PHP is the famous backend language, where Node.js is the new entrant comparatively and known for powering range of applications. Both are the reputed backend languages. The PHP community has been there for a long for both complex and simple projects, but Node.js came forward with being used for powerful latest projects. Node.js offers solutions for the latest projects and more relevant fixes. This is why Node.js development services have taken an advantage of strong user base.

Both technologies have taken entry at different point of time and the industry environments. There are many similar projects they both have been working upon. There are few undeniable similarities between both languages, whereas both are made to support backend and both are available open-source, and free to start with.

Alongside, both languages are working on delivering the best to developers and offering the real world solutions. The enterprises working with the PHP based solutions prefer to use PHP for their new projects. On the other hand, Node.js developers prefer node for the capability of handling real -world problems and powerful libraries.

Amidst the intertwining features and number of differences, choosing any of two technologies over others gives a clear impact upon the final delivery, resource availability, budget and performance of products. For determining what is better for you need a proper comparison between both.

Let’s understand the proper comparison and choose, what works best for your web development services:

Comparison between PHP and Node.js

PHP and Node.js are known as competitors, whereas they both are used for the same purpose that is server-side development. This below table will describe some of the differences between them based on diverse parameters.

PHP

  • PHP is the most credible Server-side scripting technology
  • PHP is the server-side scripting language used for web development services
  • PHP founded in 1995 and has a large community
  • It has synchronous architecture and performs well with the centralized server
  • Built-in libraries and functions for ecommerce and CMS development
  • Many Major platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr, Wikipedia developed on PHP

Node.js

  • Node.js is Best for web applications
  • Node.js came to market in 2009
  • Node.js provides runtime environment used for web development services
  • Node.js is handy for tackling real-world issues of programmers
  • It has an asynchronous architecture for optimum speed and efficiency
  • Node.js is famous for major platforms such as Netflix, Medium, Linkedin, etc

Node.js vs PHP: A Detailed Comparison

There are several criteria, which can be the ground of comparison for both technologies. Let’s take a look at both:

1. Simplicity

Here we will compare the PHP and Node.js based on “simplicity” and will get to know which language is best to justify this criteria. It will help the companies and developers community a lot to take decision easily.

PHP

PHP is an acronym for the preprocessed hypertext language. It is created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf. The language is designed especially for web development. The language scripts are given extensions of .PHP, which may contain Js, CSS, and HTML.

Node.js

It is a reliable open-source server side JS run time environment. Node.js is built on Chrome’s JS engine (V8). Node.js is favored for scalable and fast-performing applications. It is a non-blocking Input/output model which makes Node fast. The files are given a .js extension and can contain JavaScript commands. Users can be built an entirely JS-based application with Node.js, limiting you to hire node js developers without any overhead for knowledge of any other language.

Verdict

PHP is an older language and gives flexibility for HTML, JS, and CSS commands. Whereas Node is relatable to relevant requirements and trending single-page apps.

2. Syntax

Here we will compare the PHP and Node.js based on “simplicity” and will get to know which language is best to justify this criteria. It will help the companies and developers community a lot to take decision easily.

PHP

It is a server side scripting language. Access to CLI (command line interface) is possible through:

$PHP –i

Printing hello world in PHP

Echo “Hello world”;

Node.js

Node run time environment can access CLI using

$node

Printing hello world in Node.js

Console.log(‘Hello World’);

Verdict

PHP has its own syntax, whereas Node.js uses JavaScript syntax.

3. Architecture

Here we will compare the PHP and Node.js based on “Architecture” and will get to know which language is best to justify this criteria. It will help the companies and developers community a lot to take decision easily.

PHP

PHP has synchronous architecture, where the code executes sequentially. PHP development services have synchronous performance, but it has some APIs as well that work asynchronously. The synchronous code causes a latency of operations. If one line of code has some complex operations and takes time. Then the next available code has to wait for the first to complete.

