Node.js VS PHP? Which is Better for Your Next Web App Development Project?

Web applications have become the need of the hour for businesses today. But you need sturdy tech to develop a robust website. Node.js and PHP are the most preferable backend techs that are used for backend scripting around the globe. PHP has been the oldest and most reliable player in the game while Node.js meets all the requirements of creating a modern web application. But how can you decide between the two? Hence, we decided to write this comparative study between Node.js vs PHP.

Both the preceding techs are dominantly used by top web development services around the globe. We hope our blog offers you relevant information and helps you make a sound decision for your next project. Let’s begin!

Node.JS VS PHP: Overview

Node.js and PHP are in tough competition with each other when it comes to server-side scripting languages. Yet, PHP made its way early to the market and hence has major projects and a larger community. Having said that, PHP lacks the updates required to create modern-day projects that are offered by Node.js.

Though both platforms were introduced a decade apart from each other they do possess some major similarities. For example, both have a huge community, are open source, and are strong platforms for server-side scripting. However, Node.js has observed rapid growth with its highly updated framework and libraries and is proficient at solving modern-day problems. However, the organizations that have previously used PHP tend to offer biased support to the same. As both the techs have some major differences, choosing anyone would have an impact on the performance, marketing time, budget, and more.

Having learned the differences in brief let’s learn dive into a detailed comparison on the subject. 

Node.js vs PHP: Feature Comparison

Code Syntax

An easy-to-understand and engineered syntax will make sure that you can inculcate high-functionalities using fewer lines of code. 


PHP is an old language and so it has had a significant amount of time to map changes in its structure and syntax. PHP does offer the convenience to perform functions while using lesser lines of code. Yet, to access this you have to use accurate generators and operators that work well in LAMP i.e. Linux, Apache HTTP server, MySQL, and PHP itself. 


While writing code you can say that Node.js requires writing more lines of code to inculcate the same functions as PHP. However, the entire development environment is programmed with Javascript and so you don’t have to remember the syntax of different languages. So, it acts as a boon that you have to learn only one language while at times one might have to write longer lines of code.



This metric is essential to measure the execution speed of both technologies. It’s a simple calculation that a higher execution speed would account for less development time and budget-friendly projects. 


While working with PHP one can observe that execution of all the functions and modules is done in a code-specified order. This is because, like many other languages that made their way to market before the 2000s, PHP works on the principle of synchronicity. Hence, the execution of any module or function is consequential.


What gives Node.js an edge over its competitors? The very fact that it offers its users an asynchronous development environment. What this means is that Node.js will automatically load the next module if the previous one doesn’t get executed. With this, there is an evident decrease in the downtime to develop a web app and accounts for a seamless user experience. 


The APIs, libraries, and functions of your language help provide you with all the commonly used code for programming. Due to such extensive frameworks, one can focus on the fine details of their project. It also prevents a programmer to write redundant code. 


Being in the market for so long many frameworks have made their niche markets and have a rich library. Many web development services focus on specific PHP frameworks and offer services on CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Laravel, and Phalcon.


Node.js has also observed a huge expansion of its libraries with frameworks like Derby, Express, Sails, and Meteor making it to the market. Frameworks are designed with the sole purpose of utilizing fewer resources and decreasing development time. But if you see the numbers Node.js frameworks fall short by a huge margin as compared to the number of top PHP frameworks



Performance can be calculated on KPIs like seamlessness and page-loads or how a code is written in PHP. KPIs have a huge impact on the user experience of your web app. If you have a performant tech it would anyway result in your product’s better performance. 


As PHP was created 25 years ago, there is a considerable effect of the same on its performance. For instance, this can be directly observed in the efficiency of its page-load time. It doesn’t support the loading of concurrent processes as it blocks other processes until one is entirely calculated. This results in the slow loading of your website. A big problem that PHP development services are familiar with.

Yet if you’re adamant about using PHP you can try executing PHP web apps by connecting it with HHVM Virtual Machine. By doing so you will be able to enhance the performance of your PHP web apps by around 75%. Still, Node.js will prove to be quicker.


Node.js offers a quick start-up time and great execution speed due to its JavaScript V8 engine and its asynchronous nature. Also, Node.js finishes existing requests without blocking any other requests due to its event-driven nature. 

