When a person chooses to make his/her dreams and ideas into reality, he/she usually reaches a stage where they need to choose in which web language, they want their dream project to be developed. PHP and Python are the two most widely used programming languages. PHP, by tradition, is used as a server-side scripting language. Python is valued for its dynamics, accessibility, and simplicity. Despite their identical popularity among developers, these two languages have many similarities and differences. The wide popularity and use of these languages, leads to the question of which of them is better and more convenient?
In order to answer this question, it’s important to carefully consider the functionality, features, and scope of PHP and Python in software development. It is also important to understand their main differences and their relations.
What Is PHP?
PHP (Hypertext- Preprocessor) is a server-side scripting language designed for web development by Rasmus Lerdorf. The development of this programming tool can be taken back to 1994 when Rasmus developed a number of modules and extensions that prolonged the capabilities of the most popular C language. Before being used by developers all over the world, PHP’s mechanism was created for the creator’s own website but other developers quickly appreciated the new features of those components and began to actively use them. As a result of the constant use and extension of PHP, the development and growth of the developer community, the new language is not only become popular but more than 80% of the modern websites are based on it. It has constantly evolved and complemented by the developer team and members of the larger user community together. We can safely say that PHP is at its peak now and it is very early to talk about the decline in its popularity.
Advantages of PHP
PHP provides high compatibility with a leading operating system (OS) and web servers such as thereby enabling it to be easily deployed across several different platforms. PHP scripts run across all operating systems such as Linux, Windows, MacOS etc., and also provide support for all major web servers such as Apache.
2. Open Source
PHP is open-source. That means it is readily available and absolutely free to use. The community of open-source PHP developers provides technical support and is constantly improving, updating the core PHP functionalities. It is available free of cost under PHP General Public license and most of its associative required software like Text Editor and Apache servers are also freely available, so it proves very cost-effective for the developers.
3. Speedy Performance
A very vibrant side of web development is speed. Considering the very significant fact, some individuals still struggle with the challenge of web data speed. A quick-loading website is always preferred by individuals compared to a slower-loading one. Developers use PHP because of the important fact that it is quick.
4. Deep code-based programming
PHP can be used to produce a very complex content management system like WordPress, Drupal, and Magento. There is no necessity for a code procession or compiler.
5. Almost every hosting provider supports PHP
It is one of the most widely held programming languages and almost every hosting provider supports it since it doesn’t have any compatibility issues when PHP applications have to run live.
Disadvantages of PHP:
Meanwhile, it is open-sourced; all people can see the source code. If there are bugs in the source code, it can be used by people to discover the weakness of it.
2. Not appropriate for large applications
It will be challenging to use it for programming huge applications. Since the programming language is not highly modular, huge applications created out of the programming language will be hard to maintain.
3. Weak type
Unspoken changes may surprise unwary programmers and lead to unpredicted bugs. Misunderstanding between arrays and hash tables. This is slow and could be more rapidly done. There are often a few ways to complete a task. It is not strongly typed. It is interpreted and uses curly braces.
4. Poor Error Handling Method
PHP framework has an improper error handling method. It is not a proper solution for the developers. Therefore, as a qualified PHP developer, you will have to overcome it.
5. PHP is incapable of handling a large number of apps
Technology is incapable of supporting a bunch of apps. It is highly tough to manage because it is not a competent modular. It already imitates the features of the Java language.
What Is Python?
Python is a multi-paradigm, general-purpose, well understood, high-level programming language. Five years older than its competitor, Python was developed by Guido van Rossum back in 1989 as the ABC language replacement. By using Python, a programmer gets access to different programming styles, which helps him/her to create simple or complex programs, get faster results and carve code almost as if speaking in human language. Python got popular among developers in the 2000s after the release of “Python2.0”. One of the main reasons why “Python2.0” got popular was because of one of its main features, the complete Unicode support.
Unlike PHP, Python from the start was engineered as a full-stack programming language, irrelative to web development. This is the reason why it is not as popular as PHP. On the web today there are less than 1% of websites is created and managed using Python.
Advantages of Python:
- Programs are easy to read – Thanks to Python’s stylish syntax it is much easier to read and write than a lot of other web languages.
