PHP vs Python: Which One is Better for Web Development?

July 3, 2023

Selecting the right programming language is crucial in any development. Currently, Python and PHP are two programming languages that most businesses prefer to employ to develop web-based projects. Compared to PHP Vs. Python, choosing one is a challenge. While many websites are built using PHP development, Python is also gaining traction.

However, which language is the best choice for your website app? What is the best language to use – Python or PHP? Here, we will go through the basics of each language and then move on to a comparison. Let’s dive in!

What is Python?

Python, an object-oriented & high-level, general-purpose programming language specifically, is designed for web & mobile application development. The object-oriented programming language was created in 1989, but it grew in popularity in 2000, following the release of Python Development Version 2.0. It is frequently employed as a support language for software developers to develop controls, manage testing, data science solutions, and many other methods.

Furthermore, the Unicode support function added to Python 2.0 makes this language highly sought-after in the web development market. It is among the most popular programming languages among novices & experienced programmers.

Python development has seen a surge in popularity, and now many successful tech companies are selecting Python as their development language for backends. The best examples of websites built with Python include Spotify, Instagram, Netflix, Dropbox, Uber, Pinterest, Reddit, Google, & Lyft.

As per the Stack Overflow 2022 Survey, Python continues to be one of the most popular and adored languages. Several big and small companies utilize Python as part of their core applications. It functions as a scripting language that works with web browsers.

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Python Features

  • Many hardware platforms can run Python with similar user interfaces.
  • Programs with a large scale benefit from its structure and support.
  • It is simple to read, learn, and maintain.
  • Python’s interpreter supports low-level modules easily.
  • Python is compatible with C, C++, and Java codes.
  • The Python development programming language supports automatic garbage collection.
  • During testing & debugging, it facilitates an interactive mode.

What is PHP?

Personal Home Page tools & PHPs are Hypertext Preprocessors. The program is scripting and interpreting. Programmers use PHP web app development to build websites that are dynamic or web-based applications. PHP is an awe-inspiring server-side scripting language and it can effortlessly join with the central web servers on the most popular OS.

PHP is the main rival to Microsoft’s ASP. But, when it comes to PHP against Python, both have immense popularity. It’s also a less expensive alternative for a lot of users. People can absorb this server-side programming language quickly and create excellent modern-day applications.

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PHP Features

  • PHP allows users to log in by summarizing the last login attempts.
  • Coding with PHP development is easier than with other scripting languages.
  • The PHP scripting language is more efficient than JSP and ASP.
  • It can integrate databases since it supports multiple databases like MySQL & Oracle.
  • The PHP development programming language is a free, open-source language.

What are the Similarities Between Python and PHP?

It’s essential to grasp the similarities between these two coding languages. Have a look at some of their string similarities.

  • Both Python and PHP are open-source. You can use, distribute and modify them for zero charges. 
  • The two languages are platform-independent and can run on different operating systems perfectly. 
  • Python and PHP are both mature programming languages with a fan base of global developers. 
  • Both languages follow line-by-line code execution without compilation.
  • Both are high-level programming languages.

PHP vs Python – Comparison Table 

Features PHP Python
What is it? PHP is a  general-purpose scripting language.  Python is a general-purpose programming language.
Learning Curve PHP is comparatively difficult to learn. Python has a syntax similar to English and a simpler learning curve.
Geared Towards It is geared towards web development. It is geared towards applications like AI, ML, web app development, etc.
Useful Frameworks Laravel, Symfony, and CakePHP are among the most used PHP frameworks. Django, Flask, and CherryPy are some of the most used Python frameworks.
Code Maintenance  PHP code maintenance requires more efforts Python code is easier to maintain.
Speed Performance PHP code developed using the latest versions offers excellent speed performance.  Python code lacks in terms of speed performance.
Debugging PHP debugging is slower. Python offers quick debugging.
Top applications developed using it Popular PHP apps are: 

  • WordPress
  • Magento
  • Vimeo
  • Etsy
  • Yahoo
Popular Python apps are: 

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Spotify
  • Dropbox
  • Uber

Python Vs PHP: The Comparison Begins

There’s been a full-on conflict between Python Vs PHP web app development, and there are no indications that it will slow down soon. This article will compare PHP vs Python to determine the winner.

1. Adaptability

Machine Learning powered web apps are top-rated at present. In addition, ML is an essential feature of Python too. In this respect, Python offers excellent libraries for Machine Learning, including Tensorflow, Pandas, Theano, and Scikit-Learn. They work well with web frameworks and are robust, & distinctive.

You can use Python not only for web development but for many other areas as well. By contrast, PHP is more relevant to web development. Therefore, here, Python scores more than PHP in this area of PHP Vs Python web app development.

