NodeJS vs PHP? Let's settle the debate with a clear winner

 · 6 mins read


This topic has been a very popular debate topic in the apps development industry nowadays. This article is about why we here at Zivost Technologies opted for Node.js over PHP. In this article, I’ll walk you through a brief of both the technologies and why Node.js was a better fit for our use. Both node.js and PHP are widely used for backend development but still have their distinct differences. Backend developers are the ones who fall in the dilemma of choosing between PHP and Node.js. Earlier, Javascript didn’t overlap with PHP. Javascript was used for the front end applications while PHP was used for developing server-side (backend) applications. Now when and why did this dilemma between the two arise? It was when JavaScript in the form of node.js began entering the back-end server.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a runtime environment that includes everything that is needed to execute a program that is written in Javascript. Node.js initially appeared when the engineers of Javascript broadened its scope from something you could just keep running in a program on the browser to something you could keep running on your machine as an independent application and serve as a runtime environment.

What is PHP?

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor), is a general-purpose programming language originally designed for web development. In 1994, it was developed by Rasmus Lerdorf. PHP is an open-source scripting language that is mostly used in web development and comes along with the feature that it can be directly embedded into HTML. In the case of embedding PHP into HTML, the script is executed on the server-side, generating the HTML which is further sent to the client.


Where to use?

  • When we require higher server-side processing.

    This high speed of node.js is due to various features offered by the language such as continued server connections, callback functions to process multiple requests at the same time, and many more.

  • When we expect flexibility and freedom in terms of dependencies and choosing guidelines for the project.

    Access to hundreds of different modules to choose from for inclusion and enhancement of various features. Support of various architecture patterns.

  • When we intend to use a single language throughout the development stack.

    Node.js is a JavaScript framework, provides developers with a variety of benefits a developer expects from a scripting language. Such as fewer bugs, enhanced functionality and many more.

  • When switching to new technology.

    Being Identical to Js makes it easier to learn and it is also ideal while working to with large files

  • Continuously enhancing and developing technology.

    Backed by a large community of open-source contributors, enhancing its capabilities and performance.

Where not to use?

  • When we require higher computational and processing power.

    The use of Node.js as a back-end technology is unadvisable if your app requires intensive CPU activities, such as generating or editing audio, graphic or video content.

  • When we require a reliable back-end in terms of maturity.

    Node.js is a relatively new technology and lacks in terms of maturity when it comes to handling complicated code structures.


Where to use?

  • When we require a robust and strong codebase.

    The technology comes with a strong code base that facilitates easy integration with various platforms. These features extend the capabilities of Rapid Application Development.

  • When we require a single task solution to our business logic.

    The technology comes with capabilities to integrate and develop precise and exact development solutions.

  • When we require to focus only on web-based solutions.

    The language provides capabilities to manage functionalities along with HTML efficiently. This language also helps developer avoiding overload at the client-side in a Content Management System

Where not to use?

  • When we need to implement a client-server model.

    The client-server model is a lot slower with PHP than with NodeJS.

  • When we need to separate views from business logic.

    In scenarios where we need to separate business logic from HTML code, the use of PHP is not advised.

  • Scope for new features to be added.

    Adding new features to the existing code base can prove to be a difficult task, due to the freedom to combine the language code with HTML. Also, managing code with a huge codebase can be a difficult task.

Why we opted for Node.js?

The factors that played a crucial role in choosing between Node.js and PHP are,

  • Performance

    When it comes to performance Node.js beats PHP and JavaScript’s speed friendly V8 engine is the reason behind it. The single-threaded, event-driven architecture of Node.js allows it to handle multiple simultaneous connections efficiently. Most web platforms create additional threads for each new request, using up RAM for the whole time it takes to process it. Node, on the other hand, operates on a single thread, making use of the event loop and callbacks for I/O operations, delegating tasks such as database operations as soon as possible. This allows it to handle hundreds of thousands or even a million concurrent connections.

  • Scalability

    Node.js embraces scalability with powerful features such as the Cluster module enabling load balancing over multiple CPU cores. Robust tools, like PM2 process manager, make it easier to monitor, optimize and deploy Node applications.

  • Microservices pattern

    Nowadays, most applications are build following microservice patterns. This helps in managing, scaling and extending new features to enterprise-level applications. Node.js and microservices prove to be a nice combination for better performance with less code and efficient deployment.

    By following the microservice pattern, we can split the enterprise applications to smaller individual units that can be deployed, optimized and managed independently. These small individual units are known as microservices.

  • Node Package Manager

    NPM ( Node Package Manager ) allows developers and programmers to install, update, develop and use independent opensource software packages and modules. Using these, a developer need not write common features from scratch and could use optimized and efficient versions of code for these features. NPM offers hundreds of thousands of open-source packages, which speeds up the development process and enhances the efficiency of the product.

  • Prior experience in working with JavaScript

    Switching to Node.js was easier for us as our team had prior experience working with Javascript. Node.js being a Javascript framework is similar to Javascript and thus gave us a good head start while learning it.

  • Security

    When it comes to security, Node.js applications are more secure as in most applications, the codebase for front-end and back-end are hosted separately. Thus, providing access only to concerned developers.


Considering the modern-day software requirements, we consider NodeJS to be a clear winner. However, if you don’t have the right experts with a problem-solving attitude in your team, going for a newer framework may land you in different types of roadblocks. You can drop us an email at for a FREE consultation on the same topic. With over 6 years of experience of building and maintaining NodeJS apps, we’ll be delighted to help you out.