php is a specialised web-development language which therefore gets the beginner started faster within the narrow remit of webpage development. Perl is a more general and flexible language that can be used in conjunction with existing specialised CPAN modules for the specialised work.
Although the beginner can get started faster with php than perl, there is a fixed limit to productivity with php. Perl is slower getting started because it has a wider capability that isn't packaged into a web-focused language, but which offers wider functional coverage and much higher productivity over the longer term. I would say it therefore depends on how committed your role is to web development. The more committed over the longer term, the more payback from taking the time to use perl to build up a more productive and flexible shop than is possible with php and which would overtake the php capability within a few months. But for a one-off short project, php is likely to get results faster.
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