Sun Jan 13 2019

Node Js vs PHP which is best for Rest API?

Node Js vs PHP which is best for Rest API?

PHP and Node.js both can manage apps of any complexity, they are built around different concepts and architectures. If you are an app owner choosing between these two environments, you should be aware of their major advantages and limitations.

PHP, a scripting language created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994, was one of the top languages of the Web 1.0 era. The eloquent manifestation of the PHP success is CMS (Content Management Systems), such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal that power millions of blogs and web portals.

Node.js is a representative of a younger web development generation. Node.js is not a language, but a runtime environment that uses JavaScript for the server-side application development. Launched in 2009, Node.js has demonstrated the power of JavaScript in building event-based, data-driven, I/O-heavy applications for the Web 2.0 era.

Here are some differences based on different parameters to understand the two and make a decision between the two giants.


  • PHP is a very popular server-side scripting language and has many frameworks which help in easy backend development.

  • Node.js using the Express framework is the simplest and easiest way to develop restful API. Express is a minimal and flexible Node.js web application framework that provides a robust set of features for web and mobile applications.

  • The best option is to make a REST API in NodeJS, use to emit when changes are made to the database and use NGINX as HTTP server for static files in the web application (HTML, js, css ... etc)

  • PHP is an open-source server-side scripting language designed specifically for web development.

  • Node.js files have .js extension and contain only Javascript.

  • PHP is synchronous but there are some APIs that behave asynchronously apart from the synchronous lot.

  • Node.js is asynchronous in nature which means the JavaScript engine runs through the entire code in one go and does not wait for a function to return.

  • Writing backend code in PHP, the user continuously switches between different language and syntax.

  • Since Node.js is written in JavaScript, it makes both the sides server-side and client-side based on JavaScript so there is no need to switch between the languages.

  • PHP is used in collaboration with traditional/relational databases like MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, etc.

  • Node.js works perfectly with NoSQL (Not only SQL) databases like MongoDB, CouchDB and graph database systems like Neo4j.

  • In PHP, LAMP stack is used in API development.

  • PHP is no slacker and there are projects and options which make it faster. Even the most demanding PHP developer rarely worries about speed but Node.js performance is generally better.

  • Node.js is smaller and better than the PHP interpreter.

  • One more advantage of Node.js is its new plugins and modern features. When it comes to PHP, there is no doubt that there are many open-source PHP files, but few are the year’s old plug-ins which people wouldn’t like to use.


Photograph by di Bronzino

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