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Node.JS Vs PHP – Find a Useful Comparison for Your Next Startup

Updated: Oct 29

Are you looking for selecting a development platform for your startup? Node.JS and PHP are the two server-side competitors in the tech world; these are the choices for a startup to adopt as its backend infrastructure. There is no definite meter to measure which platform could be the best-suited for your startup because it all depends on the type of app you are building.


Let’s discuss which will be best-suited for you to adopt


PHP


PHP is the Hypertext Preprocessor scripting language for making scalable, dynamic web applications. It was released in 1995 and has been considered the number one backend development language over the past 20 years.


Node.JS


Node.JS is a platform built on Chrome’s v8 Javascript for quickly building fast, scalable network applications rather than the traditional threading approach. It was released in 2009 and is considered a popular platform defining the new web future.


Startups of PHP


Around 30,499,868 active sites are using PHP. Some of the startups are


Startups of PHP

Startups of Node.JS


There is an estimated 73,845,744 live websites built on JavaScript as a backend and frontend language for the web.


Startups of Node.JS

Why PHP?


PHP is advisable for making high-level web applications because

  1. It has a vast community. PHP has experienced guidance because of the enormous development era. That is why you can get any solution for your problem very quickly.

  2. It is deep code based, which means most of the Content Management Systems (like Joomla, WordPress, Magento, and Drupal) are purely PHP based.

  3. PHP is more common for hosting providers. This is because there is no compatibility issue with making application live on the server.

  4. The simplicity of the PHP code, it can run as HTML by changing its extension of it.

  5. No jar, preprocessor, no compiler or deployment dependency exists.

  6. You can add PHP anywhere in your code by just using tag , which makes PHP more flexible.

Why not PHP?


Now, the trend is going in a way that most of the Startups are not using PHP as their Tech Stack because,

  1. It is relatively slower than the advanced server-side development competitors like Node.

  2. Since it is open source, so anyone can access it. If there are bugs in the source code, it can be used by people to explore the weakness of PHP.

  3. It is not suitable for making larger applications; it is ideally suited for e-commerce-based applications.

Why Node.js?


Most of the Startups are prioritizing Node over other monolithic stacks like PHP, or Ruby on Rails, because

  1. Extraordinarily faster than PHP because of the event callback mechanism.

  2. Primarily, it has a single-threaded mechanism, but you can also scale the Node app on a multi-core system. For more information about climbing, see my other article.

  3. It has a separation of concerns, i.e., separate modules for any operation.

  4. Node.JS is widespread, new, and fresh.

  5. It uses a callback structure to pass logic from one call to another.

  6. Less or relatively no chances of the occurrence of a deadlock mechanism.

  7. It can use single as well as a multi-threaded application

  8. Anyone with another platform background can jump to Node. It has numerous frameworks which can be used as an alternative for other frameworks like Ruby on Rails. Check out my article on top Node Frameworks.

Why not Node.js?

Although Node provides the best possible solution, there are always two sides to the mirror. Wisely think when making a Node application because

  1. Node is not suitable for processor-intensive tasks.

  2. Any CPU-intensive code makes it non-scalable.

Node.js or PHP, Can we use One over Another

Some of the comparison points are

  1. Node.JS is suitable for complex applications that need powerful processing, while PHP is best suited for CMS-based or e-commerce applications.

  2. Node.JS uses JavaScript as a frontend as well as back-end language, while PHP has to depend on some frontend framework or language.

  3. Node application is proven to be much faster than PHP.

  4. PHP has a lot of mature tools and libraries available than Node.

  5. Node has more hosting service providers than PHP.

  6. Node application only runs on dedicated host servers while PHP application runs on shared host servers.

I think Node.JS and PHP both of them are trying their best to cope with their downsides. It is a fact that no man can serve two masters. Likewise, you have to opt for one definite way. PHP can be used preferably, or Node.JS is taking the place of PHP is a myth.


Only speed issues in PHP can not judge the whole scenario because php7 is released with its alpha version. Soon it is coming up with a stable version with Zend engine, which is an open-source scripting engine that interprets PHP code. It is used as a compiler/runtime engine that boosts the performance issue twice that of PHP5. See, Will PHP 7 be able to compete with node.js?


Migrating from PHP to Node

Apart from all the stuff I have written, I noticed that few startups that proudly announced their platform as PHP are now turning their architecture to Node.

  1. The reason is not the speed/performance issue, but most startups are considering Node because it is a new and popular and new means, according to the latest requirements and new features.

  2. Node.js ensures you have the same stack, i.e., JavaScript for frontend as well as backend code.

  3. Shifting from PHP to Node is not as easy as it looks like, because PHP has lead of all the hosting servers.

A developer at Medium want to shift from PHP. He said that on top of all the popular alternatives to PHP there is a relatively new kid on the block called Node.js. Node never seemed like it would be a realistic competitor to the big languages when it came to writing complete server side code; it was just to new and unproven.


Note: There is a buzz that WordPress is switching from PHP to Node. However, let me clear, as per my research I did not get one reason for WordPress to shift their architecture to Node because all the plugins are full-fledged PHP based. They only changed their front end UI and wp-admin(dashboard) code to React.JS and calypso.


Flipkart

Flipkart was initially built on the PHP stack with HTML, CSS at frontend. They wanted to move from PHP to pure javascript oriented approach. They just wanted to turn for improvement and turned their overall architecture to Node.JS.


Conclusion


Both PHP and Node are the hottest languages of today. Use PHP for any e-commerce based application and Node for making highly scalable application, like chatting apps, or any apps that use rest services as a backend.


Vizteck Solutions is primarily using node.js for creating all of its app’s backends/ Our apps built on node.js architecture are blazing fast and can scale very easily with users because of the MEAN stack and AWS cloud.


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