PHP vs WordPress

Please note, if you click and buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More

PHP is a programming language that was created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf. It stands for Hypertext Preprocessor and is used to create dynamic websites. Besides, WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, and it is built on PHP.

PHP and WordPress, you can utilize both of the technologies to create amazing things online. But, they are quite different from each other. Let’s take a look at the differences between PHP and WordPress.

In this article, we will discuss what PHP and WordPress are and how they differ. We will also compare WordPress to PHP frameworks and explain which one can be the best choice for your business website.

A Brief Introduction to PHP

PHP is a scripting language used to create static or dynamic web pages and web applications. It can be embedded into HTML code, or it can be used as a standalone programming language. PHP code is executed on the server before the HTML code is sent to the browser.

To create a website using PHP, you need to have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS along with the PHP framework. You will also need a text editor, such as Notepad++ or Sublime Text, and a web server, such as Apache or Nginx.

With the passage of time, PHP has become an assertive tool for creating complex websites and applications. It now powers millions of websites worldwide, including some of the most popular ones such as Facebook, Wikipedia, and WordPress.com.

A Brief Introduction to WordPress

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) built on PHP. It enables you to create, edit, and publish content on your website without any coding knowledge. WordPress was originally created as a blogging platform, but it has now evolved into a full-fledged CMS.

When it comes to WordPress, you don’t need to have any coding knowledge. All you need is a domain name and hosting account to get started with WordPress. Once you have installed WordPress, just choose a free or paid theme. You can start creating pages and content after that.

WordPress is a very user-friendly platform suitable for both beginners and experts. Because of its ease of use and versatility, the platform currently powers more than 35% of all the websites in the world, powering millions of websites. Some popular brands such as Forbes, TechCrunch, TED Blog, etc., rely on WordPress for their online identity.

Differences Between PHP and WordPress

Now that we have a basic understanding of both PHP and WordPress, let’s take a look at the key differences between them:

Uses

The main difference between PHP and WordPress is PHP is a programming language while WordPress is a content management system.

PHP is mainly used for creating web pages as well as web applications. PHP can also be used to create, open, read, write, and delete files on a server. Moreover, it can be used to collect form data, send/receive cookies, control user access, and a variety of other purposes.

On the other hand, WordPress is a content management system that helps you create and manage different types of websites. You can easily build and control blogs, e-commerce, brand, portfolio, and other types of websites using WordPress.

Coding Requirement

You can utilize PHP to create custom websites or web applications from scratch. Along with adequate knowledge of the PHP language, you will also require to know some other languages to complete your PHP project.

On the other hand, WordPress enables you to create a website without coding knowledge. It has plenty of themes and plugins to create a website without coding. There are also page builder plugins available that can further help you create a completely custom website without any coding.

And, if you want, you can also create a custom website on WordPress through coding. In that case, you will require knowledge of both HTML and CSS.

Flexibility

PHP is a general-purpose scripting language with high flexibility. This means that you can use it for creating various types of websites and web applications. It can be used to create anything from a simple blog to complex server applications.

WordPress is also quite flexible. It can be used for a simple blog or website, an e-commerce store, or even a complex membership site. However, you might not get the same level of flexibility as with PHP.

Ease of Use

PHP is not as easy to use as WordPress. To create anything with PHP, you will require some coding knowledge. Even if you are just making a simple website, you will need to write code for every single element on your website.

On the other hand, WordPress is relatively easy to use. You can create a completely custom website without even touching a single line of code. WordPress also comes with an intuitive dashboard that makes it easy to manage your website.

Customization

PHP and WordPress are highly customizable. WordPress offers more flexibility in customization. You can change the appearance of your website using themes and plugins. Besides, you can add custom code snippets to the site without editing core code.

On the other hand, PHP requires you to edit the code directly to make any changes. It can be difficult for beginners and may require assistance from a professional developer.

But the good news is you will not be limited to the capability of the themes or plugins with PHP. That means you can design and optimize the way you want if you have a good grasp of the language.

SEO Friendliness

WordPress is more SEO friendly than PHP. WordPress offers built-in SEO features and optimization tools that help you to optimize your website for search engines. There are plugins like Yoast SEO, RankMath, etc., which make it easy to optimize your site.

While PHP is not as SEO-friendly as WordPress, you can make it more SEO friendly by using the right plugins and code snippets.

Security

Both WordPress and PHP are secure. However, because WordPress is used by millions of people, it is a more common target for hackers. There have been many instances of WordPress sites being hacked.

PHP, on the other hand, is not as common a target for hackers because it is not as widely used as WordPress. However, that does not mean that PHP is completely secure.

So, it doesn’t matter whether you use WordPress or PHP, you should always take security measures to protect your website.

User Experience

WordPress offers a better user experience than PHP. Being a content management system (CMS) that was designed for non-technical users, it is much easier to use than PHP. You can easily create and manage your content without any hassles.

With PHP, on the other hand, you need to have some technical skills to be able to manage everything within your website.

Upgradability

Both WordPress and PHP can be upgraded to the latest version. However, upgrading WordPress is much easier and simpler than upgrading PHP.

When a new version of WordPress is released, you will be notified of the update, and you can easily upgrade with just a few clicks. Moreover, WordPress lets you set automatic updates which means you don’t need to worry about manual upgrades.

Upgrading a custom PHP-based website, on the other hand, is more complicated. You need to manually update each component of your website, which can be a time-consuming and tedious task.

Cost-Effectiveness

WordPress is free and open-source software, while PHP is a scripting language that you need to install on your server.

Generally, establishing a website on WordPress is more cost-efficient. That is because the platform is free, and you can proceed without hiring a developer. If you don’t use any paid themes or plugins, you will only need to pay for domain and hosting.

When it comes to PHP,  you need to pay for a domain and hosting and may also need to hire a developer unless you are a developer. As a result, it may cost you more to set up a PHP website.

Final Thoughts

WordPress and PHP are both great options for building a website. However, each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

If you are looking for an easier platform to use, then WordPress is the way to go. It is a CMS designed for non-technical users. You can easily create and manage your content easily without breaking the bank.

On the other hand, if you are looking for more control over your website, then PHP is the way to go. PHP is a scripting language that gives you more flexibility and control.  However,  it is not as easy to use as WordPress, and you will need some technical skills to manage your website.

No matter which route you decide to take, be sure to consider all the factors before making your decision.