- Easy to use – It gets a program to work in simple and straightforward way, which is why Python web development is broadly used for prototype development.
- Easy to outspread – We can always add new modules that are applied and piled up in other web languages.
- It supports object-oriented programs designed with multiple inheritance and classes.
- Progressive programming features – It has a list of comprehensions, generators and many other useful features.
- It has many specialized interest groups – It has a large public and many widely varying parts that all focus on different things, such as scientific endeavors or prototyping.
Disadvantages of Python:
- Reputed to be slower than languages such as Java.
- It does not really work well with multi-processor/multi-core systems.
- It has limitations while accessing the database layer.
- Python is a typed language which is typed with dynamism, so it has more errors that only show up during runtime and thus requires a lot more testing. Therefore, it has a lot of design restrictions.
For years and years debates have been going on about which of the languages is more user-friendly and most applicable to various tasks: Python or PHP? In spite of the many differences between these tools, which consist in a different composition, different spheres of application and logic, these languages, nevertheless, have a number of common properties.
Common Features of PHP and Python:
- Both can be used for general-purpose programming and scripting.
- Both languages are well-interpreted, high-level languages that have dynamic typing.
- Both are Open-Source languages supported by large developer communities.
- They are easily understood and easy to learn.
- They both have support for method chaining.
- Both of them are easy to extend in other web languages.
- Both have support for the variable number of function arguments.
- They have single statements for all data types.
We have finally got to the peak of our comparison. It’s time that we must look at the main differences between PHP and Python which set them apart. Without further ado, let’s get down to it!
Differences between PHP and Python:
Python Has a More Readable and Essential Code – Python’s design beliefs emphasize code readability. This makes it easier for developers to write clean and organized code, regardless of the project’s scale or the program’s size. It’s easy to build complex applications in a small amount of time with Python.
Paradigms – Both of the languages have resemblances and feature a number of common programming paradigms. Python features support oriented with aspect and object, functional and well-structured programming styles. PHP has a functional, object-oriented, reflective, technical programming style.
Python is More Malleable but isn’t as good for developing web-applications – It can be used to develop all kinds of software and applications. It is also perfectly suited for creating scientific applications, prototyping, and applications that have to process huge amounts of data. It has a lot more flexibility than PHP but is not as good for producing web-applications.
PHP is better for Web Development – PHP was created with web development in mind; thus it comes with loads of implanted web development features. Writing websites is much easier to write in PHP than Python because Python is a general-purpose programming language. But with the right third-party modules, Python can be a very efficient web-development tool in that case.
Python is More Secure – Python is well-thought-out to be one of the most secure programming languages. It has several security features that make it great for swiftly writing complex applications with precise goals and functions in mind.
PHP web applications have a lot of security problems but to tackle them one needs to add tools that enhance their security.
PHP vs PYTHON:
Who’s the best?
Nevertheless, to choose the best of two, at the end of the day, it comes down to the purpose of development. Similar in the creation of PHP and Python, before starting to learn the language or make someone develop your product, it is important to ask the question “what exactly do I want to get in the end?”
To build simple working sites and web applications, as the experience of developers around the world and statistics restate, PHP would be the best solution. On the other hand, Python would be the most ideal and convenient tool for the building of complex flexible products.
When it comes down to selection between PHP and Python for mobile development, take note that Python is not limited to the web development capabilities, which make it more flexible than PHP. All the major mobile platforms (IOS, Android, and Windows Mobile) have some kind of Python framework or port that allows developing native and web applications with the help of Python.
Thanks to its code of practice and logic, PHP is better applicable for web development exactly. Though there are ways to build mobile web applications over the PHP server-side backend, it is much harder as compared to Python.
PHP vs Python for Web Development:
Python vs PHP: Comparison
So, when you have already entered into the cold war of Python vs. PHP for web development, let’s dive deep while comparing certain features. So, let’s discuss it more.
PHP vs Python: Features
PHP vs. Python: Speed to market:
Time is the parameter that sets your path to success. You know how businesses are continuously striving to speed up the journey they want to acquire on a digital note. You need to build MVP for that and that’s where you need to choose the right language for your web application.
