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PHP vs Python: What are the differences?

What is PHP? A popular general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited to web development. Fast, flexible and pragmatic, PHP powers everything from your blog to the most popular websites in the world.

What is Python? A clear and powerful object-oriented programming language, comparable to Perl, Ruby, Scheme, or Java. Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.

PHP and Python belong to "Languages" category of the tech stack.

"Large community", "Open source" and "Easy deployment" are the key factors why developers consider PHP; whereas "Great libraries", "Readable code" and "Beautiful code" are the primary reasons why Python is favored.

PHP and Python are both open source tools. Python with 25K GitHub stars and 10.3K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than PHP with 23.7K GitHub stars and 5.5K GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, PHP has a broader approval, being mentioned in 8868 company stacks & 2867 developers stacks; compared to Python, which is listed in 2789 company stacks and 3503 developer stacks.

Advice on PHP and Python
Needs advice
on
Python
JavaScript
and
Java

I'm making my university community web service with a team. (6 members myself included)

And we decided to use JavaScript, HTML, CSS (for sure, it's the basic of websites) but couldn't decide for the back end part.

There are tons of languages, tools, etc., but I'm really new to programming, so I'd like to get some help to figure out what tools we need.

So my question is this: are there any good examples of web community services we can mimic the tools or get an insight from them?

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Replies (6)
Recommends
Python
Django

Since you're following Python, I would recomend using Django as your main back-end language. If you know Python it would be a great experience. Django is well documented on their official website: https://www.djangoproject.com/ I would also use React for front-end as well. Also this article is worth reading, I think progressive web app is something worth learning these days: https://web.dev/progressive-web-apps/ Hope that helps :)

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Since your team is already using JavaScript, there's a great number of examples for backend services written with NodeJS. I'd recommend using Firebase, or any backend as a service (you can use that term to find alternatives), for setting up your backend as it is much easier for newer people to understand and lets you focus on your core application logic, and not provisioning servers, databases, etc.

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anas mattar
Technical Lead at DPO International · | 2 upvotes · 14.2K views
Recommends
JavaScript

Since you're team is already using JavaScript, there are alot of examples and open source projects written with NodeJs, so I preffer this language in your backend application and also I am recommended using Mongo DB with It for saving data in it, and also for your frontend application I am recommanded using VueJs.

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Hüseyin Özkılıç
Senior Full-Stack Developer at RADSoft · | 1 upvotes · 14.2K views

Make it simple, most of projects doesnt need a AI, ML or big algorithms. If your project just serving end users take it to the web ready compatible. (Javascript, .Net, PHP Laravel)

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Jamal Abdinasir
Product manager at abdinasirjamal171@gmail.com · | 1 upvotes · 14.6K views
Recommends

Kindly I don't find any help that solve this mystery I need more help if it will happen

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Nash Nziramasanga
Software Developer at Billow Software · | 1 upvotes · 14.2K views

Since you are already using JavaScript on the front end it would be easy to adopt the MERN (MongoDB, Express, React, NodeJS) stack which s all javascript based making it easy to transfer knowledge with the backend and front end

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View all (6)
Needs advice
on
Python
JavaScript
and
C++

Hello, I am interested in learning how to program. I am a beginner, and many articles saying I should go with Python if I am new to programming. I considered Lua a long time ago, but for my career, I believe major programming languages should be better for me. I'm considering Python at this moment, but if you have other tools I should use, let me know.

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Replies (1)
Recommends
Java
C#
C++
C

The language you choose is also dependant on the type of career / area of programming you wish to focus on: Web Based and mobile applicaitons I would lean towards Java, PC Applications I tend to like C#, Embedded industry C, C++

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Needs advice
on
PHP
JavaScript
and
Java

Hi there. I'm looking to build an employee time tracker web app. This should also be optimized for mobile. I'm trying to figure out what the best stack is for this. I have knowledge of Java, JavaScript, some C#. I don't mind learning a new language for this purpose. Any help or advice would be really awesome! Thanks.

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Replies (5)
Stephen Gheysens
Senior Solutions Engineer at Twilio · | 12 upvotes · 124.2K views
Recommends
JavaScript

Hi Otensia! I'd definitely recommend using the skills you've already got and building with JavaScript is a smart way to go these days. Most platform services have JavaScript/Node SDKs or NPM packages, many serverless platforms support Node in case you need to write any backend logic, and JavaScript is incredibly popular - meaning it will be easy to hire for, should you ever need to.

My advice would be "don't reinvent the wheel". If you already have a skill set that will work well to solve the problem at hand, and you don't need it for any other projects, don't spend the time jumping into a new language. If you're looking for an excuse to learn something new, it would be better to invest that time in learning a new platform/tool that compliments your knowledge of JavaScript. For this project, I might recommend using Netlify, Vercel, or Google Firebase to quickly and easily deploy your web app. If you need to add user authentication, there are great examples out there for Firebase Authentication, Auth0, or even Magic (a newcomer on the Auth scene, but very user friendly). All of these services work very well with a JavaScript-based application.

