Perl vs PHP: Which scripting language is right for your website?


Perl and PHP are two of the most popular programming languages out there. Both are used in server-side programming to provide dynamic functionality on websites. Perl and PHP are both scripting languages and are used in different ways. Perl is a powerful language and can be used in almost every domain, while PHP is useful for designing and generating dynamic pages using server-side scripting. That is why people get confused with the difference between Perl vs PHP.

Both languages are popular because they are easy to learn and offer high flexibility and performance. Perl is a scripting language that web developers commonly use to create dynamic websites. On the other hand, PHP language has an interpreted language used to create dynamic web pages. 

In this blog, we will take a closer look at these two programming languages and examine the differences.

Let us start with the basic introduction of both languages first.

Origin of Perl and PHP

In 1987, Larry Wall developed Perl as a general-purpose Unix scripting language to make report processing easier. Many changes and updates have been made since then. It has been called “the Swiss Army chainsaw of scripting languages” for its flexibility and power, as well as its ugly appearance.

PHP is a web-development-oriented general-purpose scripting language. Rasmus Lerdorf, a Danish-Canadian programmer, created it in 1994. The PHP Group now produces it. Formerly known as Personal Home Page, PHP now stands for the recursive initialism PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.

What is Perl?

Perl programming language was originally designed for text manipulation but is today used for a variety of tasks as Perl is a high-level programming language that is used in web development. Perl is a very useful language that is easy to learn and more efficient than many other languages. When choosing a programming language for your business or for the web, the main considerations are the syntax and the purpose of the programming language.

Perl is an open-source programming language, which means it is almost free and can be used for almost any purpose. It is also a general-purpose language. Today Perl used for a variety of tasks such as system administration, web development, network programming, GUI creation, and more.

Some Excellent Features Of Perl

  • Perl borrows features from other languages, including C, awk, sed, sh, and BASIC.
  • The DBI interface in Perl supports a wide variety of third-party databases, including Oracle, Sybase, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and many more.
  • Perl supports HTML, XML, and other mark-up languages.
  • Perl supports Unicode.
  • Perl is compliant with Y2K.
  • Both procedural and object-oriented programming are supported in Perl.
  • Perl can interface with C/C++ programming libraries via XS or SWIG.
  • The Perl programming language is extensible. On the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN), you can find more than 20,000 third-party modules.

What is PHP?

The PHP scripting language is a server-side scripting language. You can use it to develop static websites, dynamic websites or Web PHP is the scripting language used to make dynamic web pages. Dynamic web pages are pages that are created on the fly each time someone visits them. This makes PHP ideal for a lot of applications, and it is the preferred language for many websites. You can use it to develop static websites, dynamic websites or Web applications. The PHP scripting language is a server-side scripting language. The PHP acronym stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, which earlier stood for Personal Home Page.

Some Excellent Features Of PHP

  • The language is very simple and easy to use; unlike other scripting languages, it is very easy and simple; this is a very commonly used language throughout the world.
  • It is an interpreted language, so no compilation is required.
  • Other scripting languages such as ASPI and JSP are slower than PHP.
  • You do not need to pay for PHP, you can download and use it for free.
  • PHP code will run on all platforms, including Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, and Windows.
  • PHP is a case-sensitive programming language at the time of variable declaration. All PHP keywords (e.g. if, else, while, echo, etc.), classes, functions, and user-defined functions are case-insensitive.

Perl vs PHP: Comparison According To Google Trend

The two programming languages that have gained popularity over the years for developing web applications are PHP and Perl. One of the questions asked on several online platforms is which one is more popular from Perl and PHP. Well, the answer to this question is quite simple. Let us take a quick look at the graph of both programming languages.

In the above image, we can see that PHP is a popular programming language as compared to Perl. PHP is a general-purpose programming language used to create websites and web applications. In addition, it displays data from databases and interacts with them. PHP is primarily used to build web-based applications. 

So, we can say that PHP is the best programming language apart from those mentioned above. This implies you can choose from any of them depending on your requirements.

Perl vs PHP: Main Differences between Both Scripting Languages

Here are the differences between Perl and PHP:

Basic ComparisonPerlPHP
Basic DefinitionIt is a Multi-paradigm, object-oriented, functional, procedural, reflective, imperative, and event-driven programming language.It is an object-oriented, Imperative, reflective, procedural, and functional programming language.
license It was licensed under Artistic License GNU General Public License. It was licensed under Unix-like, Windows License PHP License (Zend Engine License)
Integrated withIt is mostly used for general-purpose functioning model applications.It is widely embedded with web development applications.
Maintenance Maintained by Perl Family of different versionsMaintained by PHP Zend engine group
Built-in facilitiesIt requires more coding and setup.It requires less arrangement and coding.
Ease of UseIt is a bit complicated to useAs compared to Perl, it is easy to use because it can be easily embedded into HTML web pages.
WorkingPerl works on several primitive data such as arrays, hashes, and scalars.PHP works on different data types along with variables and constants.

Perl vs PHP: Which is better for your website?

Perl is an excellent language for web development. Among its many features is its text handling capabilities, which are essential for web development. MCV frameworks like Rails and Django are similar to the catalyst, but the catalyst is more flexible and modular.

There is no charge for PHP since it is open-source. PHP allows you to keep your website development costs low. PHP requires no paid updates to be installed; there are no ongoing costs to maintain PHP. You can build your website with PHP by hiring a PHP developer.

As you can see in the graph, according to StackOverflow PHP is highly popular as compared to Perl. You can use PHP for your website if you want to go with a demanding language.

Is Perl faster than PHP?

PHP is generally considered faster than Perl, though this is debatable. There are certainly ways to make Perl as fast as PHP. Often, PHP supporters cite speed as a good reason to use PHP, but in reality, speed is not usually an issue. The differences are usually purely academic. The performance of these tasks is entirely dependent on the implementation of the programming languages used, the job that has to be performed, the algorithms used to carry out the task, and the configuration of the machine performing it.

Consider the fact that there are at least five different PHP implementations. Thus, your question is not very interesting, unless you’re just looking for a generic broad answer such as “they can also be very slow if you don’t use them properly”.

Also, Check the difference between PHP vs Python

Final Words

When comparing Perl vs PHP, there are many aspects of the language and features to consider. However, it is important to see that the languages can be used in virtually any area where high performance and dynamic web page generation are necessary. In this blog, we have discussed side-by-side Perl vs PHP to show how the two languages differ and decide on the one that is right for your next project.

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FAQ Related To Perl Vs PHP

Is Perl a high-level language?

The Perl family of languages consists of high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming languages. Larry Wall created Perl in 1987 as a general-purpose Unix scripting language to facilitate the processing of reports. Since then, it has gone through many revisions and changes.

Why do people hate PHP?

The reason developers dislike PHP is that it’s technically inconsistent with a bad design. The contrast with other languages is striking. In PHP, it’s very easy to write bad and insecure code. However, PHP is not a security hole, nor does it produce ugly code if properly coded.