Every day, we navigate through various web apps, and all these are built using different programming and scripting languages, handling client and server-side operations.
However, PHP and Python are always on the top of a developer’s list to fabricate the server-side of a software. And while planning the project lifecycle, every team goes through a debate on PHP vs Python.
And the debate is not limited to generally analyzing the features, as it gets extended until the development team is not assured, which is better for web development PHP or Python.
As per the reports of Stack Overflow of 2021, Python is the most preferred language for server-side development, and PHP is way more behind as compared to it.
So, let’s go through this detailed differentiation of PHP vs. Python.
PHP vs Python – A Closer Look at the Debate
What is Python?
Python is a programming and scripting language, released in 1991, which has gained popularity due to its modular architecture and simple syntax.
It is appraised from programming freshers to data scientists, as it offers a wide array of features to develop cross-platform compatible applications. In addition, you can assuredly create web applications, link databases, and perform big data analysis through complex mathematical equations.
It’s always been a preferred choice for large software projects and enthusiasts to learn the fundamentals and advancements in programming.
Features of Python
- Learning, writing, and maintaining Python code is easy compared to other programming languages.
- It comes with incorporated automated garbage collection features enabled by default.
- Python code can be embedded with C, C++, and Java to extend the application’s features.
- Its built-in debugger can identify all the code’s low-level and high-level errors, exceptions, and bugs.
- It is a database-friendly language, connecting the app with all the major database management systems.
- It allows the addition of low-level modules in the Python interpreter.
Pros of Python
- Cross-platform compatible codes are generated.
- Provides TensorFlow library for performing complex mathematical equations, aiding data scientists in their core operations.
- It is an Easy-to-learn and easy-to-maintain language.
- Its WORA functionality leads to makes code portable.
- Applications with Graphical User Interface can also be developed.
- Produced code can be reused.
Cons of Python
- Ample storage space and processing power are required for seamless development.
- Duck typing can cause run-time errors.
- Functions a little bit slower than other web development-oriented languages.
- Testing Python-based apps take much longer to ensure that end-users are secure.
- Sometimes error detection is not possible due to dynamic code writing.
What is PHP?
Hypertext Pre-processor is a programming language, particularly innovated for developing a website and web applications. It is an open-source technology, which aids PHP developers in creating and maintaining user-driven websites impeccably.
Moreover, it can be easily integrated with significant DBMS and web servers running on different operating systems.
Features of PHP
- PHP-based applications can be easily connected with MySQL and Oracle databases.
- Due to its open-source nature, it can be freely downloaded and utilized for any project.
- User access reports can be generated, providing access to the log-in.
- Error reporting constants are predefined, displaying error messages and notices to the developer.
- Compatible with Apache and IIS servers.
- Performance and speed don’t affect, even when running on the server-side.
Pros of PHP
- NoSQL and PostgreSQL databases can be linked with PHP.
- PHP applications can be run on Windows, Linux, and UNIX operating systems.
- In-built modules and functions are available to link SQL databases effortlessly.
- An extensive and secure ecosystem is provided to process data, maintaining its confidentiality and integrity.
- Various web frameworks are available for creating responsive websites.
Cons of PHP
- It is not possible to modify its core behavior.
- Lacks in securing the overall application.
- Its ASCII text file is available, which makes it more vulnerable.
- It’s harder to learn as compared to Python.
Which is Better for Web Development: PHP or Python.
Python vs PHP Speed
As per the survey performed in 2021, 46% of the users don’t revisit the website if its loading time is more than 2 or 3 seconds. Due to this, software speed is an essential aspect to focus upon.
Backend developed using PHP and Python is considered more responsive than other technologies. However, there is still a gap between their performance metrics.
The latest PHP version 7 is considered the fastest backend technology for applications, handling an immense amount of user data at a single time. In addition, Zend Engine 3.0 is also released with the latest updates of PHP, enabling applications to process data at 2X speed.
In contrast, Python is considered a bit slow and is only appraised for developing simple business applications, where a slight delay in output is not an issue.
For example, if you are going to develop a University Management System where many students and staff members log in simultaneously, you must go for PHP rather than Python.
Flexibility and Scalability
With the growing market and customer demands, it is obvious to see a change in your business strategies. But, have you ever wondered how time-consuming and costly it can be to adopt a new system whenever business demands are modified.
To get hassle-free from such tasks and save cost, you must select a scalable programming technology.
In Python vs PHP, both are preferred for developing a web application due to the high availability of versatile libraries and frameworks based on them. But, Python is considered more scalable, as it offers to implement Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning programs in the Software.
In addition, independent and decoupled elements can also be embedded using Python and can be unplugged at any time with dynamic business models.
Further, PHP is not as compatible with advanced technologies, and it is time-consuming and complex to modify it instantly. As a result, Python wins this round, providing more scalability to your business solutions.
Availability of Resources
Hardware, Software, and Human are the most vital resources required to fabricate cutting-edge business software.
All these resources must be efficiently and economically available. It aids in precisely monitoring, controlling, and maintaining the software development life cycle and integrating all the necessary features in the application.
Both PHP and Python don’t require any high-end hardware component to create a small and medium application. However, if you want a solution incorporated with AI and ML, you will need an advanced computer system to develop, test, and maintain it.
Moreover, you can effortlessly find the top industry experts for your PHP project, as it is widely used worldwide. Also, there are various online repositories, learning resources, and semi-developed codebases, which you can access freely for your software creation.
Python vs PHP for Backend (Compatibility with MySQL)
The database is one of the essential components of an app’s backend, as it stores user input, processes it, organizes it, and supports it to provide relevant output. For this purpose, the SQL database is preferred chiefly and utilized.
PHP is considered the most reliable technology, linked with MySQL database to furnish any application, from a simple website to enterprise management systems. Also, PHP offers in-built modules and functions, which leverages linking database without the need for any third-party tool.
Moreover, Software built using PHP and MySQL can run across multiple operating systems and devices, saving the cost of developing different solutions for a particular OS.
On the other hand, external tools and plugins are required to connect the Python codebase and MySQL database. You need to go through the Python documentation to find the relevant plugin for your project.
These processes and tasks can be tricky and more time-consuming; hence, PHP is suitable with MySQL.
Maintaining data confidentiality, integrity, and availability is every organization’s topmost priority.
Developing a secure application helps gain user trust and improve market reputation, leading to enhanced market capital. With rapidly evolving cyber-attacks, such as Code Execution, Overflow, Memory corruption, DDoS, and so forth, it is essential to pick out a secure programming language for your project.
As per the statistics provided on the official website of CVE Details, PHP is more vulnerable to cyber threats than Python due to more vulnerable loopholes discovered in it, which allow illegitimate actors to perform cyber-attacks and breach data.
PHP comes into action far earlier than Python, but it lacks behind in some areas to secure the data flow between server-client architecture.
Python provides several in-built tools and modules to develop robust business solutions, which cover edge-to-edge business requirements and process each operation in a secure environment.
Also, as per the latest CVE details, very few vulnerabilities are discovered in Python-based applications, making them more secure than PHP.