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Node JS vs PHP: A Detailed Comparison for Your Backend Development

  • By Rohan Roy
  • September 19, 2022
  • 73 Views

As an event-driven, asynchronous JavaScript runtime, Node JS is designed to create scalable network applications. In the following “hello world” example, multiple concurrent connections are supported. On each connection, the callback is triggered, but Node JS will sleep if there is no work to be performed. This is in contrast to the prevalent concurrency model of today, which employs OS threads. Thread-based networking is relatively inefficient and cumbersome to employ. In addition, users of Node JS need not worry about deadlocking the process because there are no locks. Virtually no Node JS function performs I/O directly, so the process never blocks unless I/O is performed using synchronous methods of the Node JS standard library. Node JS makes the development of scalable systems very feasible because nothing blocks.

Node JS presents an event loop as a runtime structure as opposed to a library. Other systems always require a blocking call to initiate the event-loop. Typically, behaviour is defined with callbacks at the start of a script, and a server is started with a blocking call at the end. There is no equivalent start-the-event-loop call in Node JS. Node JS enters the event loop immediately after executing the input script. Node JS exits the event loop when no more callbacks are to be executed. This behaviour is similar to browser JavaScript in that the event loop is not visible to the user.

Node JS Advantages: Why use Node JS for Web Application Development:

  • Real-time Applications with High Performance
  • Simple Scalability for Contemporary Applications
  • Fullstack JS is budget-friendly.
  • Community Assistance to Facilitate Development
  • Simple to learn and rapidly adaptable
  • Aids in the Formation of Cross-Functional Teams
  • Increases App Performance and Reduces Response Time
  • Reduces your applications’ Time-to-Market
  • Adaptability to Meet Specialized Demands
  • Reduces loading time through rapid caching.
  • Aids in the Construction of Cross-Platform Applications
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Why Node JS?

Node JS is a cross-platform runtime environment based on the V8 open-source, high-performance JavaScript engine. Node JS employs an event-driven, non-blocking I/O paradigm in order to ensure exceptional performance. It has gained a great deal of popularity in Node JS development circles over the past few years.

Node JS excels at constructing fast, scalable network applications; it also offers performance benefits, faster development, and other advantages. Node JS is exceptionally quick for multi-user real-time data situations, which are crucial in light of the importance of processing and consuming real-time information in the present day. It comes as no surprise that many startups lean towards it.

Node JS is Most Appropriate For:

  • Web applications in real time
  • Streaming software programmes
  • Messaging apps
  • Chat software
  • Social media apps
  • Virtual emulators
  • Multiplayer video games
  • Collaboration equipment
  • API

How Does Node JS: Excellent for Startups So What Are the Actual Benefits of Using Node JS for a Startup?

Simple to Learn:

There is no steep learning curve for Node JS. Once you have mastered the fundamentals of JavaScript and Object-Oriented Programming, Node JS is easy to learn. It’s sufficient to begin. The most challenging aspects are understanding the client-server model and adapting to Node’s asynchronous flow. On GitHub, there are numerous interactive courses, tutorials, and examples that can make learning a truly enjoyable experience.

Maintaining Simplicity:

Before launching a product, entrepreneurs wear many hats and face numerous obstacles. Unsurprisingly, they wish to keep their lives as simple as possible. Consequently, as they transition to Node JS, they are able to share a single language on both the server and client sides without having to switch between back-end and front-end languages.

This means that Node JS applications require fewer files and less code than those written in different languages for the front-end and back-end. Additionally, you can reuse and share code between the front-end and back-end of your application, thereby accelerating the development process. One code, one deployment, one location for everything.

The ability to have a team of full-stack developers for both sides and reduce man-hour costs is especially valuable in the early stages of developing a product for a startup, as these benefits are especially valuable.

Faster Time-to-Market:

Time is invaluable for startups. In the first few months, they must work tirelessly to iterate quickly, test, deploy, and deliver as quickly as possible, despite having limited resources and small teams. Node JS is especially useful for shortening the time-to-market cycle.

First, the technology is lightweight and can drastically reduce the time required to develop an application with the same functionality. With Node, you can quickly transform an idea into a product. Secondly, dead simple deployments allow for immediate production environment feedback.

What Exactly is PHP?

Many developers use PHP, an open-source server-side scripting language, for web development. It is also a general-purpose programming language that can be used to create a variety of projects, such as graphical user interfaces (GUIs). Originally, the acronym PHP stood for Personal Homepage. However, it is now a recursive acronym representing Hypertext Preprocessor. (It is recursive in that the first word is an abbreviation, so the full meaning does not follow the abbreviation.)

