PHP vs Python: Which One To Choose In 2020?
A programming language is basically a set of instructions developed to communicate with machines. PHP and Python are two of the most popular ones among the lot. A million-dollar question is, PHP vs Python: which one to choose?
We have observed that in this battle of PHP vs Python, the warriors are strong and aggressive about their respective languages.
PHP Developers would swear by using only PHP and vice versa for Python.
This article will prove as a comprehensive guide to the beginners, developers, and businesses about all the necessary aspects of these languages such as their applications, important benefits, and drawbacks before coming down to any conclusion.
PHP vs Python
- Origins Of PHP
- Overview of the current PHP Scenario
- Applications of PHP
- Advantages of PHP
- Disadvantages of PHP
- Origins Of Python
- Overview Of Current Python Scenario
- Applications of Python
- Advantages of Python
- Disadvantages of Python
- PHP vs Python: A Featured-Based Comparison
1. Origins of PHP
1994 was the year when PHP – a General-purpose programming language, was developed by Rasmus Lerdorf.
The primary intended usage was of Web Development, however, the language has evolved and now serves multiple purposes. Initially known as Personal Home Page, it is now renamed as PHP: Hypertext Pre-processor.
Today, PHP has become a household name in the web development industry. In fact, that is the reason why there is so much demand for PHP Development Company in recent times.
2. Overview of the Current PHP Scenario
PHP currently enjoys a generous 78.9% of the market share in terms of the popularity of server-side languages.
Having an elephant as its mascot, it powers some of the true web giants such as Facebook, Wikipedia, Yahoo and WordPress followed by a whopping active 7,542,591 (approximately) sites.
In order to understand which language is better, let’s first look at what are their functionalities, key advantages, and drawbacks.
It will help you all to know the PHP vs Python comparison in a better manner.
3. Applications of PHP
- Web-based applications and Web-based systems
- Dynamic web sites
- Web Content Management Systems
- Data representation
- GUI-Based Applications
- eCommerce Applications
- Image Processing and Graphic Design
4. Advantages of PHP
There are certain merits to this language. To take the decision, we need to first understand what this language has to offer.
As this server-side programming language is open source, it is free of any charges. There are many web frameworks available which are open source. Developers can straight away select from them to meet their needs.
4.2 Server Support
PHP is a server-side programming language, which can work with the majority of the web servers. It provides a lot of flexibility. PHP can work on Apache and Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) very smoothly.
With the launch of PHP 7, the speed of processing has increased threefold. As such it has never lagged behind as it uses the internal memory. As a result, the server’s workload and loading time are slashed dramatically leading to our desired less time.
4.4 Platform Independence
It supports all the major web browsers such as Windows, Linux, macOS, or UNIX. This will preclude a person from having unnecessary costs of purchasing unwanted browsers.
This language stands out as far as web application and maintenance are concerned. It used MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture.
This separates a web application into controllers, models, and views. With the help of it, the developers can maintain the user interface of the application and business logic layers separately.
PHP frameworks are really helpful and useful to the developers. There are some great frameworks available like Laravel, Symfony, Code Igniter, Phalcon, Zend and many more. That’s why people say that it’s a New Era Of Web Development.
5. Disadvantages of PHP
Though, highly advantageous, PHP has some of the disappointments. We should be aware of both the sides of the coin before making the correct decision:
5.1 Less Secure
Since PHP is open-source, everyone can see the source code. And if there are any bugs in the source code then they are exploited by some of the malicious users.
5.2 Magnitude and Number of Applications
If the application is large, PHP may not be able to handle it with the utmost efficiency as it is modular. It is not impossible to create large applications, but, if they are created. There will be maintenance issues.
5.3 Differing Quality of Frameworks
The frameworks available for PHP are Open-source. But at the same time, the community strength of each framework differs. As a result, sometimes it is difficult to get enough support from the members of the community.
5.4 Increased Learning
PHP allows the programmers to render functionality to a web application without programming more codes. But for that they have to put in a lot of time to learn the frameworks of PHP. This is a highly demanding task.
5.5 Core Behavior
There are times while using the framework that certain changes are required in the core behavior of these frameworks. Unfortunately, no change can be made in that area which sometimes becomes problematic even if you Hire PHP Developers from a reputed firm.
6. Origins of Python
Python is also a General-purpose programming language with a difference that it is a high level.
In layman’s language, we can say that it is very close to human languages and farther from machine languages. It offers multiple functionalities.
Developed as a successor to the ABC language, Python has been breaking the records of popularity because of the ease of use it provides.
In recent times, there is a lot of demand for Python Development Company. So, you should know about this programming language in detail.
7. Overview of the Current Python Scenario
As per the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, Python is the fastest-growing language. Its development rate is 41.7%.
As per the TIBOE index, Python has already surpassed C++ in the area of the number of search engine hits and popularity of languages.
It was Google which brought this language into the notice of people when it used it for powering some of its major projects like Youtube.
From then on, a lot many biggies like Instagram, Dropbox, Yahoo, Reddit, Spotify and many more have started using it. It is the third most popular language which is preceded by Java and C.
8. Applications of Python
- Web Applications
- Software Development
- Desktop GUI applications
- Scientific and Numeric Computing
- E-Commerce Applications
- Business and Enterprise Applications
- 3D CAD Applications
- Console based Applications
- Audio or Video-based Applications
9. Advantages of Python
One of the most popular programming languages has many benefits for its users.
It is a high-level programming language which means that it is nearer to human languages. Consequently, it offers ease of use. Moreover, the length of the codes is lesser so this has been gaining a lot of popularity amongst the developers these days.
9.2 Easy Learning
Python is easy to learn. In fact, in some universities, this is the language that is taught to beginners as the basics of programming.
