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Opinion: Why Python Is Better Than PHP


When we’re talking about backend, developers have a number of different programming languages at their disposal.

This abundance is a good thing for seasoned developers, but newbies who are still fresh from college or programming course can have a problem to make a decision regarding what framework to focus on and master. The problem lies in the fact every option comes with a number of diverse features and libraries.

However, we can shortlist our choice to Python and PHP as they distinguish themselves among all these programming languages because of the following:

  • Python is a general-purpose language that boasts an impeccably pure syntax. Its advantages include a number of different libraries and a strong community.
  • PHP, despite being clunky and weakly typed, is widely used. As a matter of fact, 80% of websites are powered by PHP.

The title already reflects our attitude towards the winner of this comparison, so let’s dive in and elaborate on why Python is a better option.

It Has a Short and Steady Learning Curve

Compared to other programming languages, Python is easy to learn.

Similarly, it’s easy to write, while its simple syntax and readable code are the reasons why Python is a beginner-friendly language.

No wonder most programming courses resort to Python when it comes to teaching fundamentals.

The fact that Python has a short and steady learning curve makes it a No. 1 option for newbies. In a nutshell,  it takes significantly less time to learn the ropes of this language, and as a result, it’s much more cost-effective while development is faster.

Unlike Python, PHP has a reputation for being particularly hard and user-unfriendly due to its complex rules and complicated syntax.

As we’ve already mentioned, Python is a general-purpose language. In other words, it’s common purpose is building simple, scalable standalone web apps and tools. Besides that, given that data science and scripting hugely benefit from tools for automating simple, repetitive tasks, Python has found its place in this niche.

The popularity of Python means that if you opt for mastering this language, you’ll be able to land a programming job easily.

Some of the biggest tech companies such as Google, Instagram, Pinterest, and Reddit chose Python for building their web applications.

So, it’s clear that Python wins by a large margin regarding the ease of learning.

It Offers Great Library Support and Versatility

The fact that Python has numerous prebuilt libraries means that it can support all kinds of applications, which is particularly important for those who are trying to figure out whether to use Python or PHP for their next project.

The need for building machine learning-powered web apps has been growing and Python equips developers with some of the best machine learning libraries such as Scikit Learn, Theano, TensorFlow, and Keras, among many others.

PHP’s Packagist also comes with different libraries, but Python is still a better option, because of its intuitive, easy-to-use libraries that integrate seamlessly and effortlessly with the web framework.

As for flexibility, PHP is limited to web development only, while Python offers much greater versatility.

And again, the winner is Python.

Its Web Frameworks Are Fast

It can’t be denied that PHP offers a number of powerful web frameworks such as Codeigniter and Laravel. Moreover, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that this program reigns supreme when it comes to this.

Still, even though Python lags behind in this regard, it does offer some quite robust and well-designed frameworks.

Django, Flask, Pylons, and Pyramid fall into this category.

For example, Django is fast, scalable, secure, and easy to use, which is why many new developers prefer it, so it wouldn’t be a mistake to ascertain that Python triumphs in this comparison too, although by a hair’s breadth. This framework boasts a couple of other benefits too, including low development time and the fact that it can be easily set up.

It Has a Large Community

Every developer knows that writing code that has no bugs is virtually impossible, which means that using a language with a large community is recommended.

Here’s why:

  • This means that said program is very popular and widely-used, as well as that you will be able to get support and advice if you come across an issue that seems challenging.

It’s good that both Python and PHP have large developer communities that are willing to lend you a hand and share their expertise with you.

However, it’s worth mentioning that Python’s community is larger than that of PHP. A survey by Stack Overflow has found that 41.7% of developers cite Python as their preferred programming language.  

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.

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