“Concurrency’ is the term used for this order-independent execution. The meaning of concurrent module execution is that multiple modules are executed not at the same time but at a given time. Even if they make use of the same environment and resources there can be a difference in their beginning and completion time. 


Request Handling

Executing a client-side request in any way is crucial but it’s also important to measure how swiftly is a request being processed. One of its metrics is that it should be done consuming minimum time and resources. To further understand which tech best optimizes the UX we have to consider factors such as error handling.


PHP can only handle one request at a time. Hence, it’s bound to consume more resources on the RAM and CPU. Every request is executed in a silo since it’s on the opposite end of the spectrum. This creates a lag in the system with its one-request-at-a-time approach but also prevents cross-contamination of the request approach. 


Comparing this feature of node.js with PHP you will observe that the system doesn’t wait to execute other processes due to an ongoing one. Hence, the RAM and CPU times are fully utilized. But if the error from one of the requests isn’t addressed in due time, it can create a pan system error creating hindrance with other requests. 


The updates we observe in terms of libraries, projects, and frameworks are decided based on the expertise and strength of a community. As it can be naturally understood that your development team wouldn’t write or know the code for each module or feature. 

Hence, to reduce development time and enhance productivity coders make use of tested and popular libraries. It’s obvious for a larger community to get hold of more projects, but the value of your development team is decided by the quality of a single library, framework, or project. 


PHP is the oldest of technologies and hence has a huge community that directly helps it bag more projects under its belt. But as if you observe node vs PHP comparison on newer projects, you will that Node.js is a clear winner.

In the initial times, the new projects created by PHP were well received as they added new features that were already existing on other platforms. But now the PHP market has reached saturation, and are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to work on a few new projects. 


As Node.js made it to the market more than a decade later than PHP it does have a smaller community. However, the projects that are developed by this community reflect the modern development needs of today. You will find most of the node.js projects indexed on the registry. And rather than importing new features from other programming languages, many projects focus on adding unique functionalities to Node.js.



With this metric, we’re examining the type of database – traditional or relational, is used by the technology and how conveniently does it connect with the same.

With relational databases data is stored in form of tables. Hence, it becomes really easy to understand the dependencies and relationships between different data points. Whereas with conventional databases data is stored in hierarchical or navigational format. 

Not only this, with the development of Not only SQL (NoSQL) databases data can be stored in key pairs, graphs, and even documents. Including semi-structured, unstructured, and structured databases NoSQL databases can store almost every form of data structure. This is what makes NoSQL databases developer-friendly.


As PHP functions using an older tech, it’s more prone to work with conventional and relational databases such as MariaDB and MySQL. It’s not impossible to import libraries with NoSQL databases, but the process eats up a large chunk of processing time and is a tedious task.


Node.js is well synchronized with all forms of databases, as it has grown with the advent of NoSQL databases. It uses a unique format of data while interacting with databases known as Javascript Object notation. Node.js is highly compatible working with NoSQL databases such as CouchDB and MongoDB. It also allows you to access SQL databases by offering substantial libraries while also supporting the use of graph databases.

Wrapping up

Here’s a wrap on this read, we hope our node.js vs PHP comparison guide can add value to your decision-making process. Being a PHP web development company we have worked on numerous projects and is our strong suit. But we don’t have any bias towards Node.js as we consider it to be a perfectly suitable platform and offer one of the best Node.js development services in the market. 

Technource has been in the web app development business for 9+ years now. And so we can confidently say that we can design business solutions that cater to your specific needs. You can contact us anytime to hire Node.js developers or if you need to hire PHP developers.

Knock our doors anytime to receive the best web development services from our most experienced developers and experts. You can easily get in touch with us by signing up for a free consultation form on our website. Thank you for reading.


Mr. Sanjay Singh Rajpurohit, An early-aged entrepreneur who always leads his team from the front and achieved success. As the founder & CEO of Technource, a top mobile app & Web development company, he made a global presence in a short time by offering custom software development, premium mobile apps, and website development services to global clients. In his free time, he loves writing. He is featured on Hackernoon, Dzone, Enlear Academy, Articlesfactory, and much more websites.

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