Hackernoon logoPython vs PHP vs JavaScript: Which is Best For Your Next Project? by@suntecindia

Python vs PHP vs JavaScript: Which is Best For Your Next Project?

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@suntecindiaSunTec India

We provide cutting-edge solutions to companies.

Are you looking to create your web or mobile application for your business? Or are you migrating from a physical store to a digital one? In this article, we will discuss the technologies that your developers are going to use and compare Python to PHP and JavaScript.

It will help you make a well-informed decision and choosing one that is the best fit for your application.

Table of Contents

  • Understanding the Challenges
  • Introduction To The Three Programming Languages
  • A Detailed Study on the Three Languages: Python, PHP, and JavaScript
  • Speed and Performance
  • Community Support
  • Universality
  • Extensibility
  • Learning Curve
  • Conclusion

Understanding the Challenges

When you compare applications, you may often wonder what goes on behind-the-scenes to make them so powerful yet easy-to-use. The UI/UX design, features, complexity, their back ends, their front ends, all contribute to creating a masterpiece. The most important factor of them all is the technology that you choose to develop the application. If you opt to invest in an old, outdated programming language, then you might put all your efforts at risk. You may not be as successful as others using the newer versions.

The real challenge comes when you need to choose the right programming language when taking on a new project. It is the most daunting decision that you as a product owner may have to take. There are a lot of technologies in the market today for server-side, client-side, or backend programming. Each has its own unique set of strengths and weaknesses. Some may be suitable in certain situations, but not in all.

Which technology works best in which case?

Do not worry, we will make it easier for you to understand and compare the three leading ones that are Python, PHP, and JavaScript. It will help you decide which of them is the right one to use for your business needs. Let us start with an introduction to each case.

Introduction To The Three Programming Languages

Overview

Python, JavaScript, and PHP are all the leading programming or scripting languages in the world. Python is a scripting language for Linux, PHP is a server-side language, and Javascript is a web frontend programming language.

PHP

It is short for Hypertext Preprocessor, and earlier it was called “Personal Home Page”. Danish-Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf is the original creator of PHP back in 1994. It is a server-side language that means its strength also lies in the backend processing. It a powerful tool for making interactive and dynamic web pages. PHP is free, widely used, and has a C-like syntax. It is easy to execute on both the Apache server and MySQL server. The latest version that is stable is PHP 7.

Major Clients: Facebook, Slack, Lyft, WhatsApp, Accenture, Trivago, Tesla Motors, PayTM, Upwork, Wikipedia, PostClick, Statista, and a lot more.


JavaScript

We know JavaScript as a scripting language for Web pages. It is also useful for creating network-centric applications. It is an open, cross-platform compatible, and easy to implement language because it integrates with HTML. If you want to create a server application, you need Node.JS to run the same code on the server and the client. Many popular browsers like Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox already have JS installed on them. This means you do not need any special setup to work with JavaScript.

Major Clients: Airbnb, Instagram, Slack, Reddit, Tinder, Alibaba, Graphy, Trivago, eBay, Asana, DoorDash, and a lot more.


Python

Python is a scripting language that is compatible with the Linux platform. Many people have made web servers out of it as it is so flexible. The creator of Python is Guido van Rossum who worked on it between the years 1985 and 1990.

The source code to Python is available under the GNU General Public License (GPL) for use. It is a high-level programming language that is general-purpose, interactive, and object-oriented. Also, you need an interpreter to process each line of code in Python. There is no need to compile your entire program before executing it.

Major Clients: Uber Technologies, Google, Pinterest, Netflix, Instagram, Spotify, Udemy, Instacart, Reddit, Lyft, Dropbox, Tinder, Paypal, and a lot more.

Now that you are vaguely familiar with the technologies, let us discuss other important aspects. They will help you understand the differences more clearly and help you choose the one that will be best for your project.


A Detailed Study on the Three Languages: Python, PHP, and JavaScript

When you are looking to hire web developers for your project, you need to understand the basics of the technology that they will use. This way you can interact with the team better and know the best course of action in case of any difficulty. Here we list some important attributes that developers usually look for when comparing the three languages.

1. Speed and Performance

Overview

This is the most important aspect when comparing the three technologies. It can make a lot of difference in the output that you are creating. Most of the product owners and developers choose technology based on its performance and speed to execute a line of code. Here we will compare the three by simply analyzing the runtime of the application.

