Node.js is pitted against PHP – Read why Node.js is better than PHP and why you should switch IMMEDIATELY!

The web technology is a constantly changing landscape. There is an exhaustive list of technologies like Java, C and its contemporaries like Ruby, Clojure and Go. It has rarely mattered what the choice is, presuming that the application works.

Node.js vs Php?

Comparing two development disciplines, we get to know how well they fare in various categories:


About the technologies:

Node.js - 2009 - Ryan Dahl

Uses the V8 JavaScript engine of Google which also enables the client side code in the browser

Platform with built in libraries to handle web requests and responses, without cumbersome process of a separate web server or any dependencies

Used by companies like Yahoo, PayPal and LinkedIn.


PHP - 1994 - Rasmus Lerdoff

An interpreter installed in the web server as a module acts as the processor. Code is compatible to be intermingled with HTML. PHP is now used in more than 80% of the world’s web servers

WordPress is a PHP Content Management System that powers a quarter of all sites.

Facebook used PHP – Major fact


Task 1: Build a “Hello World” web page


    echo 'Hello World!';


This code is ideally placed any file that is PHP readable, with a .php extension. Enter the URL which maps to the file and there, it is done.

The code runs via a web server with PHP installed. Most operating systems provide server software like Apache on Mac and Linux, and they need to be enabled and configured.



var http = require('http');
http.createServer(function (req, res) {
    res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'});
    res.end('Hello World!');
}).listen(3000, '');

We created a small web server in five lines of code and even those with strong client side JavaScript experience would struggle to understand it.

PHP is simpler in terms of simplicity in concepts and is the winner of this task.


Task 2: Help and Support

Official documentation and resources require additional development assistance from courses and forums for better understanding and scenario based solution finding.

PHP has a great manual with twenty years worth of FAQ. It is the clear winner here.

Node.js has a good documentation but does not cover as much ground as PHP as it is a fairly younger innovation.

The majority of assistance relates to in-browser development.


Task 3: Language Syntax

PHP does not lay a mandate on your working methods but it develops with you.

Start with few multi-line programs and functions, progress to simple PHP4-like objects and finally code Object oriented MVC PHP5+ applications. Code structure will be chaotic initially, but it will evolve with your understanding.

Syntax can change between versions but backward compatibility is good. But, this leads to a problem that developers often deplore, that PHP is a mess.

Node.js is comparatively concise with a couple of core statements.

It however faces brickbats because its prototypal object model only seems familiar but it is not.

But once the developer gets the hang of it, other languages will look cumbersome.The language is to the point. Full-stack developers can use JavaScript both on the client and server sides.

Node.js emerges the winner in this aspect.


Task 4: Development Tools

Both technologies have their fair share of editors, IDEs, debuggers and validators.

However, Node.js stands a step higher with The Node Package Manager.

NPM allows you to install and manage dependencies, set configuration variables and more.

PHP’s Composer Project was influenced by NPM and is better in some aspects.

But NPM is not provided with PHP by default, has a smaller active repository and has had less impact.

This will have PHP developers installing Node.js at some point.


Task 5: Performance

All the requests to a PHP application must be routed to a web server which starts the PHP interpreter that in turn runs the code.

Node.js doesn’t require so many dependencies and while there is a server framework used, it’s lightweight and becomes a part of your application.

PHP follows a client server model where every page requests initializes the application, configuration parameters are loaded, connected to the database, information is fetched and the HTML is rendered.

A Node.js app runs permanently and needs to be initialized once only.


The Future

The ascent of Node.js has been quick. Armed with modern development approach, same syntax as client side and supporting cool HTML5 features like web sockets and server-sent events, Node.js goes all out.

It has a steep learning curve and it is ideal for JavaScript experts to have a liberating web development experience.

Author Bio

Tripti Chordia

Tripti Chordia

Tripti Chordia, is the CMO at doodleblue, a mobile and web app development company providing creative technology solutions to its clients. She completed her masters from Leeds in Advertising & Marketing and has worked at a few media houses prior to doodleblue.Tripti is responsible for online strategy and creative digital marketing campaigns for doodleblue. 

ABOUT doodleblue

doodleblue is a boutique creative technology solutions consulting firm. Our focus is to help entrepreneurs, start-ups & businesses succeed with their technology solutions. We love working on cutting edge technologies like Augmented Reality, OCR, Google glasses, and more in the mobility space.