Difference Between Node.js and PHP

In this digital era, there are many programming languages available for a wide variety of projects. Node.js and PHP are two of the most popular language used exclusively for web app development.

Node.js vs PHP

The main difference is that we can use node.js for a wide variety of applications like game servers, browsers, multithreaded apps, including web apps. But, we usually use PHP for web-based applications only. Both the languages are open source, and thus it has been popular in the digital arena.

Node.js vs PHP

Node.js was initially released in 2009 by OpenJS Foundation because the most popular web browser in 2009, Apache HTTP Server, had limited possibilities when it came to concurrent connections.

PHP is a scripting language released in 1995 to serve as a tool for web development. It originally stood for Personal Home Page but now stands for Hypertext Preprocessor.

Comparison Table Between Node.js and PHP

Parameters of ComparisonNode.jsPHP
ScriptingIt is a server-side Javascript runtime environment built on V8 Engine. The files have a .js extension and contain only Javascript.It is a server-side scripting language. PHP scripts have an extension of .php and might contain HTML, CSS, Javascript, etc.
ExecutionIt uses Asynchronous execution. Asynchronous coding executes all of the code at the same time.It uses Synchronous execution. Synchronous coding executes the code in sequence, that is, line by line.
PerformanceIt has high performance with an appreciative execution time and lower start-up time.It has lower performance and slower execution time when compared to Node.js as it uses the synchronous method of execution.
DatabaseNode.js can work with all forms of databases including SQL Databases and NoSQL Databases like MongoDB and CouchDB.PHP works very well with conventional databases like MySQL and MariaDB. But the process becomes complicated with NoSQL Databases.
ModulesNode.js has a poorer library of modules when compared to PHP. But it is developing at a rapid pace.PHP has a plentiful library of modules compared to Node.js since it was developed many years before Node.js.
Application DomainReal-time applications like video streaming applications and chat applications use Node.js. It is ideal for developing highly scalable server-side solutions.The CPU-intensive applications use PHP. It is also a good solution for creating websites, blogs, e-commerce sites, etc.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a Javascript runtime environment built on Chrome’s V8 engine. It was developed in 2009 when the popular server of 2009, the Apache HTTP server, proved to be inadequate.

Javascript was initially developed to make the websites interactive. With Node.js, you can do more with JavaScript. It can be used as any other programming language.

When designing dynamic single-page applications, it is preferable to use Node.js. It offers fast back-end solutions and is efficient to use for concurrent connections.

Node.js is a flexible option for programmers as it has limited guidelines determining its use. There is no predetermined set of rules or patterns to follow in Node.

What is PHP?

PHP is a general-purpose scripting language geared towards web development. It was developed in 1995.

It was developed for easier web development and maintenance of code. It is usually used for blogs and e-commerce sites with Content Management System.

Over time, the developers of PHP have fixed the bugs and possible errors which can arise while coding and made it stable.

PHP is perfect for the LAMP stack (Linux Apache, MySQL, PHP). It can be used for programs that require ease of deployment and integration.

Main Differences Between Node.js and PHP

  1. Since PHP was developed way before Node.js, it has a richer library of modules when compared to Node.js. But, Node.js is also making quicker developments in this area.
  2. Node.js is ideal for highly scalable server-side solutions. PHP is used in CPU-intensive applications and for websites, blogs, e-commerce sites, etc.
Difference Between Node.js and PHP


When distinguishing between Node.js and PHP, we can find that there is no clear-cut winner. We cannot say that one is better than the other. It all depends on the project requirements.

Both PHP and Node.js provide great server-side scripting. However, neither of them is perfect. They have their pros and cons.

Programmers designed both Node.js and PHP for web development. It aimed to provide more extensive and data-rich solutions as per the demands of the project.

While selecting one of them for your project, it would be useful to note the proficiency level of the programmers you recruit in both of them.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7023652/
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00607-014-0394-9
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