If you want to start learning programming, and are trying to choose between two specific languages to start from, comparisons like this PHP VS Python one can easily help you make up your mind and sway you in the right direction. The field of Computer Science can be a hard one to get into, but the renowned rewards that it grants still tempt a lot of people to try. With so many different resources available these days, you have a really good chance to start from a language that you’ll truly enjoy and make your way from there.
We’ll start this Python VS PHP comparison article by talking about each of the two programming languages individually. I’ll tell you about their strengths and weaknesses, their pros and cons. After that, we’ll move on to discussing the main differences between the two – how does Python compare, and how does PHP compare? Finally, after establishing specific criteria of analysis, we’ll talk about which one of the two – PHP or Python – is better.
Table of Contents
Learning More About PHP and Python
So, let’s start this PHP VS Python article off by discussing both of the languages separately. Even if you’re already familiar with either PHP or Python, it will be good to refresh your memory on some of the more key, fundamental information of the two. Besides, we can’t start comparing two separate languages before we get to know them, now can we?
Created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf, PHP is one of the most popular scripting languages in the world. Note that I use the word scripting – a scripting programming language is one that allows the use of not only code but also specific, pre-defined scripts. These scripts make a programmer’s job a whole lot easier since they automate certain specific processes that would otherwise have to be typed in manually.
One of the more notable PHP features in the comparison of PHP vs Python is speed. The language is mostly used for web development, and it isn’t a secret that one of the main requirements for a good web development programming language is speed. PHP is fast because of its frameworks – a good and well-designed PHP framework will be able to solve complex issues fast, thus increasing the overall efficiency of work.
PHP is also considered to be a great programming language when working in a team-based environment. A lot of companies around the world use PHP for their web development needs. In turn, there are a lot of various internet-based courses and tutorials dedicated to teaching newcomers of the industry all of the tropes of PHP.
One of the more prominent problems that arise when talking about how does PHP compare VS Python is the quality of the programming language’s updates. According to its users, there hasn’t been a single PHP update that wouldn’t have brought a lot of problems together with some improvements. Although this might not be a detrimental issue (most of those problems are fixed soon after release), it’s still worth keeping in mind moving forward with this PHP VS Python comparison.
Now that you know some basic information about PHP, the next step in the Python VS PHP tutorial is to talk about Python. Again, we’ll only go through some of the most fundamental information, and talk about some pros and cons of the programming language.
Python was created by Guido van Rossum, back in 1991. It is a general-purpose programming language, which means that Python can be used for any “day-to-day” type of tasks. It is one of the most well-known and widely used programming languages in the world and is most famous for its emphasized readability.
It’s no secret that, as time goes on, more and more people are turning towards simpler and easier to learn programming languages. While this isn’t looked favorably upon by everyone, the statistics don’t lie – the vast majority of people are searching for a coding language that they could learn ASAP. Naturally, one of the main reasons for this is the competitive job market – people want to start building a stable career as soon as humanly possible, and the sooner they learn a programming language, the sooner they will be able to enter the field of programming.
In a comparison of PHP vs Python, Python is considered to be more unique. It has is designed as a high-level programming language – this means that its syntax is somewhat similar to the English language. There is very little actual coding involved – most of the information is written in plain text. This allows industry newcomers to be able to learn and start using it in no time.
That being said, no one would use Python if it wasn’t any good, no matter how easy or readable it may be. Python applies to multiple different platforms, which makes it quite lenient and a great addition to any programmer’s toolkit.
That being said, the language does have its drawbacks. One of the more notable drawbacks for this Python VS PHP comparison is Python’s speed. Compared to other well-known languages out there (i.e. C, C++), Python is rather slow. Furthermore, it has a reputation of being quite memory-intensive, which is also a quality that many programmers despise.
Differences and Similarities
In the PHP VS Python discussion, one of the main differences between Python and PHP is that Python is a high-level, general-purpose programming language, while PHP is a scripting language. While scripts do make programmer’s lives easier, it is quite evident that the vast majority of people are attracted to the “high-level” tag that Python has.
Another huge difference between the two languages is that Python is object-oriented, while PHP is only partially so. OOPs (Object-Oriented Languages) are something that has been dominating the programming market as of late. An OOP language is one that focuses its processes on objects – this way, it can achieve maximum efficiency and be faster than a non-OOP language.
