Python vs PHP – which one is better?

As a strong supporter of Python being the best language to learn, I have seen that PHP does have its pluses as well.

With Python being a dominating language for performing tasks in Machine Learning as well as being the top preferred language for Data Science, PHP has also gained some popularity by being the top language used for web development.

What does Python have?

Python is a high level language that’s used to make the most simplest of programs perform wonders. With it’s pseudocode like syntax, beginners find it super easy to pick up on as one of their first programming languages.

Using other tools like Django and Flask, users can also perform web development tasks as well as machine learning tasks too!

Why python over the others?
  • It has an interactive IDE
  • Free and open source
  • Multiple libraries that have a lot of functions to explore
  • The code can be easily embedded into other languages.
  • It’s dynamically typed language, therefore there is no need to declare data types

The support extends to machine learning tasks too. Python has a variety of data science and analytics libraries such as Numpy, Pandas, Matplotlib, Sci-Kit-Learn, etc. There’s also Django, Flask, Pygame etc for the other tasks, such as frontend, game dev, etc.

Now, What’s PHP?

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a server side language that helps in connecting databases to your HTML pages. It works as both front end and back end and some of the popular frameworks would be Laravel, Symphony and Phalcon.

The plus points of PHP:
  • Simple and efficient
  • No additional compilations required as it is interpreted
  • Open source and free
  • Runs on all major OS platforms
  • Dynamically typed
  • Error reports that aid in real time processing
  • Form handling and data validation are additional features
  • The learning curve would be narrow, with simple syntax.

PHP is commonly used for managing databases on websites, such as SQL and NoSQL integrations and is very useful to make a WordPress site. You can also create HTML driven invoices in PDF format, eCommerce apps, etc.

Time to compare:

Now here’s my take on both of the languages:

The Learning curveIf you’re new to programming, this might be your first coding language that you’ll be learningIt’s an easy language to pick up on, however, you’ll need to have knowledge on HTML first as a prerequisite
SyntaxThere’s a few naming conventions, but it’s more understandable like pseudocodeThe syntax is pretty flexible
Speed on the MarketFrameworks like Django and the ML libaries are making an imapact on the industryFrameworks such as Laravel speed up development process for creating ready to produce apps
PerformanceIt’s pretty fastWhen compared to Python, PHP 7.0 beats the Python 3.0 engine
VersatilityThe libaries are pretty limitedThere’s a vast range of libraries for many domains, including Machine Learning and AI functions

To conclude, I’d say that both have their plus points, however it does depend on the purpose of what you’re looking for in a programming language, as well as where you stand. I learnt Python first before PHP and I think both of them are great languages to pick up!

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