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Recommends
JavaScript

As you have knowledge of Javascript, I would go towards Vue/React in Frontend and Node (with suitable framework) with backend. From my point of view Java would be too bloated for suggested kind of an app. I myself use PHP as a backend a lot and React as frontend but moving thoughts towards full stack javascript world.

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Recommends
PHP
JavaScript

php is the best for beginners, and one of the best for web development at all, all the host servers can handle it, a basic knowledge in java is not enough for build a web site, but a basic knowledge in php is enough. learn php basics and oop and mvc design pattern or any framework like Laravel (optional), and javascript for frontend (a framework like React or Angular is optional but good) and you will build any web site you want.

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pramod shirsath
Founder at Supra Software Solutions · | 3 upvotes · 25.3K views

We migrated from PHP to Angular/PHP to Angular/Node to React/Node/AWS Lambda. React/Node(Typescript)/Lambda seems to be good so far as we have developed few applications (large and small) using this stack so far. React/Node/Lambda is also good for mobile. If you are planning to use AWS, you can use the S3 bucket to store the frontend and Lambda or EC2 for backend APIs.

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pramod shirsath
Founder at Supra Software Solutions · | 1 upvotes · 25.3K views
Recommends

We migrated from PHP to Angular/PHP to Angular/Node to React/Node/AWS Lambda. React/Node(Typescript)/Lambda seems to be good so far as we have developed few applications (large and small) using this stack so far. React/Node/Lambda is also good for mobile. If you are planning to use AWS, you can use the S3 bucket to store the frontend and Lambda or EC2 for backend APIs.

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View all (5)
Decisions about PHP and Python

Python has become the most popular language for machine learning right now since almost all machine learning tools provide service for this language, and it is really to use since it has many build-in objects like Hashtable. In C, you need to implement everything by yourself.

C++ is one of the most popular programming languages in graphics. It has many fancy libraries like eigen to help us process matrix. I have many previous projects about graphics based on C++ and this time, we also need to deal with graphics since we need to analyze movements of the human body. C++ has much more advantages than Java. C++ uses only compiler, whereas Java uses compiler and interpreter in both. C++ supports both operator overloading and method overloading whereas Java only supports method overloading. C++ supports manual object management with the help of new and delete keywords whereas Java has built-in automatic garbage collection.

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Kirill Mikhailov

Go is a way faster than both Python and PHP, which is pretty understandable, but we were amazed at how good we adapted to use it. Go was a blessing for a team , since strict typing is making it very easy to develop and control everything inside team, so the quality was really good. We made huge leap forward in dev speed because of it.

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Chose
Python
over
Scala

I am working in the domain of big data and machine learning. I am helping companies with bringing their machine learning models to the production. In many projects there is a tendency to port Python, PySpark code to Scala and Scala Spark.

This yields to longer time to market and a lot of mistakes due to necessity to understand and re-write the code. Also many libraries/apis that data scientists/machine learning practitioners use are not available in jvm ecosystem.

Simply, refactoring (if necessary) and organising the code of the data scientists by following best practices of software development is less error prone and faster comparing to re-write in Scala.

Pipeline orchestration tools such as Luigi/Airflow is python native and fits well to this picture.

I have heard some arguments against Python such as, it is slow, or it is hard to maintain due to its dynamically typed language. However cost/benefit of time consumed porting python code to java/scala alone would be enough as a counter-argument. ML pipelines rarerly contains a lot of code (if that is not the case, such as complex domain and significant amount of code, then scala would be a better fit).

In terms of performance, I did not see any issues with Python. It is not the fastest runtime around but ML applications are rarely time-critical (majority of them is batch based).

I still prefer Scala for developing APIs and for applications where the domain contains complex logic.

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Pros of PHP
Pros of Python
  • 941
    Large community
  • 805
    Open source
  • 757
    Easy deployment
  • 481
    Great frameworks
  • 384
    The best glue on the web
  • 233
    Continual improvements
  • 181
    Good old web
  • 141
    Web foundation
  • 132
    Community packages
  • 123
    Tool support
  • 33
    Used by wordpress
  • 31
    Excellent documentation
  • 26
    Used by Facebook
  • 23
    Because of Symfony
  • 19
    Dynamic Language
  • 14
    Awesome Language and easy to implement
  • 14
    Cheap hosting
  • 14
    Very powerful web language
  • 13
    Fast development
  • 10
    Flexibility, syntax, extensibility
  • 10
    Because of Laravel
  • 10
    Easy to learn
  • 10
    Composer
  • 8
    Easiest deployment
  • 7
    Fastestest Time to Version 1.0 Deployments
  • 7
    Readable Code
  • 7
    Short development lead times
  • 7
    Worst popularity quality ratio
  • 6
    Fast
  • 6
    Most of the web uses it
  • 6
    Faster then ever
  • 5
    Open source and large community
  • 5
    Simple, flexible yet Scalable
  • 4
    Cheap to own
  • 4
    Is like one zip of air
  • 4
    Easy to learn, a big community, lot of frameworks
  • 4
    I have no choice :(
  • 4
    Has the best ecommerce(Magento,Prestashop,Opencart,etc)
  • 4
    Easy to use and learn
  • 4
    Large community, easy setup, easy deployment, framework
  • 4
    Open source and great framework
  • 3
    Great developer experience
  • 2
    Used by STOMT
  • 2
    Fault tolerance
  • 2
    Great flexibility. From fast prototyping to large apps
  • 2
    Interpreted at the run time
  • 2
    FFI
  • 2
    Walk away
  • 2
    Hard not to use
  • 2
    Safe the planet
  • 1.1K
    Great libraries
  • 928
    Readable code
  • 817
    Beautiful code
  • 768
    Rapid development
  • 671
    Large community
  • 418
    Open source
  • 379
    Elegant
  • 268
    Great community
  • 261
    Object oriented
  • 209
    Dynamic typing
  • 70
    Great standard library
  • 52
    Very fast
  • 48
    Functional programming
  • 35
    Scientific computing
  • 33
    Easy to learn
  • 30
    Great documentation
  • 25
    Matlab alternative
  • 23
    Productivity
  • 22
    Easy to read
  • 19
    Simple is better than complex
  • 17
    It's the way I think
  • 17
    Imperative
  • 15
    Very programmer and non-programmer friendly
  • 14
    Powerful
  • 14
    Free
  • 13
    Fast and simple
  • 13
    Powerfull language
  • 12
    Scripting
  • 9
    Machine learning support
  • 9
    Explicit is better than implicit
  • 8
    Unlimited power
  • 8
    Ease of development
  • 7
    Import antigravity
  • 7
    Clear and easy and powerfull
  • 6
    It's lean and fun to code
  • 6
    Print "life is short, use python"
  • 5
    Flat is better than nested
  • 5
    Fast coding and good for competitions
  • 5
    There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious
  • 5
    Python has great libraries for data processing
  • 5
    High Documented language
  • 5
    I love snakes
  • 5
    Although practicality beats purity
  • 5
    Great for tooling
  • 4
    Readability counts
  • 3
    CG industry needs
  • 3
    Beautiful is better than ugly
  • 3
    Multiple Inheritence
  • 3
    Complex is better than complicated
  • 3
    Great for analytics
  • 3
    Socially engaged community
  • 3
    Rapid Prototyping
  • 3
    Lists, tuples, dictionaries
  • 3
    Plotting
  • 2
    Generators
  • 2
    Simple and easy to learn
  • 2
    Import this
  • 2
    No cruft
  • 2
    Easy to learn and use
  • 2
    List comprehensions
  • 2
    Special cases aren't special enough to break the rules
  • 2
    Now is better than never
  • 2
    If the implementation is hard to explain, it's a bad id
  • 2
    If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a g
  • 1
    Many types of collections
  • 1
    Better outcome
  • 1
    Batteries included
  • 1
    Ys
  • 1
    Good
  • 1
    Pip install everything
  • 1
    Easy to setup and run smooth
  • 1
    Because of Netflix
  • 1
    Flexible and easy
  • 1
    Web scraping
  • 1
    Should START with this but not STICK with This
  • 1
    Powerful language for AI
  • 1
    It is Very easy , simple and will you be love programmi
  • 1
    Only one way to do it
  • 1
    A-to-Z
  • 0
    Pro
  • 0
    Powerful

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Cons of PHP
Cons of Python
  • 19
    So easy to learn, good practices are hard to find
  • 16
    Inconsistent API
  • 8
    Fragmented community
  • 5
    Not secure
  • 2
    No routing system
  • 1
    Hard to debug
  • 1
    Old
  • 50
    Still divided between python 2 and python 3
  • 27
    Performance impact
  • 26
    Poor syntax for anonymous functions
  • 19
    Package management is a mess
  • 19
    GIL
  • 13
    Too imperative-oriented
  • 12
    Hard to understand
  • 11
    Dynamic typing
  • 9
    Very slow
  • 8
    Not everything is expression
  • 7
    Explicit self parameter in methods
  • 7
    Indentations matter a lot
  • 6
    Poor DSL capabilities
  • 6
    No anonymous functions
  • 6
    Requires C functions for dynamic modules
  • 5
    Threading
  • 5
    The "lisp style" whitespaces
  • 5
    Hard to obfuscate
  • 4
    Fake object-oriented programming
  • 4
    Incredibly slow
  • 4
    Lack of Syntax Sugar leads to "the pyramid of doom"
  • 4
    The benevolent-dictator-for-life quit
  • 3
    Official documentation is unclear.
  • 3
    Circular import
  • 3
    Not suitable for autocomplete
  • 1
    Training wheels (forced indentation)
  • 1
    Meta classes

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What is PHP?

