Node.js vs PHP

Nodejs vs PHP: Which is best for Backend Development


Firstly, every time a new technology comes in, it brings forward much marvellous features and changes. These changes revolutionises the world of programming and development. Coders feel that this is the need of the hour to get a new language or a technology that can help them to code better applications. Today in this blog topic we are going to discuss two technologies which has been matured enough to help programmers.

We are going to discuss two technologies namely PHP and Node.js. What are the similarities and differences between these technologies. When you can use these technologies. What are the applications.

Overview- Nodejs vs PHP

Both PHP and NodeJS provide developers and programmers with powerful backends. These backends are used for creating dynamic websites. Both of these technologies are designed and developed that falls under the same category. PHP is quite well known server side language that is used for server side scripting. However, because of nodejs it is now possible to use javascript on server side programming aspects also. Nodejs was introduced to the public masses in 2009. This gave rise to different websites that was powered entirely by javascript for both the front end as well as the back end environment.


PHP commonly known as hypertext preprocessor is a scripting language that is designed solely and dedicatedly for web development. It was created by Rasmus Lerdorf in the year 1994, so PHP has a good 26 years of maturity under its belt. Ever since this language has evolved many times and has become the first choice for development of various CMSs such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. As per the latest statistics conducted by Statista, more than 80% of all the world’s websites is powered by PHP.


NodeJS is a cross platform, open source, javascript runtime environment that is built using Chrome’s javascript V8 Engine. It does not require a sole web browser to execute and handle javascript code. It can execute javascript outside of the browser also without using it. The main advantage of using nodejs is that it allows developers to take advantage of asynchronous programming. This means that developers do not have to wait for the function or procedure to execute. All of the code is executed at once and not in a linear or a line after line fashion.  Even though the amount of websites that are developed using nodejs are relatively low that is 0.4%, it is a fast growing technology that is becoming increasingly popular among developers and web programmers alike.

Nodejs vs PHP differences


Runtime environments

Even though both javascript and PHP statements can be embedded directly into HTML statements, both of these technologies need an interpreter in order to be processed and executed. PHP has been making use of the powerful ZEND engine to process php statements. NodeJS on the other hand make use of the Chrome’s V8 javascript engine in
order to process and execute javascript statements.


PHP is an synchronous model language which means that its statements are executed in a linear fashion. Even though there are some API that have asynchronous execution techniques, PHP is still processed and executed in a synchronous fashion. NodeJS on the other hand is asynchronous, which means that all of the statements and functions are executed in a single go and does not have to wait for the function to return and resume its execution. It is because of this reason NodeJS is fast and high performance than PHP.


PHP makes use of module installing technologies such as PEAR (framework and redistribution system that is used for reusable PHP components)

NodeJS on the other hand comes bundled with a package manager called as NPM (Node Package Manager).


PHP is fully supported across major content management systems and platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and many others. These tools are used to build blog based systems that provides informative and knowledge to public, it can also be used for managing and development of e-commerce websites using various plugins and tools that are available to them.  NodeJS on the other hand serves well to create scalable dynamic solutions that deals with numerous I/O operations and tasks. It has been possible to scale NodeJS applications on multi core systems, with increased efforts.

Web Servers

PHP runs efficiently on an Apache web server. It can also run on an IIS or internet information server offered by the windows platform. NodeJS on the other hand does not require a web server in order to run. NodeJS runs in its own environment powered by the JavaScript V8 Engine.


NodeJS is highlighted as a high performance environment simply because of its asynchronous data processing model. However PHP has also been evolved in this direction only and with the help of libraries such as ReactPHP, it is possible to use in event driven programming also.


Also Read: Django vs Laravel vs NodeJS


When Should You Use PHP or Node.js?- PHP vs Nodejs


When to use PHP

Centralized Server: In case as your developers or programmers have no plan on scaling your application that works is going to work across multiple servers, then you can easily use  LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) stack. This can easily change depending on your project requirements as well as growth.


When to use Node.js

Same Language across the Stack: Node.js is a great choice for you to use if your project involves multiple software stacks and technologies for example MEAN stack ( MongoDB, ExpressJs, AngularJs.), dynamic single page based applications, as well as server side technologies and Front end technologies such as Angular Js, Backbone.Js or React Js. This makes it easier for developers to have the same language (Javascript) across your entire and whole stack.



Node JS is based on open source technology PHP is also Open source technology
It is beneficial to scale up web servers PHP is used for web development on server side
Node JS is much faster than PHP PHP is slower than nodeJS
Node JS can be used with several other technologies PHP can only be used with HTML, CSS and javascript
Node js is used for high-performance web scaling and designing PHP is server-side development for web.
Node JS is asynchronous in nature PHP is synchronous in nature.
Node JS is used in scaling server-side development. PHP is used in many Content management systems

Read More: PHP vs Python



So you see we have discussed  the various similarities and differences between PHP and NodeJS (PHP vs Node.js). It comes down to what your preferences and what features do your applications should have. If you want to hire nodejs developers or hire php developers then do contact us at with your requirements.