Python Versus PHP in Web Development

These days, with so many programmers having opinions about the superiority of Python or PHP, it can be challenging for those who are considering learning one of these programming languages to choose between them. As a computer programmer, it is essential to build your skills in a way that will advance your career. As such, when considering learning a new programming language, you will want to optimize your potential by choosing the one that can best help you meet your goals.

Suppose you are currently trying to decide between Python and PHP. In that case, you might be looking for information about how the two languages are used, how they differ and which one is more prevalent in the modern web development industry. This article will focus on each programming language’s advantages and disadvantages, to help you decide which one is right for you. Keep reading for an overview of each programming language as well as some information on the current industry trends.

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What is Python?

Python is an open-sourced, high-level, object-oriented web programming language. Designed for readability, Python has similarities to the English language and uses new lines to complete a command. Python programming also relies on indentation and the use of white space to define scope, as opposed to the brackets used by other programming languages.

Python is popular with users because of its efficient programming and ease of use. As a simple and readable coding language, it is the perfect choice for beginning programmers. Python is used in varied applications such as web development, software development, mathematics and system scripting.

What is PHP?

PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. As a general-purpose scripting language, it is well-suited to server-side scripting, command-line scripting and writing desktop applications. PHP can also be used outside of website development for standalone graphical applications and robotic drone control.

PHP has remained a popular choice for web developers because of its quick turnaround and speed. Like Python, it is open-sourced and has a substantial standard library. It is also very well-suited for supporting databases of all kinds.

Is PHP or Python Easier to Use?

So, which of these programs has the sharpest learning curve? While both are thought to be easy-to-learn programming languages, Python is often recommended as the best choice for those who are programming for the first time. In fact, many programming courses use Python to teach the fundamentals. New programmers find its simpler syntax, readable code and shorter programs make learning easy.

PHP is also straightforward to learn, although more suited for programmers who are already knowledgeable, especially those who already know C++ or Java. Unlike Python, PHP was made specifically for web applications and is generally used for more sophisticated applications. As such, the language can be more labor-intensive and take longer to learn.

If Python is Easier, Can it be Used in Place of PHP?

PHP has traditionally been the language of choice for web developers and, as such, is able to run on a variety of platforms. However, that doesn’t mean Python can’t be used for web development. In fact, the use of Python has been trending upwards for several years. Popular sites such as Instagram, Google, Spotify and Netflix were all built using Python. Despite this, it should be noted that as many as 80 percent of existing web pages were coded using PHP. For a developer looking to maintain and update existing web pages, learning PHP could still be a necessity.

What Are the Main differences Between Python and PHP?

Both PHP and Python are popular open-sourced, high-level programming languages. Both are dynamically typed and are considered easy to learn. So, what are the main differences between them?

One of the most significant differences is that PHP is a server-side scripting language that was developed primarily for web development. Python, on the other hand, is an object-oriented programming language that can be used for a variety of applications but is commonly used for artificial intelligence. Other differences include:

 PythonPHPIs there a clear winner?
DatabasesPython does not support as many databases as PHP.PHP supports more databases.Yes, PHP.
FrameworksPython has a smaller number of frameworks. Python frameworks include Django and Web2py.PHP has many frameworks such as Laravel, CodeIgnitor, CakePHP, Yii and Symfony.Yes, PHP.
CodingPython can do more with fewer lines of code.PHP requires much more coding to perform the same functions.Yes, Python.
MaintenancePython is easier to maintain.PHP is harder to maintain.No. It depends on what you are looking for because those with knowledge of PHP may find more opportunities to bid for work.
SyntaxPython uses a syntax that is like human language.  Python also breaks with traditional programming with its use of white space in place of brackets.  PHP contains a built-in library with a range of naming conventions. PHP may be more familiar to those with coding knowledge.No. If you are new to programming, Python would be the clear winner, but PHP’s syntax may be as easy or even more comfortable to work with for those with programming knowledge.
SalaryPython developers typically make higher salaries.PHP developers can make slightly less.Yes, Python.
Demand for EmploymentSince Python is easily maintained, there may not be as much ongoing work.PHP developers may find more web maintenance work.Yes, PHP.
PopularityPython is increasing in popularity, especially in the website development arena.PHP is losing ground but remains quite popular, especially for back-end web development.Yes, Python.
Uses in the Tech CommunityPython is a popular choice for machine learning, science and automation.PHP is the traditional choice for web development. No. It depends on where you want to take your career.
Ease of LearningPython is a good choice for new web developers.PHP is a good choice for those who know other programming languages already, especially C++ and Java.No. It depends on your background.
Websites Built on the Coding LanguagePython was used to build Dropbox, Uber, Pinterest, Google, Spotify, Netflix and Instacart.PHP was used to build Yahoo, WordPress, Tumblr, Facebook, Wikipedia, Flickr and MailChimp.No.

Is PHP Still Useful in 2020?

As noted above, PHP is still relevant in the modern tech world, as it remains the existing code behind many websites that are already in existence. Furthermore, new websites are still being coded today using PHP. In fact, PHP might be preferred at times due to the availability of programmers who can work on it. Realistically, programmers can expect PHP to be useful for the foreseeable future.

Still Undecided?

Don’t worry. This choice is genuinely challenging because these two coding languages, while different, are both useful tools for any web developer to have in their arsenal of skills. There are clear advantages and disadvantages with either choice, but none that are career-breaking unless you have a particular goal in mind. Your final choice may depend on whether you are new to the field of web developing or experienced, and whether you want to focus on website development or branch out to other applications. However, regardless of which programming language you ultimately decide to focus on, the clear winner is you. Developing your skills in either direction will help you accelerate your career choices and create a secure future.

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