PHP Vs Node.JS: A Detailed Comparison For Your Backend Development

Pramesh Jain
~ 19 min read
PHP vs Node.JS

Summary: The B2B and B2C businesses got a new boost-up with web applications & solutions. eCommerce, online shopping, and same-day-delivery concepts added more support to the ever-growing software market. The so-called expansion called upon new and stable technological stacks. Growing user adaptability brought in great front-end and back-end developments. JavaScript, React, Python, Angular, NodeJS, Ruby, .Net, & more. The most popular among the developer’s community is PHP and NodeJS- Javascript Universe. Both these web technologies are famous because of their extensive growth over the years. And thus, the developers, too, are debating which one’s the best for successful web app development. Let’s dive into head-to-head comparison of PHP VS Node.JS in 2023. 

Over the years, the web has evolved into never-ending universe. Firstly, it was just about creating websites and web pages. But now, with user engagement, businesses are after modern complexities like photo/video integrations, chatbots, and more. 

The user is unaware that the interplay of browsers and web technologies makes seamless online experience possible. The web we can witness today is because of the rigorous efforts of an open community of developers who have tested every known tech in designing & developing a web application.

Now, without further due, let’s talk about the best backend technologies running for web applications. 

Nodejs and PHP are the two renowned heroes of web apps. Thus, both the backend developments have made the ‘relevant web’ concept accessible to the whole development community.

Scripts are written in JavaScript using Node.js, free, cross-platform runtime environment for backend and frontend development. PHP is a server-side scripting language that is free, open-source tech advancement. One of the all-time most well-liked and widely used technologies. 

So, which of them is better? And how to choose the best out of the two for your server-side development? Let’s find out!

An Overview of PHP VS Node.JS Backend Development

Obviously! We are going to start with a brief introduction to both advancements. Afterward, we will also discuss its features and other advantages and disadvantages of the server-side frameworks.

What is PHP?

The origin of PHP lies back in 1993. It was created by Danish- Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf and was released in 1995. The Hypertext Processor has efficiently delivered some great server-side tech giants like Wikipedia, Tumblr, and Facebook. 

According to W3Tech, 77.8% of websites use JavaScript development for data. It has also expanded towards CMS (Content Management Systems) such as Shopify, WordPress, and WooCommerce.

Global PHP Statistics 2023

Since 1995, web advancement has come a long way. PHP is now able to do anything related to server-side scripting. For example, it receives data from forms, sends emails, works with databases, creates sessions, etc. The popular Javascript runs seamlessly on Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, etc. 

Recently, PHP has been executed on the server side by an interpreter- Zend Engine that keeps the coding intact and secure. In addition, it only allows the original code to receive scripts being processed on the client side. Executing other code lines is impossible until the previous results have come through.

Thus, if you hire a PHP developer for PHP development services, you are bound to receive the benefits listed below.

Benefits of PHP App Development

There are many renowned advantages of PHP development. Our experts at WebMob Technologies have listed some of the major benefits of developing a Javascript application for your business.

#1 Multiple database selection

PHP allows multiple database connections. MySQL is the most common choice as it is free, effective, and popular among developers. PHP is also compatible with MySQL, MS-SQL, SQLite, etc. Besides, PHP is used seamlessly with Redis, MongoDB, and other non-relational databases. Thus, the developers get more options for making an optimal future app with relevant factor inclusions.

#2 Fast page loading speed

PHP is three times faster than Python. Page loading is an important SEO ranking factor that helps promote a website bringing competitive advantages. Furthermore, a higher application speeds up the page, giving a rich customer experience. It also helps retain the clientele base.   

#3 Large community of specialists

The ever-growing popularity of PHP brought in numerous communities of developers. The larger the number of communities, the easier it gets to debug a real-time issue. It also helps reduce development costs and learn and implement new versions faster. The language is even more accessible in the world with the involvement of specialists.

#4 Robust codebase

PHP’s extensive and stable codebase includes popular web development stacks and platforms. Additionally, it is so easy to use that even someone who is not tech-savvy can use it.

Many other types of solutions, including content management systems and incredible frameworks like Symfony and Laravel, have a vast codebase in PHP. For instance, WordPress, a content management system based on PHP, allows for the quick setup of blogs.

#5 Flexibility

PHP’s flexibility allows it to work well with many other programming languages, enabling the software product to use the most appropriate technology for each feature. 

Furthermore, PHP is a cross-platform language, allowing developers to code on any major operating system, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. Such adaptability speeds up and lowers the cost of the development process significantly. 

What is NodeJS?

Programming language is a tree with a lot of different fruits on it. One of the most ripped fruits of it is NodeJS. 

The cross-platform, open-source server environment runs flawlessly on Windows, Linux, Unix, macOS, and more. It is known to facilitate a backend JavaScript runtime environment with a V8 engine. NdeJS places a JavaScript code outside a web browser.

