Comprehending Web Development With PHP vs. Python

Out of the many web development languages around, about 79.8% of websites use PHP, while Python is gaining tremendous momentum in the web development world. Both languages, although used for web development, serve different purposes. 

In this PHP vs. Python tutorial, you will explore their differences and similarities and learn what makes them unique in their respective ways.

What is PHP?

PHP or Hypertext Preprocessor is a server-side, open-source,  scripting language. It find most use in dynamic web development and when embedded into HTML codes.

PHP comprises 79.8% of all web applications, which nearly translates to 20 million websites and 2 million web servers.


Features of PHP

To have a market share as big as PHP, a programming language should have many features that make development simpler and efficient. 

Some of the key features of PHP are listed below:

  • It is an open-source language.
  • It is an easy-to-learn language, so PHP is the language of choice if you have less time on your hands.
  • It is highly compatible, as it works with multiple programming languages such as HTML, Javascript and supports various database languages like MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and so on.
  • It is platform-independent.
  • It has an extensive community.

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What is Python?

Python is an interpreted, high-level and object-oriented programming language generally used for Web Development, AI, Machine Learning, and System Scripting.

It is amongst one of the fastest programming languages requiring very few lines of code. It is also amongst the top choices of developers for a programming language in 2021.


Features of Python

Python has a vast range of applications ranging from web development to AI and data science and hence has a ton of features to support the variety of its use.

Some of the important features of Python are listed below:

  • Easy to learn and maintain.

  • Uniform Interface across various platforms.

  • It is an open-source language.

  • It is Scalable. It provides excellent support for large programs.

  • It is a versatile language as you can integrate it with various other languages such as C, C++, and JAVA.
  •  It is an interpreted language. You do not need to compile Python code.

Critical Differences in PHP vs. Python




Learning Curve

Easy-to-learn language. Suited for beginner

Better in long term projects


Web development

Web development, AI, Machine learning, System Scripting


It has a large number of frameworks. E.g., Zend, Laravel

Lower Number of frameworks in comparison. E.g., Django, Flask


PHP 7th gen is faster

Less fast in comparison


A very large and old community

Very popular but smaller community in comparison

Database Support

Supports more than 20 different databases

Less database support than PHP


Difficult to maintain large programs

Easy to maintain


Conventional Syntax with different naming conventions

Easy to understand syntax. Very close to the English language.


Facebook, Yahoo, WordPress

Instagram, Google, Pinterest

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Syntax: PHP vs. Python

The syntax of a language defines its readability and ease of writing, and in terms of syntax, Python is much simpler and more readable as it resembles a lot with the English language, while PHP has a wide range of conventions which makes it less easy to understand.

Now, look at the syntax of both of these programming languages:


Since Python doesn’t use braces to differentiate parts of code, it has indentation rules to indicate blocks of code and increase readability.


    print ("Hello World!")

Here, a simple ‘if’ condition checks if 7<10 and if true, it prints the code under the ‘if’ condition’s block. And to print a value, it uses a simple “print”  and the value follows it.

Also, while defining variables, there’s no need to define the variable type.

x = 10

y = "Simplilearn"

z = 70.8


PHP scripts are usually embedded into HTML codes. A PHP script starts with ‘<?php’ and ends with ‘?>’ while the code comes in between.

<!DOCTYPE html>




    echo "Welcome to Simplilearn!";




In PHP, ‘echo’ is used to print values.

PHP vs. Python: When to Use which?

Although both languages support web development, they are used at different times as per requirements. There’s no one language better than the other. 

Have a look at which language is best suited and when amongst the two:


  • Preferred when working with data science, AI, and machine learning
  • When working on large-scale projects using the Django framework
  • System Scripting


  • Preferred for beginners into web development
  • Creating websites, blogs, and web applications
  • For an efficient server-side with low investments
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This concludes the “PHP vs Python” tutorial. Here, you learned about the two languages, their features, key differences, and their respective syntax. Later, you learned about when the two respective languages are used based on requirements.

You can refer to this link here for a video tutorial on PHP vs. Python.

Are you gearing up for a career change into PHP development? Simplilearn’s PHP course would be an excellent first step for you. The PHP certification is an applied learning program which helps you understand the fundamental and advanced concepts, and the latest improvements in PHP - making your PHP learning journey easy and effective.

If you have any queries regarding this PHP VS Python article, share them easily with us in the comments section of this article web page. We’ll have our subject matter experts look into them and share their responses with you soon.

Happy Learning! 

About the Author

Ravikiran A SRavikiran A S

Ravikiran A S works with Simplilearn as a Research Analyst. He an enthusiastic geek always in the hunt to learn the latest technologies. He is proficient with Java Programming Language, Big Data, and powerful Big Data Frameworks like Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark.

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