Web development is a constantly growing and evolving field. As long as the web exists, there will always be a need for newer, better web applications. Hence, if you want to pursue an option where you learn and create something new every day, web development would be an excellent choice.
When it comes to creating web apps, there are plenty of options to choose from for the development stack, that is, the technologies used in this process. People who wish to start with something reliable often stick to the classics. The leading web development companies have a niche of their own and have a set of rules to follow.
Node.js and PHP are two such reliable options to be used for server-side development. They are both programming languages used to develop web app back-ends. They have been around for so long that they have experienced immense growth and, on the way, garnered the support of developers of both – old and new age. Hence, everyone in the developer community trusts them as a safe and steady choice.
Now, since they are both rivals, it naturally leads to the question, “Which is better?” To answer the question, we will take a look at both Node.js and PHP as separate programming languages with their individual pros and cons. We will also present a brief comparison to aid us in settling this debate.
Node.js is used in the development of various types of applications such as SPAs (single page applications), I/O intensive apps, and DIRTs (Data Intensive Real-time Applications).
Danish-Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf first introduced PHP way back in 1994, which makes PHP as one of the oldest languages in the market. PHP, which is a recursive acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor, is a programming language that was released purely for the purpose of web development. The experienced PHP development companies have PHP as their primary choice when they need to develop robust and scalable web apps.
For Node.js, there are two options:
PHP’s official website offers multiple new and old versions of PHP for download. The website also has instructions on how to make PHP work with a web server.
Some well-known frameworks that work with Node.js are
Two of the most popular PHP frameworks are Laravel and Codeigniter. However, there are many lesser-known options such as:
PHP, on the other hand, works with multiple very popular open-source web server solutions. As a beginner, you might find it easy to configure a PHP server using XAMPP, which will set up an Apache server for you. According to a report by W3Techs, when it comes to the most commonly used server, Apache takes the lead, being used by 43.9% of all websites. However, it is closely followed by Nginx at 30.6%.
PHP, on the other hand, has to be learned from scratch, so it might slow your progress down a little. However, it is an easy language to learn, with comprehensive documentation as well as a lot of community support available online. The simple structure of PHP also encourages most beginners to start with PHP instead of Node.js.
We took a look at how the two languages, PHP, and JS, fared against each other in another W3Techs report and discovered that PHP topped the list of most-used server-side development languages.
As this is the case with any project, you need to choose the most appropriate technologies for your project’s development while keeping all your requirements in mind.
Choosing Node.js would enable you to build highly scalable and fast I/O sensitive projects. On the other hand, if you are looking to develop a project on a much smaller scale using a piece of dedicated web technology, then PHP would be a great choice.
Syed Asad Islam has a BS and MS in Computer Science and has accumulated 20 years of software development and management experience across many different languages, platforms, and technologies. He currently oversees the software development teams for all projects at GoodCore Software.