For knowing more about simple programs with Python, one can refer to Python Development Guide. The syntax is simple so it becomes easy for the newcomers to follow.
9.3 Wide Support
There are approximately 8 million Python users in the world. Hence, there is a lot of support available for the ones who wish to learn it. Apart from that, it is even helpful for bug and coding related issues.
9.4 Control and Speed
Python has an object-oriented design. It increases the overall control over the language and managing it becomes easier. This also helps in cutting down the required timings for coding.
9.5 Object-Oriented Language
Being an Object-Oriented language, Modular structures are provided in a clear way. Objects can be reused across multiple applications. The maintenance time and efforts decrease due to this.
Read also: A New Era Of Web Development-PHP 7.3
Because of the availability of third party modules, Python is able to interact with other languages. For example, it can invoke the libraries of C, C++.
It can communicate with COM and .NET frameworks. It can integrate with Java components. It is possible to embed the codes of this language in other languages.
9.7 Cost Efficiency
As it is an Open source, there is no requirement to purchase it. Consequently, the project cost reduces drastically.
As mentioned earlier, a lot of support is available if one wishes to learn it, so even there it becomes inexpensive. You can easily Hire Python App Developer as per your need.
Being an interpreted language, there are some advantages offered by this language. Debugging becomes easier than that in compiled languages.
10. Disadvantages of Python
There are certain drawbacks which we should know before we go for selection.
The tasks which require a lot of memory, Python may not turn out to be a very good choice there. As the data-types provide a lot of flexibility, the consumption of the memory is more.
10.2 Language Design Issues
It is dynamically typed, which means that we cannot declare the variable type when we write the code. There are certain errors which we come across only during the Run time.
10.3 Database Access
In comparison with the technologies like ODBC and JDBC, the database access of Python is only basic. This is one area where Python lacks badly.
10.4 Mobile and Browsers
Though it is one of the best server-side languages, it is not preferred much for the client-side. It is not used especially in smartphone-based applications
11. PHP vs Python: A Featured-Based Comparison
After having this basic knowledge of both languages, now let’s compare PHP vs Python to get a better idea about where each of them stands.
11.1 Learning Curve
PHP has long lines of coding. Further, the syntax of this language is a little complicated. In comparison to that Python is really simple to learn and use.
As a result, many universities have started teaching Python to the beginners of programming courses. We would say that in this area Python is a clear winner.
Python is an all-rounder in terms of functionalities it offers.
It is used in building web applications, Software Development, Desktop GUI applications, e-commerce applications, applications for Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Scientific community and so on.
It is in true sense a General Purpose Programming language. On the other hand, PHP was mainly designed for web development. It is a mammoth player in this area. It is Server-Side scripting.
Python and PHP, both offer some excellent frameworks. For Python, we have Django, Pyramid, Flask and some more whereas for PHP, we have Zend, Symfony, Laravel, Codeigniter and so on.
Django is preferred by most Python users as it is speedy, secure, user-friendly and powerful.
Likewise, Laravel and Codeigniter are preferred by PHP users and most of the PHP applications use one of them. Both of them offer really good options with this regard.
Maintaining applications built with PHP is a little more difficult in comparison to the ones built using Python. This is a point in PHP vs Python where Python scores better than PHP.
PHP was designed for web development. The design of Python is better thought out one in comparison to PHP. In PHP vs Python, it is easier to write codes in Python.
11.6 Syntax and Readability
The syntax of Python is simpler than that of PHP. Codes are brief and without any ambiguity.
They are easier to understand and more readable than those in PHP.
Clearly, Python is a winner in PHP vs Python battle, now.!
11.7 Debugging Tools
Both languages offer debugging tools. As per the developers, the Python downloader package provides the tools which are adequate.
In PHP we have XDebug, which is an excellent tool for debugging. In terms of number, Python wins as it requires less debugging tools but in terms of quality both are clear winners.
11.8 Community Support
Approximately 80% of the web sites are built with PHP. It has been used for more than 20 years.
On the other hand, as per the latest TIBOE Programming Language Popularity index, Python is 3rd on the list.
It is gaining a lot of popularity these days. Immense community support is available for both languages.
11.9 Cost Efficiency
As both languages are open source, they are free. There is no requirement to purchase any type of license. Again in these areas as well, both the languages are winners.
With the launch of PHP 7, tables have turned. It is 3 times faster than Python 3. It can process requests 3 times faster than PHP 5.6. This point is scored by PHP vs Python.
11.11 Library Support
Python is used for Developing various types of Applications. To support programming, we have extraordinary library support.
There are some great Machine Learning libraries such as Keras, Theano PyTorch, TensorFlow, Scikit Learn and many more. In fact, Python For AI-Based Apps can be a great combination.
They are user-friendly and they integrate seamlessly with the web framework making the development of application easy.
PHP also offers some of the great libraries such as Symphony, Laravel, Guzzle and so on. They also offer equally good assistance. We have no clear winner for this PHP vs Python feature comparison exercise.
11.12 Package Management
Package Management, as per Wikipedia is ‘a collection of software tools that automates the process of installing, upgrading, configuring, and removing computer programs for a computer’s operating system in a consistent manner.
Python and PHP both offer these services which are known as PIP and Composer respectively. They both do a fair job. Hence, again not any clear winners are there for this point as well.
After understanding the basics, advantages, and disadvantages of both languages we get some idea of PHP vs Python and which will be suitable for our requirements.
PHP is ruling the market with an almost 80% share, however, Python is seeing an upward trend in popularity and it is 3rd most popular language.
We have strong contenders here for the number one position. We can derive some conclusions that PHP can be continued for server-side scripting if one already excels in it.
Whereas beginners can start with Python as it offers more functionalities, it is becoming more popular and it is easier to learn.
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