Node.js

Node.js follows asynchronous behavior, where the JS engine goes through the code in a single stretch. It does not wait for the line of code to finish the processing. This makes Node.js faster in execution.

Verdict

PHP program can be stuck at some point of chained functions. Data dependency of functions is solved with Node.

4. Context Switches

Here we will compare the PHP and Node.js based on “Context Switches” and will get to know which language is best to justify this criteria. It will help the companies and developers community a lot to take decision easily.

PHP

PHP is the part of the Lamp stack. Writing the code in the backend requires PHP, where the programmer needs to switch between different languages. Sometimes the switch between languages decreases the efficiency of the programmer.

Node.js

Node.js works in the JE environment. Programmers develop the code in JavaScript, which eliminates the need for switching. Both server and client-side are code in JS. This way MEAN stack is better.

Verdict

Developers working on PHP are proficient with it. Node.js is handy for relieving developers from switching between different contexts.

Read Also: Why People Still Preferring PHP Websites in 2021?

5. Modules

Here we will compare the PHP and Node.js based on “Modules” and will get to know which language is best to justify this criteria. It will help the companies and developers community a lot to take decision easily.

PHP

PHP offers module installation technology, PEAR, and Composer. PEAR is the distribution system for PHP components. Composer is a dependency management tool in PHP. Users can declare the usable libraries, which are then managed by the user.

Node.js

Node.js is available bundled under the Node Package Manager. The registry is easy to publish and use.

Verdict

PHP allows the user to decide which libraries; they will need, whereas NodeJS is bundled under NPM. Both come with pros for developers.

6. Frameworks

Here we will compare the PHP and Node.js based on “Frameworks” and will get to know which language is best to justify this criteria. It will help the companies and developers community a lot to take decision easily.

PHP

PHP is a popular and mature language. It is available with many capable frameworks such as Zend, Laravel, CakePHP, and many more. The frameworks are best for robust, agile, and secure web application development.

Laravel

// Composer must be already installed on system

// run below code on terminal for installing Laravel

composer global require “laravel/installer”

// create a folder called PHP_project with Laravel installed

laravel new PHP_project

Node.js

NodeJS development services are rising with the new frameworks for relevant needs. There is a number of frameworks available such as Express, Meteor, etc. for web development companies. There are other frameworks too such as koa.js, sails.js, and total.js.

Express

//Give below command to install ExpressJS

npm install express –save

// Web server created with Express framework. Next write below code in newproject.js

var express= require (‘express’);

var app = express();

express.listen(‘3000’, function((){

console.log(‘ New project demo server’)

});

7. Database

Here we will compare the PHP and Node.js based on “Database” and will get to know which language is best to justify this criteria. It will help the companies and developers community a lot to take decision easily.

PHP

Web development services using PHP allow the use of conventional relational databases such as MySQL. Postgre SQL and Maria DB. You can still utilize NoSql databases while coding, but still, it is not popular. The traditional databases are riskier and prone to cross-site scripting and SQL injection attack.

Node.js

NodeJS is popularly used with the NoSql databases. There are popular NoSql databases such as MongoDB, graph data system Neo4j, and Couch DB.

Verdict

Talking about NoSql databases, they are designed in such a way to resist such SQL injection attacks. Try to prefer NoSql over SQL database.

8. Web Servers

Here we will compare the PHP and Node.js based on “Web Servers” and will get to know which language is best to justify this criteria. It will help the companies and developers community a lot to take decision easily.

PHP

For previous versions of PHP, lamp and Xampp servers were set up. For PHP versions after 5.4, PHP is a release with an in-built development server. PHP web servers help in app development and cannot be considered full-fledged servers.

Example:

//Starting PHP server

$ PHP –S localhost:8000

//Index file source code

<?

PHP echo ‘Hello! This is new PHP project.’

