking, databases, and even build entire e-commerce websites.
5. Why is PHP better than Python?
Again, both the programming languages are best in their way, and it entirely depends on your business requirements.