Web development seems to be a diverse & ever-changing field. New technologies and tools come up regularly, due to which app programmers and developers have to face the dilemma. They get confused between the long term and mature solutions & the new upcoming ones.

Backend programmers are the ones who usually have to deal with the problem of selecting between PHP and Node.js. This has now become a common situation with the developers due to certain reasons.

Javascript (the one which underlies Node.Js) didn’t overlap with PHP. Javascript was used to build the front-end applications and on the other hand, PHP was used for developing server-side applications. Working together, these two languages developed amazing websites.

Then, what happened all of a sudden? Why did the situation change? This happened since JS that was represented by an all new Node.Js began entering a server-side sphere & distracted the backend programmers from traditional PHP.

In this article we will give you the knowledge which we had about a node.Js and PHP so on that you can choose from, both for further development.

Introduction

PHP
PHP is an acronym for Hyptertext Preprocessor created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. PHP is an open-source server-side scripting language designed specifically for the web development.

Although PHP is a server-side scripting language, it is also used as a general purpose scripting language. PHP scripts have an extension of .php and can contain Javascript, HTML, CSS and even plain text.

Node.Js
Node.js is an open-source server-side Javascript run-time environment built on Chrome’s JavaScript Engine(V8). Node.js is used for building fast and scalable applications and is an event driven, non-blocking I/O model.

Node.js files have .js extension and contain only Javascript. It’s original author is Ryan Dahl and was initially released on May 27, 2009. With the birth of Node.js, it brings users the facility to built completely Javascript based applications.

Synchronous OR Asynchronous

PHP
PHP is synchronous but there are some APIs that behaves asynchronously apart from the synchronous lot. The problem with being synchronous can be understood by a simple example. Suppose, the first line of code has a function that takes a lot of time to execute.

Now, due to synchronous nature, the below lines of code have to wait for their turn and will execute only after the function is executed. This makes it slower and the user to wait.

Node.Js

Node.js is asynchronous in nature which means the JavaScript engine runs through the entire code in one go and does not wait for a function to return. The lines of code below the function will execute and the function be executing too and will return the output once done and thus it make Node.js fast.

CONTEXT SWITCHES

PHP
Writing back end code in PHP, user continuously switches between different language and syntax. This is because PHP is predominantly used as part of LAMP stack which includes MySQL (for database), PHP (for server side code), and linux.

All of them have different syntax plus good knowledge of HTML, CSS and Javascript is required.

Node.js
Since Node.js is written in JavaScript, it makes both the sides server-side and client-side based on JavaScript so there is no need to switch between the languages.

Javascript stack(MEAN or MERN) is better because the only coding language and syntax used is Javascript based.

FRAMEWORKS

PHP
PHP is a very popular server-side scripting language and has many frameworks which help in easy backend development. Some of them are Laravel, CodeIgniter, Cakephp, etc.

These frameworks help in agile, robust and secure backend development of web applications.

Node.js
Frameworks like Express and the full-stack MVC frameworks Meteor and Derby are the most popular. New frameworks keep popping up every now and then like koa.js, hapi, total.js, sails.js etc.

DATABASES

PHP
PHP is used in collaboration with traditional/relational databases like MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, etc. However, there are ways to use NoSQL database systems with PHP too but they are not very popular.

Node.js
Node.js works perfectly with NoSQL (Not only SQL) databases like MongoDB, CouchDB and graph database systems like Neo4j. The NPM packages for almost all the databases are available on the npm registry.

WEB SERVERS

PHP
For versions prior to 5.4, LAMP and XAMPP(acronym for Cross-platform, Apache, MariaDB, PHP) servers had to be setup.But from v5.4, PHP comes with a built-in development server which can be used.

Node.js
Nodejs was developed for the network applications. It ships with some core modules like http, DNS, file system, etc. which helps to develop customized web servers.

Some really popular frameworks for powering Node.js running web servers are Express.js, koa.js and Sails.js which can be setup by using only 4 lines of code at max.