2. Market Speed

Python has a large collection of third-party libraries, packages, and modules to complete your project more quickly. An excellent example of a Python framework is Django. There are a lot of issues that can be resolved and reused by following the MVC pattern.

PHP also has its own tools, including libraries and frameworks. One of the most prevalent PHP web app development frameworks following the MVC pattern is Laravel. In addition to routing, authentication templating, & many other valuable tools, it comes pre-packed in this version.

3. Management of the Environment

Python is one of the best programming languages for managing environments. The virtual system lets you install different languages and then move between them quickly.

PHP can’t be competitive in this regard. VirtPHP, an alternative to PHP, exists; however, it’s unmaintained and archived. Therefore, developers prefer using containers that integrate with PHP. Thus, in this PHP vs Python web app development aspect, Python development is a clear winner.

4. Performance

The speed of your website or application is a crucial element that affects the speed and efficiency of the site, along with its fluidity. A Google study found that most mobile website visitors leave a site that takes over 3 minutes to open. In the modern age, performance relies on speed. Ensuring software is released to production often throughout the day is crucial.

Python, as we said, is efficient & fast. The Just-In-Time compiler for Python development can make it more efficient than its rival, PHP. One of the most significant benefits of JIT is that after the files are compiled and then deleted, they are not required to be rebuilt.

On the other hand, the earlier versions of PHP, PHP 5.x, could have been faster compared to Python. However, the release of PHP 7.x resulted in a dramatic improvement that enhanced the speed of applications dramatically. When PHP 7 was released, PHP 7.x, Zend Engine 3.0 was released, making PHP 7 twice as fast as the previous version.

5. Syntax

The ability to code without errors is an important aspect that developers often consider when learning the language. In this case, Python beats PHP. This is due to the fact that Python development gives ease for developers to program without having to think about constraints causing code to fail when they build. Furthermore, Python has a high reading comprehension score that aids developers in debugging their code.

However, PHP web app development has a complex syntax; it imposes certain restrictions on the code. So, developers prefer Python to perform simple syntax programming.

Read the Latest Blog: How To Use ChatGPT API in Python

6. Frameworks

The PHP and Python web development frameworks are both useful & well-designed. A lot of large corporations use Web frameworks PHP can provide. For example, Symfony & Laravel are advanced frameworks, and a vast community is supportive of these frameworks. Thus, PHP allows web development to be simple.

Python is also a great source of frameworks. The Python frameworks are incredibly scalable, speedy, user-friendly & safe. Developers typically choose Django in preference to PHP development-based frameworks to benefit from a simple set-up and faster development.

7. Debugging

The Python Debugger (PDB) is part of the Python development system. It employs a variety of debugging techniques. PDB supports dynamic typing and lets programmers work without needing to announce new features in advance.

Developers can also address errors with PHP’s XDebug package. PHP development programming has a downside: it is extremely slow at identifying and removing bugs. It is, therefore, very vulnerable to security attacks.

8. Ease of Learning

It’s certainly easier to learn Python. The general programming language is easy to master. New programmers can easily find instructions on how to get started. Comparatively, Python is a more straightforward language to learn.

In contrast, PHP is made for complex web applications instead of simple, stand-alone ones. In other words, it isn’t an all-purpose language. Mastering PHP development takes more time than learning Python.

To get clear about PHP Vs Python, seek expert guidance from an established Web App Development Company.

What is Python Used For?

Python helps develop various web applications, software development, task automation, data analysis, and visualization. The universal programming language has become a primary choice for developing artificial intelligence & machine learning projects. The much popular ChatGPT application has also been developed using the Python programming language. 

  • Operating Systems

The wide array of languages makes Python a compatible option for developing operating systems. As a cross-platform language, it can be used to create operating systems for Windows, Mac, etc.   

  • Web App Development

Several web applications have been developed using popular Python frameworks, including Django, Pyramid, Flask, etc. Global brands like Instagram, Uber, and Netflix have trusted Python for their apps.

  • Game Development

PyGame, Pycap, Panda#D, and Construct are popular Python frameworks for developing gaming applications. You may not know, but the popular shooting game Battlefield 2 was created using Python.

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning mostly revolve around algorithms, code, and logic. Python has become the dominant choice for developing projects involving AI and ML. Keras, Pandas, and TensorFlow are some of the preferred frameworks for developing AI and ML-based Python-powered apps. 

  • Desktop GUI & Business Applications

Python is one of the best choices for developing desktop GUI (Graphical User Interface) and business apps. It comes with several features for developers to create fully functional GUIs. The comprehensive syntax and modular programming approach lets you easily create high-speed and responsive GUI. It is also beneficial in developing ERPS and eCommerce applications. 

What is PHP used for?