Fast, flexible and pragmatic, PHP powers everything from your blog to the most popular websites in the world.

What is Python?

Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

What companies use PHP?
What companies use Python?
See which teams inside your own company are using PHP or Python.
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What tools integrate with PHP?
What tools integrate with Python?

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Blog Posts

Sep 29 2020 at 7:36PM

WorkOS

+17
6
2351
+7
3
646
+14
11
2028
Oct 3 2019 at 7:13PM

Ably Realtime

+8
4
3197
Aug 28 2019 at 3:10AM

Segment

+16
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38954
What are some alternatives to PHP and Python?
JavaScript
JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
Java
Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!
HTML5
HTML5 is a core technology markup language of the Internet used for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web. As of October 2014 this is the final and complete fifth revision of the HTML standard of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The previous version, HTML 4, was standardised in 1997.
Node.js
Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.
Ruby
Ruby is a language of careful balance. Its creator, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, blended parts of his favorite languages (Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp) to form a new language that balanced functional programming with imperative programming.
See all alternatives
Reviews of PHP and Python
Review of
PHP

source: w3techs.com

Rants about PHP are everywhere, but during the last years the language and the whole ecosystem has evolved.

The lastest versions support namespaces, closures, traits, generators and with composer a dependency manager that changed the way PHP developers work and collaborate.

How developers use PHP and Python
Exchange rates API uses
Python

Beautiful is better than ugly.

Explicit is better than implicit.

Simple is better than complex.

Complex is better than complicated.

Flat is better than nested.

Sparse is better than dense.

Readability counts.

Special cases aren't special enough to break the rules.

Although practicality beats purity.

Errors should never pass silently.

Unless explicitly silenced.

In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess.

There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it.

Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you're Dutch.

Now is better than never.

Although never is often better than right now.

If the implementation is hard to explain, it's a bad idea.

If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea.

Namespaces are one honking great idea -- let's do more of those!

Web Dreams uses
Python

To me, this is by far the best programming language. Why? Because it’s the only language that really got me going after trying to get into programming with Java for a while. Python is powerful, easy to learn, and gets you to unsderstand other languages more once you understand it. Did I state I love the python language? Well, I do..

ttandon uses
Python

Backend server for analysis of image samples from iPhone microscope lens. Chose this because of familiarity. The number one thing that I've learned at hackathons is that work exclusively with what you're 100% comfortable with. I use Python extensively at my day job at Wit.ai, so it was the obvious choice for the bulk of my coding.

Vladislav Moshynec uses
PHP

Use the ipwhois.io IP lookup API to quickly and simply integrate IP geolocation into your script or website. Save yourself the hassle of setting up local GeoIP libraries and having to remember to regularly update the data.

GitHub

papaver uses
Python

been a pythoner for around 7 years, maybe longer. quite adept at it, and love using the higher constructs like decorators. was my goto scripting language until i fell in love with clojure. python's also the goto for most vfx studios and great for the machine learning. numpy and pyqt for the win.

ShadowICT uses
PHP

We use PHP as our main backend preprocessor. Being a well established language, it is supported by a large community as well as a dedicated team of developers. It is used for much heavier projects that do not require realtime processes as well as being used in a hybrid system alongside NodeJS.

Andrew Gatenby uses
PHP

PHP has been the backbone of what we've done at Visualsoft for years. We have lots of experienced people who have used it and know how to get the best out of it. It's come on leaps and bounds over recent years, and is the basis of pretty much everything we'll build with.

Ordius IT Solutions Pvt Ltd uses
PHP

The reason being they are simple to learn and easy to implement apps on any size.

The learning curve for PHP and MySQL is less compared to MEAN. It’s advisable to learn PHP and MySQL if you want to have a taste of web-development or you are in a hurry.

IPWHOIS.io - IP Geolocation API uses
PHP

Use the ipwhois.io IP lookup API to quickly and simply integrate IP geolocation into your script or website. Save yourself the hassle of setting up local GeoIP libraries and having to remember to regularly update the data.

Blood Bot uses
Python

Large swaths of resources built for python to achieve natural language processing. (We are in the process of deprecating the services written in python and porting them over to Javascript and node)