We know that web development is an ever-changing landscape. Especially those who are working in the industry know how keeping themselves updated with the latest technology is so important.

But sometimes, it becomes a tricky job to decide which technology is better for a particular project.

In this article, we are going to talk about the same kind of much-debated back-end programmings technologies like Node.Js and PHP! We will know how they differ from each other and why Node.js vs PHP is such a hot topic among developers. In fact, not only coders but startups and industry experts who are looking to digitizing their business also searching for the difference between PHP vs ASP.NET.

Most Popular Technologies

From the above graph, it is clear that for backend development, currently PHP being a veteran leads in popularity. However, Node.js is also gaining popularity rapidly and instantly becoming the eye candy for web and mobile app development.

Non-technical persons might question what is node.js or PHP. This article will clear your confusion about what to use for your requirements: PHP or Node.js.

Let’s cut to the chase and analyze its similarities and dissimilarities and come to a conclusion on the battle of PHP vs Node.js.

What is PHP?

In a simple term, PHP is known as a server-side language. There are multiple PHP backend frameworks too but let us read further about this server-side language.

Probably PHP is the most renowned scripting language on the web which is used to create interactive web pages.

To make it easy for the layman, With PHP, you can easily create a username and password login pages, check details from a form, build forums, picture galleries, surveys, and lot more.

So next time when you land on a file that has PHP extension then the coder has written some programming code to liven up the plain, old HTML.

What is Node.js?

NodeJS is an environment you can set up for the client or server side to run a javascript.

In simple terms, node.js is just a web server, the same as what you’d want if you were coding in a PHP web application. It handles incoming connections from users.

Node.js vs PHP: Difference

Let’s hop on and know the difference between node.js and PHP! Here is the pointwise battle between PHP vs Node.js for beginners and experts:

Node.Js vs PHP: Access to the Command Line and Syntax


Printing Hello world in PHP;

Echo ‘Hello world’ ;

Access to the command line for the PHP can be done by;

$ php -I,


Printing Hello world in Node.js;

Console.log(‘Hello world’);

Whereas in Node.js;

$ node

PHP vs Node.js: Synchronous Or Asynchronous

PHP is comparatively slower than Node.js because of its synchronous nature. The code lines are executed one after another but not at the same time.

Hence, while the first line of code is being executed, the second line of the code has to wait until the first code is completed.

Php vs Node.js Performance

On the contrary, in Node.js Javascript engine runs through the entire code simultaneously and does not wait for a function to return. This is the main reason why node.js is faster than PHP.

PHP vs Node.js: Switching

While you are writing code, there may be chances of reduced efficiency due to switching between different environments and languages.

So in PHP, if you are writing code, the developer continuously switch between various language and syntax. It happens in PHP because it is a part of the LAMP stack that includes MySQL for the database, serverside coding, and Linux as an operating system.

Whereas in Node.js the user does not need to switch between different languages or syntax because it is written in Javascript only. In addition, two different stacks MEAN and MERN include Javascript syntax which makes it easier for the developer to code.

Node.js vs PHP: Modules

Node.js has an edge over PHP when it comes to Modules. It inherits a prepackaged NPM package management system and registry. Therefore, It makes it simple to use and publish than the modules of PHP.

PHP utilizes module-installing technologies such as;

PEAR: It is a framework and distribution system for reusable components.

Composer: It is a tool that lets developers declare and manage project-dependent libraries.

PHP vs Node.js: Frameworks

PHP has many popular PHP frameworks that aid web developers in faster php web development. Some of them are Codeigniter, Laravel, symphony, CakePHP, etc.

Not only PHP but Node.js too has its framework such as Express and MVC frameworks like Meteor. In addition, it has some newly added frameworks like Hapi.js, Koa.js, Total .js & Sail.js.

Node.js vs PHP: Application Areas

PHP has a wide range of application domains. It is widely used for developing CPU-intensive applications- such as meteorology applications and scientific applications. In addition, it is one of the best platforms for creating CMS systems like WordPress, Drupal, which helps in building blogs, websites, and e-commerce websites.

Node.js has its own application domain and excels at it. It is ideally used for developing server-side solutions because of the non-blocking I/O, and event-driven model.

If you are looking forward to building real-time applications like chat applications, video streaming, and blogs then node.js is best for you. In addition, you can also create single-page applications like Portfolio, and individual websites.

