Which is better – PHP or Python? Insights for 2019
Python and PHP are two widely used web development languages for launching today’s sites. We draw some comparisons between the two, indicating the pros and cons of both.
Key Performance Indicators
- Ease of learning
This is one of the most important parameters that will determine which web framework is to be used. If the language is too complex to learn, then the practical application falls away as too much time is spent trying to understand it.
- Community support
When struggling with bugs and there is little community support available to resolve issues, it’s better to stay away from it.
Some tools and frameworks come at a price. It might affect the choice of a business that is working on a strict budget and prefers to use open-source tools rather than paid systems.
Server side applications may require high tolerance capacity as well as low latency. It’s important to compare which language is faster in terms of execution time.
The debugging tools available will help steer your decision. Lack of debugging tools means more time spent on debugging which is not a productive use of time.
So which is better and where does one begin to compare?
The core difference is the orientation. With python development the focus is aspect-orientated whereas with PHP development, the focus is object orientated. This means that with PHP, developers would make up an integral code which implements certain tasks based on the user’s input.
In Python development, the program is divided into modules depending on the functionality. With Python, the dev team would create modules and after, make the connection depending on the “if-then” action.
PHP is considered less flexible than Python with stricter rules and libraries requiring to be loaded manually, while Python uses packages to have these loaded more swiftly.
Ease of Learning
Python is definitely easier to learn with many beginners using Python to learn the fundamentals of programming. The syntax is simpler and the code is extremely readable compared to the same code in other programming languages. On the flipside, PHP was designed specifically for web applications which are more sophisticated than simple, stand-alone programs. Learning PHP has been seen to take more time compared to learning Python, with PHP originally designed to create more simple personal pages but of late growing in its complexity.
Both PHP and Python have excellent community support. Python particularly became popular when Google started using it for some of the popular Google apps like YouTube as well as other powerful social platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Reddit. Both languages are also on par when it comes to documentation availability with numerous websites, forums and discuss boards that provide excellent tutorials.
Choice of Web Frameworks
When it comes to the choice of web frameworks, the most commonly used Python-based web frameworks include Django, Flask, Pylons, Pyramid, etc. With PHP, the most used web frameworks are codeigniter, Zend, Laravel, Symfony. It is safe to safe that both provide equally good choices.
Regarding the issue of pricing, Python and PHP are both completely free and open-source. When it comes to the library support aspect, Python decidedly trumps PHP for almost all types of applications. Although PHP lags in this aspect, Packagist (PHP packages repository) is a strong backbone holding PHP.
Many startups and large enterprises are developing machine learning backed web applications with Python providing some excellent machine learning libraries like TensorFlow, Keras, Theano, Scikit Learn, etc. These libraries are fast, easy-to-use and integrate seamlessly with the web framework.
When it comes to debugging, there is no clear winner, both Python and PHP powerful debugging packages with familiar features including – breakpoints, stacks and path mapping.
Need for Speed
Lastly when it comes to speed, the new release of PHP 7.x is almost 3 times faster than a typical Python program. Speed is often a determining factor in performance with PHP having a significant margin over Python.
As a conclusion, Python seems to be a better choice for beginners as there is more room for mistakes especially in formatting and the code won’t break because of small mistakes. Python has become the preferred language in which to teach the basics of programming but remember, if you are proficient in both, choose the one that suits your project requirements best.