Web Development

PHP vs Python: Which One to Choose for Web Development?

Choosing the right programming language is very important for any development project. Nowadays, Python and PHP are two popular programming languages that...

Avatar Written by Paresh Solanki · 7 min read >
PHP vs Python

Choosing the right programming language is very important for any development project. Nowadays, Python and PHP are two popular programming languages that most businesses like to use for web development projects.

When comparing these two, choosing one becomes a bit difficult. Although many websites are developed in PHP, Python has also becomes very popular in the last few years.

But, which programming language is right for your web app – Python or PHP? In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of the two languages and then will proceed to their comparison. So, let’s get started!

What is Python?

Python is an open-source programming language that aims at object-oriented programming concepts. Guido Van Rossum developed this language in 1991. Currently, it is one of the most extensively used languages, providing high-level, easy-to-understand syntax.

According to Stack Overflow Survey 2021, Python is one of the most wanted and loved languages. Many companies in the world use Python with their apps. It acts as a scripting language for web browsers, and thereby, you can use it for web app development.

Python Stack Overflow Survey 2021

What is PHP?

PHP or Hypertext Pre-processor is a suitable choice of programming language for web developers. It’s an open-source server scripting language that is used for creating engaging, user-driven website pages. PHP is the actual choice of language with some outstanding features, plugins, libraries, and add-ons to maximize colossal community support and functionalities.

Rasmus Lerdorf developed PHP or Personal Home Page in 1995. After that, it got its new name, i.e., PHP-Hypertext Pre-processor. Almost all web browsers support PHP and it is fantastic for the backend development of web apps.

PHP empowers almost every website on the web. It’s a flexible, pragmatic, and fast language that can tackle dynamic content on HTML websites, session tracking, and databases.

Features of Python

  • Python can run on different hardware platforms using the same user interface.
  • It is easy to read, learn, and maintain.
  • It provides a perfect structure and support for large programs.
  • Low-level modules are easy to include in the Python interpreter.
  • Python features the support for automatic garbage collection.
  • You can integrate Python with C, C++, and Java programming code.
  • Python provides high-level dynamic types of data and the support for dynamic type checking.
  • It assists in an interactive mode of testing and debugging.

Features of PHP

  • PHP is easier to employ and code than other scripting languages.
  • It supports different databases like MySQL and Oracle, and hence, provides database integration.
  • PHP gives access to log in by making a summary of the latest user accesses.
  • Compared to other scripting languages like JSP and ASP, PHP is more efficient.
  • It features a few predefined error reporting constants that create a warning or error notice.
  • Since PHP is an open-source language, you can download and use it for free.

Pros and Cons of Python

Here are the pros and cons of using Python programming language for web development:

Pros of Python

  • A general-purpose, object-oriented, and versatile language to employ across different fields
  • Features cross-platform code reusability
  • Easy to use, read, learn, and maintain
  • Features automatic garbage collection
  • Develops GUI apps
  • Can integrate easily with programming code of other languages like Java or C++
  • Has libraries like Tensorflow for math-intensive tasks
  • An open-source, uniformly unfolding language
  • Highly graphic and makes amateur favorable
  • WORA functionality makes it portable

Cons of Python

  • Not much useful in mobile computing, browsers, and mobile app development
  • It uses a massive amount of memory to offer ease to a developer
  • Works slower than other website development languages
  • Makes delays in the testing of web apps
  • Error detection becomes difficult due to dynamic typing
  • Gigantic for a simple and small app or website
  • Duck-typing causes run-time errors
  • A bit simpler for some specific tasks

Pros and Cons of PHP

Below are the top benefits and drawbacks of using PHP for web app development:

Pros of PHP

  • Sustains top-notch debugging
  • Features copious pluggable frameworks Open-source and object-oriented
  • Features a large ecosystem
  • Gives support for other database interfaces like No SQL, PostgreSQL, and so forth
  • Get supports from several operating systems and works cross-platform
  • Gives support for database collection modules
  • Flexible and platform-independent
  • PHP-based apps support all operating systems like Windows, Linux, and UNIX.
  • Features in-built SQL support
  • Many open-source PHP frameworks are available to use for free

Cons of PHP

  • Impeded and wired performance
  • You cannot change its core behavior
  • Uses weak typing that can lead to wrong knowledge and data to users
  • Not suitable for content-based apps
  • No IOT alliance
  • An inadequacy of security protocols and features

When to Choose Python?

Python programming language becomes more popular nowadays. Below are some of the cases when you should opt for Python:

  • Building websites utilizing the Django framework
  • Seeking deep data analytics
  • And working in areas like robotics and data science

When to Choose PHP?

PHP is a popular server-side scripting language among developers. Here are some cases when you can select PHP:

  • Less investment
  • Developing blogs, web applications, and websites
  • Working effectively on the server-side

Why Choose Python?

Python boasts many advantages, and thereby, it is these days’ technology. Here’s why you should select Python for web development:

  • Python eliminates the difficulty of coding and deals with garbage collection and memory addresses automatically.
  • Python syntax is quick to comprehend, and it’s easy to debug also. Hence, its source code is easier to maintain.
  • With a range of pre-built libraries, Python web development is easy.
  • Having a framework for the web, Python supports GUI apps. For instance, Django, WXPython, Tkinter, etc.
  • Since it’s a portable and versatile language, you can run Python on different operating systems or platforms.
  • Python considers a database-friendly interface that can store a massive. amount of data for essential commercial DBMS systems.
  • Python’s interactive shell aids unit testing before implementing a product.
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Why Choose PHP?

