Node.Js vs PHP: Which One Should You Choose?

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7 Minutes to read

Table Of Content

Introduction

People around the world use JavaScript and PHP to write computer programs. JavaScript was never a match for PHP in the past because JavaScript was only used for front-end development and PHP was used for backend development. PHP and JavaScript used to be able to work together.

However, in 2009, JavaScript came out with its own back-end technology called NodeJs, which changed the whole web development market. Every developer now compares NodeJs and PHP and tries to figure out which one is better. Both PHP development and NodeJs development are used for backend development, and both are able to handle the complexity of the application, despite the fact that they are built on different architectures and ideas. If you’re making an app, it will be hard to choose between these two (Node.Js vs PHP) programming languages for your Web Development project.

In this blog, I tried to cover all the answers to your questions related to Node.Js vs PHP.

What is Node.js?

NodeJS

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime that is based on the V8 JavaScript engine. It enables programmers to create backend JavaScript applications that are both fast and scalable. Its asynchronous and event-driven structure makes Node.js an excellent choice for designing applications that must handle a high number of connections simultaneously, which is a specific need for web servers and other backend services. 

Through the use of JavaScript on both the frontend and the backend, development becomes more consistent, allowing for the creation of full-stack web applications within the same development environment. You can leverage the node.js frameworks that are available in the market to provide server-side development.

What is PHP?

PHP

In 1994, Rasmus Lerdorf created PHP, a framework for developing web applications. Nowadays, the PHP development team is responsible for maintaining PHP. PHP is an acronym for Personal Home Page, which was previously referred to as Hypertext Preprocessor.

The PHP programming language is a server-side scripting language. You can use this language to develop static websites, dynamic websites, or web applications. Only servers that have PHP installed on them are able to interpret PHP scripts.

Comparison Table of Node.Js vs PHP

Node.JsPHP
Launch Year20091995
LicenseMIT LicenseOpen Source License
CreatorRyan DahlRasmus Lerdorf
Stable Release17.9.0 / 2022 – 04 – 088.1.5 / 2022 – 04 – 14
Written inC, C++, JavaScriptC (Primarily, some components C++)
ExecutionAsynchronous (Processes multiple requests at a time)Synchronous (Processes requests one by one)
Execution SpeedFaster than PHP and lightweight too.Slower than Node.Js.
PerformanceFaster because of non-blocking mechanism.Slower, because of database, third-party request, and file-system.
CodingMore Lines of Code.Fewer Lines of Code.
Database SupportSupports any database: MongoDB, PostgreSQL, CouchDB, SQLite, Redis, etc.Supports relational and conventional database: MongoDB, Redis, MySQL, PostGreSQL, SYBASE, Oracle, etc.
Community & EcosystemSmaller, younger but growingLarger, highly experienced
PopularityMore PopularLess Popular
Request HandlingHandles multiple requests at a time through EventQueue.Handles single request at a time.
ModulesA large number of immature modules.A larger number of modules.
HostingCompatibility with fewer hosting providers.The larger level of compatibility with hosting providers.
Cost of DevelopmentCheaper as projects require smaller teams.Costlier as bigger projects need specialists teams.

#1. Popularity

How much NodeJs and PHP are popular among developers and how popular it is on Github and StackShare is seen. Also, how much it will rise over time is also taken into consideration.

  • Node.JS

    Node.Js was developed for the purpose to solve Apache’s problem. Also, with the help of NodeJs, you are able to easily create real-time data streaming applications. Do you know that with the help of NodeJs Netflix reduced the application startup from 40 minutes to 1 minute!


    In StackOverflow’s survey, Node.Js was on the top of the list. On Github repository for Node.js has 87K stars, 23.3K forks, and 2.9K people who are following it. There are 116.2K people who follow Node.Js on StackShare and 8.4K votes.


  • PHP

    According to the yearly developer survey conducted by StackOverflow, PHP has declined from fifth place to eighth place in 2020 on the list of the most popular technologies. There are 61.9K people who follow PHP on StackShare and 4.6K votes.


    According to W3techs, PHP is used by more than 77.5 percent of all website’s server-side programming language, and PHP powers certain key platforms such as WordPress, Laravel, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, and many more.


Who wins?

In this battle of Node.Js vs PHP, we think that Node.Js wins the battle, because of its ever-growing popularity amongst developers and programmers.

#2. Coding

If the rules defining the language’s structure are correct and well-engineered, you will be more productive in your work, because without proper syntax, it is impossible to comprehend a language’s semantics. As a result, it is critical that the syntax is correct, as this enables you to accomplish more with less code.

  • Node.JS

    Node.js was initially developed as a server-side runtime environment but is also widely used by the developer community for front-end development. Although NodeJs has more lines of code to accomplish a task compared to PHP, thanks to JavaScript being a full-stack, you don’t need to learn many languages to complete a task. It is advisable to take help from JavaScript experts to complete some complex tasks.


