PHP vs Node.JS: The War of Server-side Scripting

Both PHP and Node.js can manage web applications of any complexity, but they are built with different architectures and concepts. If you want to develop an app for your company and are confused between these two environments, you should be well aware of the major limitations or advantages.

PHP is one of the most used back-end programming languages for creating websites and web applications. Node.JS is not a script but an environment for working in the back-end which is written in javascript. However, it is possible to create codes for the back-end in javascript with the help of Node.JS.

Since last few years, both the platforms have continued to improve and expand. Moreover, Node.JS developers can now choose from various other javascript development frameworks like React.JS, Angular.JS, Meteor, and much more.

In this post, we are going to make a brief comparison between PHP and Node.JS.

Stay Informed: PHP Vs ASP.NET

What is PHP?

PHP is a server-side scripting language which is the most popular choice for web developers after it released in 1995. These days majority number of websites are running on PHP, because of the popularity of choice of language for content management systems(CMS) like Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla and also for modern development frameworks like Symfony, Laravel, and CakePHP which has accelerated the development with PHP.

What is Node.JS?

Javascript is a programming language which typically runs on every web browser and makes the webpage interactive and dynamic. However, since the release of Node.JS in 2009, it is now possible to do asynchronous coding with javascript in the back-end. Node.JS is a runtime and development environment with a number of frameworks available that run on top of it.

Major Differences: PHP vs Node.JS

Both PHP and Node.JS are a server-side programming language. Here are the major differences between PHP and Node.JS:

Runtime Environments: Both PHP and javascript can be embedded into HTML directly. For that, both need an interpreter for running it. PHP is simple and straightforward to install and use on server-side and it is powered by Zend Engine. On the other hand, Node.JS is the running environment of javascript on the server-side which is powered by V8 javascript engine of Google.

Concurrency: PHP uses multi-threaded, blocking I/O for carrying out multiple tasks in parallel like other server-side programming languages. Javascript is unique as it uses various techniques to achieve event-driven,non-blocking I/O execution model which uses a single thread for execution. However, PHP is a mature language and has found its way to achieving asynchronous process most notably by using HVVM project launched by Facebook.

JSON: JSON is a very lightweight data format which gives an edge to Node.JS over PHP in handling JSON files. While JSON can work with PHP, but it’s more situational.

Simplicity: All the concepts of PHP are much simpler to use than Node.JS. While setting up the server all you need is a “.PHP” file with some code contained in the tags, enter the URL into the browser, and you are done. At the back, there is a web server like MySQL with PHP installed is easily able to interpret the file and display that web page in the browser. Setting up the Node.JS server is not difficult but it mostly requires few lines of codes and a basic understanding of how callback functions and closures work.

PHP vs Node.JS: Comparison of Different Parameters

When to use PHP or Node.JS

Both these are server-side technologies, but Node.JS provides a benefit of working on a javascript stack for both front and back-end. If you are trying to choose between these two server-side technologies. Here are mentioned below for the same.

When to use PHP:

– For software stacks like WAMP, MAMP, and LAMP.
– For content management systems like Drupal, WordPress, Joomla etc.
– For servers like SQL, MySQL, Oracle etc.



When to use Node.JS:

– Single page dynamic web applications (SPAs).
– Using with software stacks like MEAN stack.
– Using server-side technologies like Express.js, Node.JS, MongoDB, etc.
– Using with front-end technologies like Angular.JS, jQuery, React.JS etc.



Both these programming languages are good and it finally comes to the decision of the businesses on which platform they want to develop their website. If you want a good database integration than PHP is an ideal choice for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for designing interactive user interfaces than you should go for Node.JS. Therefore, it ultimately comes down to businesses preference and requirements of their project.

If you need any assistance related to PHP web development or Node.JS web development, feel free to contact PixelCrayons: a leading web app development company in India.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *