Is Node.JS better than PHP?

The web is a complex maze with a labyrinth of never-ending technologies, with each one of it claiming to be better than the other, which, we understand, cannot be discussed in a single blog. However, we have covered why node.js is better than PHP in this post for you to make an informed decision on the choice of back-end technology. Please note that understanding this concept may require prior knowledge in basic web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, Node.js and PHP. There are scores of useful learning tutorials available online for the same purpose.  

difference between php vs nodejs

What is Node.js and its purpose? 

One thing to remember here is that Node.js isn’t a web server. Node.js, unlike Apache, does not do much on its own and work like it. There isn’t any config file to initialize settings in your programs.  The key objective of Node.js is used using event-driven, non-blocking I/O to stay efficient and lightweight in the face of DIRT (Data-Intensive Real-Time) applications that run in several distributed environments or devices. 

You have to write an HTTP server (using built-in libraries) if you want to implement an HTTP server. Node.js, being a JS runtime, is an alternate method to execute code on the computer.  

What can PHP do? 

PHP, an alternative to ASP, is an interpreted programming language typically run on UNIX-based and Linux-based servers, and is built to run Windows Servers using an installed interpreter. PHP is used for accessing DBs and server-side form. Due to this feature, it can offer better processing for eCommerce sites. PHP code, like ASP, is included within the body section of the HTML page.  

Node.js vs PHP 

No, it isn’t JS syntax that makes Node.js better than PHP, but rather its simple, understandable code. As you may know, there are several ways to build a Web App in PHP. 
Here’s the syntax used by Node.js and PHP: 

Both PHP as well as Node.js have access to the command line interface through $ php -i and $ node. 

Printing a statement 

The below code prints ‘Hello Infinijith’ in PHP: 
echo 'Hello Infinijith '; 

The below command in Node.js gives the same phrase as output: 
console.log('Hello Infinijith '); 

‘For’ loop 

This is how the ‘for’ loop in PHP look like: 

for ($i = 1; $i <= 10; $i++) { 
echo $i; 

The above codes are quite similar to that of Node.js: 
for (var i = 0; i <= 10; i++) { 

How to create an array?

This is how one creates an array in PHP: 

$users = array( 
array('name' => 'jana', 'id' => 10), 
array('name' => 'jerin', 'id' => 74) 
An array in Node.js will look like: 
var users = [ 
{ name: 'jana', id: 2720 }, 
{ name: 'jerin', id: 98 } 

Development Tools 

Both Node.js, as well as PHP, has a wide array of editors, debuggers, IDEs, validators and other tools. 
Node.js comes with a tool - the Node Package Manager, or NPM, which lets you set configuration variables, install and run dependencies, define scripts and many more. PHP’s Composer project, though better than Node.js in some aspects, doesn’t feature NPM, and contains a smaller active repository. PHP developers will want to install Node.js at some stage, but not vice-versa. 
Both Node.js and PHP are functional languages with pinch of OOP added to PHP later. 

Node.js Performance vs PHP: 

Though PHP doesn’t lag that much behind Node.js in terms of speed, Node.js, all said and done, is usually better. 


Node.js requires no dependencies, but its frameworks, such as Express, which performs the work instead. Express, a simple and minimalistic Node.js framework, offers the developers much freedom, as they can use various modules to build the app. Also, because of its flexible nature, it is best suited for large-scale apps that are planned to be extended and need long-term support.  

PHP runs server-side applications in a request/response cycle, routed via a web server, and the PHP interpreter usually processes the code. 


Node.js is better and smaller than the PHP interpreter. It is not legacy language support dependant and there has been a lot of investment that went into V8 performance made by Google.   


PHP is a server-side development language and rarely outstretches itself. With Node.js, JavaScript is no longer restrictive as it can be run anywhere —on the server, desktop, on the browser and embedded systems too.  

Newer code and latest features enhance Node.js vs PHP capabilities: 

Node.js has the advantage of new plugins, built with the newest approaches including express.js, and features, which PHP lacks, though there are several open-source PHP files. Who would want to use old plugins or lose precious time copying retro code anyways?  

Node.js keeps a single thread for your code and only has a single CPU with a single core. In terms of multiple computations on a multi-core server, there is some work that still remains to be done by the Node core team in the cluster module form. Several Node.js server instances can also be run quite easily behind. PHP, by nature, is not single-threaded. Node apps, unlike PHP, run superbly over extended periods of time. 

To sum up, Node.js is great for apps having several concurrent connections and each request requires only limited CPU cycles, as it blocks the event loop when a function is executed.