?>

Node.js

Node.js is built for network apps. The framework is shipped with code modules such as DNS, HTTP, and file systems used by NodeJS development companies for customized web server development. The popular frameworks of Node.js such as Koa.js, Sails.js, and Express.js can be installed and set up with just 4 lines of code. Node.js servers can be configured high and monitored.

Example:

//Starting Node.js server
$node app.js

//app.js file source code
var http
= require(‘http’);
http.createServer(function(req, res) {
res.writeHead(200, { ‘Content-Type’ : ‘text/plain’ });
res.end(‘Hello world\n’);
})
.listen(8080, ‘127.0.0.1’);
console.log(‘New project Server running at http://127.0.0.1:8080/’);

9. Application domain

Here we will compare the PHP and Node.js based on “Application domain” and will get to know which language is best to justify this criteria. It will help the companies and developers community a lot to take decision easily.

PHP

PHP is used in developing CPU-intensive apps and other apps that demand high computational power. Web Development Companies use Lamp stack with this language while API development. PHP supports many powerful content management systems such as Drupal, WordPress; woo commerce, which makes it possible to create blogs, websites, and others.

Node.js

Node.js is best for the development of scalable server-side apps. This is possible with the non-blocking I/O model and event-driven capabilities. Node.js is used in real-time apps such as chat, video streaming apps, and blogs. Also, SPAs are popular with Node.js.

Verdict

For interactive applications, Node.js is the best to deal to go for, whereas PHP is best for apps that do not require continuous client-server interaction.

Read Also: Reasons To Choose NodeJS for Web App Development

10. Length of code

Here we will compare the PHP and Node.js based on “Length of code” and will get to know which language is best to justify this criteria. It will help the companies and developers community a lot to take decision easily.

PHP

PHP has been there for a long in the market and the language has grown over the years. Prima facie, PHP is good for crisp-concise code, but for that, you need to hire PHP developers who are fluent in handling the operators and generators in Lamp stack (Linux, Apache server, My SQL, PHP).

Node.js

Node.js needs to code longer and if the syntax is easy and well-engineered with your NodeJS development service, you’ll be able to do more with less code. Node.js developers don’t need to remember the code for different languages. All code is available in JavaScript, which may require longer lines of code but lesser overhead.

Verdict

Both are easy to learn, but Node.js is easier to execute owing to its support for a single programming language. Node.js wins the battle for the easiness of code, and PHP wins for the conciseness of code.

11. Client-side coding

Here we will compare the PHP and Node.js based on “Client-side coding” and will get to know which language is best to justify this criteria. It will help the companies and developers community a lot to take decision easily.

PHP

PHP development companies use PHP to handle the dynamic web pages. Several functions are needed for UX elements are available within PHP inherently. PHP is dependent on the HTML syntax, which loads easily and reduces the stress on client device processing. It opens the connection on a specific request and then closes the connection on the code level.

Node.js

Node development environment gives the benefit of importing the backend logic for server code. It is easy to access the features of both ends. Node.js shifts the majority of workload to clients, which is a handy feature for smartphones with limited processing speed. Node.js uses the Ajax engine to create the web page on client requests, which need it to stay connected to the server consistently.

Verdict

PHP and Node.js both fit on different use cases. If your customer has low powered devices and needs fewer client requests, PHP is good to go. For dynamic web pages and single page web apps Node.js works really well.

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12. Speed

Here we will compare the PHP and Node.js based on “Speed” and will get to know which language is best to justify this criteria. It will help the companies and developers community a lot to take decision easily.

PHP

PHP is again mentioned, synchronous language. Here, programmer lines up the code in such a way that delays the code. The consequential code executed regardless of pervious code result.

Node.js

It is among the fastest framework for development here the code is executed asynchronously, so there is need to wait for resources to get free. The code on the next line executes without finishing previous one. This increases the speed, that’s why Node.js development services are preferred.

Verdict

Node.js clearly wins the race with speedy development.

