Go Back

What Is The Difference Between PHP & Node.js Development?

PHP vs NodeJS Comparison
Posted by
Jun 5 2020

Deciding what to choose between Node.js and PHP was a big hassle for the backend programmers for a long time now, but it never affected the developers. But then things changed pretty quickly, and now the developers have to choose one of them. The Node.js vs. PHP war has become quite a hassle lately, and selecting the right one among them is nothing less than a nightmare for the developers.

Earlier JavaScript and PHP were entirely different, and they didn’t overlap with one another. JavaScript was utilized to develop the front end applications, and PHP used to work on the server-side. Combined together, both of these created some of the best websites. But things changed when JavaScript represented by Node.js made its way into the backend development. This scenario caused quite a lot of confusion between the developers.

So, now what are the differences between Node.js and PHP? Is this question that everyone has? In this blog post, you will learn and explore about the overview of both these programming languages. And, at the same time, there are differences between them.

The Overview of Node.js

Node.js is a run time environment that provides everything that one requires to implement a program that is written in JavaScript. The Node.js has increased the scope of JavaScript by making it a situation where it can run on machines independently. Back in the day, it was just used to make websites more interactive, but it is not limited to that anymore, and people can make use of the different features that this website offers them.

It is similar to the Python language and can do various things.

The Overview of PHP

Hypertext Processing or PHP was developed in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf, and since then, it has made a lot of progress. W3Tech conducted a survey in which it has been proven that 79% of the websites present in their data were developed with the help of PHP only. The content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, WooCommerce, and Shopify are also making the use of this PHP now.

Which is better between Node.js and PHP?

Now, in order to define which one is between these two, we have to make a comparison of Node.js vs. PHP. This way, we can know in which field they are excelling and which one is reliable too.

Node.js vs. PHP Development

Node.js and PHP are good options for development, and picking the right one among them is a bit complex. However, programming in PHP is a lot easier when compared to programming in the Node.js. As the programming style in PHP is simpler and does not need any of the compilers or converters. There are no hosting confinements either, and the entire setup with SQL is simple in PHP.

On the other side, Node.js is very complicated. It is not easy to deploy frameworks and applications in Node.js, and it requires an elaborate preparation and server infrastructure.

Node.js vs. PHP Hosting

PHP framework has been one of the most opted backend services for a long time, and this is why it has the support of a lot of hosting services. While only some of the hosting services support Node.js. This case is the reason why it is straightforward to deploy and integrate PHP when compared to Node.js. Node also requires the support of virtual server SSH access in order to run the applications.

Node.js vs. PHP Database

Now the database is one of the most critical factors that one has to think about when they are dealing with any application setup. PHP works pretty perfectly with MySQL database while providing similar support to a range of database forms like PostgreSQL and MariaDB. This code works perfectly with any kind of database irrespective of the engines that are used.

Node.js has an assortment of libraries for getting to the SQL. Further, it uses JSON to attach with NoSQL databases. PHP can also be configured with JSON’s help, but it is always better to go with Node here as you get only one code for both server and browser.

Node.js vs. PHP Performance

At the end of the day, one thing that everyone observes here is the performance. PHP offers stable and consistent performance when compared to the Node in web development. However, if you compare both of these environments, you will find that Node.js is faster than PHP. There are three reasons why this happens –

  • Speed friendly V8 engine.
  • The callback function in Node.js is capable of processing so many requests at the same time.
  • The continued server connection.

Where to use it?

Now, as we compare some of the essential things in programming with both Node.js and PHP, we must know which one works where. No programming framework suits the description that says one size fits all. So, it is vital for us to know when and where to use a particular framework. Let’s see PHP vs NodeJS comparison.


  • Dynamic single-page applications (SPAs).
  • Software stacks such as MEAN stack (Angular, MongoDB, and more)
  • Front-end technologies like jQuery, Angular, React, etc.

Node.js is perfect if you are planning on creating a real-time messenger platform, a dynamic single page application or if you incorporate any front end technologies.


  • PHP can be used when you need ease of deployment and integration.
  • It goes perfectly with the LAMP stack, which has Linux Apache, MySQL, and PHP.
  • Any blog and e-commerce website with Content Management System (CMS).

Advantages and Disadvantages

Now, both Node.js and PHP have their own set of advantages. They even have some disadvantages that we are going to discuss in this section. It will surely give you a complete idea about which of these programming frameworks comes with what kind of benefits as well as the issues that you will face with them.

PHP Advantages

  • The PHP framework is usually used to make the entire web application development pretty easy, and even the maintenance of these applications become feasible with the help of PHP.The MVC architecture present in the PHP framework will help the code with its usage and maintenance. This MVC architecture makes it easy to separate the file for each module separately.
  • Stability is another important thing of PHP that needs to be discussed in the advantages. No matter what kind of application one develops, if it is not stable, it is not something that you can rely on, and the same has been proved with PHP.The developers worked with this framework for a very long time, and they have entirely an idea of how it works. There are so many applications that have been developed with the help of the PHP framework. And all these applications have indeed created a lot of impact on the different categories of developers lately. Hence, if they need a stable backend program, they will opt for PHP only.
  • The web is filled with a lot of PHP based websites, and as said earlier, content management sites like WordPress, Drupal are also developed with the help of this program alone. Various such platforms are open source, and it is pretty easy for the users to modify these codes and use them as they want.
  • The simplicity of PHP is indeed an added advantage for this framework. There are just a few variables and essential functions that are paired up with strings and numbers. This scenario is where the programmers will do magic and make the entire program with the help of this PHP framework.

PHP Disadvantages

  • PHP offers a lot of flexibility for the programmers, and they can combine HTML with framework syntax, which indeed makes it harder for them to extend the PHP apps with even more functionalities. The overall codebase of PHP is massive, and managing the codes in such a database often comes with one or the other issue.
  • The PHP technology is not competent modular, and at times it makes things pretty crazy. It is already in the process of imitating the essential features that you see in the Java framework.

Node.js Advantages

  • JavaScript is one of the topmost and most popular programming frameworks for years now, and most of the front-end programmers have quite some knowledge about it. For such people who already have an idea about the framework, it is straightforward to start using it in the backend too. Node.js is a simple framework, and it won’t consume a lot of your time either.
  • The backend solutions of Node.js are quite enhanced and well-shaped compared to any other application that you see out there. This framework can be utilized to serve different parallel events, and you won’t find that in PHP. The developers will have a chance to make different kinds of scalable solutions, which helps them with maximizing the CPU and computer memory usage as they are capable of servicing various requests at once.
  • The flexibility of Node.js is another thing that needs a special mention here. The framework does not have considerable limitations to it or any kind of dependencies either. The programmers need not have to follow any pattern or architecture here, which is why they have access to some thousands of modules.
  • Another great benefit of Node.js is its access to JSON. If you are someone who needs SQL, you can get it with libraries, but Node.js works with JSON, which makes the programming a lot easier.

Node.js Disadvantages

  • In Node.js, there is a complicated code structure used, and this is indeed a big hassle for the programmers who want to work on it.
  • Node.js is not capable of handling intensive CPU activities like the generation of videos, audios. It mainly focuses on developing responsive web applications, which makes it quite challenging to create graphic centric applications.

Key Takeaways

In a few words, both PHP and Node.js have served effectively in the backend development of numerous projects. And have emerged as favorite frameworks for so many professionals as well as business owners out there. The one thing that you need to consider while choosing any technology is whether it is suitable for both your present and future business-based project requirements. Both of these frameworks have different applications, and you have to be careful in choosing the right one according to your project.