JavaScript

JavaScript executes programs on the client-side, so the performance of the application would depend on the client. If you are accessing a solution with complex code on your iPad, it will not work as smoothly as it will on a gaming machine. The power of JavaScript comes from Node.JS that runs the entire code simultaneously without waiting for any functions. The performance further improves by using a constant server connection, callback functions, and a V8 engine.

PHP

The older versions of PHP are quite slow, like in the case of version 5. It takes a lot of time in executions. However, the latest version PHP 7 is quite fast, almost 3 times faster than a typical Python program. PHP is also synchronous, so the platform cannot execute the second line until you correct the error from the first line. This makes it much slower than JavaScript.

Python

It is comparatively slower, as it does not have the multi-threading capability like Node.JS. Using Django improves the ability to handle high loads to an extent, but still not a viable option for mobile applications.

2. Community Support

Overview

This is an important comparison parameter, as support from developers can be helpful if you are having trouble with your code. You will need help at some point, and a readily available pool of talent in open platforms can be quite useful.

JavaScript

It is not an open-source language. However, it has a lot of supporters on GitHub with over 20% of pull requests. It is popular because it is available everywhere, can be useful in creating both front-end and backend, and has a lot of great frameworks.

PHP

PHP is an open-source technology and has been in the market for quite some time now. There are lots of developers who use PHP for developing web applications. As a result, there is a lot of community support for PHP ready to provide help for any query.

Python

It is relatively newer than PHP and JavaScript, but still has loads of developers who continuously develop Python applications. This means that there is a lot of community support for Python.

3. Universality

Overview

You may think of creating an application and looking for the best fit for your project. This section will help you determine how useful technology can be on different platforms.

JavaScript

The most important advantage of JavaScript is that it is a full-stack development language. You can develop an entire web or mobile application using JS without using any other technology.

PHP

It is mostly a back end development language only. PHP is a part of the LAMP stack, which stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and Python/ Perl/PHP. For developing a web application using this stack, a developer needs to learn four different syntax systems. This can take a lot up a lot of your time, effort, and money. Even switching between languages can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and inefficient.

Python

You can use this technology for both frontend and backend cross-platform development. It is part of any macOS and Linux operating systems. Python is a powerful programming language for web and desktop development, but it is an impractical choice for mobile development.

4. Extensibility

Overview

This is useful in determining the integration of a specific language with other platforms. Here we are going to compare how the three languages pair up with other frameworks. It can be a defining factor for cost, performance, speed, and other technical qualities of your future app.

JavaScript

You can combine JavaScript with HTML, XML, and Ajax. There are so many others that are impossible to count. There are new ones that emerge often. Some popular ones include Angular, React, Vue, etc.

PHP

You can combine PHP only with HTML. The most common use of PHP is in creating content management systems like WordPress or Drupal. These will lower the cost of your web development significantly. You can extend PHP with LAMP stack technology and server solutions as MySQL or PostgreSQL.

Python

It can comfortably extend python with many frameworks like Django, web2py, Flask, and others. They can help to create both web-only products and full-stack development project. You can also use features from the C/C++ programming language by using an API that is available in the C source file. Jython is also available to simplify scripting and enable rapid application development.

5. Learning Curve

Overview

If you are completely new to the three technologies, then this section will help you know which language is easier to learn in the year 2021. It can also help an experienced programmer to understand the level of difficulty between each and help them choose one for their next project.

JavaScript

It is difficult to set up the server-side for Javascript and mostly Node.JS. A JS developer must have more knowledge as compared to other languages. However, the efforts you put into learning the language will pay off eventually, as it is quite popular among developers.

PHP

There are a lot of similarities between C/C++ and PHP language. You can use it to create web applications specifically that are simple, sophisticated, and stand-alone programs. Hence, it takes more time to learn PHP.

Python

We recommend that you must learn Python if you are a complete beginner to the technology. It is much easier to learn as Python hides all the complexity of each process from the coder. Programmers need not go into the details and concentrate on designing rather than focusing on writing a code.

Conclusion

Our aim here is not to suggest a clear winner amongst the three. We just want to impart knowledge and let you be the judge. In this post, we mention the top differences between the three languages: Python, PHP, and JavaScript. You can use this as a guide to refer to when thinking of creating a new application for your business.

Get Help From Suntec

If you are still having doubts, you can hire web developers to solve all your problems. Finding the right fit can be crucial in determining the success of your project. Choose the one that clearly understands your requirements and creates solutions flawlessly.

For more information, contact us here.

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