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

By June 6, 2016 MEAN, Web 8 Comments
Node.JS Vs PHP - Find a Useful Comparison for Your Next Startup

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 is released in 1995 and considered as a number one backend development language for over past 20 years.

Node.JS

Node.JS is a platform built on Chrome’s v8 Javascript for easily building fast, scalable, network applications rather than the traditional approach of threading. It is released in 2009 and considered as a popular platform that is 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 estimate of 73,845,744 live websites built on JavaScript as backend and frontend language for web.

Startups of Node.JS

Why PHP?

PHP is advisable for making high-level web applications because

  1. It has a huge community. PHP has an experienced guidance because of the huge development era. That is why you can get any solution for your problem very easily.
  2. It is a deep code based, means most of the Content Management Systems (like Joomla, WordPress, Magento, Drupal) are purely PHP based.
  3. PHP is more common for hosting providers. This is because there is no compatibility issue to make application live on the server.
  4. The simplicity of the PHP code, it can run as HTML by changing extension of it.
  5. No jar, preprocessor, no compiler and deployment dependency exists.
  6. You can add php anywhere in your code by just using tag , that 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 sourced, 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?

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

  1. Extraordinary faster than PHP because of the event callback mechanism.
  2. Primarily, it has single-threaded mechanism, but you can also scale Node app on multi-core system. For more information about scaling, see my other article.
  3. It has separation of concerns, i.e, separate modules for any operation.
  4. Node.JS is popular, new and fresh.
  5. It uses callback structure to pass logic from one call to another.
  6. Less or relatively no chances of occurrence of deadlock mechanism.
  7. It can use the single as well as multi-threaded application
  8. Anyone with another platform background can jump to Node. It has numerous frameworks which can be used as an alternate for other frameworks like Ruby on Rails. Check out my article on top Node Frameworks.

Why not Node?

Although, Node is providing the best possible solution, but there are always two sides of 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 really non-scalable.

Node or PHP, Can we use One over Another

Some of the comparison points are

  1. Node 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 front-end as well as back-end language while PHP has to depend on some front-end 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 provider than PHP.
  6. Node application only runs on dedicated host server while PHP application runs on shared host servers.

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

Only speed issue in PHP can not judge the whole scenario because php7 is released with its alpha version. Soon it is coming up with 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 up the performance issue twice than 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 few of the startups that were proudly announced their platform as PHP, are now turning their architecture to Node.

  1. The reason is not the speed/performance issue, but most of the startups are considering Node because it is new and popular and new means, according to the latest requirements and new features.
  2. Node ensures you same stack, i.e., JavaScript for front-end 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 like storechat.net, tuang.co. 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.

Author Uroosa Sehar

More posts by Uroosa Sehar
  • Bhargab Hazarika

    As a newbie what should I learn first? php or node.js. I’m really confused actually. When I see freelancing sites there are more job in php than node.js.
    I am a cse student and I know html,css,javascript,jquery preety well.

    • Uroosa Sehar

      If you are a newbie and didn’t have an idea of PHP then put it aside, build your JS skill learning Node..
      I accept your opinion about the php trend in freelancing sites because PHP is much more mature than Node.
      But I would suggest you to keep your fingers crossed :)
      Learn Node.JS , it will help you in future – as you have JS background

      • Bhargab Hazarika

        thanx for your reply.
        I’m going to learn node.js :)

        • Uroosa Sehar

          You are most welcome Bhargab :)

    • Uroosa Sehar

      the trend on Node is going higher, be simple and accurate , adopt Node

  • Braj Mohan

    This post looks like an school assignment, Gather various bullet points from lottery draw (Google) and paste that in.

    • http://www.vizteck.com Barkan Saeed

      It is research done by our team so that our customers don’t have to. So yes it is an assignment :-)

    • Uroosa Sehar

      @disqus_G06StVbu5g:disqus Sir, please map your suggestions here, if any? we always welcome useful criticism Braj :)

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