PHP vs Python vs Ruby: Detailed Comparison

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Which is the best programming technology for web app development in the year 2021-2022? This is a question on the minds of many entrepreneurs while they are selecting their technology stack for new web apps.

But, the answer to this question is NOT straightforward. Like many other choices, it depends on the requirements of the business and the nature of the application. Many factors to consider, including scalability, speed of development, security, popularity among developers, ease of learning, etc.

Are these confusing you? Don’t worry! 

I’ve written this comprehensive article to help you make an informed decision. As we know, it’s very difficult to predict which programming language will dominate in 2021-2022 because it depends on many factors. But you can make a pretty educated decision on which language will be best for your app based on the current trends and statistics.

So, let’s take a look at some facts about each of these popular web development technologies:

PHP

PHP has been around for approximately 20 years and dominates the market for dynamic websites. It has been the most popular web app development language for many years, and it’s currently implemented on more than 80 million websites. In addition to powering some of the biggest sites on the internet, it is also an integral part of content management systems like Drupal, which power 10s of millions of additional websites.

The PHP ecosystem is enormous. There are many open-source PHP frameworks to choose from, with Laravel being one of the most popular ones in use today. Zend, Symfony, CakePHP, CodeIgniter are some other popular frameworks for PHP web app development.

Python 

Talking about Python has been around since the 1990s and is a modern programming language for general-purpose programming and web development. Python is currently used by Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram,  and Youtube as the back-end framework for their websites.

Python has a small but significant community of developers developing excellent open-source frameworks for web app development in Python. Django, Flask, Pyramid, Bottle are some of the most popular web app frameworks for Python.

Ruby

Ruby is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language created in Japan in 1995. It was created as an alternative to Java, and it has gained popularity over the years. It’s currently used by Hulu, Groupon, Slideshare, Scribd, and Github.

Ruby on Rails is the most reliable, popular web app framework for Ruby, powering some of the most significant websites on the internet. It’s a full-stack framework, which means that it covers all aspects of web app development. This includes HTML rendering, routing, testing, data modeling, etc.

These insights into the most popular web app development technologies(PHP, Python, Ruby). Now it’s time to compare these technologies on factors like:

  • Market Share
  • Popular Websites Using These Language
  • Usability
  • Learning Curve
  • Popularity Comparison
  • Performance Comparison
  • Most Discussed Language
  • Job Posting & Salary

Comparison of PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby

As each language has unique characteristics, here is a detailed comparison between PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby.


1. PHP vs Python vs Ruby: Total Market Share

Usage statistics & market share of any programming language give you an idea of the popularity of that language among the masses. It’s a good metric to gauge the acceptance of that language among users.

In 2021, the most popular software programming language worldwide is PHP, with a market share of 45.43%. (Source: Statista)

Winner- PHP


2. PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby: Website Built Using These

Many clients have chosen PHP web development, such as Wikipedia, Facebook, PixelCrayons, and popular websites. On the other hand, Ruby-on-Rails also has reputed clients, including Twitter, Hulu, Groupon, etc. In addition to this, the king of search engines Google, YouTube, etc., are made using the coding of Python.

Winner- Tie

PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby: Website Built Using These

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3. PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby: Usability

Programming Language Usability is one of the most important factors that you should consider before choosing it for your website development project. Almost all programming languages form an interface between computer and user, and a. language with high usability helps write short programs quickly. In short, the less complicated your programming language is, the easier it will be for users to learn & handle.

PHP stands at 3rd place with 8.5 points out of 10 points in this round. Python is a close 2nd with 9 points, and Ruby tops this round with 10 points. Ruby has a significant advantage over other languages due to its simplicity.

WinnerRuby-on-Rails (RoR)


4. PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby: Learning Curve

Ease of learning or Learning Curve is also an essential parameter for choosing a programming language as your career or for your next web app development project. A programming language with a high learning curve value is easy to understand and possesses pretty clean codes. Python has the best learning curve among these three languages, PHP comes second, and the last is Ruby-on-rails.

Winner- Python

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5. PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby: Popularity Comparison

While choosing a programming language for website development, it’s also essential to study the historical growth of that language over the years. This metric provides you with the idea of an evolving trend of that language, and you can get an overview of changes in user preference over time. The graph below will give you a clear idea about the growth of these languages over the years. 

PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby: Popularity Comparison

Image Source: Statista

Looking at this data, it’s clear that Python is on top with more than 48%, Python stands at 2nd place with around 21%, whereas Ruby has approximately 6.7% of respondents worldwide. 

Winner- PYTHON


6. PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby: Performance Comparison

Performance comparison of any programming language is crucial. A high-performing language helps you to produce scalable, secure, and speedy software programs. In the below-mentioned image, I have shown the average run time and lines of codes of all these three languages. These two parameters help you to understand and compare the performance of these three languages.

Winner- Ruby & PHP

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Read More- PHP 7: A New Revolution in Web Development


7. PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby: Most Discussed Language

Most discussed programming language helps in many ways. If any language is popular or is most concerned, then it will have a big community that enables you to resolve your query in a minimum time. Furthermore, the most discussed language also has good support. The below image depicts the stats related to the most popular programming language. The below image represents the stats related to the most popular programming language. In this round, Python takes the crown.

According to a recent survey, it is becoming more and more usable, popular with developers in 2021. Over 19% of respondents said that they are interested but haven’t yet developed using Python.! Of those who have, over 60% said they would be hiring Python developers in the next 12 months.

PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby: Most Discussed Language

Source: Statista

Winner- Python


8. PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby: Job Posting & Salary

Analyzing high job postings of any programming language is quite important. If you are a job seeker, you can understand the ease of availability of any specific programming language job. 

On the other hand, these stats are also crucial for those people who want to develop their websites and choose an ideal programming language. A language with many jobs certainly has more programmers, job security as well as bright career prospects. If you wish to choose your career in either of the two languages, you may check the following stats and decide. 

According to the Stack Overflow survey 2021, Ruby on Rails is in the top 10 highest-paid technologies race. In comparison, Python or PHP are down the ladder. 

PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby: Job Posting & Salary

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Winner- RUBY


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9. PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby: Pros & Cons

PHP vs. Python vs. Ruby: Pros & Cons

To get a clear idea of PHP or Python, or Ruby web development, you have to know the advantages and disadvantages of these three server-side programming languages. 

PHP- Advantages 

Pros of using PHP are numerous. Some of them are as follows: 

  1. The code written in PHP is very readable even by non-technical persons – This feature makes it easy to manage the code without hiring any technical person. For example, if you want to change some lines or add some features to your website, you can easily do it yourself by changing the file.
  2. It’s also widely used in web development- PHP is very popular among developers and companies because of its fast execution speed. It has a lot of readymade codes that are readily available online, which makes it easy for developers to develop any kind of website. 
  3. The PHP community is also huge- Many people in the PHP community share codes, scripts, and information free of cost with any developer. They help each other by sharing concepts and experiences, which makes it easy to learn. 
  4. Open-source language- Unlike JavaScript or Python, PHP is an open-source and free language that enables any programmer to download the complete PHP guide for free.

Cons of using PHP 

  1. Security is an issue- Since PHP is a scripting language, it has some problems like security and speed. If you are not aware of this feature, it can be fatal to your web development process.
  2. Lack of proper documentation- Being an accessible language, PHP has a lot of unwritten rules and techniques, which make it challenging to learn. The documentation is also not that great, which makes it difficult to develop complex web applications.
  3. Not a full-stack language- TOnef of the disadvantages of using PHP is that you can’t master it entirely because many other technologies go along with PHP like MySQL and HTML etc. 

Python- Advantages 

  1. Easy to learn – One of the most significant advantages of using Python is that it is effortless to learn and understand. Besides, if you are a beginner, then it can be your ideal coding language.
  2. Large community– The best part about learning python is its vast community support which makes it easy for developers to find answers to their questions within minutes on various forums on the web.
  3. Supports functional and object-oriented programming– This makes it easier for programmers to use various programming concepts in python-based projects if they have some prior coding experience. 
  4. Portable – With the help of this language, you can efficiently run scripts on any platform without any additional configurations or setups, which makes it the most accessible language to learn and code.

Also Read: Node.js vs Python

Cons of using Python 

  1. Due to its easy learning, there are many developers in this field, making it challenging to find a stable job compared to other languages like PHP or Ruby.
  2. The documentation of the language is not up-to-date, which makes it challenging to find the most recent features.
  3. No proper syntactic sugar- This feature makes it difficult to write specific codes in Python compared to other languages like PHP, HTML, etc. 

