PHP vs. Node.js: Who Is Winning?

PHP vs. Node.js: Which is Better? Who is Winning?

Node.js and PHP are two of the most popular backend technologies used to power online applications. And the latter is the senior of the two; therefore, it has a broader community.

But with that said, the PHP industry has begun to notice an absence of relevant and up-to-date projects.

Interestingly, that’s where Node.js has had the most success—in establishing a robust user base spanning projects designed for present use cases.

However, both technologies were initially established in separate eras, and in distinct technological environments, there are a few remarkable parallels.

For example, both are good choices for web application backends, are open-source software, and have a sizable supporting network.

Businesses with previous PHP projects, on the other hand, prefer it above others, although Node.js is a favorite amongst programmers handling modern-day difficulties with its rapidly developing frameworks and libraries.

Given their interdependence and significant variances, selecting one technology over another will significantly influence product performance, time-to-market, budget, resource utilization, and so on.

About Node.js

About Node.js

Node.js is an HTTP JavaScript server running open-source and based on Chrome’s JavaScript Engine (V8).

Typically, Java runs within your internet browser, but with Node.js, you can execute it separately, allowing you to construct JavaScript-only apps.

Furthermore, it was designed as an alternative to the client/server approach, where the server merely responds to the customer’s request before closing the contract.

Node.js establishes a two-way link that allows direct interaction between the client and the server while maintaining a fast performance response.

Moreover, it is a non-blocking and event-driven I/O architecture utilized to develop efficient and scalable apps.

All this adds up with one of Node.js’ most significant advantages over PHP: its reactive nature. What does this imply?

Consider a cafe where once a server accepts an order, they cannot perform anything until the order is delivered to the customer. That’s not how it works.

A waiter typically serves numerous customers simultaneously, can clear tables, provide beverages, and perform other moment activities while preparing the order.

PHP and other contemporaneous solutions are like a cafe where its waiter cannot do anything until a meal is served.

Essentially, every piece of code is executed sequentially, depending on how long it requires to resolve.

On the other hand, Node.js does not have to rely for a resolution: it may continue running the program while a function is invoked data.

Therefore, if the server wants to access data, it may perform other things unrelated to the information while this waits.

What exactly does everything mean? First, a significant performance gain, often as much as a 50% boost in performance metrics.

Which Companies Use Node.js?

Knowing how a few high-profile firms use Node.js will help you determine what Node.js can achieve for you. Here are some examples:



Netflix is undoubtedly the world’s largest VOD and streaming media service. It employs extensive A/B testing to power its high-capacity content platform and provide a vast experience to more than 104 million members globally.

However, each push cycle frequently results in conditional dependencies and scalability issues when dealing with many packages.

As a result, it was critical for the organization to choose a lightweight and quick platform such as Node.js, which cut initialization duration by 70%.


Linkedin, the largest social-networking site focused on business and jobs, also uses Node.js as its trusted foundation.

However, LinkedIn effectively migrated the smartphone backend to Node.js from Ruby on Rails, demonstrating their faith.

Although the Node.js application framework was still in its early stages, the company benefited greatly from this change.

Therefore, the new software is far lighter than its predecessors and at least two times as quick.


Trello is hailed as a game-changing project management tool that has attracted users from all around the world.

First, they needed to select a non-blocking and event-driven server to maintain several open connections for immediate upgrade propagation.

Additionally, the single-page app was built with Node.js. It sped up the whole process and guided Trello on the right path.


eBay is a worldwide e-commerce business that’s always been open to new technology. They needed a formal real-time application that could handle a large number of public transactions on the server.

They also required a system that would allow them to coordinate a substantial percentage of eBay-specific services capable of displaying a vast amount of information on the site.

Again, Node.js seems to be the most appropriate choice for meeting both of their objectives.


NASA employs this technology for a fundamental purpose. Its app is aimed at protecting its astronauts during risky space missions.

This technical transition occurred while one of their astronauts was on the verge of death owing to untrustworthy data housed in many locations.

As a result, NASA consolidates all data linked to the EVA spacesuits into a centralized cloud database to cut access times drastically.

Implementing Node.js was indeed the best option since it effectively lowered the number of procedural stages from 28 to 7.

Advantages Of Node.js

With its unparalleled functionality, here are the most salient advantages of using Node.js:

Quick Server Connection

Node.js enables you to create non-blocking output/input JavaScript apps by utilizing an action queuing system that can process several requests at once.

Furthermore, by utilizing the built-in asynchrony of JavaScript, you may construct a flexible and scalable application server that leverages your user’s memory and CPU while managing more tasks simultaneously than traditional multithreaded servers.


Node.js is available to any programming platform and technology. Therefore, before starting a project, there are no constraints or rigid regulations that must be followed.

Furthermore, the NPM (Node Package Manager) is a terrific tool for experts to create applications quickly and efficiently.

Moreover, Node.js has no tight dependencies or rigorous standards, allowing more freedom when designing apps. Instead, the dependencies and architecture are chosen by the developers independently.

