PHP vs. Python, which is better? This comparison is one of the most debated topics in the programming and web development community. It is a hard question to address and requires getting into specifics. Now, Python is a general-purpose language, and most programmers do not use it for just web development. With an array of other frameworks, it can be easily implemented for GUI app development and other sophisticated things. With the help of Kivy or Tkinter frameworks, you can develop a mobile or desktop app with Python. Ideally, there are Python libraries that can be utilized for machine learning and big data science.
On the contrary, PHP is mostly used for web development. Not that it is impossible to make a non-web application using PHP, but compared to other languages, it’s not the best for the job. At this point, it is clear that Python is excellent for a wide array of applications, but what about web-development alone? Which is the better language for the job?
Let us start with the numbers! PHP came to life in 1995, and since then, it has garnered a huge community (including Lone Star PHP team) around itself. Programmers and developers around the globe still create frameworks to expand its functionality. It was utilized for the creation of websites such as Facebook, Yahoo and Wikipedia. There’s also no doubt that it dominates the web-development industry with a share of about 80%. That concludes that PHP is more popular than Python when it comes to web development.
Python, on the other hand, was created in 1991. There are fewer websites made with Python, but when it comes to traffic per site, this language wins. Python is utilized in Google services, Instagram, Dropbox, YouTube, Spotify, Quora, Pinterest, and Reddit. It’s ideally used for web scraping, browser automation, data analysis, the Internet of Things as well as Machine Learning.
If you want to develop a site, chances are you’re going to choose between PHP and Python. They both have their pros and cons, just like the rest of programming languages. They are ideally multiplatform and open-source, have detailed documentation as well as an actively contributing community. So how do they differ?
PHP is commonly utilized on the server-side development, more than any other programming language and its community has developed many helpful frameworks like Symfony, CakePHP, Zend, Laravel, etc. With proper knowledge in the language and ideal selection of frameworks, it is possible to make the web functionality of the language universal. Its syntax can ideally be quite forgiving, which many see as a good thing. However, some would argue that it is best to have some standards in coding using PHP. Otherwise, it gets hard to read.
Web development using Python is more user-friendly, and even though it has fewer web dedicated frameworks, you can cover almost everything with Pyramid, Flask, and Django. Ideally, Python has a much clearer syntax. It might be strict, but incredibly simple, standardized and highly readable. The final code in this language is almost always more elegant and transparent compared to PHP.
As you can already conclude, there is no clear winner between the two. If you want to specialize in web development and don’t want syntax inconsistency, it’s best to go for PHP. However, if you’re a novice and haven’t settled for a programming language yet, it’s best to try Python as it has an easy learning curve.