Python has a perfect set of third-party modules, packages, and libraries to run the projects as fast as possible. Platforms like Django leverage the MVC (model-view-controller) pattern to let the developers quickly create applications. Talking about PHP, it also comes with its own set of tools, that includes libraries and frameworks. So, the most popular framework is Laravel, which also adopts the MVC pattern and comes with many useful features for development, I.e., authentication, routing, templating, and many more.
PHP vs. Python: Security
One of the major aspects is Security. Some of the critical web application security vulnerabilities include SQL injection, site scripting, and cross-site request forgery. Remember that it requires a lot of cost and time to fix these vulnerabilities via SDLC.
So, Python is the most recommended choice for businesses. If we take a brief look over its platform, Django comes up with built-in security features, that further aid in protecting the application from different sorts of security threats. The US government cyber agencies rely heavily on Python as their secret hacking tool. Talking about PHP, it has quite a frightful history in terms of security. Here, PHP fails if compared to Python for security reasons.
PHP vs. Python: Performance
The website speed is the most important factor where performance and fluidity can be measured.
As you can guess from the above-written piece that Python is fast and powerful. The compiler of Python presents itself faster than its rival, PHP. On the other hand, PHP 5. x is much slower than Python. And, the release of PHP 7. x brought a turn with the rise in the speed of applications that it caters to. So, Zend Engine 3.0 with PHP 7 has covered the spotlight, making it two times faster than its predecessor.
Here, the winner is PHP. All credits go to Zend Engine 3.0 of PHP 7. If you see PHP defeats Python here only with a marginal difference.
PHP vs. Python: Versatility
Web applications are not just limited to developing simple portals or websites for information. Infact AI is also turning out to be the important part of web with the rising technologies.
The algorithms always make use of the businesses in recognizing the users more accurately. Not just this, it also identifies specific domains of their business that they should pour their investments into.
Uber has built its platform with the help of ML platform.
Uber built an ML platform using python. It contains several libraries that have been shown to be very strong and powerful if compared to the libraries of PHP. These libraries provide assistance in almost entire domains, that include NLP, image processing, and many others.
PHP vs. Python: Scalability
The apps which have been built over the Python framework provide high AI and ML capabilities when we talk about scalability. It provides easy adaptation to the evolving trends.
With the help of Django framework, you can build scalable apps as it has ready-to-go components. These can be unplugged and replaced depending upon the requirements of the business.
Let’s take the example of Instagram as it is the largest deployment of the Django framework. The social networking service gives higher weightage to Python than PHP for its simplicity and practicality.
PHP vs. Python: Which one to choose?
On a single note, both Python and PHP are very similar to each other. But some people take a huge concern over python vs. PHP for web development. People consider Python for web development rather than PHP. From all the above cases, web development with Python seems to be a winner.
Seasia Infotech would love to recommend a few important points:
- If you love PHP web development, stick to that since you have a good hand in it.
- If you are on the verge of acquiring different programming skills, you must give space to both languages for better job opportunities in the future too.
- If you are curious to learn backend, then you should go with web development with Python.
What is Python used for?
Whether it’s about automating a simple task, analysis of the data, or visualizing the data, Python is the answer! It has been adopted by programmers, accountants, and scientists for everyday tasks such as managing finances.
Here are a few of the more common ways where Python is used.
- Data Analysis and Machine Learning
- Web Development
- Automation or Scripting
- Software testing or prototyping
Why is Python so popular?
- Easy to learn and use
- Mature and supportive Python community
- Support from renowned sponsors
- Hundreds of Python libraries and frameworks
- Versatility, Efficiency, Reliability, and Speed
- Big Data, Machine Learning, and Cloud Computing
- First choice due to its flexibility
- Most importantly, automation
Is Python or PHP easier?
For beginners, Python is quite easy. On the other hand, PHP can be a bit tough for novice programmers. PHP was designed to generate simple personal pages but later on, it has caught its complexity.
Should I learn Python or PHP in 2022?
Without any doubt, as a beginner, you can learn Python and PHP in 2022.
Is PHP worth learning in 2022?
Every technology is worth learning whatever the year. But if you are a novice and you want to start with some technology that has less complexity, then you can go on learning Python. And, if you want to jump in the pool of learning complex language, then PHP is also a good choice to go!