• 10 Reasons Why Python Scores Over PHP for Web Development

    10 reasons why python scores over php

    Both Python and PHP are immensely popular worldwide.

    These languages have their own advantages and disadvantages, besides some distinctive features. However, in the recent past, an increasing number of people have switched to Python from PHP, owing to several benefits that the Python programming language provides.

    Selecting Python in place of PHP is not very simple, but there are a number of reasons which a programmer should keep in mind while making a decision.

    Here we are going to compare Python and PHP to help you decide as to which will suit your requirements better.

    Why is Python preferable to PHP?

    The following are a few of the relevant reasons:

    1. Python is better designed than PHP – PHP is not elegant as a language, although it is completely workable. That is not much of a problem in the short- to mid-term. Any developer who has a fair amount of experience in creating great software is likely to write good software in PHP. However, there are certain limitations.

    To start with, PHP has certain idiosyncrasies that are weird. Beyond that, there are many things that are more nuanced and deeper.

    From the point of view of a developer who is trained classically, Python gets a lot of things right in terms of being a programming language. This has much to do with the way in which reflection is implemented and functions are treated as first-class objects. There are many other things, many of which may appear to be of little consequence, which comes together to help create code that is more elegant.

    You will find it much easier to use Python to write great code, although it is not impossible to write good code in PHP.

    Python has the architecture that helps make it a well thought out, well designed and robust language. PHP, on the other hand, seems not to be so well thought out.

    2. PHP has a short learning curve but it is Python which is better in the long-term – If you are a developer, you should consider what is likely to create the maximum value for you in the long term.

    For instance, PHP has a rather low learning curve and is very easy to get started with. Working with it is fun and easy and you are likely to feel very productive.

    However, once you are through with that initial phase, you have to think about the future. You would obviously want to work with a language with which you can form a deep, rich and long-lasting relationship. In terms of that, Python fits the bill much better than PHP.

    3. Python has a better web framework than PHP – Although conceptually developers would like to have choices, practically they like standards. If everything else is the same, they prefer that everyone works with the same libraries and frameworks. Python provides that mainly with Django, which is generally the de facto web framework choice in Python. Compared to that, PHP has Kohana, Symfony, CodeIgnitor and Zend.

    In a way, competition is good. All of them are probably great frameworks, but since none stands out as a clear winner and the market is fragmented. Obviously, fragmentation is not good. It is particularly not good when it is associated with web frameworks.

    The learning curve these days is more closely related to frameworks than languages. The richer and deeper the framework, the more you have to learn. There is an upfront cost for frameworks, but it translates into a lot of long-term value.

    However, if there are a number of platforms going around, the chances for any person using the same framework as you are lower. So, bringing someone new up to date takes longer.

    As far as Python is considered, Django is the clear winner among web frameworks. So, if you bring an additional Python developer aboard, he or she is likely to have used Django before, making things easier for you.

    4. Python is more readable than PHP – PHP is extensively documented and follows a classic approach. On the other hand, Python makes use of indentation enforcements that are quite strict. Arguably, Python is not just more readable than PHP but is more readable than most other programming languages.

    5. Python has a simpler syntax – This may be because the syntax is simpler and the code easier to understand and write in Python. Another reason may be that when you write something in Python it is so elegant that you want to show it to others. That is generally not the case with something that you write in PHP.

    6. Python offers simpler debugging tools which are available easily – Python has a big developer ecosystem and debugging tools for the language are available easily. Utilizing these tools is quite simple and you can take advantage of these without much of a hassle.

    You require several such tools in PHP, whereas fewer are required for Python. The debugging tools you get in the Python downloader package are quite sufficient most of the time.

    7. Package management is better in Python – Package management acts as the glue between various projects. With its help, you can write, build and share packages in such a format that other developers can easily plug into other applications.

    Package management is there in PHP, but there probably aren’t any code bases using it to the extent that PIP (a tool for installation and management of Python packages) does. It enables you to install, uninstall, upgrade and use a broad range of sources for internal and external libraries.

    It is rare to find a list of all third-party libraries and the version numbers in use written in one file.

    8. Evented codebases are available in Python – It is difficult to find anything in the evented space in PHP. Node.js does a good job in this field, but Redis bindings for Tornado and Tornado’s asynchronous HTTP client can help build low line count and low latency backends in Python, which function in an asynchronous fashion.

    Using Python, you can build backends that perform authentication, query millions of rows in Solr and return JSON in a few milliseconds.

    9. The Lambdas provided by Python offer an advantage over PHP – A Lambda is a subroutine or a function that is defined and called without it being bound to an identifier. It is a code block that can be passed around and executed later, once or several times.

    The Lambdas flow freely within Python and are simple to create. So, developers like to use Lambdas when these are appropriate for the job. Until recently, there was only the ‘create_function’ available in PHP, which was not really a substitute for the Lambdas in Python. There have been changes made in subsequent versions of PHP and closure support is now available. However, many developers have been avoiding switching over for several years now.

    10. Python is more ‘general purpose’ than PHP – PHP generally seems like it is more suitable for the creation of web pages. In contrast, Python is more of a general purpose language. In Python, you only have to select a simple web framework that provides the functionality that you require.

