When comparing PHP vs Red, the Slant community recommends PHP for most people. In the question“What is the best programming language to learn first?” PHP is ranked 30th while Red is ranked 48th. The most important reason people chose PHP is:
According to the [2015 Stack Overflow Developer Survey](http://stackoverflow.com/research/developer-survey-2015#tech) (26,086 people surveyed), PHP was the 5th most popular/used language at 29.7%.
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
Pro Simple toolchain
Other languages have complex, multi-step setups that beginners often get stuck on. Red has no installer, no setup, no dependencies*, just a single small (~1MB) command-line executable with both the compiler and repl. On Windows, you don't even have to launch executable from the command line--it has a GUI-console.
Pro Very simple syntax
Red syntax is a lot like Rebol. It's easier than most languages for beginners to pick up.
Pro Both low and high-level
Red has low enough access to do systems programming, but it's expressive enough for high-level scripting.
Pro Low cognitive load
Red has very simple syntax that's easy to learn. It gets out of your way and lets you think about the problem instead, enhancing productivity.
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 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 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 Interpreter being too permissive
If you forget the dollar sign, the variable name will be converted to a string.
Con Not production ready
Red is still under development and not considered stable.
Con Still in beta
It mostly works. It's good enough for building usable applications, but some planned features are missing.