Ruby on Rails- Advantages 

  1. Productive – Compared with other web development tools, Ruby is considered the most productive language, making it ideal for startups. 
  2. Lesser time to market – With this language, you can quickly develop web applications within the shortest possible time limit because of its efficient syntax and coding style.
  3. Clean code – The developers write clean codes with Ruby on Rails that saves a lot of development time in future revisions or bug corrections.
  4. Community support – Being a dynamic language, it has the best community support, which helps developers quickly explore other resources about this programming language. 

Cons of using Ruby

  1. Event-driven architecture – This feature makes RoR slower than other languages like PHP or Python because they are not highly optimized for dynamic web development.
  2. Difficult to learn – One of the biggest cons of using Ruby on Rails is that it is not easy to understand and implement. The syntaxes are also sometimes complex, making it difficult for even senior developers to develop applications faster. 
  3. Strict validation – Since this tool runs on an MVC pattern, it has a very complex validation scheme that makes it difficult to understand and work. This also slows down the process of development as compared with other languages.

PHP vs Python vs Ruby: Pros or Advantages

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PHP vs Python vs Ruby: Cons or Disadvantages

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Wrapping Up:

I hope this blog post clears your many doubts related to three popular programming languages. Above mentioned stats and facts help you choose the correct programming language as per your specific business needs. However, if you are stuck to any other queries related to these languages or want to develop your website, feel free to PixelCrayons: A leading web app development company in India. Our business consultants will help you in all the possible ways and help you decide which technology platform would be best for your web development project.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who won the PHP vs. Ruby vs. Python war?

Python was never designed as a “web language” – it is a general-purpose dynamic language, useful for web apps, among many other purposes.

Ruby is similar to Python in its generality but is more pigeonholed as a “web language.” 

PHP seems most strictly web-centric of the three languages listed.

In short, it depends on your purpose, pre-existing skills, and access to talent.

2. Which is best to build web applications: PHP, Python, or Ruby?

All languages are suitable for web applications, but Python is one of the relevant languages as The internal support for the web works very fine. You can start to build a python website with a straightforward framework such as web.py.

3. Is PHP, Python, or Ruby best for backend programming?

Python is the best for a  complex project which needs a set of libraries or a data science project. It also depends on what programming languages you are familiar with. So it depends on what type of project you are working on.

4. Is PHP faster than Ruby? 

Yes, PHP is faster than Ruby! 

PHP has a lower level of entry to the language. You can start by just opening up a .php file and begin writing code without worrying about creating directories or any structure. Just write your code in the editor, and it will be executed on visiting the path in the browser. Ruby also gives this flexibility to a certain degree, but it requires more configuration and discipline, due to which Ruby is not as fast as PHP.

5. Which is more popular, Ruby or Python?

Python is more popular than Ruby. 

Ruby has less support and users compared to Python. Since the core features of both languages are very similar, this slight difference can significantly affect the popularity of languages. 

Also, since Python is an old language compared to Ruby, it has many libraries available for developers making it easier to work and build projects. Ruby is also gaining popularity with time, and since there are already several frameworks and libraries available for it, its popularity can increase in the future.

14 thoughts on “PHP vs Python vs Ruby: Detailed Comparison”

  1. Seriously?!…
    You’re talking about version of framework “Ruby On Rails”, not about Ruby language version. Ruby version atm – 2.4.1
    Ruby On Rails – 5.1.0

  2. Popular != Good. If popularity is some kind of measure of goodness then Justin Bieber makes the best music on earth 😀

    PHP is a junk language but it’s everywhere. If you want to make a living from coding on junk, it’s your best bet. If you prefer craftsmanship you’ll pick a better language.

  3. I really appreciate these stats/info and your efforts…. I work on scala, python, ruby projects and others I like to dabble in. To engineers, evaluate your need and desires and pick a language based on the *your* requirements, consider some of the above pitfalls, but realize millions have overcome some if not all of what is above for each. Consider them as they are part in parcel a piece of the language. All languages have MVCs or similar that are *very* popular. If you are concerned about language specifics, that is a language issue, which is solved elsewhere. I find most of this slighted and we don’t even talk about static languages. Look at your requirements, and not a comparison blog. Perhaps that even pertains to my post 🙂

  4. Nice post… but, here I like to add that PHP is CallByValue, AFAIK and I know PHP quite well PHP is no different than Javascript or Java in this behavior. PHP has call time pass-by-value for scalars but pass-by-reference for objects – and this should be definitely considered as pros.

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