  • PHP

    People say that PHP is a very easy programming language to learn, but web development with the help of PHP is not easy. Because of LAMP, or to be more clear you have to be proficient in how operators and generators work in Linux, Apache Server, MySQL, and PHP, you need to have knowledge of all of these things if you want to develop websites or web applications using the PHP.


Who wins?

PHP is an easy programming language, but then if you want to add complex features to web applications, you need to learn more in PHP, while NodeJs code is lengthy, but you don’t need to learn more languages. So as far as coding is concerned in PHP vs NodeJs, NodeJs is the clear winner.

#3. Server-Side Coding

Server-side coding executes on the server rather than the client and is frequently used to supply dynamic content to webpages in response to user activities. Server-side codes do not function alone; they work hand in hand with server programs, databases, network protocols, and other server-side development tools.

  • Node.Js

    Node.js gives the client a lot less work to do. Node.js is an excellent choice if your target audience has smartphones with a fair amount of processing power, so it’s a good choice for your use case. However, because it uses an AJAX engine to make new web pages in response to client requests, it needs to stay connected to the server at all times to do this.


  • PHP

    PHP is the server-side programming language that is currently the most extensively used. It interprets scripts on the server rather than on the client’s computer (like JavaScript). Additionally, it provides each user with a customized interface while also expanding the capabilities of HTML.


Who wins?

PHP and Node.Js are both used as server-side coding, if you have an audience that uses low powered website then PHP is the ideal choice, but if you are having a dynamic website with dynamic UI then choose Node.Js.

#4. Speed

The architecture of the web, as well as the features added to it, have an impact on the speed so it is necessary that the loading time of the web is faster because with a slow loading time people will leave the page. The greater the speed with which technology is deployed, the greater the likelihood of its success!

  • Node.Js

    I would say that Node.js is unmatched as an asynchronous development environment. This means that it does not run the modules in a sequential manner, which improves overall performance generally. Furthermore, this greatly reduces downtime as well as enhances the quality of user experience at the same time, also faster loading of websites helps a lot in SEO factor.


  • PHP

    PHP works in synchronization, meaning each and every step needed to be done one after the other, if one step is omitted or due to some reason is not done then the step after that won’t start. PHP programming can be useful when you need to solve a problem quickly.


Who wins?

The V8 engine, continuous server connection, and asynchronous execution make Node.Js a compelling choice when it comes to comparing Node and PHP. Node.js is considered to be one of the fastest programming languages, outpacing PHP in speed.

#5. Performance

Performance measures a page’s key performance indicators, such as how quickly and seamlessly it loads. Additionally, while developing a real-time application that runs on a low-powered system, performance becomes critical, therefore let’s look at how Node.js and PHP manage this.

  • Node.Js

    Node.js has a single-threaded, event-driven architecture that allows it to handle a lot of connections at the same time without slowing down. Most popular online platforms start processing each new request by creating a new thread, which uses RAM for the time it takes to process the new request.


    Node, on the other hand, runs on a single thread, utilizing the event loop and callbacks for I/O activities and outsourcing database functions as quickly as it is possible. The result is a system that can handle hundreds of thousands or even millions of simultaneous connections at once.


  • PHP

    A lot of people use PHP to make websites quickly because it can be easily customized and works well with a wide range of different management systems. PHP was created specifically for the purpose of creating dynamic web pages, which is why PHP scripts are substantially faster than scripts written in other computer languages.


    PHP code may be readily put into HTML, allowing developers to easily convert static website code to dynamic website code by simply embedding PHP code in HTML code.


Who wins?

Both PHP and Node.js use just-in-time compilation. In terms of features, Node.Js is slightly higher than PHP, but in my opinion, both Node.Js and PHP are equally good when it comes to performance.

#6. Frameworks

People can use frameworks and libraries to save time and money by not having to write new code from scratch all the time. Frameworks, libraries, and packages are a big part of why many technological platforms and apps are so popular and powerful. The help of a framework lets you quickly and easily add code to your project and change it as you see fit.

  • Node.Js

    Node.js frameworks are generally classified into three categories: MVC, Full-Stack MVC, and REST API frameworks. Essentially, a node framework is a workspace platform that supports the use of Node.js and allows developers to build both the front-end and back-end of an application using JavaScript. Node frameworks are becoming increasingly popular. Some of the most famous Node.Js frameworks are Meteor, Derby, Express, and Sails.


  • PHP

    The PHP programming language has collected a vast library of frameworks for use in a variety of niche sectors during its 26-year existence. PHP frameworks such as Laravel, CodeIgniter, Symfony, CakePHP, and Phalcon have been around for a long time, and they continue to serve professional developers and mainstream development organizations.


