Few other web development languages have done as much for web developers as PHP has. And in learning all the complexities of the language, web developers will be able to better become higher paid, more satisfied, and better prepared to make the next best web application. But taking baby steps in getting there is important: and the finer things such as knowing the difference between Echo and Print become clear.
Two commands are used to output text to the screen: Print and Echo. But since both do the same thing, why would there be two different commands? The answer, interestingly enough, eludes even some PHP experts.
Print is actually something more of a function, as it can be enclosed in brackets. Echo lacks this ability, but then again, there is almost never a need to do so. In reality, having this ability is something that even those who have seen it all in PHP probably will not need to make use of. This just adds more confusion to the topic than what was previously apprehensive.
While performance may be a big issue for PHP developers and their clients, the debate between Print and Echo is actually fairly meaningless. It is true that Print will take more system resources to use, but it is such a minimalistic amount that developers are recommended to choose the construct of their choice, regardless of speed issues.
So far the industry standard has been to use Echo, but it should be stressed that either command may be used at will. Echo seems to be the favorite as it is easier to type, not to mention it's a fun word to say! Those who favor the Print command are usually older programmers, who are accredited to using the command Print from other programming languages that are now considered archaic.
As a last note of worthiness, it should be made clear that if speed is an issue, more emphasis should be put on how the two commands are used. Repeatedly using either command where a programmer could simply concatenate a string or value together will waste system performance- and on a much more noticeable scale that the difference between returning a value or not. Thus, this subject should be addressed if anything in regards to speed.
PHP development just would not be the same without fun debts such as the one just mentioned. But in reality, it really does not matter which route is taken- so long as either language construct is used in a performance-based manner. Although Print may still have some of a following today, as books and publishers start using Echo more often, it's likely we'll see a death to the Print command soon enough.