The debate between PHP and Python is endless. Indeed, both languages are compelling and very accessible programming languages.
In this article, we’ll share with you when and where you should use either language. First, for new developers, is it still a matter of confusion as to which backend framework to learn? Why should you even learn a server-side programming language?
With all businesses now needing a website and / or mobile app – both of which connect to a server in the backend – a well-executed backend development service is one of the most important skills and the most sought after in the current market. This means backend developers are in high demand.
Businesses are willing to pay hefty sums to developers who can properly handle the backend of their websites. Learning these programming languages will also make you capable of this task.
What is Python?
Python is an object-oriented and interpreted language and also has high-level programming with dynamic semantics and a combination of built-in data structures.
With dynamic typing and binding, it makes for a very attractive rapid application development. To connect existing components, we can also use it as a scripting or pasting language.
In other words, or in plain language: Python is a general-purpose programming language that you can use to create programs for your computer or web development.
Python is a very versatile language that is also prevalent in coding for machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science.
What is PHP?
PHP, on the other hand, is a widely used programming language for general purpose scripting, and it is also an open source language.
PHP is generally suitable for web development and we can embed it in HTML as well. Its main use case is as a backend language.
What about the market share of PHP and Python?
PHP is the most widely used server-side coding language for website development. It hovers around an 80% market share, according to Usage statistics by W3Techs.
Python, on the other hand, is a general-purpose programming language used in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science. Yet a smaller percentage use it for web development.
What about the learning curve?
If you are wondering how hard it is to learn PHP or Python, the good thing is that PHP and Python are generally easy languages to master.
Python is a relatively new programming language compared to PHP which has been around for years. And Python is arguably the simpler of the two. Easy being a relative term for both languages.
Python is so easy to learn that most beginner programming courses now use the programming language to teach programming basics.
Countless tutorials for both languages can be found online.
What about coding in PHP or Python?
While you often hear developers say that Python is an easier language to learn, Python is strict about how you format your code. The format of the code, however, also makes the programming language very easy to read and maintain.
PHP does not have strict code formatting like Python does. So, you are going to find that there are a lot of different ways to format PHP code, and you are also going to find that there is a lot of PHP code that is not well formatted at all.
This is what sometimes makes it harder to read or understand PHP. Still, there is a simple workaround for this; you can always format your PHP code in any way you like.
Most universities like to use Python for GIS (geographic information systems) by demonstrating how to code. GIS can help individuals better understand spatial relationships and patterns.
Both PHP and Python languages have a lot of resources, such as websites, that will teach you the basics of coding in boot camps, with YouTube videos, and you can even buy books.
It might seem a bit old fashioned to buy coding books, but nowadays there is a huge library of books on how to code and you will also find plenty of code examples online.
A quick note: When coding, be careful with the code you copy and paste online. Reverse engineer the code locally if you can and test it thoroughly before using the code on a production or live website. Also watch out for outdated, inefficient, and insecure codes. Remember to test locally.
What about PHP and Python documentation?
PHP and Python both have large and useful volumes of documentation and online pages where you see how to get started with the language and where you can learn more about the syntax code flow.
Along with the documentations, you will see sample code and more. Combining the documentation pages with other tutorials and online resources will help you quickly learn to code in one or both languages.
What about community support?
PHP and Python both have large and very passionate communities. Even if you learn on your own, there is always a place online where you will find out that you are not alone.
You can check out Stack Overflow, which is arguably the most popular community among PHP and Python developers and programmers, as well as many other online forms.
What about the speed?
In PHP version seven and higher, we saw a lot of improvements that make it extremely fast.
Python code is also fast, but generally not as fast as PHP.
Keep in mind that there are many factors that go into the speed of a website or applications, including code logic, hardware resources, etc. It’s not just the programming language alone that affects speed.
What about pre-existing code for PHP and Python?
With PHP or Python or any language for that matter, you can still use custom code, such as vanilla code. By using pre-existing frameworks, libraries and CMS, you can significantly reduce development time
Time is money, and for PHP you have Laravel, Symphony, Codeigniter, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.
For Python, you have Django, the Django CMS, Flask, Web 2ft, the Pylons pyramid, etc. There are many options to work faster than writing all the code yourself.
What about package managers?
Package managers are designed to eliminate the need for manual installations and updates, and they’re essential to a productive workflow for Python you would have Pitt and for PHP you would have Composer.
What about deployment and hosting?
PHP comes pre-installed on virtually all shared hosting servers and accounts, and it’s easy to install on a VPS or dedicated server.
Python, on the other hand, will take a bit more work to get started, and we recommend using either Edunbox.com on a node that has excellent documentation pages on how to get started with Python on their website. .
What about making money with PHP vs Python?
An important factor that many coders consider is where the money is. Skilled Python developers tend to do more than experienced PHP developers.
The reason is that Python is used in the very specialized areas of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science. These are areas that tend to have a lot of money behind them, although there are also many more complex areas.
PHP developers can make a living working either for large companies, agencies, startups and / or freelancers. PHP developers who focus on a particular framework or specific content management systems (CMS) can also make a lot of money, depending on how they market their services.
Typically, the average Python developer in the United States can earn $ 120,000 per year, while their PHP counterparts earn around $ 80,000 and more per year, according to The data of the popular job site indeed.
However, there is no limit to how much money you can earn with either language. It all depends on what you end up doing with that language. Think of Mark Zuckerberg, for example. when he created Facebook he was using PHP and is now worth over $ 70 billion.
Also consider Google co-founder Larry Page, who is worth around $ 51 billion. Surely, anyone worth $ 50 billion to build the Google search engine which is powered by Python proves that you can certainly make a fortune as a developer using Python, PHP, and other languages as well.
You can definitely make money as a developer. You don’t have to be a struggling coder. You can earn a living wage by developing with PHP and / or Python. Just make sure you work hard and smart; produce valuable products and the sky is the limit.
So which language to choose?
Which programming language should you learn and use both? The answer to this question is very simple, perhaps a little too simplistic.
If you want to focus on machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science, Python is the language to learn. If you are focusing on building dynamic websites and applications then PHP is the language you need to learn.
It also depends on where you want to work. Businesses are everywhere in terms of the languages they like to use. So, this is something to take into account. However, most companies use different programming languages for different purposes. It’s like hiring contractors to work in your home when contractors come; do they just come with a hammer or a variety of tools.
You should always strive to use the right tool for your job. New startups that work with machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science will often favor Python.
If your clients and employers such as design agencies and business website owners and the like are using a CMS like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, then PHP will reign supreme.
Overall, PHP and Python are useful, compelling, and accessible programming languages. I would say try both for a while and see which one you prefer.
Hope this article is helpful and points you in the right direction. If you’ve found it useful in any way, give it a big thumbs up and add your thoughts in the comments section below.