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Both PHP and Node.js are server side programming languages. They are both versatile and are used for various different purposes. While PHP is the more familiar one among the two, Node.js has recently garnered a lot of popularity for its ability to build fast and scalable backed applications. 

Both are completely different technologies yet have a lot of similarities in terms of the purpose they serve. When it comes to choosing a programming language for your project, it depends on various different factors. A lot of people will opt for PHP because of it being the default language for a lot of website builders. 

What is PHP?

PHP is a general purpose scripting language that is widely used in making web applications. It has a history all the way to 1993 when it was first launched. Off late, developers have been using PHP for its server side programming abilities. Combined with frontend tools and database management systems, PHP can create fast and intuitive web applications.

Because of how easily it is available (being open source) and because of some really great modern day website building tools using it, PHP powers over 70% of the total websites worldwide.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a run-time server environment that can run on many different platforms and operating systems. It functions as a run-time environment for programs written in JavaScript. It essentially opens a file on a web server and returns the data to the client side. 

While PHP waits for a request to be completely served, Node.js does not wait and continues entertaining following requests. Node.js has a history all the way to 2009 when it was first launched. Node.js uses an event-driven no-blocking input/output model. 

PHP VS Node.js

Now that we know a brief detail about both the platforms, let us see how they fare on various aspects of development. 

PHP VS Node.js

Now that we know a brief detail about both the platforms, let us see how they fare on various aspects of development. 


Performances are derived by how a technology handles user requests. The way PHP works is that it handles one request at a time because it is a synchronous programming language. You can opt for custom PHP website development if you need a simple and functional web application. But PHP’s architecture becomes a problem when there are concurrent requests that you need to serve, all with equal consistency. 

Node.js on the other hand is an asynchronous language and can facilitate multiple requests at the same time. It does not wait for the request to be completely served and goes to the next request in the queue. This makes Node.js better capable of handling high volumes of concurrent requests.

Ease of Access

The ease of access or usage is defined by how well a developer can learn a technology from the start. PHP is one of the easiest programming languages to understand and use since it has its roots down to C style languages.  It has a very simple syntax and a huge library of functions.

Those familiar with JavaScript will find Node.js very easy to use. It is also based on simple syntax and has a large library of functionalities and frameworks that make the development process easy.


PHP uses a blocking architecture with multiple threads handling a request each. It is ideal to build traditional web applications. As iterated earlier, this mode of handling requests can make programs on PHP susceptible to crashing when they face a large volume of requests all at the same time.

Node.js uses a non-blocking architecture with a single thread that handles multiple requests at the same time. This makes Node.js very popular among businesses that need applications with high volume of concurrent requests and real time updates. 


PHP has a rather simple documentation that elaborates its syntax, functions, popular practices and contexts. It also has a huge community of developers who are always keen to help on various different forums. A lot of third party resources are also available for PHP.

Node.js also has a detailed documentation available on its official website that explains the syntax, examples, modules and popular practices. Node.js also has many third party resources but it cannot beat the number of resources and community forums PHP has.


PHP has built-in server security features like input sanitization and output encoding. This prevents common web application vulnerabilities like authentication for transactions that require handling of sensitive user data in real time. PHP also enrolls a sufficient number of version updates and security patches on a regular basis.

Node.js on the other hand has less built-in security features. It is also vulnerable to attempts of theft since it handles many requests at once. It is not strongly compatible with older legacy systems which also make it less secure than PHP.


Both PHP and Node.js have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. What you should prefer completely depends on the purpose of your application. For instance, PHP is ideal to form traditional web applications or programs that integrate CMS. Node.js however is best suited for programs that need to run real-time applications and large volumes of concurrent requests. It is really the community support and popularity of PHP that beats all of its competitor languages. After all, troubleshooting is one of the most underrated aspects of development and it is PHP that has better community support than any other language out there. 


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