Node JS vs PHP – Which Platform is Best for Development?

Node JS vs PHP graphic

PHP and Node.js are two of the most commonly used server-side platforms. Despite their shared popularity among developers, there are many significant differences between both of these leading back-end technologies.

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. The language was created to build scalable network applications. The platform involves an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that is known for incredible efficiency. This unique structure gives the platform a distinct advantage while also allowing for an asynchronous programming paradigm.

PHP is a server-side scripting language designed exclusively for web development. The language was first created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf, a Danish-Canadian programmer. PHP is known for its powerful code base, rapid deployment capabilities, compatibility with hosting services, and incredibly fast processor speeds. The language is also recognized as a great starting point for developers, due to its easy-to-use nature.

Choosing between the two technologies can be complicated. The next section will help you understand the benefits of each.

 

The Three Most Notable Differences Between PHP vs Node.js:

 

1) Frameworks

Node.js includes a large selection of leading frameworks. Derby, Express, and Meteor are among the most widely used frameworks for Node.js development projects. Node.js developers also have access to the latest frameworks with frequent updates. In contrast, PHP does not require you to work in a particular way and is more flexible. As you start developing with PHP, your code may be muddled, but the PHP will work and adapt with you.

 

2) Development/Deployment

Web development in PHP is straightforward and fast for most experienced programmers. The platform does not require numerous compilers or converters. Developers can simply write code in a separate text application such as Notes and immediately execute it. The PHP language can quickly and efficiently establish a connection to SQL databases with no hosting restrictions.

In contrast, Node.js is much more intricate with a steeper learning curve. Deploying applications and frameworks requires a complex server infrastructure and preparation. Unlike PHP, Node.js is not a scripting language, but rather a runtime environment utilized to execute JavaScript code on the server-side. Node.js involves very data-intensive real-time applications that operate across multiple devices.

 

3) Multitasking

Node.js and PHP each have a very different approach to running programs simultaneously. Node.js utilizes a non-blocking event loop (that operates in a single process) whereas PHP has a blocking process. In PHP, multiple processes can synchronously run together on servers such as Apache. The Node.js non-blocking event loop allows for an event to run in a single process. Thus, the approach of multitasking is very different between each platform.

 

Conclusion – Choosing Between Node.js and PHP

There are many considerations to take into account when choosing between Node.js and PHP. Both platforms are an excellent choice for development. Node.js offers a more modular and flexible approach, giving it a significant edge over PHP. Ultimately it is up to you to make an informed decision and choose the best platform to suit your needs.

If you would like to learn more about other leading platforms for web development, take a look at The Online Coding Boot Camp at UT Austin. You will explore the fundamentals of Advanced Javascript, HTML 5, Ruby, SQL, and more.

 

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