When comparing PHP vs Play Framework, the Slant community recommends Play Framework for most people. In the question“What are the best backend web frameworks?” Play Framework is ranked 12th while PHP is ranked 44th. The most important reason people chose Play Framework is:
It's like Java, but more Haskell-y.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro One of the most common languages
According to the 2015 Stack Overflow Developer Survey (26,086 people surveyed), PHP was the 5th most popular/used language at 29.7%.
Pro Lots of tutorials online
Pro Used by most common CMS platforms
Many clients are looking for an easy-to-update web site that's flexible and free. Drupal and Wordpress fill those needs very well.
Pro Most prominent language for web applications
Part of the de facto standard web application stack.
Pro Great third-party package manager
PHP standard library is somewhat subpar, but if you need plugins, language features, composer has them all( you can even puzzle together a custom framework from composer).
Since 7.x was released, PHP has become a pretty fast language.
Pro Lots of PHP frameworks available which help with development
PHP people love frameworks, and with frameworks such as Laravel, you can build a web app or API really fast (Facades, ORMs, scaffolding etc.)
Pro Great documentation
It's like Java, but more Haskell-y.
Pro Asynchronous Core
Pro Interoperable with Java
Pro Good documentation and a great community
Play has quite a large community which provides numerous tutorials and videos related to developing with Play.
The Play official documentation covers many things, such as the framework itself but also specific stuff such as Akka, SBT and Netty.
There are also many big companies that base their main sites around Play, one of them is LinkedIn which provides third-party documentation on a regular basis.
Pro Play is an extensive ecosystem
Play uses Akka for concurrency, Scala for a templating engine, Netty as a client-server framework and SBT (Simple Build Tool) for building. And they all come out of the box.
Play also comes with the option to scaffold your applications. Play is an all-embracing ecosystem designed to increase developer productivity and shorten development times.
Pro Simple for beginners
Play is very simple to get started. The documentation is very helpful for beginners and advanced users alike and the official website has a great "Getting Started" tutorial to begin developing with Play.
Pro Readable code
Play framework's convention over configuration methodology makes most Play projects have a very similar structure. This means that the code written for the framework is very readable. This enables a developer to switch between applications without having to relearn the ecosystem for every project. The built-in templating system also helps with code and makes it possible to have a very low count of lines of code.
Pro Can use Java, one of the most widely known languages
Java is one of the most widely known languages, so people coming from that background can jump right in and not have to learn a new language syntax.
Pro Good Websocket Support
Con Poorly designed language
Despite its widespread use, PHP is generally looked upon poorly from a design point of view. The consistency of function names and function argument order, lazily and borderline non-functional implementation of object oriented programming, can only receive requests via POST methods, slow version adoption (the PHP you learn right now may not work on every webserver you'll work on), and a focus on "hacking things together" rather than "doing it right". These are all very common complaints when it comes to working with PHP. While not a bad language to learn, PHP is not at all a good language to learn first, as it will probably teach bad habits.
Con Immense catalog of insecure frameworks
The most serious security problems in websites on the web today are almost universally found in popular PHP frameworks, CMS platforms, libraries and code samples, almost all stemming from poor language design, bad tutorials and awful resources.
Con After python, probably one of the worst languages ever
Con Most tutorials are out of date
A lot of very bad tutorials are still widely circulated among beginners, and these tutorials teach very poor programming practices.
Con Most resources are poorly-written
Few resources exemplify the "correct" or secure use of features.
Con Poorly designed language, awful syntax & luckily on the decline
Nobody in their right mind is using PHP for new software, if you decide to learn it as your first language you'll be stuck working in teams with old developers who have had no interest in the computer programming field since they landed their first job while maintaining some 2000 era archaic website codebase.
Con Interpreter being too permissive
If you forget the dollar sign, the variable name will be converted to a string.
Con Backward incompatibility
The jump from Play 1 to Play 2.x caused a lot of confusion. While it is important to have some kind of evolution, sometimes it causes backward incompatibility which can create some problems. It makes tutorials or modules made for the old version obsolete. This can make it hard for beginners to find useful resources. The template engine which used Groovy now uses Scala.
Con Not as many resources to learn
Other languages and frameworks have countless tutorials, books, moocs, etc. Java and Play does not have nearly as much.