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Node.js vs PHP: What is the right pick for your project?

Node.js vs PHP: What is the right pick for your project?

When we talk about the most major programming languages, Node.js and PHP are some of the most valued options. Each of them brings unique baggage of pros and cons for its users. W3Techs statistics show that 78.9% of websites use a server-side programming language, PHP. Between 1.4% and 2.2% of websites worldwide use Node.js. While both are neck-to-neck competitors, many of us still cannot pick the one that will work the best for a project.

Software development is a world with no one size fits all solution. The correct option is always the combination of your needs and business objectives. But how do you come to find the one that suits well to your project? Especially when it is tough to decide between competing technologies like Node.js and PHP.

Therefore, today’s blog will compare all the aspects of PHP and Node.js to understand the competition.

But before jumping into the details, let's first briefly understand the context.

1. What is the Difference between Node.js vs. PHP?

In simple words, Node.js is a JavaScript runtime environment. With the power of the V8 JS engine, Node.js is known to deliver applications with excellent performance and stability. Besides, this technology makes the apps more responsive by offering access to a wide range of asynchronous I/O primitives.

One of the most prominent features of Node.js is that it can build server-side and client-side apps with one language, JavaScript.

Reckoned as one of the best server-side languages in the world, PHP is the most opted alternative for Node.js. Approximately 79% of the websites use PHP. No wonder there are so many dedicated PHP developers and PHP development companies around the world. Large frameworks like Symphony and Laravel also support PHP.

2. Why is it Important to Understand and Compare Node.js vs. PHP? 

Project success is the ultimate result of the kind of technology we choose. One wrong decision can prove detrimental. This is why choosing the right one between Node.js vs. PHP comparison becomes daunting. Especially in smaller companies, the wrong choice is directly related to the amount of lousy impact it will have on their project.

So, jump on this bandwagon with us, and let’s take a closer look at the PHP vs. Node.js comparison.

i. Node.js vs. PHP Popularity




Number of Websites



Market Share (Across Websites Segmented by Traffic)



Lead in Geography

162 0

Stack Overflow Questions



Popularity Across Website Categories

6 0


Let us make it clear that this does not count the 14-year launch difference.

Discover: More info on AngularJS vs. NodeJS vs. ExtJS - The Real Difference 

ii. Node.JS vs. PHP Comparison in Detail

Coding: Nodejs vs PHP

Node.js uses Javascript. One of the most well-liked programming languages is JavaScript, which almost every developer is familiar with. Therefore, even a beginner JavaScript coder may learn Node with less time and effort.

PHP has been around for the longest time. Therefore, people have grown fond of it. Usually, PHP needs fewer lines of code for a specific task. This is possible when you are fluent in operating the generators like Linux, Apache HTTP Server, and MySQL.

Speed & Performance: Nodejs vs. PHP

Node.js is amongst those very few asynchronous development environments. This very fact gives Node.js an edge over other languages. One of the most significant advantages of asynchronous development environments is that it does not need to wait for a module to load successfully before loading the next one. This minimizes the downtime building a flawless experience for the users.

PHP works on synchronicity. To be specific, synchronicity means executing every module in a code-specific manner. Another module cannot start before the execution of the previous module.

Framework: Nodejs vs. PHP

Node.js has seen the massive expansion of massive libraries in a short period. All thanks to the frameworks like Meteor, Derby, Express, Sails, etc. These frameworks are competent in boosting productivity and minimizing development time and resource consumption.

PHP frameworks outnumber those of Node.js by a significant margin. Since its inception, PHP has had a plethora of libraries with niche markets. Many development agencies opt for PHP frameworks like Laravel, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, and Phalcon.

Extensibility: Nodejs vs PHP

PHP is vital to multiple content management systems like WordPress and Drupal. PHP combines HTML, making the entire development process very cost-effective and straightforward.

One can extend PHP with LAMP stack technology like MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite if need be. The best part is that PHP can work with n number of extensions and Libraries.

On the other hand, Node.js is way more competent in functionality extensions. The reason is that it combines HTML, Ajax, and XML. Node, powered by an inbuilt package manager called Node Package Manager, has the world's most extensive software catalog and approximately 650000 free code packages.

Database: Nodejs vs PHP

PHP uses Relational and conventional databases like MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and MySQL as databases.

On the other hand, Node.js is entirely compatible and works flawlessly with SQL databases, NoSQL databases, and Graph database systems. Nodejs is the solution if you want to build a scalable online application that regularly pulls data from traditional, relational, or NoSQL databases.

Community: Nodejs vs PHP

As it is more recent than PHP, Node.js has a smaller community. However, the community's endeavors skew more toward the demands of contemporary development.

Since PHP has been in use for longer than most technologies, it has a larger community and more completed projects.

Ecosystem: Nodejs vs PHP

Although the Node.js ecosystem contains a large number of libraries and frameworks, PHP by far outnumbers them. Node.js doesn't have as many projects as other frameworks, but it makes up for that variety.

Hosting: Nodejs vs. PHP

There are several Node.js alternatives available that boost the technology's performance. The Node.js maintenance company (Joyent) offers a SmartOS solution that is great for performance improvement, deployment simplicity, and debugging. It is also easy to use Node.js for a Platform-as-a-Service project with Nodejitsu and Heroku.

On the other hand, almost 80% of the web uses PHP. The system works with every significant hosting service provider because of its absurd reach. It can meet the demands of many servers thanks to its LAMP stack. You can hire PHP developers if you want help with your project. Nevertheless, the LAMP stack may not be the most secure hosting technology stack.

WordPress has significantly improved the PHP ecosystem. The fact that PHP directly handles a substantial fraction of all websites on the internet is the best example of PHP's omnipotent reach.

iii. Comparison Chart: Nodejs vs PHP


Check this case study about how our PHP developers helped a client to resolve existing difficulties with the Email marketing tool with core PHP.


Both Node.js and PHP offer unique features. Ultimately, it all depends on the functionalities your project needs. Clarion can help you with both PHP and Node.js, so you can hire PHP developers or hire Node.js developers too. If you are looking for them, contact us at info@clariontech.com, or to know more, reach out to us.   

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