Node.js Vs PHP – Battle of the Web

PHP has ruled the internet for years since 1995 as the most popular server side scripting language used in most of the web based applications developed over the years. The reason PHP was so popular was its simple structure and easier to learn and can be hosted in any cheap shared hosting providers. But in the last few years, PHP becoming a major force in web applications also became prone to a lot of security threats like SQL injection, unreliable API, etc., which forced other alternatives like Ruby on Rails and Django to gain popularity among web development companies. But the recent rage to node.js has replaced PHP from the top and assumed that position with its event driven approach to programming has forced companies to hire node.js developer.

1. Performance

Node.js runs using the Google V8 Engine need much less dependencies than PHP, where any request should be routed through the web server and the code is interpreted by the PHP Engine or interpreter and the response is provided back. But Node.js doesn’t need a separate server, but a built in server so it is light weight and much faster than PHP.


2. Development Tools

Both PHP and Node.js has a lot of code editors, IDE’s, validation tools and debuggers. But the one that impressed is the NPM (Node Package manager) found in node.js, which performs a range of tasks that allows you to manage dependencies, define your scripts etc., which though even present in the Composer Project in PHP, it doesn’t live up to the expectations of NPM.

Development Tools

3. Language Syntax

The syntax in PHP changes a lot when a new version is used and often web developers are left in the dark unless they check with the changes introduced in the new version. For example, for a simple task to count the characters in a string, there are a lot of functions in PHP like strlen, str_len, count, mb_strlen and are named inconsistently, whereas JavaScript which is mainly used in Node.js, which when mastered can make any other languages smaller.

Language Syntax


Web based applications need languages to link with many other third party components and databases to achieve desired results and to produce stunning websites. PHP being there for years has developed itself to deliver extensions to communicate and link with popular API’s and third party components, whereas Node.js a new entrant into the web development scene is yet to catch up, as there are no integration methodologies for some older components and technologies that are not so much popular. This has forced companies to hire node.js developer to write linking functions to those technologies.


5. Hosting ad Deployment

When it comes to hosting and deployment, PHP has a lot of choices to host itself in any shared or dedicated server with some simple steps and you just need to FTP the files onto the hosting server. Where as in the case of node.js, you need virtual/cloud or a special server environment to host node.js with root access, which most shared hosting companies will not provide. So you need to hire node.js developer to host your system into a hosting environment.

Hosting ad Deployment


Even though PHP is one of the most popular technology in the web development arena, its ease of use and other things that boosted PHP has led to its downfall. Whereas Node.js relatively new in the scene has a solid base structure capable to build large and scalable web applications.

By Franklin Cedric