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Which programming language for a beginner? – General Web Dev – SitePoint Forums

Which programming language for a beginner? – General Web Dev – SitePoint Forums

Which programming language should I choose for web development? PHP or Python and why? I’m a beginner.

There are a lot more choices than that. .net (C#), GoLang, Rust, React just to name a few.

What jobs are available in your area? Which language do you feel more comfortable with?

PHP is not designed well. It certainly was not originally designed by someone with experience designing computer languages.

Python is not commonly used for websites.

In my opinion at least, either Java or C# would be better. If using C# then you will probably use Visual Studio to create an ASP.Net Core website. For Java you would use a different IDE, such as Eclipse.

JavaScript is usually used for browser-side programming.

Java is overkill for web development. Heavy and unwieldy…ugh

Unless you’re working in React or Node, which work both client and server side.

Sorry but that is a bit of old thinking. I suggest you check out PHP again as it has gone under a lot of work over the last few years and I happen to believe it has made tremendous strides in being a serious web language contender again since the PHP 7 and especially PHP 8 branches.

There are also many recent YouTube videos talking about PHP really coming into its own as a mature and versatile language again. :slight_smile:

To the original poster… @DaveMaxwell said it best (Even though I wouldn’t recommend GoLang or Rust being exactly beginner friendly). Go with what you are most comfortable with and find FUN! If it is not fun for you, you are going to hate it and get bored.

The second thing is what type of projects do you want to work on. If you want web you will want to look at languages designed for that versus trying to use a language like Java for the web. Is it possible? Sure, but it wasn’t initially intended for that purpose. Likewise trying to use a web designed language for the desktop. Again can be done, but is it the best tool?

Lastly, then look at the market. Whatever programming language you choose, you can usually find work. Being that most of us have gone remote, it may not even be a job that is in your area. Not like it use to be. :slight_smile:

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My comment about JavaScript was unintentionally ambiguous. I meant that, for browser-side programming, JavaScript is usually used.

My memory is that initially Java was used in browsers, like JavaScript whose name implies it is similar to Java. (They are very different but that is off-topic.) Young people insist that Java was not originally used in browsers.

Languages designed for just web development, such as PHP, seem to me to be less desirable. I consider use of a language for many purposes to be an advantage.

I’m certainly not young (30 years in IT), and my recollection was that Java wasn’t originally used for browser centric means (i.e. running server-side and rendering html to present client-side.). It COULD be used in applets which ran within the browser, but the security holes that opened up rendered them moot pretty early on.

Now it has been used more in mobile development, but not as much in web development. And it does have usage in back-end/server side, but those are more offline/api/app server than web server based.

For a beginner I would recommend PHP over python because pretty much every hoster out there supports it, so it’s easier to get set up.

The language also is more commonly used for the web. Despite all the hate it keeps getting, around 75% to 80% of the web is powered by PHP.

A language that is easier to learn than both, PHP or python but hardly supported our of the box by hosters is go(lang). So if you just want play around a bit on your local machine I would go with that. It gives a good basis for programming concepts and can be used to make the jump to other languages.


That is not browser-side. Browser-side means executing in the browser.

The Wikipedia article about JavaScript makes it clear that Java existed before JavaScript and Netscape initiated development of JavaScript for Netscape Navigator for use in Netscape Navigator and that they supported Java in Netscape Navigator. I usually do not use Wikipedia as an authority but this is getting too technical for okulumanadolu.

I think you should choose Python, because it’s easy to learn.

Thread closed, as the OP is no longer with us.

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