Since PHP is a powerful programming language, we have some reasons to choose it:

  • It is open-source and free to download
  • It’s a scripting language that runs on different platforms like Mac OS X, Linux, Windows, and UNIX.
  • PHP is compatible with every server, such as IIS, Apaches, etc.
  • It is easy to learn and works effectively on the server side.
  • PHP supports a wide range of databases.

PHP vs Python: The Detailed Comparison

You get a detailed overview of the languages, their features, pros, and cons. Now here’s a PHP vs Python comparison based on different parameters!

Python vs PHP Detailed Comparison

A detailed comparison will help you decide the most appropriate language for use, how easy and efficient it is to work with and give the best result for your web development efforts.

Let’s start the cold war between Python and PHP!

1. Community Support

PHP and Python have excellent community support. Since PHP has been in the market for a long time for web app development, it has a large community of developers who can immediately offer support.

Here, Python matches with PHP closely. Since there are many Python developers who continuously building Python apps constantly, community support is excellent. So, none of them is a clear winner here.

2. Flexibility

Machine Learning powered web apps are in high demand these days. And ML is a significant point of Python also. Hence, Python provides excellent machine learning libraries, such as Pandas, Tensorflow, Theano, and Scikit-learn. These libraries are rapid, robust, and unique, and most significantly, they can perfectly function with a web framework.

Remember that Python is beneficial in several fields and not just in web development, whereas PHP is significant only when it comes to web development. So, here, Python scores more than PHP.

3. Ease of Use

Python is an open-source, portable, and versatile programming language that is easy to employ. Moreover, python syntax’s programming is also simple. Compared to PHP, coding is easier to grasp with Python.

PHP is not an ordinary programming language as it’s used only for designing dynamic website pages with HTML. It makes PHP less productive than Python. Hence, in terms of ease of use, Python triumphs over PHP.

4. Speed to Market

Python features a great set of third-party libraries, packages, and modules to finish a project quicker. For example, Django is one of the popular web frameworks written in Python. It drags the MVC pattern to enable developers to build apps fast using a great division of concerns and reusability.

PHP also boasts its set of tools, incorporating frameworks and libraries. For example, Laravel is the most famous PHP framework that accepts the MVC pattern and arrives pre-packaged with several helpful features for web development like templating, routing, authentication, and so forth.

5. Web Frameworks

Both PHP and Python provide powerful and well-designed web development frameworks. Many big companies use web frameworks that PHP offers. For instance, Symfony and Laravel are mature frameworks, and a large community supports them. Thereby, PHP makes web development easy.

Python also provides many extraordinary frameworks. The two most famous Python-based web frameworks are Flask and Django. These are highly scalable, fast, easy to use, and secure. Developers usually prefer Django over PHP-based frameworks to enjoy an easy setup and shorter development period.

6. Library Management

Python employs Pip for dealing with packages. Pip makes sure that Python app development is rapid, easy, and fulfills all development needs.

The library management of PHP is less potent than Python. Python has a broader assortment of packages and handy tools for easier web app development. Hence, Python is the clear winner here.

7. Security

In terms of security, Python is a preferred option for businesses. For example, Django boasts many pre-built security features that help safeguard the apps from different security threats. Moreover, different government entities also depend on Python as their secret hacking tool.

Although its robust community support has addressed most of the security problems, PHP is less robust than Python in terms of security. Therefore, Python triumphs over PHP at this point.

8. Environment Management

Python has been the best programming language when it comes to handling environments. Its Virtualenv system helps install different versions of the language and move among them immediately.

PHP cannot compete with Python in this matter. VirtPHP, an analog for PHP, is there, but it’s archived and not quite maintained. Hence, developers like to use containers with PHP. So, Python is a clear winner here.

9. Ease of Learning

Python is undoubtedly easier to learn. You can pick up this general-purpose programming language very quickly. It is easy to choose a programming course for beginners. Python programs are shorter and easy to write as compared to other languages.

On the other hand, PHP is made for sophisticated web apps, unlike stand-alone, simple programs. It is not a general-purpose language at all. Hence, it takes more time to learn PHP as compared to Python.

10. Debugging

PDB or Python Debugger is an in-built debugger of Python. It uses many debugging strategies. PDB features dynamic typing and allows developers to work effortlessly without announcing things straight at the beginning of a program.

PHP also provides an XDebug package for addressing bugs and error-checking the codes for developers. However, PHP development is significantly slower in discovering and removing bugs. Hence, it experiences many security problems.

Concluding Thoughts

Although both PHP and Python perform great in web development, Python triumphs over PHP in many points. However, this does not imply that you have to select Python and neglect PHP. Both PHP and Python are excellent programming languages for developing web apps.

At last, it largely depends on your project needs as well as your PHP or Python abilities, knowledge, and expertise when you are building your web apps.

FAQS About PHP vs Python

Why prefer Python over PHP?

There are many reasons to prefer Python over PHP for modern web app development like flexibility, security, high performance, easy to use, simple syntax, etc.

Which is more secure Python or PHP?

When it comes to security, Python is a preferred choice for businesses. It has many security features to develop complex apps. Where PHP has had a dreadful history when it comes to security.

What is Python mostly used for?

Python, a general-purpose programming language has a broader usage including web development, AI, ML, big data, mobile app development, game development, etc.

Written by Paresh Solanki
Paresh Solanki is a Technical Head at Mindinventory. He started his career as PHP developer and have expertise in Node, Linux Administration, Angular, IONIC, React-Native, Laravel, CakePHP, CodeIgniter, Meteor, ReactJS and many other JS frameworks. Currently having his hands on Go Language, Python, RoR and Flutter. Profile