Who is Superior in Performance - PHP Vs NodeJS [Comparison]
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Who is Superior In Performance: PHP Vs NodeJS [Comparison]

Is Node JS performance better than PHP?

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Updated On
August 22, 2018 06:24 PM
4 min read

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PHP and Node.js are two of the most widely known platforms that are used when it comes to mobile and web development.

But developers are often struck with a dilemma of which back-end technologies to choose for their online development project. That's why we came to the part of having a showdown comparison between PHP and Node.js.

Both platforms, PHP and Node.js are used for the server-side development and are considered tough competitions to each other. And in this article, we will be covering the Basics of PHP and Node.js along with the features of PHP and NodeJS.

Basics of PHP

The term PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor and can be defined as an open source server-side scripting language that is specifically designed for the purpose of web development. Even though, PHP is a server side scripting language it can be easily used as a General Purpose scripting language as well.

stats in between nodejs and php

Basics of NodeJS

Like PHP, NodeJS is a platform that is also used for the open source service development but it is built on the JavaScript Engine (V8). Node.js came into action in the year 2009 and since then it is used to build applications that are scalable and fast.

Node.js cannot be referred as a language but it is a JavaScript run-time environment that follows the non-blocking I/O model. With this technology, the users can now create entirely JS-based apps.

Comparing PHP vs NodeJS

Over the years, both PHP and NodeJS have been showing constant growing and this evolution is witnessed by all of us. Below are some of the features of PHP and NodeJS and their comparison:

Synchronous code vs Asynchronous code

The code of NodeJS is asynchronous in nature that means that the JS engine runs throughout the whole code at once. Also, the JavaScript engine does not wait for any function to return so the code lines that are below the function will execute and will return the output fast.  

PHP is synchronous but there are also some APIs that act as asynchronous in it. The thing with the synchronous code is that the first line of the code takes a lot of time in executing so the code lines below have to wait for their execution turn. This reason is responsible for slowing down the outcome.

The Context Switching

This switch is referred to as the change in different languages and environments which further contributes in lowering the code's efficiency. Switching between several coding languages can also result in dropping programmer's efficiency.

While writing it's back-end code, the developer constantly tends to switch between different syntax and language. This switch occurs because PHP is used as a part of the LAMP stack that also includes Linux and MySQL which have different syntax. That's why a strong knowledge on CSS, JavaScript, and HTML is required.

Node.js has an upper hand in this situation as it is written in JavaScript. So, there is no need to make the switch as JavaScript can be used for both client-side and server-side.

PHP and Node.js Modules

The module used by PHP is PEAR that is a veteran package system and Composer, is a tool for the purpose of dependency management.

In Node.js, the Nope Package Manager i.e. NPM is used as a module which is quite easy to use and operate.

PHP and Node.js Frameworks

PHP has been in the limelight since the early 2000s and is a popular server side scripting language which uses several frameworks like Cakephp and Laravel for smooth web development. These two frameworks provide robust, secure and agile back-end development.

For NodeJS, the most known frameworks are Derby and Express, but since node.js is comparatively new to PHP, several new frameworks are always hitting the market. Some of these new frameworks are Total.js and Hapi.

PHP and Node.js Databases

The NodeJS technology works with the NoSQL Databases, some of them being CouchDB and MongoDB. The Nope Package Manager is available for almost every database on its registry.

For the PHP technology, the relational and traditional databases are used, for example, PostgreSQL and MySQL. Although, the user can use NoSQL databases as well but those are not so widely considered.

PHP and Node.js Web Servers

From versions above 5.4 of PHP, the technology uses an in-built development server to make the procedure more efficient.

The NodeJS comes with modules like file system and DNS to assist the user by developing highly customized web servers. One of the most powerful frame that can be setup with 3 to 4 lines of code is Salis.js.

Applications of PHP and Node.js

In short, PHP should be used for apps where the clients do not want to interact with the server constantly. Whereas, Node.js is to be used when the web application requires a regular interaction between the server and the client.

Uses of PHP

  • The PHP's LAMP stack is commonly used in the API development.
  • In Content Management Systems also known as CMS including Drupal and WordPress, PHP is used for the purpose of creating online stores, websites, as well as, blogs.
  • PHP is also used in the development process of the Scientific applications that are CPU-intensive.

Uses of Node.js

  • Node.js is widely used in creating the real-time applications for example, video-streaming apps and chat/messenger apps.
  • Because of its non blocking I/O model, NodeJS is ideal for developing server side solutions that are highly scalable.
  • Node.js is also used for building Single Page apps like individual websites and portfolios.

So, before opting for a technology between PHP and NodeJS, the developer should be aware about their pros and cons.

Pros and Cons: PHP vs NodeJS

Below are the advantages and disadvantages of Node.js and PHP when compared on various perspectives:

nodejs and php features

Pros of PHP

  1. Consists of a powerful and rich Source Code for developing strong web development frameworks and sites, further enabling fast app development.
  2. PHP is a great option when considering a light and portable solution that can easily run on a variety of platforms and servers.
  3. From the very beginning, this technology was solely made for the purpose of web development unlike the other technologies.

Cons of PHP

  1. When keeping in mind the Model View Controller approach, this technology may create some issues of SOC i.e. Separation of Concerns.
  2. There’s no denying of the fact that it uses a classic and outdated client-server model for operation.

Pros of NodeJS

  1. Because Node JS performs multiple concurrent events at a single period of time, this results in faster server-side solutions.
  2. Another advantage that Node JS holds, it operates on a single language all across the stack which makes it an efficient pick for online development.
  3. The flexibility factor is what makes this technology a better option because of the low amount of strict conventions for the developers and programmers.

Cons of NodeJS

  1. As Node JS is comparatively a new technology, it is safe to say that it still hasn’t achieved the status of a completely mature platform.
  2. As it is a single threaded event-based environment, its capabilities to effectively handle the CPU-intensive applications is not up-to the mark.

Although, NodeJS and PHP technologies are able to manage projects of varying complexities but both of these technologies are built on different architectures and concepts.


The initial few things that you should consider before choosing between Node.js and PHP, are -

What type of application are you going to develop?
What speed do you want your development to be done?
What are the hosting requirements from the client's side?

After noting down the answers to these questions it’s time to categorize the project’s requirements. If your project is related to a Real-time application then, by all means, pick NodeJS. But you should opt for PHP, if you are looking for a much more standardized solution that also consists of great hosting support facilities.

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Vikram Khajuria
Written By
Vikram Khajuria

A typical boy and tech enthusiast, Vikram is totally fascinated by the journey of his day from miseries to joys. Covering the journalism field, he writes at MobileAppDaily and keeps surfing the trends to understand tech and inventions better. Don’t forget his driving skills, he is a professional car rallyist. Life has just got better, breath it!!

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