When comparing PHP vs Swift, the Slant community recommends Swift for most people. In the question“What is the best programming language to learn first?” Swift is ranked 25th while PHP is ranked 33rd.
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 Modern syntax
Pro Swift is closer to other platforms
Apple’s modern programming language is easier to understand for non-iOS developers and minimizes time for additional explanations and clarifications. Moreover, Swift can be used as a script language. It is an interesting solution for the iOS community to unify writing of build scripts. At the time being iOS developers are split up in regard to this activity. Some of them write build scripts in Bash, others use Ruby, Python, etc. Swift gives an amazing opportunity to be applied to all iOS programming needs.
More details can be found here https://mlsdev.com/blog/51-7-advantages-of-using-swift-over-objective-c
Pro Works with Apple's Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks
Pro Can be used as a Just-In-Time language
Pro Inherent parallelism
Pro Low memory footprint due to reference counting
Pro Backed by Apple
Pro Performance speed comparable to native C
Pro Swift has some clever tricks up its sleeve
Due to having elements of a functional programming language. Things like 'map' and 'filter' for example.
Pro Uses LLVM compiler and Obj-C runtime allowing C, Objective-C, Objective-C++ and Swift code to run side by side within a single program
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 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 Swift is a moving target
They've released 1.2 so far, and 2.0 is coming soon. Every small update brings adjustments to paradigms (such as how to do type casting) that can be a little frustrating to absorb. Objective C was also constantly updating, however, but not at the same rate these days.