The tech advancement consists of the event-driven architecture of asynchronous I/O. And so, such a design aims at optimizing throughput and scalability in web applications. 

Besides, its incredible support for JSON is something else to consider. JSON is used when data is transmitted from the server to the web page. You can communicate with NoSQL databases using it. Many famous online ventures use Node.JS development services like Microsoft, LinkedIn, and PayPal. 

Furthermore, the tech stack is majorly used for building real-time applications, serverless architecture development, and microservices.

Global NodeJS Statistics 2023

Benefits of Node.JS App Development

Hire a Nodejs developer to avail seamless Node.JS development services and these advantages for your online venture. Let’s dive into the advantages of Node.JS development.

#1 Easy to understand & learn

JavaScript has been the most popular and used programming language over the years. So, people already know about its features-functionalities. Hence, it became easy for front-end developers to understand and learn NodeJS. 

#2 Server-based architecture

Node.js allows the application to function and execute operations even when the preceding action hasn’t finished because of input/output bottlenecks. It is widely known as a Non-blocking input/output operations strategy.

#3 Multiple request management

Using an event queue NodeJS enables to development of non-blocking I/O Javascript apps. It allows building highly scalable server applications with JS asynchrony to maximize the server’s CPU and memory, handling more requests simultaneously than multithreaded servers. 

When comparing PHP to NodeJS, Node.js is an asynchronous, event-driven, and non-blocking programming language, while PHP is synchronous. Therefore, Node.js is a faster solution than PHP for accelerating development.

#4 Seamless JSON support

Compared to other technologies like PHP and Ruby on Rails uses JSON format for communication, Nodejs does it without converting binary models & uses JS. It is extensively used when developing RESTful APIs for NoSQL database support like MongoDB in the MEAN stack.

#5 App scalability

Being asynchronous and non-blocking, NodeJS helps speed up application development and allows multiple requests simultaneously. It is the primary technology used to create SPAs & data-driven apps.

NodeJS VS PHP: The Ultimate Comparision

Which tech stack to use? PHP or Nodejs for backend development? Herein, we have answered it all for you.

According to the customized search from our app developers, we have compared the usability of the tech advancements in the past two years, i.e. 2021-2023. And as can be seen, PHP has a significant upscale over NodeJS. So, worldwide, PHP has an increasing usability trend than the latter.

NodeJS VS PHP: The Ultimate Comparison

Now, let’s look into some more parameters of PHP VS Node.JS to accurately find out the best option for your app development ideas.

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Nodejs VS PHP: Performance

PHP is an older technology with synchronous code execution. It does not allow any other functionalities to perform until the completion of all execution. Thus, resulting in delayed loading and no concurrency.

Next, NodeJS is asynchronous, and the JavaScript V8 engine helps in quick execution and startup time. Furthermore, it facilitates an event queue of requests that helps in non-blocking other functionalities resulting in a high-performing application.

Winning advancement: Both are the winners. But, if you think of a highly performative application, you should vouch for NodeJS.

Node.js VS PHP: Coding 

PHP, the popular JS, requires developing skills and apt knowledge & understanding of operators & generators. Thus, the crux of developing a stable code for your PHP application is Linux, Apache HTTP Server, MySQL, & PHP. 

Node.js VS PHP: Coding

On the contrary, NodeJS requires more coding lines to execute the same tasks as PHP. But. on the brighter side, one does not have to memorize different syntax while coding, as the development environment uses JavaScript.

Yes, it requires a bit lengthier coding, but it only works with one language making a developer’s world easier.

Winning advancement: Both languages are easy to learn, but the winner undoubtedly is NodeJS. 

Nodejs VS PHP: Functionality

PHP belongs to the LAMP Stack. To construct and manage a PHP-based project, a developer should have a solid understanding of various technologies in addition to CSS and HTML.

Of course, the potential of working with multiple technologies makes the learning curve more challenging. The developers of PHP are always coming up with new features and suggestions to enhance its capabilities and functionality, despite the challenges listed above.

Nodejs significantly allows the creation of flawless backend models (MySQL database, Apache or Nginx reverse proxy, and Express.js HTTP framework.)

Additionally, JavaScript is a full-stack development language that can be used to build an entire online or mobile application.

Winning advancement: It can be deemed a draw. A bonus point is added to Node.js for the potent NPM add-on feature. Both, however, have comparable functionaries outside of that.

Nodejs VS PHP: Ecosystem

The PHP advancement has a large community that does take care of all the operations in real-time. So, many websites all over the internet developed with technology. Furthermore, the community offers online tutorials and training to help new developers deploy their apps easily. 

Nodejs consists of libraries and frameworks that are quite behind the PHP ecosystem. Thus, it is used for server-side and backend development, which utilizes many projects.

