Tue Oct 09 2018

Node.js vs PHP: the server side environment

Programming734 views

Node.js vs PHP

Today, Node.js and PHP are two very popular web development solutions available in the market. PHP and Node.js  both are built around different concepts and architectures. They can manage apps of any complexity. Both are frequently making rounds in the mobile application development industry. Developers now struggling to make a choice between both environments.

Here we are going to differentiate between Node.js and PHP. It will help you to find out which Environment is ideal for your next app project.


PHP is the preferred choice for server development. This is a general-purpose scripting language, which is characterized by a declarative style of writing code. 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. The programmer, in fact, does not have any restrictions on the arrangement and order of the code structures.


NodeJS is a platform that, in effect, converts ordinary JS into a general-purpose language suitable for server-side development. NodeJS is characterized by an event-driven programming paradigm and non-blocking I/O model, which allows the user to create asynchronous processing. The platform was created by Ryan Dahl in 2009 on the basis of the Google V8 JavaScript engine. Node.js is relatively young but already popular and used by many large companies including Microsoft, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and PayPal.

Comparison of Node.js and PHP

  • PHP has become almost the industry standard in web programming. All existing hostings today, regardless of the type, are compatible with it.

  • PHP syntax is very similar to C, and the entry threshold is extremely low. That is why beginners often choose to use PHP.

  • The internet is full of sites and web applications that are based on servers or engines written in PHP.

  • In PHP there is an analog of npm called Composer, which has a large amount of incredibly useful modules.

  • PHP modules are easily integrated with third-party solutions. Using various APIs, a developer can connect to any other client-server service.

  • In PHP, the choice of frameworks is enormous and includes such popular ones as Laravel, Symfony, Slim, and CakePHP. What you choose up to your personal preferences, as well as individual experience with different solutions.

  • In PHP, you can very easily establish a connection to SQL databases.

  • PHP works perfectly with the MySQL database and supports various versions of databases such as MariaDB and Postgresql. Your code can work with all databases regardless of the utilized engines.

  • РНР is generally web-oriented.

  • PHP has a wide support of hosting services. And it also has a massive community.

  • NodeJS, being a relatively new overlay over the standard JavaScript, uses newer technologies and more advanced approaches to development and safety.

  • The main and most often voiced advantage of NodeJS is the npmjs package manager, based on npm, and the common module repository.

  • The number of Node JS modules, and other JavaScript libraries added by users since 2010 is over 190,000.

  • Usage of npmjs significantly reduces the time needed to create software and instead focuses on the activities of backend programmers exclusively on the development of the specific functionality.

  • It allows each application to have the necessary modules in its own dependency tree. So, each application can have its own set of modules, which resolves the dependency conflicts.

  • NodeJS is often used to create APIs.

  • NodeJS is based on the ultra-fast V8 engine.

  • The most popular development environments for NodeJS are Express.js, Koa.js, and Sails.js. All three frameworks organize the application architecture in accordance with the Model-View-Controller model (MVC), which uses the same data at different levels of development, making it incredibly convenient for teamwork.

  • Node JS has a single syntax for both the front-end and the back-end, which improves maintainability of the app and reusability of the code.

  • Node.js has a wide range of applications: web apps, multithreaded apps, microservices architecture, browsers, microcomputers, microcontrollers, and game servers.

  • NodeJS helps to create a really fast application that provides high security without slowing down during an active client-server interaction.

  • NodeJS creates a direct persistent channel with the server, which means that all subsequent requests will be processed without unnecessary time costs.

  • When comparing the speeds of NodeJS and PHP, NodeJS is the winner clearly. It does not mean that the solutions created on the basis of PHP work slowly and are not able to provide good responsiveness.

  • PHP was originally created for active interaction with relational DBMS. This means that creating a server part in PHP offers a lot of simple tools for interacting with the database. Of course, NodeJS also has the appropriate libraries. But, unlike PHP, you cannot access the data you need by simply inserting the code in the right place of the page.


In spite of all the advantages and disadvantages, there’s still no ubiquitous answer as to the best solution. The technology for each backend project should be chosen individually on the basis of its specific features. Hopefully, it has become more clear to you how to determine the best option for your projects.

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