Python Vs PHP: Is There a Clear Choice in 2021?

Python Vs PHP: Is There a Clear Choice in 2021?
Python Vs PHP: Is There a Clear Choice in 2021?


Python is the primary choice of market leaders like Spotify, YouTube, and Netflix. Does this mean the question is answered here itself?

In the IT industry, the two most popular and competitive languages are Python and PHP. Programmers are often confused about which programming language to learn for developing their applications. Though several websites and applications are programmed in PHP, Python is witnessing an extremely steep adoption curve for the past two years. 

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Choosing between Python Vs PHP is a challenging task. According to statistics, the number of stack overflow questions regarding PHP has declined from 2014 to 2020. But the graph of Python has increased exponentially since 2012. This clearly indicates that Python is the new trend.

What is Python?

Python is one of the fastest programming languages and requires very few lines of code. It is primarily English; therefore is very simple and readable, making it an excellent choice for beginner coders. It is an object-oriented high-level programming language with built-in data structures and enables dynamic typing and binding.

Python also has a vast number of modules and packages that allow the use and reuse of code. It is fast, agile, and simple.

What is PHP?

PHP stands for Personal Home Page tools, and it is a hypertext preprocessor. PHP is a server-side scripting language and an interpreter. Programmers can use PHP to design dynamic websites and applications. PHP is capable of integrating all major web servers on all operating systems. PHP is widely used and free of cost. Even non-technical team members can learn a few tricks to manage their web pages easily.

Why Python?

Python is easy to write and is very much readable. It is easier to spot errors, and therefore, the code is easy to maintain. Python can run on most platforms and operating systems. Python has numerous prebuilt libraries that make the developer’s life easy.

Complex programming is simpler with Python due to its ability to handle garbage collection and memory issues internally. Python also offers an interactive shell, where developers can test their code. 

Why PHP?

PHP can run on all platforms like Windows, Mac OS, Unix, Linux, etc. IT is compatible with IIS servers and Apaches. The learning curve for PHP is smooth, and it runs efficiently. PHP is also free to download from

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History of Python

Python existed from the 1980s. However, programming in Python started in December 1989. Guido Van Rossum, a Dutch programmer, published the first version of Python in early 1991. Python was derived from the ABC programming language. 

History of PHP

Programming in PHP was started as a Perl hack in 1995 by Rasmus Lerdorf, a software specialist. After a few years, PHP2.0 arrived with a passer engine by Gutmans and Zeev Suraski. In 1998, PHP 3 came into being. It supported open database connectivity(ODBC), new email rules, and cross-platform support.

In 2000, PHP 4 was released, and it became an independent component of the webserver. PHP 5 came in 2004 with object-oriented programming, Zeta engine, and XML support.

Python Vs PHP

Here is an extensive comparison between both languages. This table will help you resolve the battle of Python Vs PHP for you.

Popularity High, used in Artificial intelligence and machine learning applications.Best for Web development.
FrameworksFewer frameworksUsers can access mature frameworks.
Database connectivityLess support than PHP20+ databases can be accessed.
Readability It uses strict indentation, very readable.Classic approach, documented.
Learning curveBetter for the long term.It can be started immediately, has a low learning curve.
Community supportGrowing quick currently.Well-established wider community support.
SyntaxClear and concisePHP has a built-in library with many naming conventions.
TypeGeneral-purpose programming language.For web development.
Key featuresBeautiful code, Rapid development, Dynamic typing.Easy deployment, open-source, continuous developments
Best frameworksDjango, Flask, jam.pySlim, Fast-free framework, Laravel

Find more comparisons at C# vs. Python, Python vs. R. Explore more blogs and learning resources on the CodingNinjas blog page.

Features of Python

  • Python is quick and allows developers to test their codes in an interactive shell. 
  • It has a rich library with pre-made modules of code that save hours of hard work from the programmer’s side. 
  • Python also supports big data and data science, and it is highly scalable. 
  • Python handles garbage collection, and memory address issues by itself internally. 
  • It allows easy debugging and grants high-level changing data types and dynamic type checking. 
  • Python can also run in combination with C, Java, and C++ languages.

Features of PHP

  • PHP enables database integration with MySQL, Oracle, etc. 
  • It is easier than other scripting languages. 
  • It is open-source and freely available. It reports errors constantly. 
  • PHP also creates a report on the logins and accesses. 
  • It is faster than other languages like JSP and ASP.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, Python Vs PHP?

Selecting one language is a challenging task. Both languages are good in their own way. Python is more for machine learning and artificial intelligence, whereas PHP is more for server-side scripting and web development.

Is PHP or Python easier to learn?

Python is easier to learn for beginner coders. It depends on interest and prior knowledge of languages also. For example, if an individual knows C or C++, then PHP is fairly easy to learn as it has C-like syntax.

Is PHP faster than Python?

A few years ago, Python was faster than PHP. However, after the release of PHP 7, PHP has become 3 times faster than Python.

Should I learn PHP or Python in 2021?

This is for the student to decide. The decision can be taken on the basis of interest, professional aspiration, and prior knowledge.

Is PHP good in 2021?

PHP can be used to make any website or application, even in 2021. PHP has a vast possibility of integrations and has high speed.

Can I use Python instead of PHP?

Yes, Python and PHP can both be used for backend web and application development. For learning more about Python projects, check Best Python projects: beginner to advanced.

Where can I use PHP?

PHP is a very versatile and popular language. It can help create dynamic websites, almost any type of web-based system, desktop systems, interact with backend servers, encrypt data, accept and set up cookies, handle forms, and much more.

Where can I use Python?

Python is the most popular and powerful programming language. It can be used for applications such as web development, game development, machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science, data visualisation, web scraping, CAD applications, embedded applications, and many more.

What other programming languages should I learn?

The best programming languages to learn in 2021 are Java, C, C++, JavaScript, Golang, R, Swift, C#, and MATLAB.

Key Takeaways

Python and PHP are both very powerful for their particular use cases. The choice has to be made based on certain factors discussed in the article above. To get world-class learning modules, visit Coding Ninjas today.