Who wins?

In this battle of PHP vs. Node.Js, while PHP has been serving developers all over the world for decades with its solid frameworks, Node.js is gaining favor among programmers due to its current methodology and rapidly expanding the number of frameworks available.

#7. Database

Node.Js and PHP both are capable of working with a wide range of database types. It is true that there are a few databases that are optimal for them and reduce the risk of security threats while still working within the same application.

  • Node.Js

    A database can be anything, and you can use Node.js with any kind of database. You can choose the database that is best for the size of the project and its goals. Node.js is often able to work with noSQL databases like MongoDB and CouchDB, as well as graph databases like Neo4j. Nonetheless, NoSQL databases pose a well-known security vulnerability.


  • PHP

    PHP and relational databases like MySQL, MariaDB, Db2, MongoDB, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and SQLite work together to help you build web pages and apps. MySQL seems to be the most popular PHP database. While PHP uses MySQL, and it can run on UNIX, Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Apple Mac OS, so you can run it on all the systems with ease.


Who wins?

NodeJs and PHP together have their own pros and cons. MySQL, as a relational database, is less flexible and has design constraints, whereas NoSQL, as a non-relational database, allows for a more flexible design in comparison to MySQL. Therefore NodeJs come out victorious.

#8. Request Handling

Request handling is a process by which web applications connect with their users or clients, and respond to their requests. An operation is performed by beginning with the receipt of a request from the user interface, sending it to the server, and lastly executing it.

  • Node.Js

    Node.js can make the best use of single threading, which leads to fast response times and simultaneous processing. Your system can also handle multiple requests in parallel using the Node.js cluster module or worker_threads.


  • PHP

    The PHP scripting language is only capable of processing one request at a time. If you submit 10 requests, they will be processed sequentially in ten individual submissions, each of which will use the same computational capabilities.


Who wins?

Despite the fact that you can use a PHP module or a web server to assist PHP in dealing with a large number of requests, Node.js is still the superior choice due to its native request handling capabilities. Here, Node.Js takes the win.

#9. Modules

Modules are program components that act as a sub-program for one or more related functions/classes.

  • Node.Js

    Although NodeJS has a large community and a huge repository, its modules are considered immature due to their lack of quality. If modules are not thoroughly tested and if they are low quality, you may run into difficulties in your project. Node.js package registry has launched the npm-audit initiative as a control measure. Now, each package can be checked for malicious code.


  • PHP

    PHP has a considerably greater amount of modules than NodeJS, and regardless of how quickly NodeJS modules develop, they will never outweigh PHP modules. When it comes to the kind of modules that PHP supports, there are two types: The modules that come with PHP are referred to as bundle extensions, and the other one is an external extension that doesn’t come with any packages or core PHP.


Who wins?

When comparing PHP with NodeJs, PHP is clearly the winner because it has more number of modules.

#10. Ecosystem

The community of the program is its ecosystem, the community surrounding the ecosystem enriches it with the help of available libraries, frameworks, pre-made projects, and resources, and in this way they are able to help the new comes who wants to start learning it. In a way, the expansion of the community of a certain program impacts the ecosystem.

  • Node.Js

    The Node.js ecosystem is pretty healthy, with about 836,000 libraries already available in the npm registry and more than 10,000 new ones being contributed on a weekly basis. According to the exact figures as above, Npm modules make up 97 percent of all web applications now in use.


    Although Node.js has a very big library, it is nowhere near PHP, they lag behind PHP numbers, but since it can be used in both front end and backend it gets a variety of projects and this makes up for the lack of quantity it has.


  • PHP

    WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, to name a few examples, have all made significant contributions to the PHP ecosystem throughout the years. These are directly responsible for the operation of millions of websites on the internet.


    Additionally, the PHP community has created a wide range of training materials and supporting technology to assist new developers in getting up and scaling up quickly. You can post a request on Github, StackOverflow, or other comparable platforms for those that require assistance.


Who wins?

PHP is losing its popularity while NodeJs is growing rapidly. Many PHP developers are learning new technologies, so Node.Js seems to win in the ecosystem, but PHP is very old and therefore the community of PHP is big, so choose wisely.

#11. Hosting

Node.js and PHP are widely supported by the world’s largest hosting providers, so you should have no trouble finding one that supports both. Interestingly, hosting fees frequently fluctuate according to the availability of particular hosting firms. As a result, conduct a study prior to selecting one.

  • Node.Js

    Node.js offers a variety of features that help it to remain competitive in the market. Joyent, the firm in charge of Node.js’s maintenance, provides a SmartOS option as an alternative. This is advantageous for debugging and optimization strategies, and the distribution’s ease can be accomplished. If you’re using Heroku and Nodejitsu, you’ll have no trouble using Node.js in a Platform-as-a-Service environment.