Unlike Python, PHP lacks in providing versatile use cases. However, the language is a perfect fit for creating dynamic and interactive web applications. As per research, PHP alone powers 77% of all websites whose server-side scripting data is available. Various successful businesses like WordPress, Magento, and Wikipedia have been developed using the PHP language. Additionally, the language is also a good choice for creating RESTful APIs, SOAP web services, and data processing and data visualization. 

Pros and Cons of Using Python 

#Pros of using Python

  • Ease of Use

It has a simple, straightforward syntax, which offers high readability to the developers. Additionally, it ensures quick onboarding of new developers into the web app development project. Python programs appear much like code in the English language. 

  • Open Source and Free to Use

Businesses can save significant costs on technology bearing by using the Python language. Notably, all Python releases are available under an open-source license, making them accessible. You can even modify and redistribute it for zero costs. 

  • Quick Project Development 

Python does not require compilation and has significantly shorter lines of code for implementing simple or complex functionalities. Programs written in this language are much more straightforward, which makes it a compelling choice for developing MVPS, prototypes, etc. It is also a good fit for projects that require a faster time-to-market. 

  • Extensive Libraries and Frameworks

The mature programming language has world-class libraries and frameworks to suit different kinds of development projects. Django, Flask, and Pyramid are useful in generic web development projects. Python AI and ML libraries include PyTorch, TensorFlow, sci-kit-learn, and many more.

  • Mature Community Support

As per Statista, Python is among the most used programming languages among developers, with a popularity of 48.07%. Globally it has been in use by a vast community of developers, which ensures quick solutions to areas where you might feel stuck. There are various open-source forums where you can get handy answers for Python code. 

#Cons of Using Python

  • It is not a suitable language for projects with limited memory space. Python code requires significant memory consumption. 
  • The programming language lacks multi-threading support.

Pros and Cons of Using PHP 

#Pros of Using PHP

  • Highly Scalable 

The PHP language is ideal for creating extensive projects that require high scalability. Various world-class content management systems like Magento, WordPress, and PrestaShop have been written and developed using PHP programming. 

  • Reduces Development Cost

The language is open-source, which means you can use it to create different kinds of projects at zero charges. Additionally, you can use various open-source libraries, syntax, databases, etc., to develop a PHP project.  

  • Reliable Speed Performance

PHP is one of the best languages for developing web apps requiring high-speed performance. Research has shown that PHP code can run as much as three times faster than Python code. This makes it an unbeatable choice in many kinds of projects. 

  • Quick Code Modifications

Changing the code as per the latest requirements requires significant time in most programming languages, not with PHP. The Hypertext Processor language lets you see the impact of code modifications immediately, which helps with experimenting with the code.  

  • Industry-Standard Tools

There are tons of plugins and development tools available for developing PHP projects. This makes it easier to create high-quality projects with error-free code. Moreover, the code generated in PHP is cross-platform compatible. 

#Cons of Using PHP

  • The PHP language is not ideal for developing AI and ML-based projects.
  • It suffers from a lack of debugging tools. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Is PHP easier than Python?

Ans: For new beginners, Python is a more straightforward language to learn as it has a syntax much similar to English. PHP lacks in terms of readability, and developers require more time to master the programming language 

Q2: Which is in demand, PHP or Python?

Ans: Python has a greater demand than PHP. Developers can use Python language for developing AI and ML-based projects which is a missing factor in PHP. Moreover, as per Stack Overflow and Statista research, Python easily beats PHP in terms of demand or popularity.

Q3: Which language offers faster speed performance, PHP or Python?

Ans: Web development projects built with the latest version of the PHP language offer much faster speed performance than Python. PHP has various in-built capabilities to offer up-to-date speed performance to the users. 

Q4: Why choose PHP over Python?

Ans: If you want to develop web apps that do not require the integration of disruptive technologies, choose PHP over Python. With the PHP language, you can build apps that offer significant scalability and performance. 

Final Words

After comparing PHP Vs Python concerning every crucial factor, it isn’t easy to decide which programming language is the best. PHP & Python are excellent in their own way. If it’s the features, functionality, documentation of libraries, and many other aspects, both are great. It’s not just about PHP development or Python development. The language selection you use for web development depends entirely on your business needs. If your app idea requires Machine Learning code,  you can hire the best Python developers who are the most suitable option.

But, your needs determine your language for Web development projects. Therefore, ensure you know what you need since the whole backend development depends on it.

If you’re searching for professional assistance for your requirements, JSPanther is ready to help you. We are a renowned Mobile & PHP Web App Development Company with a history of creating exceptional web and mobile apps. Our team of dedicated developers has developed several innovative applications built on several programming languages. We can assist you with one of the best solutions for web-based development.

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