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PHP vs Node.js: Database

Databases like MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, etc are mostly known for traditional databases in PHP. Developers use NoSQL too for PHP but the use is limited.

No SQL databases such as MongoDB, CouchDB, And graph database system like neo4j work seamlessly with the Node.js.

Node.js vs PHP Performance

If you compare both platform on the basis of performance, the two platforms have supremacy in a different arena.

Node.js is the best when you need speed. It is a lot faster than its competitor PHP.

Some of the other

  • Its constant server connection
  • The fastest Engine V8
  • Callback functions that process multiple requests at the same time

PHP, on the other hand, provides a trustworthy and stable performance when it comes to development.

PHP vs Node.js: Learning Curve

If you talk about comparing PHP and node js, PHP is a bit easier. The quirks like inconsistent function, arguments ordering, and return values are less annoying than JS.

On the other hand, JavaScript has some annoying quirks to it and many flavors like ES6, Typescript, etc., which makes learning node.js a little difficult.

Yet, once you master the knowledge of npm, it will take you in an excellent position for modern web development and workflow.

Similarities: PHP vs. Node.js

As we all know both are server-side programming languages, and they have some aspects that are similar. For example; what kind of application they handle, which platforms they run on, and how they’re both scalable. Here are the similarities;


  • Node Js vs PHP; Both are cross-platform, so both can run on almost any platform.
  • Node.js, on the other hand, is available for Linux, macOS, Windows, and even SunOS.
  • You can run PHP on Unix-based systems including Linux and Sun, windows, and macOS.

Type of Applications

  • Both are used for serving web requests. Hence, you can utilize both to serve static content, dynamic web pages, and request for data.
  • Both can also be used for serving the streams as well. PHP does it in a complicated way. Whereas, Node.js has a very simple way to achieve it.
  • Node.js is mostly used for serving web socket when there is a need for real-time data transmission between users & server.
  • PHP too utilizes web-sockets for a long time. For example; ratchet takes you into web sockets faster in PHP.


  • For future needs, you can extend both server-side technologies.
  • In addition, they both have add-ons and package managers to scale them.

When To Use


  • Real-time applications like collaborative apps & instant messaging apps
  • Front-end technologies like AngularJS, Backbone.js, Ember.js, jQuery, ReactJS, etc.
  • Development of mobile applications which process data from IoT and single page applications.
  • While you are using MEAN (Mongo.DB, Express.js, AngulaJS) stack
  • With server-side technologies such as Expess.js, MongoDB, etc.


  • Use software stack like LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)
  • Use with Servers like MySQL, SQL, MariaDB, Oracle, Sybase, and Postgresql, etc.
  • Develop web solutions like Blogs, CMS, web portals
  • Build landing pages and new websites.

SEE ALSO: Firebase Vs MongoDB

Concluding Nodejs vs PHP

It’s imperative to consider the best development platform especially if you are digitizing your business for good. So, whether to choose node.js or PHP, it depends on your requirements of the project.

In a simple word, if you are looking for some enterprise solutions like CMS, CRM, and ERP, then hire a PHP developer.

On the other hand, if you want to build applications like online games, video, text chat engines and collaboration tools like Google doc, and trello, then Node.js is the right choice.

FAQs: Php vs Node.js

A precise answer to whether node.js is better than PHP would be a yes. The reason behind node.js being more viable and reliable than PHP because it is asynchronous, non-blocking, and event-driven.

Both are server-side technologies with their own set of differences and similarities. For enterprise solutions like CMS, CRM, ERP, then you must go for PHP development. On the other hand, for building games, text and video exchanging platforms, and other collaboration tools like Trello; then Node.js should be your preferred choice.

There are a couple of situations when it is favorable to migrate from PHP to Node.js. Let’s scrutinize them one by one:

  • When you want your app or software to be based on any one programming language.
  • When you have the budget, time, and resources to occupy/hire only one technology expert developer.
  • When there is one technology being followed, the code reviewing and testing team can distribute tasks among themselves rather than hiring an external team.
  • When you want to share the same code amongst multiple devices for distributing the code parts among the developers.

When you want effortless hosting for your application.

Consult developers at Excellent Webworld for more information and to resolve your queries.

Mahil Jasani

Article By

Mahil Jasani

Mahil Jasani began his career as a developer and progressed to become the COO of Excellent Webworld. He uses his technical experience to tackle any challenge that arises in any department, be it development, management, operations, or finance.