    Conclusion: Whereas PHP appears to be easier to learn and become proficient in, Python helps you create more robust code. While PHP appears more appropriate for the creation of web pages, Python is more ‘general purpose’ and lets you work offline just as well as online.

    Python vs PHP for Web Development
    Harpal Boparai

    About the Author

    Filled with the energy of coding and development, he has made his way from a rookie developer to Project Lead all with his knowledge and thirst to learn and apply the best. Harpal Boparai’s devotion lies in practicing what is best according to the industry standards and he will never let you go without the perfect solution when you approach him with a query. A certified Google Clouds Developer he is the perfect example of how hard work makes one successful. Famous for his rib-tickling jokes amongst his friends, he is not just an experienced professional but also a knowledgeable guide for all his subordinates.



    Mohammad Ashrafuddin Ferdousi

    3:59 AM, Aug 19, 2018

    Nice writing and I am writing you at 2018! :)

    I agree with you only with the last point. But I seriously think you should look at 5.6 or greater, specifically php 7.2. You may also check PSR. In context of programming and better programming practice php 7 is playing a great role. Now-a-days php libraries are glue and exchangeable! These all are amazing for programmers' community.

    The main problem I find is lack of good php developers. As php is a forgiving language even now, lots of people start programming in php and able to make something visible! They need to be trained up with professional software engineering technique and best practices.

    Otherwise, php has lots of features like type hinting, interface, traits and obviously class. If someone follow the correct techniques, this is even better language than ruby or python in context of web development.

    In theory, lots of people says about needle haystack issue. But with a good IDE its not so much bigger issue! Even python have "self" which is a design mistake and its not a big deal. At day end, we produce softwares by writing codes. If we have enough knowledge, we make things correct!


    William Taylor

    2:21 PM, Aug 17, 2018

    I have been a programmer since 1974, just looking too deepen my Python experience as I think about converting some Php AI applications to Python to too merge too chatbot technologies together.

    While I did enjoy reading this piece, but it was way short of providing anything more than opinion. If you do update it with some references or examples, please email me.


    Harry Corner

    7:26 PM, Aug 03, 2018

    I liked the post. However, I felt during my read as though few of those points are rather opinionated than comparatively defined.


    6:42 AM, May 08, 2018

    I have spent 2 years building my online reservation system and backend Administrator portal using HTML/CSS on the frontend, javascript/jquery with ajax functions and php scripts. I understand Python is so popular now a days but I am having a tough time understand what part of my html + css + javascript/jquery + ajax + PHP I would replace with Python? And why would I replace it with Python?

    Rik Roos

    3:26 AM, Apr 04, 2018

    I've learned Django and I agree that this is not something you will do on one rainy Sunday afternoon. But the logic of the framework is very consistent. After a couple of days you can build a library-site or a blog-site with authentication (login) and authorization (perform special tasks) options. But before learning Django you should learn HTML, CSS and Javascript well; my advice is ignore the frameworks like JQuery and Bootstrap; start with the basics.

    James Patricia

    5:36 PM, Mar 14, 2018

    PHP is Server Side Scripting Language compatible with all known OS like Windows ,Linux etc .Nowadays, PHP frameworks are being extensively used by programmers to address to performance tuning issues faster and with ease.Thank you for sharing this amazing blog with us.It was very informative blog.


    8:34 AM, Feb 28, 2018

    that haha moment when you build your website with php wordpress just to write php is bad compare to other language


    9:50 PM, Dec 22, 2017

    I agree to some of your point but package management in php is still light-years ahead of Python even at this time.
    Look at composer and packagist and compare that to pi, pipy and virtualenv. good lord.


    7:34 PM, Dec 14, 2017

    Could you provide me some online websites names to learn python free of cost.

    Paul Wakhungu

    5:57 PM, Oct 11, 2017

    The article seems to have been written by someone who has not had a first hand experience with PHP. Readability of code for example depends on how the code is structured, which of course is dependent on the developer. The entire article seems full of opinions rather than researched work.

    Ram krishna

    5:59 AM, Jun 03, 2017

    I went through the content and portfolio, I am new in both the langs, i.e PHP & python.

    I have a simple question to ask you.

    By using any language, why not a 100% standalone product get build, without post support work?


    1:02 PM, May 19, 2017

    I am a total beginner who hasn't even known how to start, I want to know if Python can be used single handedly to build a cloth shopping website. Is it thesame Python 3 I want to start learning that I'll use, or is it that python for web development is a different thing than Python for normal apps like mobile? Please if this question is silly forgive me, I just need to know what's what.

    Jayan Gopinath

    7:08 PM, Apr 10, 2016

    I agree with Python's ever increasing popularity. And innumerable no. of third party libraries in several different verticals are available for Python.
    Thanks to Guido van Rossum.


    9:23 PM, Oct 03, 2015

    Nothing you've written about PHP is actually accurate, and the rest is opinion. But wonderfully "objective" little article you've written.


    4:54 AM, Sep 02, 2015

    Definetively yes, that's why i move from PHP to Python.

    But for novices, PHP is the quick way to create their little app's :D

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