Table of Contents
- Node.js Pros
- Node.js Cons
- PHP Pros
- PHP Cons
- Comparison of technologies
PHP was created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf. He created a shell program that was installed as a module for the Apache. It was originally developed as a preprocessor for hypertext pages so that PHP could be easily integrated into HTML code. This approach is not considered a good practice anymore, despite the fact that it used to be simple and understandable to beginners back in the day.
Why it is highly important to choose the right technology
Undoubtedly, the choice of technology plays an important role in your project success. If you’ve made the wrong decision, then everything can fail. The choice of technology can be a daunting task for small businesses and startups that typically operate with limited resources. The smaller the company is, the harder the impact of a bad decision will be.
Fast server connection
When it comes to the execution speed of PHP vs Node.js, the second is faster. If speed is extremely important for your application, e.g. a browser-based multiplayer game or a chat application, Node.js can become a better choice than PHP. Comparing Node.js with PHP, the first is inherently asynchronous, event-driven, and non-blocking, while the second is a synchronous programming language. This means that Node.js is more viable than PHP for speeding up development.
One language for frontend and backend
The perfect combination of JS and Node helps professionals in building a robust, full-featured application with minimal investment and in less time. Also, it means low maintenance costs, easy error detection, and the ability to use TypeScript with static typing.
Although Node.js offers reliable performance, it has API requests that become a thin layer between a database and a web client. Besides, the Google Chrome V8 engine supports Node.js for fast delivery and high performance.
- Node.js is open for any development and any technology. There are no limits or strict rules that must be followed before developing a project.
- Besides, the Node Package Manager (NPM) is a great help for professionals to develop applications quickly and smoothly.
- Node.js has no strict rules or hard dependencies, which leaves space for creativity when developing applications. The developers choose the architecture and dependencies themselves.
Countering Node.js vs PHP, the first has a non-blocking and asynchronous feature that makes an application fast and allows you to manage many events running at the same time. SPAs and data-driven applications are built by using Node.js as their core technology.
Easy to learn
Little effectiveness in operations using CPU
Node.js can run on the server side all the time without breaking the connection. You can do it locally or look for specialized hosting services, like a virtual cloud (VDS / VPS, server environment with full access). Unfortunately, not all hosters can afford it, so the prices will be corresponding.
Big code base
PHP contains a rich and powerful codebase that includes popular web development platforms and frameworks. Moreover, it is so simple that even a person who is not versed in technology can operate it.
PHP has a huge code base for all kinds of solutions, from content management systems to powerful frameworks like Laravel and Symfony. For example, by using WordPress, a CMS written on PHP, you can create a blog in a matter of minutes.
PHP is platform-based, it can run on almost any server and platform. You can write your code once and use it anywhere. Any web host supports PHP, and you can get a MySQL database for a great price. PHP is much simpler here than on the local server, and you will know exactly which PHP extensions are disabled and which are not.
Also, there is a huge PHP support community, which is another benefit for developers.
At the same time, there is a wide variety of hosting sites to support PHP, and you don’t need to rent a full server with SSH access to run your project. It means that the integration of PHP projects and their deployment is somewhat easier for small companies or individuals who can run and manage their applications without any knowledge of console commands.
Unlike Java or Python and other general-purpose programming languages, PHP was designed specifically for the web. That is why it contains all the necessary functionality for working with HTML, servers, and databases. Thanks to the comprehensive PHP language, in most cases you can get by with a minimal amount of JS code in the frontend. Also, it’s worth noting that PHP is interpreted language and Node.js is compiled which directly affects performance. A compiled code can be executed directly by the computer’s CPU. That is, the executable code is specified in the native language of the CPU. The interpreted code language must be translated from any format into CPU machine instructions during execution. This translation is done by an interpreter. It leads to the slower work of interpreted language.
PHP is also quite stable. It has been around for a long time. Programmers have worked on PHP to make it fairly stable and easier for developers to create web applications with this technology. They have spent a while working on bugfixing for different PHP versions and made it fairly stable.
PHP is compiled with numerous frameworks like Codeigniter, Laravel, CakePHP, etc. The PHP backend is highly efficient for a website or an application.
