PHP vs Python: Which is the better choice to build an app for your business? Read on to learn more about these backend languages.
In the modern age of trade, you have to go where the customers are. And these days, everyone is pretty much doing business online. Most startups, in particular, leverage the power of the Internet to reach their customers and build brand awareness.
For you to succeed as a small business, you’ll need a website and not just any website. You need a highly-reliable one.
Do you know that a lot of the functionalities of your site depend on the backend?
That’s right, a good backend program takes you to the frontline of your competitors. Picture your customers happily browsing through your site, seamlessly navigating from one page to another.
Thanks to the thoughtful code the backend development provides. Just like how a car runs smoothly with a good engine under its hood, your backend engine has to be as dependable.
This is why hiring a good backend developer is crucial. And there happens to be a lot of languages used for backend development. But today, we’re discussing two of the most popular ones, PHP and Python. We’ll help you determine when to use Python vs PHP for your startup.
What is Backend Development?
Before we dive into the technicalities of PHP vs Python, let’s first learn about the magic that goes on behind a website—backend development. So, what is backend development?
The backend aspect of software development focuses on the server-side portion of your website. It involves databases, scripting, and the overall architecture of the website. It’s basically what drives the web application behind the scenes and ensures that everything looks good on the client’s side.
Through code, the backend communicates with the frontend, exchanging information to display on the web page. Every time your client completes a contact form or makes a purchase, the backend server is at work responding to each interaction.
What does a Backend Developer Do?
While the frontend deals with code to make the website look good, the backend developers make all those components work. A backend developer creates the logic that makes the web app run properly, doing so through server-side scripting.
He or she is in charge of optimizing the application to make it fast and efficient. Also, a backend developer creates a data storage solution with a database, a crucial component for all web applications that houses all the client-side information such as users, comments, posts, etc. The most common databases used are MySQL, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL.
Skills and Expertise of a Backend Developer:
- Proficiency in a backend programming language
- Understanding of frontend technologies
- Knowledge of security compliance and accessibility
- Ability to manage and scale applications
- Experience with version control systems
As mentioned above, a backend developer needs to specialize in a certain programming language. This leads us to the next part of our discussion, choosing the backend language.
PHP vs Python for Web Applications
With several languages used for backend development, PHP and Python stand out the most.
Here’s a brief overview of these languages:
PHP is a high-level, open open-source scripting language. Compared to Python, it’s already seen its fair share of version releases since it was created in 1995. It’s mostly known for being a flexible platform that can interact with different database languages and can seamlessly work with operating systems. Today, it stands as the most widely-used language for web development with over 78% of websites using it.
If PHP is known for its flexibility, Python gains popularity because of its simplicity. It’s the most beginner-friendly language to learn with an emphasis on code readability, simplicity, and the use of whitespace.
And because of its simplicity, Python developers can pretty much meet their deliverables efficiently. Paired with the Django framework that complements its straightforward approach, Python cuts down a lot of development time.
So now that we’ve covered the basic description of both languages, it’s time to weigh in their pros and cons.
As previously mentioned, Python is one of the easiest languages to learn. Developers can quickly pick up on their syntax and scale their applications efficiently from there. In fact, because of its easy learning curve, most programming courses are now using it to teach the fundamentals of programming.
On the other hand, PHP is challenging. Throughout the years, the language has developed a wide range of naming conventions and syntax that will take a while to learn.
The PHP community is still working on providing more support to better teach the language. Hence, with its limited resources and added complexities, PHP is not ideal if you want to learn something fast. It’s safe to say that in terms of learning, Python beats PHP.
The most common performance issue is usually related to the speed at which a program is executed. PHP’s older versions used to be quite slow in execution time. However, the latest version of PHP 7 is three times faster than Python.
It’s important to note that speed plays a crucial factor in the big picture. Large-scale enterprises with a huge customer base will need an app that can handle millions of hits daily.
For example, a banking application that is used regularly for transactions cannot afford time lags and system crashes. However, this fact isn’t a dealbreaker for Python. Time lags are fine if there’s a significant feature running.
PHP and Python are on equal footing when it comes to versatility. Both languages support Web and ERP development. PHP may have a head start on web development but Python is taking over the Machine Learning and Data Analytics domain.
Lastly, we’ll weigh the capability of both languages to create a scalable system. With all the hype going on about AI and Machine Learning, Python gives you an edge in keeping up with the trend.
Python frameworks offer high AI and ML capabilities. If you’re interested in hopping on the latest tech advancement, then Python is the way to go. But, if you want to stay practical and simple, PHP is a reliable choice.
PHP vs Python: The Verdict
In using any tool, the key to making the right choice is identifying where you will use them. You need to lay out your plans for your business. Are you looking to build a trendy app that will put your startup on the radar? Or do you want a secure and reliable website for your users?
Whether it’s PHP or Python, both languages offer very promising features. It’s just a matter of what suits your project more.
Scale with Full Scale
The right step to building any product is to find the right experts for the job. At Full Scale, we have a wide range of talent ready to be deployed. Whether you’re looking to have senior PHP developers or Python developers, we have the best in the business!
Our Guided Development process allows us to seamlessly take over any stage of your software project. We can help you assemble a team of project managers, web and mobile developers, content writers, graphic designers, data analysts, and more.
Interested? Get your FREE Consultation today!