Winning advancement: Nodejs is a modern web development trendsetter with various frameworks and modules. Thus, the PHP ecosystem is larger but does not stand the test of time regarding Nodejs, the JS runtime environment.

PHP VS Nodejs: Runtime Environment

Zend, an open-source scripting engine, powers PHP. It interprets PHP code easily.

Node.js uses Google’s V8 JavaScript engine as the most popular JS runtime environment in the cross-platform market.

Winning advancement: Since each technology has a unique runtime environment, we cannot declare one technology superior to the other in this Node JS vs PHP debate.

Nodejs VS PHP: Frameworks

Due to its popularity in the market for over two decades, PHP has a vast selection of pre-built frameworks and systems that can be used quickly and efficiently to develop applications.

These frameworks include Laravel, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Phalcon, and Symfony, with Laravel currently being the most widely used. Additionally, open-source PHP CMS platforms such as Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, and eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce and Magento can be utilized to create and launch web applications quickly.

In contrast, Node js has an abundance of libraries & frameworks. Express is a well-known Node framework that offers great flexibility but doesn’t come with any pre-built functionality. Hapi is similar to Express in terms of flexibility but lacks default functionality. 

Sails.js takes a different approach with its philosophy similar to Ruby on Rails. It simplifies the development of MVC apps by providing many default behaviors. Meteor, like Sails.js, simplifies configuring a backend MVC app but also includes a significant amount of front-end functionality, making it a full-stack framework. 

Lastly, a new framework, Next.js, specifically designed for React apps. It simplifies building a React app with server-side rendering and performance enhancements. Similarly, Nuxt.js is like Next.js but designed for Vue apps.

Winning advancement: Node.js is better if your project requires substantial framework usage.

PHP VS Nodejs: Database Management

PHP is known for using conventional database management systems like MySQL, MSQL, PostgreSQL, and others. MySQL is the most commonly used database for PHP websites. As noted earlier, it is a part of the open-source stack LAMP. Thus, MongoDB has also been used with PHP, a NoSQL database.

Nodejs consistently works with NoSQL databases like CouchDB & MongoDB. Due to its built-in JSON support, NoSQL databases are the preferred choice for most Node.js developers. MongoDB, the most widely used database, represents the “M” in the MEAN stack.

Winning advancement: Undoubtedly, Nodejs is the preferred choice as it can pull data from traditional, relational, or NoSQL databases.

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Node.js VS PHP: Modules

PHP has been around for a while. But, with the growing modernity of applications, there is a certain dissatisfaction with the quality of projects obtained. As a result, the developers are opting to shift to alternative platforms that offer similar features to PHP.

At times, fans of PHP express concerns that projects built using Node.js are not as reliable as those developed using PHP due to the lack of established quality control systems in the rapidly expanding Node.js community. 

To address this, the Node.js package registry introduced the npm-audit initiative as a precautionary measure. The approach allows developers to check for potentially harmful code in each package before using it.

Winning advancement: The PHP module library is currently larger. On the other side, Node.js is developing significantly in this area. As a result, Node.js is a close second to PHP as the best alternative. 

PHP VS Node.js: Request Handling

PHP only processes one request at a time. As a result, more CPU and RAM resources are needed. This option is at the other end of the spectrum, so every request is handled in isolation.

It prevents request errors from spreading but slows down the system with its request-handling function.

Node.JS is asynchronous, allowing more than one request at a time. With the multiple queue requests, the system does not have to wait for one process to complete before going on to the next. The only problem is that unresolved errors in one request could interfere with subsequent requests and cause a system-wide fault if not dealt with immediately.

Winning advancement: Nodejs carries out more processes with fewer resources and protects the system against slowness, and improves execution by handling errors flawlessly. 

Now, after the whole analysis, let’s answer the burning question. Which backend development is better? PHP or Nodejs?

Difference Between Node JS and PHP

FeaturesPHPNode js
Coding SpeedIt has a faster coding technique It needs more time to write & compiling code
PerformanceIt takes more time to execute code linesIt provides quick execution of code
CommunityLarger and highly experiencedSmaller, younger, yet ever-evolving community
PopularityUndoubtedly more popular than Node js. 77% of websites over the internet.1-2% of websites are all over the internet.
Frameworks & LibrariesIt has many frameworks and libraries that are slowly decliningNode js developers far outnamed PHP with its varied frameworks & libraries
Database ManagementSQL, NoSQL (hard to integrate) SQL, NoSQL, Graph
HostingEasily integrates into the LAMP stack and is compatible with many more providers.SmartOS, Nodejitsu, Heroku
Practical ApplicationeCommerce marketplace, integration with WordPress, Joomla Streaming Services, Instant Messengers, Online Education, Social Networks, Fintech Apps, Project Management Tools, Gaming Apps, Live Chats
ExecutionSequential processConcurrent process

Is Nodejs Better than PHP?