In 1993, the first version of PHP was released. Version 8 will be released in November 2020, but version 7 is still the most popular.

PHP is powered by the Zend engine, the most prevalent implementation. There are additional implementations, such as parrot, HPVM (HipHop Virtual Machine), and Facebook’s Hip Hop.

PHP is primarily used to create web servers. It is capable of running in both the browser and the command line. If you do not wish to display the output of your code in the browser, you can display it in the terminal.

PHP’s Advantages Are:

  • PHP’s advantages have contributed to its popularity, and it has been the language of choice for web servers for more than 15 years. Here are some advantages of PHP:
  • Cross-Platform: PHP is independent of platforms. It operates on all platforms, including Mac, Windows, and Linux, so you don’t need a specific operating system to use it.
  • Open Source: PHP is an open source language. The source code is accessible to anyone who wishes to build upon it. This is one reason why Laravel, one of its frameworks, is so popular.
  • PHP is not difficult to master for absolute beginners. If you have programming experience, it’s not too difficult to learn.
  • PHP is compatible with all Databases: You can easily connect PHP to both relational and non-relational Databases. So that it can quickly connect to MySQL, Postgres, MongoDB, and other databases.
  • Community Supportive: PHP has a very supportive online community. The official documentation provides guides on how to use the features, so if you get stuck, you can easily find a solution.

Why use PHP?

Obviously, you are familiar with a variety of programming languages; you may wonder why we would choose PHP as our poison for web programming. Listed below are several compelling arguments:

  • PHP is free and open source.
  • Shorter learning curve than languages such as JSP, ASP, etc.
  • Large community document
  • PHP is supported by default on the majority of web hosting servers, unlike languages such as ASP that require IIS. This makes PHP an economical option.
  • PHP is frequently updated to reflect the most recent technological developments.
  • PHP is a server-side scripting language, so you only need to install it on the server. Client computers that request resources from the server do not require PHP; a web browser is sufficient.
  • PHP has inbuilt support for working with MySQL, but this does not preclude its use with other database management systems.

PHP is Most Appropriate For:

PHP is a general-purpose programming language, but its primary application is the creation of dynamic web pages. PHP is the best solution for blogs, learning management systems, and e-commerce websites due to the availability of PHP-based content management systems such as Moodle and WordPress.

Why is PHP so Beneficial to Startups?

PHP is Pervasive on the Internet:

Over 79 percent of active websites utilise PHP in some capacity. And many of them exclusively use PHP. Thus, PHP plays a significant role in the majority of modern web development projects, and the likelihood of its becoming obsolete is practically nil. This is a tremendous benefit for startups, as most would prefer not to run their businesses with the risk of utilising a technology that may not last.

PHP is supported by large and thriving communities of developers and companies, both of which are constantly developing new solutions and frameworks for the language. Working with PHP for a startup entails working within a vast ecosystem with a multitude of pre-built tools and solutions.

The top PHP Frameworks are Both Excellent and Free:

Since PHP has existed for so long, it is not surprising that it has developed its own ecosystem of extensive libraries and fantastic frameworks. These are utilised by companies of all sizes to undertake even the most complex projects, including startups. Why? Because they are open source, well-designed, and expedite and simplify PHP development. Perhaps the most well-known of them is Symfony. The majority of PHP developers consider it to be the most advanced and developed PHP framework available. In recent years, Symfony’s popularity has grown to the point where a number of renowned projects have adopted it as the primary component of their foundations. This is the case for Drupal, Mautic, Magento, Pimcore, and numerous others.

Here is Node JS vs PHP: A Detailed Comparison for Your Backend Development:

The Rate Of Coding:

What about the simplicity and velocity of coding? PHP is a faster option for many developers because it is simpler to use. Because there is no need for compilers or converters, a skilled PHP developer can write code in PHP significantly faster than in Node JS. The language permits a simple connection to the SQL database to be established without regard to hosting restrictions. However, there is a trade-off: PHP programmes are not particularly quick.

As for Node JS, deployment of applications and frameworks appears to be a more complex task; however, code written in a Node JS environment executes quickly and smoothly because it reduces server load. With Node JS, it is possible to maintain a website with a two-way connection and free data exchange, as well as gain access to the callbacks, which saves time when dealing with multiple threads.