The only notable similarities that these two programming languages share are some programming paradigms. Other than that, Python is quite different from PHP, and the other way around.
That being said, there is only one last thing left for us to do before we can answer the question – “PHP or Python?”. And that thing is to establish some key points of our comparison.
While there are multiple different ways to approach the topic of “PHP VS Python”, all programming languages contain a few key points that are mandatory to a language’s wellbeing. I’ve selected three different criteria that would best represent the strong and weak spots of both of the programming languages and will be using them for our further analysis.
The three points that I’ll be referencing are going to be simplicity, popularity, and salary.
I’ve mentioned this earlier in the article, but simplicity is somewhat of a controversial topic in the world of programming and especially comparing PHP vs Python. Now, you might think – why in the world would that be the case? Isn’t simplicity good? While that is true on the surface, industry veterans would tend to disagree. According to them, taking the easy route and learning an easy and simplistic programming language as your first one makes you miss the entire point of the philosophy of programming. You lose the opportunity to develop your logical thinking skills, and miss out on the opportunity to learn programming “the proper way”.
While this opinion does have a lot of merits, the numbers speak for themselves. An ever-increasing amount of people every day are choosing languages like Python or HTML, and looking for a job that would require skills and knowledge with the respective language. The job market dictates the trends and the pace, and it seemingly does favor languages that are easier to learn.
Popularity is a bit of a tough one. Even though it might seem subjective or even unnecessary at first, I can assure you – it’s a really important point in this PHP VS Python tutorial.
There are two big reasons why you’d want a programming language to be popular. First of all, community support. Whenever a programming language has a strong community behind it, you can be sure that it’s here to stay. Furthermore, if you encounter some bugs or other problems with the language itself, it’s always nice to be able to turn to online forums for help and guidance. Well, if a coding language isn’t at all popular, it isn’t likely that there are going to be that many sources of information where you could seek help.
And that is my second point, too. A strong community will want to preserve its favorite programming language, it doesn’t matter which of the PHP vs Python it is. What are the ways to do that? Well, there are a few, but one of the most notable is probably going to be the creation of online material that would help newbies learn the language faster. Imagine if you wanted to learn a programming language, but then found close to no information about it online. That’s extremely disappointing! Well, you won’t encounter this problem with popular programming languages – there are tons of helpful information about them (everything from discussion threads on forums to official courses) that you can find online.
A programming salary is something to dream for – that’s a fact. However, different programming languages bring in different amounts of money. The PHP VS Python situation is no exception – whether it be the complexity of a language or the demand for it in the job market, some languages do grant a higher salary than their competitors.
I’ll be going through each of the three points one by one, and in the end, we’ll see if we can distinguish a superior language out of the two.
Which one is more Simple?
This one is a no-brainer – Python is by far much more simple than PHP. Nothing less is expected from a programming language that emphasizes readability as its core feature.
A lot of it has to do with the intended purposes of the two languages in question, though. While Python is a general-purpose programming language, PHP was never intended to be one. Instead, PHP is used mostly in the field of web development – Python, however, can be applied in many different tasks.
Which one is more Popular?
In the PHP VS Python discussion, both of these languages are popular and have strong communities behind their backs. PHP used to be the leader when it comes to popularity, but Python hopped into the mainstream because it was started to be used in a lot of the mainstream platform development (i.e. YouTube, Instagram, etc.).
Which one offers a better Salary?
Glassdoor.com estimates that the average salary of a Python developer should be $92,000 annually or a bit over $7660 per month. On the other hand, PHP developers can expect to make almost $94,000 per year or over $7800 per month.
As you can probably see for yourself, the salaries are quite similar, with PHP taking the slight lead. That being said, the language’s complexity and specificity might have something to do with it.
So – out of the PHP VS Python comparison, which programming language is the better and more advanced one? Honestly, Python does seem to be the clear winner in most aspects that we’ve covered. That being said, however, if you’re looking to specifically get into the field of web development, PHP might be the better choice.
Whether you choose PHP or Python, it all boils down to you and your preferences. Neither a “PHP compare” nor a “Python compare” should sway your opinion if you’ve already made up your mind on which of them suit your wants and needs the best.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this comparison article, and I wish you the best of luck!