In this constantly evolving web development venture, people search for the best options to fulfill their project requirements. So, the winner could only be the one who meets a business’s current requirements. 

However, we are bound to give you an answer!

Nodejs is far better than PHP. Young tech advancement is growing with the changing time and new development needs. Currently, it provides faster execution with a vast choice of frameworks. 

PHP has its charm, but with innovations worldwide, it might take a back seat. So, we vouch for Node.js app development for a perfect web application development online.  

Nodejs VS PHP: The Conclusion

 To make such a choice is difficult! It is not feasible to state the best out of these two technologies, as it may come into consideration for projects as per individual requirements. But we can help you narrow down your decision.

Pen down your app development specification and compare how Nodejs and PHP work. Comparisons like these will help execute an optimistic project tech stack. Also, it would help if you considered your development team’s expertise. If they are better with PHP, you may have to opt for it or Nodejs, then go for it. 

Do you have any other queries? Still, confused about which tech stack is best for you? How to choose between Nodejs and PHP? Consult us with your idea and get a free quote with expert market insights & futuristic quotes.

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What are Node.js advantages and disadvantages?

Node.js Advantages: 

  • It can handle multiple functions and events in parallel, making it ideal for building custom solutions. 
  • Uses of JavaScript allows a single language throughout the application, including backend and front-end development. 
  • It is highly scalable through containerization or microservices, allowing for seamless architecture scalability. 
  • Its lightweight service calls result in faster performance than other technologies. 
  • It allows for the establishment of real-time client-server connections. It provides ease of working with JSON. 

Node.js Disadvantages:

  • It is a relatively new technology with a smaller community and fewer support resources than established technologies. 
  • It may not be suitable for managing large files. May not be ideal for web applications that require sophisticated graphics and a high CPU workload. 
  • Content Management Systems may not provide support for it. 

Overall, Node.js is a powerful technology with many advantages, but it may not be the best choice for every project, depending on the specific requirements and constraints.

2. What are PHP’s advantages and disadvantages?

PHP Advantages: 

  • It is supported by nearly all servers and platforms, making it highly versatile. It supports numerous CMSs, libraries, and frameworks. 
  • This is easy to set up and configure the development environment, and the process is easy. It is widely used, with approximately 80% of websites built with PHP. 
  • It has a strong community of developers contributing to the language’s growth and development. 
  • Easy to learn and quick to code, with a neat syntax. Many internet hosting service providers support it. 

PHP Disadvantages: 

  • It may not be capable of handling a large number of applications. Its processing can be slower than other technologies due to executing functions line by line. 
  • Backend development is its primary function.
  • It may be imperfect for debugging, with limited error-highlighting tools.

Like Node.js, PHP has its strengths and weaknesses and may not be the best fit for every project. Thus, its suitability will depend on the specific project requirements and constraints.

3. When to use Node js?

Node.js is a popular backend technology suitable for projects stated below:-

  • Development Efficiency: Node.js is commonly used with Express.js, Angular.js, or MongoDB to develop dynamic one-page applications. It provides seamless development and high-performing solution. 
  • Consistent Callback from Servers and High Speed: Node.js is perfect for web applications that need to send consistent requests to a server. Its asynchronous architecture enables non-blocking execution, making it ideal for projects that require high speed. 
  • Real-time Data: Node.js is also a good choice for projects that require real-time data functionality. Its top-notch data-transmission speed from the server to the client side makes it an excellent option for web projects that require real-time data. 

Brands like Medium, LinkedIn, and Netflix have used Node.js for quite some time due to their need for consistent and fast connections, real-time data, and ease of development. Overall, Node.js is an excellent choice for projects that require fast and scalable backend technology, especially those that require real-time data functionality. 

4. When to use PHP?

PHP is a popular backend programming language suitable for projects that require: 

  • No Scaling Requirements and a Centralized Server: PHP is an excellent choice if your project requires a particular centralized server for your web application that isn’t scaled across many servers. 
  • Portability: PHP provides excellent portability among servers, allowing you to easily move your web application to any server that has IIS, Apache, and any other database support features. And so, it is also easy to use with Content Management Systems such as Drupal, Joomla, or WordPress, allowing you to have your website ready to go in no time. 
  • Support for Countless CMSs, Libraries, and Frameworks: PHP has a vast ecosystem of libraries, frameworks, and CMSs, making it a great choice if you need to integrate your project with existing systems. 
  • Easy to Learn and Quick to Code: PHP has a simple and intuitive syntax that makes it easy to learn and quick to code, making it an excellent choice for small to medium-sized projects. 

Overall, PHP is an excellent choice for web applications that require a simple and scalable backend technology that is easy to learn and has a vast ecosystem of libraries and frameworks.

node.js vs phpphp vs node.js

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