Meet the Two Back-end Technologies of web development: PHP and Node.JS

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Web development has always been a diverse and ever-changing field with new technologies entering the realm day in day out! Therefore professionals have to face the dilemma of keeping up with these newbies. PHP and Node.Js are one of those long-standing backend solutions that might start a holy war.

PHP is a server-side scripting language that was created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. Originally stood for Personal Home Page, now it stands for a recursive acronym — PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.

Powered by the Zend engine, PHP is mainly processed by interpreters installed on web servers such as Apache and Nginx. Moreover, the PHP code can be embedded in HTML and HTML5 markup.

Whereas, Node.js is an open-source featuring JavaScript run-time environment to execute the code on the server-side. Powered by Google’s V8 JS engine, Node comprises a wide range of built-in libraries that takes care of everything. This also means that you don’t require having a separate web server or other dependencies.

Most of the backend programmers usually have to deal with selecting the right technology due to several reasons. Even though in the past JavaScript didn’t cover or overlap PHP as it was used to build only front-end applications (this includes Node) and PHP was for server-side applications. Things being what they are, why did the situation change — you may ask?

Well, everything was working fine till the time JavaScript began entering a server-side sphere attracting PHP developers to join the bandwagon.

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  • Configuring the development environment becomes easy
  • Requires less code when compared to others
  • All internet hosting services, frameworks, and CMS support PHP
  • PHP has a larger library of instructions and frequently asked questions (there were plenty in 20 years)
  • The PHP developers community is a massive and diverse group of people, they are constantly re-visioning and updating libraries, frameworks and other PHP components
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  • Built-in server support
  • Requires single syntax for client and server-side of the website
  • Module caching makes everything easy with large projects
  • Node has almost identical syntax to JavaScript, thus it is easy to pick-up and learns for JS developers.

With both being Server-scripting languages, they are bound to have a wide range of similarities such as:

#1 Both are interpreted — Both PHP and Node.JS developers can run these techs in their runtime environments as they can be easily interpreted. In addition, both run across multiple platforms including Linux, macOS, and Windows.

#2 Viable choices — Another interesting aspect of these technologies is building websites and both run on the server-side. However, there are a plethora of reasons making one more preferred over others. On the contrary, Node.js is more extensive and faster when compared to PHP making it more a viable choice.

#3 Extensibility — Node and PHP have the ability to adapt to your circumstances which can be modified as per the need and can be easily incorporated into a variety of code. Both are open source with a rich system of add ons to play with.

#4 Performance — Performance of any platform depends on a variety of variables that aren’t just limited to programming, usage, and database. However, it is difficult to compare the performance of PHP and Node js since their usage is so different but this can be done by taking a look at Retrace and monitoring the real-time performance of both PHP and Node js.

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Both are great server technologies; however, choosing one depends on the nature of your project.

Situations for using PHP — In case, if you do not plan on scaling the application across multiple servers, LIMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) stack can be used. Obviously, this continues changing relying upon the project requirements and growth.

Being a higher portable language, the tech can run on almost any platform that has Apache, IIS, and a supported database system installed. As a result, it becomes way easier to deploy CMS’s such as WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla as well as make end-solutions such as creating websites portable and work on every web host.

Situations for using Node — Choosing a Node.Js development company would be apt only if your project involves software stacks such as MEAN stack including MongoDB, ExpressJS, Angular JS), dynamic single-page applications, server-side technologies, and frontend technologies such as Angular Js, Backbone.Js or React Js. It becomes way easier to have the same language across the whole stack. Moreover, the Typoscript library of Node.Js can be used in case of an Angular project to make it easier for developers. Moreover, MEAN stack is also easier to scale the LAMP stack across multiple servers.

Another interesting situation is when we wish to create applications that require real-time data. Likewise, the tech being quicker than PHP brings about incredible execution speed for your applications, for example, browser-based multiplayer games or chat applications.

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It may quite interest you to know that both the techs have more differences than similarities. Let us find out what they are.

#1 JavaScript Affiliated — Node.Js gives liberty to developers in a highly efficient environment so that they can go beyond the browsers with the script. This more importantly reduces the reliability of the web platform upon the flash.

On the other hand, PHP has its base to deliver the content from servers to browsers itself.

#2 Level of Complications — PHP is way easier to work with for beginners in comparison to Node.JS but equals in comparison while talking about professionals. However, Node.js is not complex to be used but does require an additional amount of codes for its works when compared to PHP

#3 Synchronization — With both the technologies code is executed line by line. So when the current line is being executed it is known as simultaneous code while the code executed simultaneously is called nonconcurrent code.

PHP is a synchronous coding language and Node.JS is an asynchronous coding language. The synchronous web platforms are considered less viable for execution speed and asynchronous web platforms are considered more viable tools to enhance the execution speed of the program.

#4 Portable enough — Many PHP development companies have considered PHP as a language to develop web programs that seem to be highly portable and compatible with different operating systems.

Web hosting for PHP is less expensive and more open than Node.js. This is likewise one of the significant reasons that PHP stages rule the web with over 80% of the substance.

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I have seen all the good parts, the bad part of both PHP and Node.Js development; so I know making the right choice is extremely difficult but doable especially when your professionals are able to leverage both environment’s architectures and ecosystems.

Like I said, hiring a Node.JS development company turns out the best fit when you are willing to create any real-time applications such as instant messaging and collaborative apps.

Also, the high-end support for server-side events and WebSockets makes it easy to implement publish-subscribe based architectures used in RTAs and quickly update the view on the client-side. As a result, Node.JS becomes suitable for applications that process data from the Internet of Things and Single Page Applications involving high flexibility, dynamic and heavy client-side functionality.

On the other hand, PHP works best when looking for a standardized solution such as a blog, news site, landing page, and web portal. WordPress has been written in PHP allows you to create stable and customizable blogs without much coding. The tech also acts as a better choice when there is a hosting support issue.

So before choosing to ensure what your genuine necessity is, the thing that application you are going to fabricate, what are the facilitating prerequisites, what is the speed development and so more. Both backend technologies are great so choosing either one won’t be much of concern as both are destined to provide the best possible outcomes.

Written by

I am Nelly Nelson and writes about emerging technology. I focusing on the latest technology, news, gadgets.

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