Python vs PHP — Why Python is the Clear Winner for Web Development

Bobby
Bobby
Mar 4 · 5 min read

The great battle between PHP loyalties and Python lovers is a war which doesn’t seem to end soon. This is due to the fact that both are very powerful and popular programming languages in Web development.

Are you new in Web development? Or do you need help in making a choice between PHP and Python? No need to worry! I have made it easy for you. In this article, all the information that you need to be well versed will be provided. By the time you finish reading this article, you will understand why Python is the clear winner in this Python vs PHP war.


Popularity

If popularity is all you care, then PHP is the clear winner. As of February 2019, PHP has a market share of 62.72% while Python only has 0.68%. The difference is so vast! However, a bigger market share does not necessarily mean that PHP is a better option for Web development!

datanyze.com

Learning Curve

One of the most important factors in choosing a programming language should be the time needed to master it. Shorter learning curve means lower cost and faster development.

Speaking of the learning curve, no programming languages can beat Python. This language is one of the easiest languages to learn! Below are some advantages of Python:

  • Python is a general-purpose programing language that can be learned with ease by everyone. That’s why you can find a lot of programming courses for beginners using this programming language;
  • Python is very famous for its readability and for being easy to understand;
  • Python codes are short compared to most programming languages and can be written easily as compared to other languages and therefore has become a favorite choice for many applications and websites;
  • With Python, minor mistakes generally don’t break the whole program as Python is very tolerant of mistakes in formatting.

On the other side, PHP has a lot of drawbacks:

  • PHP is famous for being difficult and not very friendly with new users. The rules are much tough;
  • PHP has a reputation for ugly syntax (this I totally agree);
  • PHP was not designed to be a general-purpose language rather it was designed for sophisticated web applications and not for simple, stand-alone programs;

Although the PHP community is trying to offer support to the incoming learners, there is still a long way to go to make this language as easy to learn as Python.

Concerning the ease of learning, Python wins by a large margin!

Web Frameworks

A Web Framework provides a standard way to build and deploy Websites and applications. It helps a lot with the development as we don’t need to reinvent many features. Concerning this point, both languages provide well-designed and powerful web development frameworks.

PHP offers various powerful web frameworks used by many big companies. For example, Laravel and Symfony. These frameworks are mature and supported by a large community. Hence, Web development using PHP is very easy. In addition, it is also easy to seek help.

Python also offers many robust frameworks. Python-based options are rather limited in comparison to PHP. However, it’s not a big deal as long as the tasks can be done. The two most popular Python-based web frameworks are Django and Flask. These frameworks have the reputation of being extremely fast, scalable, secure and easy-to-use.

There is no clear winner for this point. However, personally, I prefer Django to PHP-based frameworks as I can enjoy the shorter development time and the easy setup.

Flexibility

This is where Python triumphs over PHP. These days, there is an increasing need for the development of Machine Learning backed web applications. And machine learning is the strong point of Python. This wonderful programming language offers some of the best machine learning libraries like Scikit-learn, Theano, Tensorflow, and Pandas. All of these libraries are robust, powerful, fast and importantly, they can work perfectly with the web framework.

A minor remind: Python can be used in many fields, not only in the Web development while PHP is only great when it comes to Web development.

Community Support

It’s (nearly) impossible to write any programs without bugs. We all struggle with bugs and we all look for support on the Internet. If a programming language is not supported by a large community, it is not a good sign. Fortunately, both PHP and Python are supported by very huge communities. As in the Stack Overflow survey for 2018, Python has a share of 38.8% while PHP only has 30.7%. In addition, it is also stated that “Python has a solid claim to being the fastest-growing major programming language”. The future of Python looks very promising.

Python has a solid claim to being the fastest-growing major programming language.

I’d say that Python takes a small win here.

Salary and Job Opportunities

Most Python jobs fetch a good sum of money in the job market than PHP. This is because Python is one of the most demanded skills and its one of the jobs with the highest paid salary. With the rise of more skilled developers, the demand for data scientists has greatly increased as greatly as the demand for Python developers especially since Python can be incorporated into web applications in order to carry out tasks that may require the learning of the machine. Thus if you want to grow financially, go for Python since it has a lot of job opportunities with better salaries. In the Stack Overflow 2018 survey, PHP was not even in the list of the highest-paid programming language while Python was listed with an average of $98,000 (in the US). In the same report, Python was listed as the most wanted language with 25.1% (PHP with only 4.1%) and the 3rd most loved with 68%.


Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a lot of things to say about these two but I will definitely recommend Python. There are several advantages of Python over PHP:

  • Shorter learning curve;
  • Robust and powerful web frameworks. For this point, there is no clear winner between PHP and Python;
  • More flexible;
  • Great support from a huge community;
  • Better job opportunities with a higher salary.

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