Aside from that, there are several additional advantages to using Node.js. On the other hand, it is comparable to JavaScript in that it is considerably simple to learn; it is, therefore, suitable for managing large files.

Easy To Learn

Because Javascript is among the most widely used programming languages, many programmers are entering the industry.

In the war of PHP versus Node.js, this becomes simpler for the programmers to pick Node.js for the backend.

Moreover, It is also relatively simple to understand Node.js, which substantially expedites the design process for newbies.

However, as Node.js is a primary basis, you must master JavaScript and study the Node.js instructions to get started.

Furthermore, its design enables the connection of modules included in libraries. JS wrapper is generated for website libraries, allowing you to invoke methods from these units straight from your user’s JS code.

Several typical Node.js components are based on C++, yet they may still be utilized with the same ease as if they’ve been built in JavaScript.

For example, you may send any credentials to your application, detect errors, run code, and output processed information.


Compared to PHP, Node.js offers an asynchronous and non-blocking feature that enables an app quickly and helps you control several events happening simultaneously.

As a result, Node.js is the primary technology used to build SPAs and data-driven apps.

About PHP

About PHP

PHP stands for PHP Hypertext Preprocessor.  PHP is a server-side programming language that is open source and intended primarily for website development.

However, as it was initially designed to be a server-side scripting language, several programmers have embraced it as a one solution scripting language.

Let’s put it this way. Consider a web page analogous to a person: whenever we contact someone else, and that human speaks with us, thousands of signals are delivered from the mind to the lips.

In this scenario, the mind is the server, while PHP is the collection of instructions that informs the brain what to perform.

Wikipedia, Facebook, Tumblr, and Slack are a few examples of well-known websites that use PHP as their primary server solution.

Therefore, it is simple to understand why PHP has endured the passage of time, given its stability and general use.

Moreover, not that the language has none of those critics. According to history, PHP originated as a tool to help with C code, and it just kept expanding and expanding unless it became its very own entity.

However, designing software for personal use is not the same as developing a programming language, hence why PHP struggles from instability and poor design decisions.

So how can PHP be so famous while also having such a negative reputation? Well, PHP accomplishes its goal: at the point of its initial release, PHP was exceptionally user-friendly compared to other solutions.

However, it still has numerous complexities, making it challenging taking full advantage of it, particularly when compared to modern languages.

Overall, PHP still powers 80% of the world wide web. Frameworks like Laravel are prevalent, and PHP appears to be becoming more user-friendly with each iteration.

Furthermore, understanding PHP is among the essential abilities of a comprehensive backend developer.

Which Companies Use PHP?

As a result of its versatility, here are the most prominent organizations that use PHP to improve their web development:


Facebook is a major social platform that is rapidly expanding. PHP is used to create a large portion of Facebook’s consumer content. However, Facebook’s technology stack has grown since its inception.

In reality, Facebook developed its PHP version called Hack, backed by the HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine), another Facebook innovation.

It transforms PHP to C++, resulting in improved overall performance.


WordPress is the most widely used cms. Non-technical professionals without much understanding of programming may use WordPress to create their websites effortlessly.

Surprisingly, practically every aspect of WordPress, including plugins to the theme, is written in PHP.

Therefore, users who are more comfortable with programming may also learn PHP to personalize their websites further.



Wikipedia is an online free encyclopedia that uses an open, collaborative approach to hold content on practically any topic you can think of.

While Perl was initially used in the first version of Wikipedia, PHP was critical in expanding Wikipedia to become user-friendly and, as a result, to encourage more people.


The internet’s bastion of memes, Tumblr, has more than 325 million blogs and almost 555 million visitors per month.

It switched to PHP7 in 2016, highlighting substantial speed improvements and new language capabilities that it can now utilize, such as scalar category hints and return statement declarations.


Nothing is surprising that the most prominent content management system interacts with networks and retrieves data using PHP.

In a nutshell, PHP is utilized to get vital aspects from a server and display them as simple HTML.

This enables thousands of daily active individuals – without coding skills – to design and use themes and drag-and-drop site UI elements.

Advantages Of PHP

Having read about the widespread adoption of PHP, here are the stand-out advantages of the tool:

Portable Solutions

PHP is platform-independent, meaning it can operate on practically any server or platform. You only need to write code, and then it will work everywhere.

All web hosts support PHP, and a database management system may be obtained for a low cost. PHP is much easier to use here than it does on the local machine, and that you will understand which PHP features are restricted and which are enabled.

There is also an extensive PHP support network, which is yet another advantage for developers.

Simultaneously, there is an extensive range of PHP web hosting sites available, and you do not need to hire a whole system with SSH access to execute your work.

It implies that integrating PHP applications and deploying them is more straightforward for small companies or consumers who can operate and maintain their apps without knowing any terminal commands.

Big Code Base

PHP has a large and robust codebase that comprises well-known web development frameworks and platforms. Furthermore, it is so easy to use that even someone unfamiliar with technology can use it.

