You may have heard quite a few people saying that they prefer Python over PHP when it comes to web app development. To compare the two, however, a basic understanding of web designing or development, is essential. Three main steps are involved – coding the client side, coding the server side, and the database technology. Programing languages are required for developing websites, and PHP and Python are the most popular ones.
Hypertext preprocessor is the full name of this programming language which is an HTML embedded scripting language. It can be easily embedded in the HTML of a given web page. PHP is extremely quick, and critical for creating dynamic websites powered by databases. It supports Apache, Netscape, Microsoft IIS, and other enterprise servers. It can be run on Linux, UNIX, Mac OS, and Windows.
Features of PHP:
- It’s an open-source language so you can download and use it for free
- Compared to other programming languages, it is easy to use.
- It doesn’t call for compilation
- It is platform agnostic
- It is faster than most other scripting languages as it relies more on system resources
- It enables error reporting, allowing easy detection and remedy
Disadvantages of PHP:
- Being an open-source language, security is not very high
- As it is not modular, it is difficult to maintain, making it unsuitable for large applications
This is a high-end scripting language, and is popular for general purpose programming. It focuses on readability of code with the help of ample whitespace. It is mainly used in web and software development, system scripting, and mathematics. Python 2 and Python 3 are the most used versions. The style of Python’s code renders it simple to understand and learn.
- It can be used by inexperienced coders as it is easily readable and can be understood simply
- Being a high level language, programmers don’t have to think about memory management and other low level details
- A huge advantage of this language is that Python has much shorter codes as compared to other languages
- The syntax is well defined and short – no curly braces or other complications
- It can easily perform object-oriented programming vis-à-vis other scripting languages, and it supports both project oriented as well as procedure oriented programming.
- Python facilitates testing of the code before deployment through its interactive shell
- It provides interfaces for all the popular database management systems
- This language also has a framework for Web and supports GUI apps
Head to Head
Now let’s see how the two programming languages measure up when compared directly:
- Readability – Python wins hands down as the code is easily readable
- Security – Python is the clear winner here too, as PHP being open source has little security
- Functional programming – not possible in PHP, but Python provides this feature
- Language design – PHP as web development language; Python as ‘general purpose’ design
- Library – Python has superior library than PHP; it is more unified and commanding
- Syntax – Python syntax is cleaner and orthogonal syntax, useful for web developers
- Code – Easier to write, understand, and learn in Python; it simplifies complex code.
- Design – Python is constructed thoughtfully, well designed, and robust, making it easy to write good code
- Long-term value – though PHP has a shorter learning curve, in the long run, Python provides more value, and it’s more productive.
- Framework: Django is the most suitable framework for Python, and Symfony, CodeIgnitor etc. for PHP. Django is a more robust framework than these others.
- Debugging – PHP requires multiple tools for debugging; however, Python requires only a few tools; typically, the download package has debugging tools that serve the purpose amply.
- Package Management – Python also has improved package management when compared with PHP. This helps developers in the development and sharing of packages to facilitate easy plugins to other apps.
To Sum Up
After doing a comparison of their respective features, advantages, and drawbacks, we can safely conclude, that Python is a superior scripting language than PHP. Most software developers prefer to work with Python as it helps them to develop apps and sites that offer superior performance.