Result: Coding in PHP can be advantageous when a quick solution is required. If you need a more efficient, complex, and long-lasting output, however, you should choose Node JS and spend more time writing and compiling your code.

Performance:

As stated previously, these technologies adhere to distinct request handling principles: PHP has a slower, synchronous code execution procedure, meaning that each module or function is executed in the order specified by the code. If a query is not executed, the subsequent query will not be executed until the first query is completed.

This is the procedure for opening a file in PHP:

PHP sends a query to the file system of the computer.

Waits until the requested file is opened and read by the file system.

Sends content back to the client.

Functions on the following request/code line.

Node JS has superior performance over PHP due to the V8 engine’s capabilities, real-time server interaction, and asynchronous execution (order-independent execution).

This is how Node JS handles a concurrent file request:

Node JS sends a query to the file system of the computer.

Performs the next request without waiting for the previous one to complete.

The server returns the file’s content to the client once the file system has opened and read the requested file.

Result: Does Node JS perform faster than PHP? Due to PHP’s slower loading process, Node JS is superior in terms of performance and speed of code execution. It eliminates waiting downtime and provides real-time data in a significantly more efficient manner, allowing Node JS to be utilised for high-load projects.

Extensibility:

PHP can be combined with HTML; as a result, it is an integral part of many content management engines such as WordPress and Drupal, simplifying and reducing the cost of development.

You can also extend PHP with LAMP stack technologies and server software, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, mSQL, MS-SQL, SQLite, and PostgreSQL, as well as non-relational databases such as ElasticSearch, Redis, and MongoDB. Additionally, PHP is compatible with a vast number of extensions and libraries. It requires package managers such as PEAR, a structured library of open-source PHP programmes that makes scripts/commands accessible from any command-line, and Composer, a PHP dependency management tool.

JavaScript, the programming language underlying Node JS, is even more extensible in terms of functionality because it can be combined with HTML, XML, and Ajax. There are numerous potent JavaScript frameworks and tools available, with Node JS being the most prevalent server-side framework. The NPM (Node Package Manager) package manager built into Node JS is the world’s largest software repository (650,000 free code packages).

Result: JavaScript (and by extension, Node JS) has greater extensibility potential than Node JS.

Functionality:

PHP is a backend-only programming language, so its applicability is quite restricted. It is technically part of the LAMP stack, which consists of Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python. In order to design, construct, test, and maintain a fully functional web project, a software developer must be proficient in approaching and configuring various systems, as well as using HTML and CSS (or you have to hire a team of different engineers to cover all the mentioned areas). Obviously, the possibility of interacting with multiple systems significantly complicates the learning curve. Despite the aforementioned issues, PHP is on the path of dynamic development, with its developers continually generating new material and ideas to enhance its features and functionality.

Is Node JS superior to PHP? You can use Node JS to develop an integral backend model (you’ll still need a database, such as MySQL.) because Node JS collects some of the essential functionality under the umbrella of a single seamless package with no functionality fragmentation. Also commonly used are a reverse proxy, such as Apache or Nginx, and an HTTP framework, such as Express.js.) In addition, JavaScript is a full-stack development language, which means it is capable of developing a complete web or mobile application using only JS.

Result: Many seasoned developers would conclude that it is a tie. The robust package management system (NPM) provides Node JS with additional functionality, but other than that, the functionalities are comparable.

Popularity:

PHP-based websites outnumber Node JS-based websites by a wide margin: PHP powers the backend of approximately 80% of all websites worldwide, and about 40% of them are powered by the PHP-based WordPress engine. Simultaneously, Node JS is gaining popularity: it will become the most popular programming framework in 2020. Only 1-2 percent of websites are powered by Node JS, but among those sites are giants such as Linkedin and Netflix. What can be said with certainty is that the Node JS presence will increase due to the “JavaScript is everywhere” reality — JS has been reported to be the most demanded and convenient language for several years in a row, whereas PHP developers are in much lower demand.

Result: PHP is significantly more popular than Node JS.

Summary:

Backend developers and project managers are required to develop a multifunctional website using either PHP or Node JS. Simultaneously, a single person can complete simple tasks in little or no time (for example, starting a personal blog in WordPress or Wix). Please note that PHP and Node JS are not always the only development options available or recommended.

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Rohan Roy

Rohan is a rare mix of technologist and CMO at Sterling technolabs. His passion lies in helping companies to grow revenues by delivering top-notch software development services and build value-based partnerships. When not driving high-impact go-to-market strategies, Rohan scrolls twitter and often reads.
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