Most of us are aware of PHP, it’s seasoned, easy to handle, robust and scalable. But how many of us are actually aware that Python is close behind. The coincidence is uncanny.
Both PHP and Python are used for web development and for building content management systems like WordPress, but additionally, Python is also used for many other things like Machine learning, AI, data science, animations, server automation etc. For all these reasons, Python has a solid claim for being the fastest growing major programming language.
How this comparison in Python vs. PHP began?
Being better designed, having better web framework, Python has turned out to be a powerful tool that is being used by multi-billion dollar companies globally. Mostly every FAANG (five most popular and best-performing tech stocks) company uses it and for all the good reasons. Does it make you wonder if this could be your choice for your next development project?
In PHP’s shade, why is Python preferred?
Both PHP and Python are easy to learn and use. PHP works as a capsule for the web. From CLI to GTK, all kinds of applications can be developed with help of PHP, but everything for the websites. Python can be used for a lot more functions like websites, game frameworks, web servers, CLI applications, desktop, IDE’s etc.
Frameworks and CMS
- PHP – Laravel, Symphony, Slim, Codeigniter, Cake PHP
- Python – Django, Flask, Web2Py, Pylons
- Package Manager – Pip and Composer
PHP vs. Python: What’s Similar?
- Both PHP and Python can be learned with little effort as compared to C++, Perl, and other programming languages
- Detailed documentation is available with both Python and PHP
- Both PHP and Python are open-source, easily maintainable and update ready
- Both PHP and Python have IDE support for all major operating systems
Python vs. PHP: Major Differences?
Although if the difference of opinion is not discussed, it would be an instant injustice to the topic of discussion. Primary points that distinguish one programming platform from the other must be considered before selecting choosing one for future development project:
- Considering syntax: PHP has a syntax that resembles C, with all the fancy curly braces, whitespaces, and loops. Python, on the other hand, does not have any curly braces, it instead pays more importance to the level of indentation of blocks of code.
- PHP does not consider formatting of the code. But this feature of formatting of code (indentation) influences the behavior of Python code in a big way. Python makes use of indentation over curly braces.
- While Python is known as an all-purpose language, PHP is able to produce applications outside of web servers and CLI’s
- Python has a clean, readable code as compared to PHP
- Python has a broad range of syntax but a clear smooth learning curve
- While Python is aspect-oriented – separates program into various small modules. PHP on other hand is object-oriented and executes a problem in form of objects, classes, and functions.
- While PHP picks its syntactical (grammatical) rules from C-language and it thus derives most of the basics from this language including curly brackets, operators, and additional characters and gives the flexibility to structure the code into simple logical components.
- But the point where it stumbles is its incompatibility of the namespace conventions which is the reason it is not considered as full-fledged (professional) programming language by most of the programmers. This is probably due to the reason as it was primarily designed for website management.
- As the code is based on the separation of code with all the space and tabbing of the index, it increases chances of careless errors. In this regard, if commands of Python are compared, they look similar to English Language commands and thus there are fewer chances of error.
- Other smaller differences between PHP vs Python are as follows:
- Python is flexible as compared to PHP
- Python makes use of special packages to load extra additional libraries, whereas all such things have to be done manually in PHP
- PHP often requires the assistance of other tools to secure its applications, while this is not the case with Python. Applications written in Python are considered as one of the safest
- PHP is still considered as more capable for web development as compared to Python, even when later has a GUI, is fast and more efficient
Python vs PHP: Use Cases
Wonderful Applications are written in Python:
- IBM Mainframes
- Netflix (DVD by mail service)
- Google (It’s smartly and aptly said, Python where we can, C++ where we must)
- Youtube (All of it is written in Python)
Creative Uses of PHP:
- E-commerce (Frameworks like ZenCart, Shopify, and Magento can be aptly deployed to create interactive e-commerce and CMS applications)
- Project management tools (Basecamp and include some of the important features like are time-tracking, security, file sharing, collaborative to-do lists, a message board, and a live preview of the website)
- Graphical User Interface (Desktop Applications – making use of PHP extensions like PHP GTK and ZZEE PHP GUI)
- Creating an Online Community (with forum building tools like PHP BB, vBulletin, Pun BB etc.)
- Developing Facebook Applications (with help of Facebook developer’s wiki)
- Generating PDF Files (by making use of library PDFLib)
- Parsing XML Files
- Generating PHP Mailing List
- Creating graphs/charts
- Image Processing and generation
- Creating a Content Management System (in Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla)
- Creating Dynamic Website Templates
- Create PHP Photo Gallery
- Creating Flash
- Creating WordPress Plugins
Php vs Python: Pick Out The Best
Both PHP and Python are convenient and useful in their own way, with learnability, libraries, and documentation. But looking from development point of view it is Python which emerges out as a winner. If web applications are to be developed, PHP will be more preferable, while if complex applications that require computation are to be developed, Python will be preferred. Python being more versatile has portability for all major mobile platforms (iOS and Android). Stiffness, flexibility, nativity, and versatility are the major selection criteria amongst PHP vs Python.
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Neeti got her master's degree in software engineering in 2009 and has been working since for software companies of all sizes as a technical writer. What started as a high school passion has now been converted into a serious profession. She has a special knack of learning from all verticals and imbibing the extracts into her writing. She enjoys learning technical aspects of writing from her tasks where her experience and understanding are most impactful.