  • PHP

    Because of PHP’s versatility, it is offered as a web hosting option by the vast majority of hosting companies. PHP is now available from practically all reputable web hosting companies. Most hosting packages provide PHP support, which is usually included in the price of the package. Free hosting, Shared hosting all the hosting plans provided by web hosting companies support PHP.


Who wins?

Almost all hosting provider companies support PHP, while NodeJs is supported by less number of hosting providers, it is growing rapidly, and many hosting providers are supporting NodeJs. The hosting provider should be selected according to the functionality provided for PHP and NodeJS.

#12. Famous Application

Which famous fortune 500 companies out there are using either NodeJs or PHP.

  • Node.Js

    One unexpected trend is that the need for Node.js developers is outpacing the demand for PHP experts, despite the fact that PHP is one of the web’s most well-established and popular technologies. As a clear indication, the number of businesses that have adopted Node.js as their preferred framework for developing web applications has increased dramatically, and this trend is expected to continue. Therefore you should hire Nodejs developers and take the advantage of their expertise and all the features NodeJs offers.


    Let’s take a look at all the companies using Node.Js: Netflix, NASA, PayPal, LinkedIn, Uber, Twitter, etc.


  • PHP

    PHP is available in eight different versions, with the eighth version slated to be published in November 2020. The seventh version of PHP, on the other hand, is the most widely used. PHP’s initial version was released 26 years ago. PHP offers a number of benefits that make it an ideal scripting language for a wide variety of businesses and websites. For example, it is open-source, platform-independent, simple to learn, and low maintenance.


    Let’s take a look at all the companies using PHP: Facebook, Wikipedia, WordPress, Yahoo!, Tumblr, MailChimp, etc.


Who wins?

When we do PHP vs Node.Js, both or on the equal page when it comes to famous applications many tech-heavy companies are using both of them as per their requirements.

#13. Cost of Development

The cost of development is necessary to take into consideration because you will be able to evaluate the total cost of your project. You need to do market research and accordingly, you should decide whether you need NodeJs.

  • Node.Js

    The cost of development is impacted by a number of factors, which includes the development platform (or framework). As JavaScript can be used on both the front-end and back-end development of a website, the project can be finished by full-stack developers with minimal effort which decreases the development cost.


  • PHP

    PHP is a programming language that is mostly concerned with backend development. Because PHP is a dynamic language, you may want the assistance of other specialists (or highly talented web developers) to verify that the database and other essential backend components are operating correctly. Therefore it will cost you relatively higher.


Who wins?

Naturally, hiring full-stack Node.js developers is more feasible than hiring a number of developers when it comes to PHP projects. When it comes to the cost of development Node.Js is less costly than PHP, so in this case of PHP vs Node.Js, Node.Js takes the win.

Strengths and Limitations of NodeJs vs PHP

NodeJS-vs-PHP-Strengths-and-limitations

Strength of NodeJs

  • Offers easy scalability for modern applications.
  • It is easy to learn and quick to adapt.
  • Improves app response time and boosts performance.
  • Reduces time-to-market of your applications.
  • Offers extensibility to meet customized requirements.
  • Reduces loading time by quick caching.

Limitation of NodeJs

  • API is not stable.
  • Does not have a strong library support system.
  • Asynchronous programming model

Strength of PHP

  • Easy to learn.
  • Keeping things simple.
  • Faster time to market.
  • Enables to build MVP faster.
  • There’s a lot of legacy code.
  • Strong community support.

Limitation of PHP

  • Security issues.
  • Doesn’t allow change or modification.
  • Poor error handling method.

Should you choose Node.Js or PHP?

While Node.js is gaining popularity among programmers at present, PHP’s performance continues to be the primary factor in the majority of websites’ performance. You should choose Node.Js if you want the same language in the front-end and back-end development, or you are in need of incredible speed. You should go with PHP if you need a centralized server or fantastic portability.

As both Node.js and PHP advance and evolve, there will be more debates and discussions about them. Even though it’s clear that Node.js is faster, PHP has more support and resources. Choose the language that is best for your project, but remember that they all do the same thing in different ways. Sometimes, there isn’t a good reason to choose one thing over another. So, if you are confused that which technology you should choose in Node.Js vs PHP for your project then contact our experts, they are happy to serve you. Also, look at the detailed comparisons of JavaScript frameworks Angular vs React vs Vue.

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Jigar Shah
Shah
Jigar Shah is the Founder of WPWeb Infotech - a leading Web Development Company in India, USA. Being the founder of the company, he takes care of business development activities and handles the execution of the projects. He is Enthusiastic about producing quality content on challenging technical subjects.

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