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PHP vs. Python: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 24, 2023
PHP is a server-side scripting language mainly for web development, while Python is a versatile high-level programming language for a broad range of applications.

Key Differences

PHP, which stands for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor," was designed primarily for web development, facilitating the creation of dynamic web pages. On the other hand, Python, with its straightforward syntax, was developed as a high-level programming language suitable for a plethora of applications, including web development, data science, artificial intelligence, and more.
PHP has a rich ecosystem tailored to web development needs. Websites like WordPress, which powers a significant portion of the web, utilize PHP as their foundation. In contrast, Python boasts frameworks like Django and Flask for web development, but it isn't limited to just this domain. Python's diverse libraries like NumPy, TensorFlow, and Pandas extend its use into scientific computing, machine learning, and data analysis.
Syntax is a notable distinguishing aspect between PHP and Python. PHP's syntax, inherited from C, can be perceived as a bit complex, especially for beginners. Meanwhile, Python's syntax emphasizes readability, often described by the mantra, "There should be one — and preferably only one — obvious way to do it."
From a community and support standpoint, both PHP and Python have strong backing. PHP's long-standing role in the web ecosystem means a plethora of resources, tools, and hosting services dedicated to it. Python, with its expansive use-cases, has a vast community contributing to various sectors, from web to academia to enterprise applications.
Career opportunities differ between the two. PHP developers primarily focus on web development roles, building and maintaining websites and web applications. Python developers, however, might find roles in web development, software development, data analysis, AI, among others, given Python's broader application range.

Comparison Chart

Primary Use

Web development
Versatile (web, data science, AI, etc.)


Derived for web-based scripts
General-purpose high-level language


Complex, C-like
Simple, readable


Laravel, WordPress, Symfony
Django, Flask, TensorFlow, Pandas

Community Focus

Web development and related tools
Broad (web, scientific computing, software development, etc.)

PHP and Python Definitions


PHP supports multiple databases and sessions.
Using PHP, we can seamlessly connect to different databases.


Python is a high-level programming language.
He's writing a script in Python to automate his tasks.


PHP stands for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor."
I learned that PHP is a recursive acronym.


Python has extensive libraries and frameworks.
She's using the Django framework, built on Python, for her web project.


PHP is mainly utilized for web development.
She's developing a web application using PHP.


Python emphasizes code readability.
With its clean syntax, Python makes it easy for beginners to learn programming.


PHP is embedded in HTML code.
We embedded PHP code directly into the HTML page for dynamic content.


Python supports multiple programming paradigms.
Using Python, we can adopt object-oriented, imperative, or functional approaches.


PHP is a server-side scripting language.
The website is built using PHP for its backend processes.


Python is named after the comedy troupe "Monty Python."
Contrary to what some think, Python isn't named after the snake but after 'Monty Python.'


Greek Mythology A dragon or serpent that was the tutelary demon of the oracular cult at Delphi until killed and expropriated by Apollo.


What does PHP stand for?

PHP stands for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor," a recursive acronym.

Which is more beginner-friendly, PHP or Python?

Python is often considered more beginner-friendly due to its readable syntax.

Can Python be used for web development like PHP?

Yes, Python has frameworks like Django and Flask for web development.

How does the performance of PHP compare to Python?

Both languages have comparable performance, but it can vary based on the specific application and optimization.

Can PHP and Python interact with each other in a project?

Yes, they can be integrated, though it requires specific configurations.

Which has more job opportunities, PHP or Python?

While PHP offers web development roles, Python's versatility means job opportunities in various sectors, often giving it an edge.

Can I build mobile apps with PHP or Python?

While neither is a primary choice for mobile app development, Python has some frameworks like Kivy for this purpose.

Which is better for AI and machine learning, PHP or Python?

Python is the preferred choice for AI and machine learning due to libraries like TensorFlow and scikit-learn.

In terms of future relevance, which is more promising, PHP or Python?

While both have their importance, Python's versatility in emerging fields like AI gives it a brighter outlook for diverse tech roles.

Which language has a larger community, PHP or Python?

Both have extensive communities, but Python's broader application range means a more diverse community.

Are both PHP and Python open-source?

Yes, both PHP and Python are open-source languages.

Do PHP and Python support Object-Oriented Programming (OOP)?

Yes, both PHP and Python support OOP.

What's the primary use of PHP in today's tech world?

PHP's primary use remains web development, especially with systems like WordPress.

Is Python suitable for beginners?

Absolutely, Python's simplicity makes it a top choice for beginners.

Which is older, PHP or Python?

Python was released in 1991, while PHP was released in 1995. So, Python is older.

Is PHP only used for web development?

While PHP's primary use-case is web development, it can be used for other purposes, but it's less common.

Does PHP have any frameworks?

Yes, PHP has various frameworks like Laravel, WordPress, and Symfony.

Which companies use Python extensively?

Companies like Google, NASA, and Netflix use Python for various applications.

How is the learning curve for PHP compared to Python?

Python often has a gentler learning curve due to its syntax and structure.

Which language has better database support, PHP or Python?

Both have strong database support, but PHP often leans towards web databases while Python offers broader options.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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