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Quick Summary: Node.js vs PHP: Which is one to choose and when?
This is a common conundrum faced by clients as well as developer teams when they start building a web application. While PHP is one of the most popular web development technologies, powering more than 60% of websites, Node.js is fast emerging as the go-to technology amongst the developers. While selecting the best technology for a web project, you might have a few questions like what are the best features of PHP and Node.js? Which technology fares well on different important criteria? Through this blog, we try to answer these questions to help you select the best technology according to your project.
Node.js and PHP are two of the most popular backend technologies that power web applications today. When you start a web application project, the most common question is whether to go for PHP or Node.js. While PHP is the older technology, Node.js is relatively new. Both have their unique strengths and weaknesses.
Based on the type of website to be built, selecting the best tech stack is a knack where the expertise of a web development company comes in handy. Having a basic knowledge of the pros and cons of each technology and comparing Node.js and PHP head-to-head can aid in selecting the most suitable technology for your project. In this blog, we will help you choose between PHP and Node.js.
To decide which one is better between Nodejs and PHP, we will have a look at how each technology fares on different parameters.
Whether the remote developers love to code in a particular language depends a lot on the syntax of the language. A well-thought-out syntax will be simpler to learn and will require less code to execute a program.
As compared to PHP, the dedicated Node.js developers are required to write way more code lines in Node.js. Hence in the battle of coding parameters difference between NodeJS vs PHP, PHP is the clear winner.
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Verdict:- PHP wins
It is important to look at Node.js vs PHP performance, as no user likes an application that is slow to execute. It negatively affects the user experience and, in turn, the success of the project.
The execution speed of a Node.js program is better than that of a PHP program. How? Because in Node.js, the code is executed in an asynchronous manner, while in PHP programming, the code is executed in a synchronous manner. This provides the answer to the question “is node js faster than PHP?”.
With synchronous code, the code is executed line by line. The disadvantage of synchronous code execution is that it is not possible to execute simultaneous code lines. This slows down the process as no line of code will be processed before the previous line has been successfully executed.
An asynchronous way of code execution based on events that allow for simultaneous code execution without waiting for previous lines.
The Node.js event-driven model improves the performance of the web application making the execution of a Node.js application way faster than that of a PHP one.
The asynchronous nature gives Node.js a competitive edge over PHP as it helps improve the user experience and reduce downtime. Thus in the PHP vs. Node.js performance battle, Node.js emerges as the clear winner.
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Verdict:- Node.js is the winner
Database plays a vital role in deciding whether to opt for Node.js or PHP. In order to function properly, the code should be able to hook up with the correct database type, either conventional or relational.
The difference between conventional and relational databases is that while conventional databases store data hierarchically, relational databases save data using tables. The way they store the data makes it easy for relational databases to detect relationships. Apart from conventional and relational databases, there is NoSQL databases that store data in the form of documents, graphs, and key pairs, to name a few.
Node.js supports NoSQL, conventional and relational databases. Node.js works well even with complex ones like graph databases. PHP supports conventional and relational databases, but working with NoSQL is very difficult. This is because setting up NoSQL with PHP is a tedious and complicated process.
Verdict:- Node.js wins
Another aspect that acts as a crucial determinant in deciding the technology to opt for web app development requirement is the support of the community behind it. A community contributes towards building the libraries and frameworks to keep the technology relevant and provide a competitive edge over other technologies.
A loyal and supportive community creates discussions on GitHub and other tech portals to help the remote developers easily resolve the issues that come up during the web development process.
PHP is a much older technology as compared to Node.js, and this fact provides PHP with an advantage in terms of the community size. PHP has a much larger community than Node.js, and in the PHP vs Nodejs comparison for community, PHP emerges as the clear winner here.
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Verdict:- PHP is the winner
The technology you choose determines the level of access that you will gain using different hosting providers. The website development costs, speed, security, and expenses will depend on the hosting provider that you select.
WordPress works on PHP, and it powers more than 455 million websites all over the world. Due to the large number of websites that it powers, PHP is compatible with a wide range of hosting providers.
Verdict:- PHP is better
Frameworks help the dedicated developers to finish a project quickly because it enables efficient use of the most commonly required code that is provided with libraries, APIs, and functions. The more extensive the framework, the less will be the amount of redundant code that the programmers will need to write.
Node.js has seen a massive expansion in the number of libraries with the rise of frameworks like Sails, Express, and Meteor. In spite of the massive growth in the number of frameworks in Node.js, the number is still small as compared to the frameworks supported by PHP.
The point to note here is that although PHP has a large number of frameworks, one needs to select the correct framework according to the type of project. A major issue with a lot of PHP frameworks is that they mix code with content.
Node.js was built at a time when creating a demarcation between code and content became the norm. The consistency is maintained across most of the frameworks built for Node.js.
This feature of Node.js helps one to keep the code organized and interpretable and gives Node.js an edge in the Node.js vs PHP competition.
In the PHP vs Node.js battle for frameworks, Node.js will prove to be a better choice in case the project requires the developers to use a lot of frameworks.
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Verdict:- Node.js is better
Now that we know a few pros and cons of PHP and Node.js technology, let’s have a look at their various use cases.
We have covered the major aspects of both technologies that can help you have a clear idea about the difference between PHP and Node.js.
The project’s specific requirements and the expertise level of the developers will play a major role in deciding which among PHP or Node.js is opted for website development. Before you choose any technology, ensure to do complete research on your project.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to website development for entrepreneurs to help make more informed decisions for custom web development. Prismetric has more than a decade of experience in delivering a wide range of projects. Our team would be glad to help select the most appropriate technology according to your specific needs, connect with us now.