13. Request handling

Here we will compare the PHP and Node.js based on “Request handling” and will get to know which language is best to justify this criteria. It will help the companies and developers community a lot to take decision easily.

PHP

PHP expertly handles one request at a time. Naturally, PHP consumes resources efficiently on RAM. The single request handling at a time prevents the cross contamination, but can also create delay in handling multiple requests.

Node.js

Node.js handles the request asynchronously. The system handles the request collectively, where the RAM time is not wasted. NodeJS development companies prefer node for speed and quick execution, where though speed is faster but if any error is not handled properly, it could cause whole system to crash.

Verdict

Node executes more requests at a time, but you need to be guard against faulty error handling execution. For leveraging the asynchronous functionality, you can utilize the libraries. 

14. Community support

Here we will compare the PHP and Node.js based on “Community support” and will get to know which language is best to justify this criteria. It will help the companies and developers community a lot to take decision easily.

PHP

PHP development companies rely on PHP because it is older and has a large community support. The strong community behind any language ensure, which update needs to be released for different framework, project and libraries. PHP has large community and there are myriad projects they are having under the belt. When companies hire PHP developers or a team, they get the support of huge PHP community.  But now PHP fever is fading and the community is feeling the need to come up with some unique projects.

Node.js

NodeJS projects are registered on npmjs.com. Node.js is at toddler stage currently and communities who support NodeJS development services are fewer. Still the projects by Node community are entirely relevant to current needs. The appreciable thing is that many projects of NodeJS are focusing on adding some unique functions to Node.js, which are otherwise conventionally rendered in libraries for utilizing the power of other languages.

Verdict

PHP is the ground for many businesses, and node is becoming famous with a lot of achievement by various NodeJS development companies. Therefore, both make a perfect tie.

Reasons to choose Node.js?

Node.js can provide the optimal efficiency for web development services with the following features:

Development efficiency: For single page applications Express.js, Angular, or MongoDB are used. Node is used in coordination with the stack for easy development and performance.

High speed: Node js web applications perform better with the consistent request to the server. The asynchronous architecture is great for any project needing speed.

Real-time data: If your project requires real-time data transfer, it is recommended to hire NodeJS developers. Node.js is perfect for real-time data functionality.

Famous Platforms: Netflix, Medium, And LinkedIn

Reasons to choose PHP?

PHP is the most coveted technology if your requirement is for the following properties:

Centralized server: PHP development services are best to choose, if you require a centralized server for your web app

Portable: PHP offers great flexibility to port on the number of servers. You can port on any server which has IIS, apache, and other database support. If you are using any content management system, such as WordPress or Joomla, you can have your website running in no time

Famous Platforms: MailChimp, Wikipedia, and Tumblr

Limitations

Both technologies work amazingly, but still, they have individual limitations:

Node.js

Not perfect for CPU-intensive apps: For web apps with heavy graphics and high CPU usage, Node.js is not perfect. Single thread handling all requests makes it tough for memory-consuming tasks. One failed request can affect other requests.

Lack of quality: Many frameworks of Node.js are developed by the Node community, where each one of those is not perfect for different types of NodeJS development services.

PHP

Mediocre error handling: There are in-built error handling tools, but still expert developers are not happy with the error handling abilities of PHP. PHP lacks in highlighting, filtering and, managing errors.

Sync execution: PHP executes the module sequentially. The separation of each process is good for security but makes performance sluggish. Also, it severely impacts the performance given by PHP development services.

Conclusion

Node.js and PHP both are reliable for different kinds of apps. Node.js is comparatively newer and relevant to the current needs, whereas PHP is perfect with the apps not requiring consistent interaction with the server. Moreover, languages also differ in both. Choosing the best could be a stupid act.

In fact, both are equally powerful and depend upon the discretion of the app developer. Any technology outshines the efforts of the community. Therefore, whether you hire PHP developers or NodeJS developers, look for mastery over tools and functionalities. The expertise of developers compensates for the drawbacks of technology.

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