By January 24, 2020

Why Python Is Better Than PHP

When it comes to backend, you can use numerous programming languages. That can make it hard to decide which framework to master, as there is an abundance of different features, functionalities, and libraries that each of these languages offers. The choice can be particularly difficult for new developers.

However, Python and PHP stand out among these programming languages for a number of reasons. Python is a general-purpose language with an exceptionally pure syntax. It comes with many libraries and boasts a strong community. PHP, although clunky and weakly typed, is still very widespread—almost 80% of websites are built on PHP.

So which one of these two programming languages is better? Well, the title of this article should give you a hint.

Let me show you why Python is the obvious choice.

Easy To Learn

Because Python is easy to write, with simple syntax and readable code, this programming language is considered to be beginner-friendly.

Its short learning curve makes Python a recommended option for rookies, and most programming courses use Python to teach fundamentals. In other words, learning this language takes significantly less time than learning other languages, which means that the cost is lower, while development is faster.

On the other hand, PHP is notoriously user-hostile and unfriendly as a result of complex rules and complicated syntax.

So it’s clear that Python is a winner when it comes to the ease of learning.

Great Library Support and Flexibility

Python comes with a number of prebuilt libraries, which means that it has excellent support for all types of applications.

This is important when it comes to making a decision about whether to opt for Python or PHP.

The need for machine learning-backed web applications has been on the rise, and Python provides developers with some of the best machine-learning libraries such as Scikit-learn, Theano, TensorFlow, and Keras, to name only a few.

While it’s true that PHP’s Packagist does offer different libraries, Python dominates in this respect too, as its libraries are intuitive and easy to use, and they integrate seamlessly with the web framework.

When we’re talking about flexibility, it’s worth noting that while PHP can only be used for web development, Python is much more versatile.

So we can conclude that Python dominates in this area as well.

Fast Web Frameworks

Those rooting for PHP will say that this programming language doesn’t lag behind when it comes to its number of powerful web frameworks.

Although Python is a bit outnumbered in this department, its most popular frameworks are robust and well-designed.

Django, Flask, Pylons, and Pyramid are among the most popular ones.

As for PHP, it can’t be denied that Codeigniter and Laravel, its most commonly used web frameworks, are top-notch.

However, given that Django is praised for its speed, scalability, security, and ease of use, many new developers are extremely fond of it, so it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Python scores another victory, although a narrow one. It should be added that this framework has a couple of other advantages too, such as the low development time and easy setup.

When talking about frameworks, it’s worth mentioning that Python also has its own microservices framework, Nameko. This software architecture pattern has been all the rage for quite some time, and a look at a microservices architecture diagram will show why—more efficient debugging, scalability, reusability, and ease of deployment, among many other benefits, make it a must for development.

Supported by a Large Community

Like it or not, writing a program without any bugs is next to impossible, which is why you should always pick a language with a large community.

First of all, this means that the program in question is widely used and popular, and secondly, you won’t have to worry about where to get support and advice if you come across an issue that you can’t fix.

Both Python and PHP have huge developer communities that are willing to share their expertise and help others.

Still, Python outnumbers PHP here too, since according to a survey by Stack Overflow, 41.7% of developers name it as their top choice. This is a significant increase from 2013, when only 21.9% of developers said that they use it.

The math is pretty clear, and although PHP is still among the most widespread languages, Python is quickly gaining popularity and for good reason. It’s easy to learn and use, flexible, and versatile, while a huge support network is another big plus.

Is There a Clear Winner?

Given that Python is a general-purpose language, it’s often used to build simple, standalone apps and tools. It’s also used in data science and scripting, which can benefit from tools for automating simple, repetitive tasks. Thanks to all this, it has become increasingly popular, meaning that by so by mastering it, you’ll be able to find a programming job relatively easily.

A number of tech giants, including Google, Instagram, Pinterest, and Reddit use Python rather than PHP for their web applications.

Although PHP is still among the most popular languages, Python is quickly picking up steam because of its obvious advantages and benefits such as the ease of use, flexibility, and versatility, as well as a large support network.

About the author

Aran Davies

Blockchain Expert | Developer | Writer | Photographer | Head of Content at DevTeam.Space