Coding, Development, Technology

Node.js Vs. PHP As Backend Technology

Like with other technologies, the dev community is divided between PHP and node js, which is a better server-side programming language. Both...

Node.js Vs. PHP as Backend Technology-87a85857

Like with other technologies, the dev community is divided between PHP and node js, which is a better server-side programming language. Both are server-side programming languages for web applications. PHP is much older than Node.js, and the former has a vast community with tons of interesting and updated projects. Although it is also impressive how in a much shorter period, Node.js has built a strong following among modern developers.

Which one is better for your next project? How do you choose between the two strikingly similar technologies for backend programming? Let’s answer these questions and find out who wins.

As we all know the basics of what PHP and Node.js are, we will quickly move to the comparison between the two based on the seven most prominent factors in web application development:

  • Popularity
  • Coding
  • Speed
  • Performance
  • Database
  • Community

Let’s get started.


No. of websites7.4 million129k
Market share5/50/5
Lead in countries162/1620/162
No. of stack overflow questions tagged1,290,000281,000
Node.js Vs. PHP As Backend Technology

As the data clearly shows that PHP development has way more websites under its belts than Node.js. Also, PHP beats Node.js in every segment. It is undeniable that the popularity of PHP is god-like. But the data doesn’t consider the 14-year launch gap between the two technologies.

PHP has been struggling to meet the demands of modern age applications and scaling issues due to concurrency. These are the top reasons why Node.js is the new favorite of developers outperforming PHP on various metrics.

Unsurprisingly, Node.js has been experiencing an upward trend. The fact that Node.js has more relevant packages, frameworks, libraries, and tools to create new-age applications is why the tech is trending among developers looking for a modern alternative for PHP.

Node.js Vs. PHP As Backend Technology


A more organized and well-defined syntax means less code and faster work application delivery.

PHP has been around longer than Node.js; hence is much more developed and requires less code than node js to execute the same function. Even though it is true that more lines of code are required to run similar functions in Node.js, there is an advantage too. In Node.js, The entire development environment works on Javascript. That means developers have to remember the syntax of only one language as compared to PHP, where coders have to be fluent in LAMP (Linux, Apache HTTP Server, MySQL, and PHP).

When it comes to coding, Node.js is a winner. Despite the long lines of code, Node.js offers a seamless environment and setup for building web apps, and even a beginner can get started with it because they need to learn just one language – Javascript.


Here we analyze the intrinsic speed of both languages because the higher the speed, the faster the development.

Node.js has an asynchronous development environment. PHP doesn’t. Asynchronous development means that even if a module is not successfully executed, another one can load. This leads to much lesser downtime of applications and a flawless user experience.

PHP, on the other hand, works on synchronicity. That means every module has to be executed in a specific order. If a previous function is not completed, the next one can’t be started.

The asynchronicity of Node.js gives it an edge over PHP when compared to speedy development.


This metric is assessed on KPIs like speed and page load time for code in Node.js and PHP.

The asynchronous working of Node.js, which runs on order-independent execution and Javascript V8 engine, makes Node.js extremely fast. This concurrent execution can process multiple functions simultaneously without blocking each other.

PHP is a much older language with pre-2K era composition resulting in slower page load time. There is no scope for concurrent execution in PHP, and it blocks a function until it’s completed entirely. One can make a PHP application 75% faster with HHVM Virtual Machine. Still, it can’t match the speed and execution of Node.js codes.

If performance is one of your top priorities, Node.js is a clear winner. It is the tech you choose for a seamless user experience.


It is not just about how well the technology can connect with databases; it is also about the different types of databases it can connect with: conventional, relational, and NoSQL.

Node.js is developed after the arrival of NoSQL databases, connecting with all types of databases conveniently. NoSQL databases like MongoDB and CouchDB are ideal for Node.js with the combination of Javascript Object Notation format. It can also support SQL and graph databases through libraries.

Php has been developed to connect with conventional and traditional databases like MySQL and MariaDB. Although one can import libraries from NoSQL databases, it takes a lot of time and a larger development time.

If you’re looking for a scalable technology that can access all types of databases, Node.js is the one to go with.


Developers can’t code for every module and functionality from scratch for each new project. Communities provide a large library of projects, updates, and frameworks to work on.

Node.js has a growing user base, so the number of projects listed from its community is more recent. Even though the community of Node.js is not as large as PHP’s, the quality of the projects is much more relevant for the development demands of today.

PHP is among the oldest technologies around. Hence it has a massive community. The drawback here is that there are projects with all the features and functionalities. The projects don’t have any new interesting projects.

It is tied between Node.js and PHP. The former has an upcoming user base with new and interesting projects. Still, the latter has a vast community with solutions for almost any bug problem that developers might face.

Which one to choose for backend development: Node.js or PHP?

No one solution fits all answers here and never will be. It depends on the client’s requirements and project demands. There are some scenarios where we can pick one over the other.

When to pick Node.js over PHP?

While developing a web app project where you require a scalable, dynamic application with speedy execution, consistent call back from servers, and real-time data functionality, Node.js is perfect for your software development project.

When to pick PHP over Node.js?

PHP is your go-to technology if you’re developing a project where scalability is not required with centralized servers and portability to other database support functionalities.

To conclude

Rather than battling the thought, of which is better PHP or Node.js, start mapping out your project requirements. Then assess which technology serves a better match to them for cost-effective project development.

So whichever you choose – Node.js or PHP, if you want to build a high-performing web application, we are here to build it for your business. Contact our custom software, development team. We have expert PHP developers and Node.js developers to meet all your project necessities.


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Written by Abhishek Jain
Imenso Software is a client focused custom software development company. Whether you need custom web development or an appealing website design, Imenso has the

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