PHP and Node.js are both powerful backends for dynamic websites. In this article, we will be talking about the key features & differences between Node.js and PHP, and also try to identify which technology is suitable for which purpose.
PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor is a general-purpose programming language originally designed for web development. It was originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994, and ever since has been used as the first choice of language preference for content management systems like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. As of the latest statistics of 2018, more than 80% of websites are built with PHP.
Synchronous code executes line by line and proceeds to execute the next line of code when the current line has been executed.
Asynchronous code executes all the code at the same time.
PHP is conceptually much simpler to use than Node.js. When setting up a server, all you need is a “.php” file with some code wrapped between the tags, enter the URL into your browser, and you’re done. Behind the scenes, a web server like MySQL with PHP installed will be able to interpret the file and display your web page in your browser. Setting up a Node.js server, while not difficult, usually requires more lines of code, and a basic understanding of how closures and callback functions work.
PHP is synchronous but there are some APIs that behave asynchronously apart from the synchronous lot. It uses multi-threaded blocking I/O to carry out multiple tasks to run parallels alongside each other.
PHP uses module installing technologies like PEAR( framework and distribution system for reusable PHP components.)
Node.js comes bundled with a package management system called NPM (Node Package Manager).
PHP is supported across most popular content management systems (such as Drupal, Joomla, WordPress), which makes it an often choice as a tool for building blogs and e-commerce web applications. In contrast, Node.js efficiently serves as a tool for creating scalable dynamic solutions that deal with numerous I/O operations. It’s also possible to scale Node on multi-cores systems, though with more efforts.
PHP runs on the Apache web server. It can also run on IIS web server in case of a windows machine. NPM does not need a web server, it runs on its own run time environment.
Although Node.js is always highlighted as a high-performative one because of its asynchronous model, PHP has also evolved in this direction. With such libraries as ReactPHP, it has become possible for PHP to be used in event-driven programming as well.
However, when both the environments are compared, you will notice that Nodejs stands out to be a lot faster than PHP, due to following :-
Speed Friendly V8 Engine
Continued Server connection
Callback functions which process many requests at the same time
Centralized Server : In case we do not plan on scaling our application across multiple servers we can use LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) stack. This might change depending on project requirements and growth.
Portability: PHP is a highly portable language. The cheap costs of web hosting and the availability of the servers for PHP is comparable to none. PHP can run on almost any platform that has Apache, IIS and a supported database system installed, this makes PHP applications portable and easy to deploy.
Speed: Node.js is much faster than PHP when it comes to execution speed, if speed is what you require for your application, such as a browser based multiplayer game or a chat application, Node.js is a great choice than PHP.
Although discussions around Node.js vs PHP don’t seem to cease any soon, the important thing to remember is that there’s nothing unique that you can do only with one of them — they are interchangeable. However, you can always orient at the level of development expertise and stack of technologies that are to be used in the process of development.
Thank you for reading this article, Hope it helps :)
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