Node js vs PHP: Which is better for web development?

Node.js is a runtime environment for JavaScript on the server side, powered by Google’s V8 JavaScript engine. Node.JS and PHP are both engines that power the back-end of dynamic applications, but they have very distinct differences. Here’s a comparison and why we chose to use Node.js as our tech of choice for Hi5. PHP might not be as fast or event-driven as Node.js, but maybe database connectivity will be a determining factor in the specific software you decide to build.

php vs node.js

Might be utilized for back-end development, and an entirely different database language is often necessary as well. 80% of the webis powered by PHP.Being free and open-source, it goes without saying that PHP isn’t small-time on any scale. It’s also had an abundance of time to build its community since 1994.

Which Websites Use PHP?

However, this implies a more tedious process if you decide to opt for non-relational and NoSQL databases. With Node.js you’ll be able to develop integral backend models, but you still require a reverse proxy like Nginx or Apache, an HTTP framework like Express.js, and a database such as MySQL. That said, JavaScript is a full-stack development language, completely capable of developing a web or mobile application by itself. Every request to the PHP project has to be directed to a web server, and this runs the PHP interpreter that processes the code and serves it. Node.js, on the other hand, does not require that number of dependencies. Even though you are using a server-side framework it’s lightweight and manages various aspects of the application.

How many websites use PHP?

With more than 78 million websites using PHP currently, there is a lot that this simple but effective programming language offer to the developers and the end-users.

The modules can be a single file or a grouping of several files/folders. You may use modules because of their reusability and ability to break down problematic code into digestible bits. However, there are a few particular databases that suit them best and reduce the threat of possible attacks while functioning within the same application. If you already know JavaScript, you’ll quickly grasp the value of Node.js.


During this time frame, PHP’s community has taken the opportunity to improve application development two and threefold using the convenience of its open-source licensing. In 2013, PayPal’s web applications abandoned Java in favor of JavaScript and Node.js.

  • A vast majority of sites on the web today run on PHP, due in large part to its popularity as the technology of choice for content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
  • Users and enthusiasts are responsible for the available libraries, frameworks, premade projects, resources, and support for newcomers.
  • Currently, Node.js is one of the most widely used software development technologies because of its frontend and backend development and cross-platform capabilities.
  • This MVC architecture helps the separation of a file for each module separately.
  • PHP has long been readily straightforward to install and use, while being powered by the Zend engine.
  • For your business, this leads to faster time-to-market cycles.

PHP is often used when you deal with CMS like Joomla or WordPress, which enable you to have your web project setup very quickly. PHP is also practically applied for building eCommerce marketplaces, effective websites, email marketing platforms, and business or personal blogs. Regardless of the aforementioned issues, PHP is dynamically growing, with developers frequently coming up with new ideas to improve its functionality and features. You can create callback functions that listen to processes and execute them concurrently. Node has an almost identical syntax to JavaScript, thus it easy to pick-up and learns for JS developers. When you do start building, besides what language or framework you use, it’s dually important that you have professionals to make sure you use them to their best ability. Some of the most popular websites you know have effectively used PHP to optimize their web development.

Pros and Cons of PHP

This is primarily because the number of available alternatives directly affects the hosting expenses. The security and speed of the web app have to also be considered when picking a host. Node.js is not a programming language; it is rather an interpreter of JavaScript code to the operating system installed on the server. But Node.js is more than just that because it is extended with the libuv library that focuses on asynchronous I/O.

  • So since PHP is typically used in collaboration with MySQL, projects you execute with the language may be vulnerable to such issues.
  • Through WordPress, non-technical professionals can build their own websites without knowing much of anything about programming.
  • It is difficult to compare the two because PHP is a language and Node.js is an environment/framework.
  • In this case, Node.js is typically favored over PHP for scalability as making complex PHP applications requires a higher than average proficiency in the language.

Both PHP and Node.js are effective options for back-end development. And just like with other technologies, there’s a debate in the dev community when it comes to defining which of these is the best. To execute JavaScript code on the server, one needs a Node.js installer. In this vein, PHP is effectively a back-end development language.


There are no rules asking programmers to choose a set pattern or architecture, which gives them access to over thousands of different modules. Apart from this, there are a number of pros that are a part of Node.js, such as – Being similar to JS, it is much easier to learn Node, it is ideal when working with huge files. Backend programmers are the ones who usually have to deal with the problem of selecting between PHP and Node.js. This has now become a common situation with the developers due to certain reasons. Earlier, Javascript (the one which underlies Node.Js) didn’t overlap with PHP.

Node.js accepts numerous client requests and queues them in EventQueue because it has an event-driven architecture. Therefore, Node.js has its EventLoop — an endless loop that simultaneously receives and handles requests, saving up computation power. If you think about the safety and security issues thoroughly while building the system, you should think through a secured design. For sure, no programming language is unhackable, nor does any come without a single security vulnerability. But you can build a system that is potentially immune to the most aggressive security attacks. Also, PHP quirks, such as inconsistent functions or return values, are more comfortable to learn and master than JavaScript and Node.js peculiarities.

New technologies and tools come up regularly, due to which app programmers and developers have to face the dilemma. They get confused between the long term and mature solutions & the new upcoming ones.

php vs node.js

On the other hand, Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment that executes JavaScript code beyond the boundaries of a web browser. And since then there was no going back for this language. A survey by W3Tech shows that almost 79% of the websites in their data are developed using PHP. Also, the ever-increasing popularity of content management systems like Drupal, WordPress, Shopify and WooCommerce portraits how PHP has covered the backend under its wings. While developing a basic project, processing or executing speed is mostly insignificant; most technologies are swift enough to handle the execution.

PHP is usually used in collaboration with relational and traditional databases such as MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and MySQL. While you can use NoSQL database systems with PHP, these options aren’t very popular, and the processing time is both strenuous and extremely time-consuming. For Node.js the deployment of frameworks and applications seems a lot more complicated. On the flip side, it executes more smoothly and rapidly as it ensures low server workloads. Both operate differently in several aspects when it comes to Backend development.

  • However, there are a few particular databases that suit them best and reduce the threat of possible attacks while functioning within the same application.
  • Javascript now has the ability to do things that other scripting languages like Python can do.
  • Due to the V8 engine, asynchronous execution, and real-time server interaction, Node.js offers a better execution speed and certainly outperforms PHP.
  • This is why it’s so difficult to choose the right software and why Node.js vs. PHP is a worthy argument for any team of developers.
  • It allows users to declare the libraries on which the project depends and it will manage (install/update) them for user.

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