Limited MVC applicability
PHP is not applicable enough for implementing the MVC pattern recommended for web development, which essence is in the separation of application data, user interface, and management logic into three components. You can often find a mix of the HTML and PHP code, where the business logic is merged with visualization, causing difficulties for code maintenance. You can solve this problem by using a suitable framework, but there is more temptation to mix HTML and PHP in one file.
Outdated client-server model
PHP follows the classic client-server model where a page request initiates an application, a database connection, their processing, and HTML rendering. It creates productivity losses. Comparing PHP and Node.js, the first is slower, and because of that Node.js is more suitable for writing real-time applications. But it is worth noting that this PHP disadvantage can be overcome with the help of Memcached. Though, keep in mind that it will create an additional dependency for your application.
Comparison of technologies
Help and support
You can’t rely only on your knowledge without studying any courses, modern practices. To become a comprehensive professional, you need to ask questions on forums such as StackOverflow. In the battle of Node.js vs PHP, the second technology wins this round easily, it has a great manual on php.net and twenty years worth of frequently asked questions. Whatever you do, someone has already encountered this problem and tried to solve it for you.
Node.js has good documentation, despite the fact that the technology is quite young. So you can find a solution to your problems in documentation or on some forums.
PHP syntax has changed with the release of new versions, which is why a lot of backward compatibility work has been done. You can easily move your code from the older version to the new one. However, as a result of this approach, PHP has become a mess.
One of the main problems is that there can be several functions that do the exact same task.
PHP has many advantages, however, comparing Node.js and PHP, the first one is a better choice for several reasons:
Both technologies have a good range of editors, IDEs, debuggers, validators, and other tools. You can declare a draw here, but Node.js has a great tool called NPM. It is a package manager with the help of which you can manage modules and dependencies. PHP has its package manager influenced by npm – Composer. However, if NPM is built-in by default, you have to code that composer yourself. Thanks to NPM, build systems for frontend projects such as Gulp and Grunt have become widespread.
Where can these technologies be used? How to deploy them? What platforms are supported? Web developers often need to create web-only applications, such as an online service, data transformation scripts, etc.
In PHP, you can develop console utilities, but it’s most needed on the server side and rarely goes beyond that boundary.
Your development technologies are limited unless they can integrate with databases and drivers. In a battle of PHP vs Node.js, the first is strong in this area. It has been developing for years, and its system extensions allow direct work with any host using the API.
Node.js is catching up fast, but you may struggle to find modern integration components for old modules.
Speed and performance
Some real projects and options make PHP run faster. As an example, Facebook developed Hack, built to be compatible with PHP. The Hack’s ain is to make existing PHP code faster. Even the most demanding PHP developer rarely cares about speed, but Node.js performance tends to be better. Of course, performance is largely a consequence of experience and the team’s skill. Even so, when comparing Node.js and PHP, the first one has several advantages:
- Fewer dependencies. All requests to the PHP application must be directed to the web server, which runs the PHP interpreter, which processes the code and serves it up. Node.js vs PHP doesn’t need so many dependencies, and while you’re almost certainly using a server-side framework, it’s quite lightweight and manages parts of your application.
- Event-driven, non-blocking input/output stream. PHP and most other server-side languages use an obvious blocking model. When you make a request to retrieve information from a database, the request will execute and complete the process before moving on to the next statement. In the battle of PHP vs Node.js, the second technology obviously wins. Here you don’t have to wait. Instead, you can create a callback function that listens to the process and executes it after the activity is complete.
It’s quite difficult to compare, but relatively few PHP developers are passionate about the language itself. When was the last time you read a PHP article or watched a presentation that captivated the audience? Perhaps, all that was said already? Maybe it’s less fun? Maybe you are not looking in the right places? Some interesting features have appeared quite recently, for example, the creation of PHP7. Still, this technology has been trampled on for several years. This affected the language itself, and many developers began to scold PHP.
It doesn’t really matter which language you use on the server side – it will continue to work even if the project is abandoned. Many people continue to choose PHP vs Node.js. This is a safe option and its support has been looking confident for some years.
The creation of a stable and reliable server side is one of the most important things in app development. That’s why it’s highly important to choose the right technology that will meet all your needs. To be sure that everything works correctly and causes no failure, think of entrusting the development process to a reliable company. Bamboo Agile can become your trusted partner in the backend development process. Simply fill out the form and get a free consultation on better technology. Make your application’s performance incredible!
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