Moreover, PHP has such a large codebase that it can create many solutions, including content management systems for frameworks such as Symfony and Laravel.


PHP is also a very stable programming language. It has existed for quite some time. Developers have improved PHP to make it easier and more stable for developers to construct web apps with this tech.

PHP is built using a variety of frameworks such as CakePHP, Laravel, Codeigniter, and others. For an application or website, the PHP backend is exceptionally efficient.


PHP, as opposed to Python or Java and other various programming languages, was created mainly for the website.

As a result, it has all the capability required to interact with HTML, databases, and servers. Most of the time, you can get away with a minimum amount of JS code, mainly on the frontend, because of the rich PHP language.

It is pertinent to mention here that PHP is a programming language. Therefore, it is generated, which has a direct impact on performance.

PHP Vs. Node.js: Detailed Comparison

PHP Vs. Node.js: Detailed Comparison

According to the latest Stack Overflow study, approximately 58.4 percent of engineers detest PHP.

Simultaneously, Node.js was by far the most widely used technology in the Libraries, Frameworks, and Tools area, with roughly 49.6 percent of the 51,620 participants favoring it.


If the language is simple and well-designed, you will be capable of accomplishing so much with so little code.


From a distance, it may appear like PHP needs fewer pieces of code to complete a function and is therefore simpler.

First, however, you must be familiar with how generators and operators function in Apache HTTP Server, Linux, MySQL, and LAMP.


On the appearance, Node.js necessarily involves extra pieces of code to perform the same duties as PHP.

Fortunately, since the complete development platform is written in Javascript, you do not have to memorize the syntax of other languages when coding.


This metric measures the speed with which both technologies function. High computational efficiency ensures faster project development and more cost-efficient operations.


PHP, like other pre-2000 technologies and languages, is based on synchronicity. As a result, each function and module run in the sequence provided by the code.


Node.js is one of the few asynchronous programming environments available. This, as a significant distinction, provides Node.js an advantage over competing languages.

Because it is asynchronous, it does not require waiting for a component to complete before importing another one.

Hence, this execution significantly decreases interruption for the website and ensures a smooth user experience.

Client-Side Coding

Server-side coding emphasizes the efficient execution of tasks that will eventually comprise the user interface.

This is an essential element since it influences the customer experience, data consumed on the company’s device, and the loading time rates of an application.


PHP was created to manage dynamic websites. As a result, it already comes with various features that you may want for web-page UX components.

Aside from that, PHP is reliant on the HTML code generated for every static web page. However, because no changes are required for every web page, it displays the page quickly and without taxing the processing capacity of user devices.


The main advantage of this development platform is that it enables you to integrate many of the backend functionality onto the server-side code.

It is, therefore, simple to gain accessibility you have designated on both fronts. Furthermore, Node.js shifts a significant amount of effort to the client end.

So, if your intended audience has cellphones with adequate processing capacity, Node.js is an excellent choice for your application.


Performance is a statistic according to how Node.js or PHP code is designed and performs on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as page load times and consistency.

A high-performing innovation provides better outcomes for the product’s performance utilizing key performance indicators (KPIs) that significantly influence the UX


PHP was created in a far earlier era, and it reflects how well it operates in terms of page-load saving time.

However, it halts a process until it has completed its calculation, resulting in sluggish loading with little potential for concurrency.

If you want to utilize PHP, you may link it with the HHVM Virtual Machine, which runs PHP web projects. It can improve the speed of your PHP web project by over 75%.


Node.js’s asynchronous nature in conjunction with the JavaScript V8 Engine offers Node.js a fantastic application performance as well as a short startup time.

Because it is event-driven, Node.js does not wait for current requests to complete. Furthermore, because it is event-driven, Node.js does not wait for recent requests to complete.

On the other hand, concurrency is the term used to describe this command execution. Concurrent program execution denotes the processing of numerous modules at the exact moment but not simultaneously.


Because the most often used code has already been supplied with methods, APIs, and libraries, frameworks allow you to focus on the smaller aspects of your application.

The more comprehensive the framework, the less duplicate code you must create.


PHP has had a relatively large collection of frameworks with its own specialty markets around 1995. In addition, certain development firms specialize in PHP frameworks such as CakePHP, Laravel, Phalcon, and CodeIgniter.


Node.js has experienced a significant increase in its modules in a very brief period, thanks to Derby, Sails, Meteor, and Express frameworks.

However, whereas these frameworks can increase productivity by lowering project duration and resource usage, PHP frameworks exceed Node.js frameworks.


There is no defined method for determining if Node.js is superior to PHP or likewise.

Rather than attempting to determine one technology outperforms the other, it would be better first to plan out the needs of your work and then choose the platform that best matches it.

Pay careful attention to the needs of people in addition to the technical significance.

For example, if your staff is more skilled in one technology than another, you should consider if the knowledge can overcome the technology’s potential drawback.

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Ryan is the VP of Operations for He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations--delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.
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