Node.js vs PHP – Which is best for Backend Development

7 mins read
Dec 26th, 2022
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The backend is considered as the “Backbone” of Web applications because it supplies all the necessities to the users throughout the application. The backend handles all the logical operations and provides output to the user. Therefore backend is very much essential if you want to develop a full-fledged application.

The web development field is consists of multiple backend technologies, which provides so many options and makes us confused about what to choose.

Well, there is always a debate going on between a lot of technologies, like Angular vs React, Express vs React, and many more, which we have mentioned earlier, so today we are again present in front of you with a long-going debate between two backend technologies Node.js vs PHP.

Both PHP and Node.js are well-known and powerful backend technologies used for web applications. Today Almost Major websites are powered using Node or PHP. As compared to Node js, PHP is quite older with large community support But Node.js is remarkably fast and has become popular due to its full-stack development capabilities. Both technologies belong to server-side development.

So it’s really confusing when it comes to choosing over one and which one is best for Web Development? That’s why we will have an in-depth comparison between Node js vs PHP and will find out the best for the business.

Node.js vs PHP – Overview

PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, is a widely used open-source server-side scripting language. It has been popular in the development era since 1995 and that’s why it has long community support. While Node.js is relatively new, and an open-source Javascript run-time environment that develops fast and scalable web applications. Even it is best suited for frontend development and became a popular choice among the developers’ community.

PHP is used to create web servers and it can be executed in the browser or the command-line interfaces. It has been used by many big brands like Facebook, Netflix, and Tumblr While Node.js enables the developer to use Javascript to write command-line and server-side scripting tools and it is mostly used in big companies like LinkedIn, Netflix, Medium, and others.

Both PHP and Node.js is widely used as the backend technology for web app development. While creating a web page, PHP provides flexibility While Node.js becomes more performative in organizing project data.

Let’s explore them in detail

Node JS vs PHP – In-Depth Comparison

Below, we have compared them on different parameters and given the result below after each


This metric determines the execution of speed on both technologies. High speed is directly proportional to the quick development process. Higher execution speed saves time and costs both.


Node.js offers an asynchronous development environment, which makes him different from other languages. That means, it doesn’t need to wait for the module to be fully loaded before the next one, which directly reduces the load time and makes execution faster.


On the other hand, PHP provides synchronous relationships, which means it needs to wait for every module to be successfully loaded, which in turn increases load time.
Being asynchronous, Node.js provides faster execution, and that’s why Node.js stands first on this parameter.


Node JS

Node.js provides required functionalities in a single package with a seamless experience. It is a full-stack development package, for building any web or mobile apps. Node.js is able to develop an integral backend system but still, it will require some proxy like Nginx or Apache, an HTTP, and a database like MySQL.


PHP is totally made for the backend development process and it belongs to the LAMP stack, which is Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python. Therefore you need to be skilled to configure different systems while developing or designing any web project. The requirement of handling different processes at the same time makes the learning process difficult.

Moreover, most of the developers state that coding is more faster in PHP than in Node.js because of not using any compilers.

The deployment of framework and application is more complicated in Node.js while coding in PHP is a great option if you want a fast solution, but you should choose Node.js if you want the complex and sustainable output


So, we can say that it’s a tie between this two technology on development parameters because both are good as per project requirements.


Node JS

Node.js requires more coding to execute the same function, but the good part is you need not to learn different syntax or languages because it is written in Javascript but sometimes it relatively needs more lines of code.


Comparatively, PHP requires lesser lines of code to execute the same function, but you need to be familiar with Linux, Apache HTTP Server, and MySQL, and should be skilled with their operators and generators and how they work together fluently


As per our recommendations, both are backend technologies that’s why coding is a must, coders will try to find efficient ways to code, so despite of longer coding, Node.js is better because of its one-language code.


Here hosting measures the ease of compatibility with different hosting service providers as per speed and security.

Node Js

While working with Node js, it provides various options to enhance the performance of this technology. The organization of Node.js provides SmartOSsystem, which is fantastic for deployment, performance as well as debugging. Moreover, Node.js can be used as a Platform-for-services-setup with Nodejitsu and Heroku.


While on the other hand, PHP because of its long-running, offers a wide range of compatibility with almost every hosting service provider and it is one of the reasons, PHP powers almost 80% of websites in the market. Well, its LAMP stack satisfies the needs of many servers but still, it’s not considered secure


Both Node.js and PHP provide a wide range of compatibility with hosting service providers. So you can choose either one for your business, you wouldn’t have any negative Impact.


Framework works as a helper to build something and expand the structure into something useful.

Node js

Node js has a huge expansion of its libraries in a short period with frameworks like Meteor, Derby, Express, and Sails. These frameworks increase productivity, and performance as well as reduce development time.


Since 1995, PHP has a rich library and grown market. Some development companies work in the form of frameworks like Laravel. Codeigniter, CakePHP, and Phalcon


While there are so many frameworks in PHP, it’s become difficult to choose better technology among them. But the most common issue with the PHP framework is its mixed content and code.
while Node maintains the code consistency across its all frameworks and keeps the code organized and well-maintained. Although it is one of the most popular built of Javascript. So In our opinion, Node.js will be the best option if you go for consistency.

Node js vs PHP – The Comparison Chart

Parameters  Node JS PHP 
Performance  Compiled language 

One language-based 

Interpreted Language 
Language switches  Node.js maintains the consistency by using Javascript on both client-side as well as server-side  While working in PHP backend, need to completely switch between different languages because of its LAMP STACK – which is having different syntax plus you require good HTML and CSS knowledge
Module  Node js comes with a package management system called NPM(Node Package Manager), which is easy to implement  PHP offer module-installing technologies like (PEAR), which is a relatively new 
Frameworks  Meteor, Derby, Express, and Sails are some of its frameworks Laravel.Codeigniter, CakePHP, and Phalcon
Database It requires 




It requires 



Hosting  SmartOS



It is compatible with almost every hosting server


Node JS vs PHP – What to Choose and When?

When should you choose Node js?

Node JS should be used when if you want the following features

Real-time applications

If your business requires to handle thousands of requests and responses at a time, then Nodejs is the best option to choose, you can build a perfect real-time web app.

Development Efficiency

For developing dynamic single-page applications, you might require ExpressJS, AngularJS, or MongoDB. Node JS uses this combination in a stack to provide seamless development.

Consistent callback from the server

Web applications of Node JS perform better while consistently sending a request to the server. Its asynchronous architecture provides non-blocking execution, which is best for any project

When should you choose PHP?

Choose PHP when you require –

Centralized server and No need to scale

If you want to provide your application, with a central server that should not be scaled across a wide range of servers then PHP is the right choice. Additionally, you can use it with Linux, Apache, and Mysql.


PHP provides a wide range of server compatibility, it provides higher portability among the servers. That’s why you can easily port your web application to a server having Apache, IIS, and other database support

Node js vs PHP – Hiring Developers

How Convenient is it to hire Node JS Developers?

Since its release in 2009, Node js has gone through various enhancements, despite this, it is a widely used framework among IT specialists and gathered extensive community support quickly. Therefore Hiring Node.js developers with extensive knowledge are not much tricky task. But before hiring you should be properly aware of his expertise and experience, as per our opinion you should Hire Node.js developers, who have at least 3 years of experience. Skilled NodeJs developers charge approximately $20 to $200 per hour.

How Convenient is it to hire PHP Developers?

PHP is one of the oldest running technology in the web development field, its easy adaptability and all-aroundness make it a favourite among the developer community. Since it is the oldest, it has acquired vast community support and that’s why you can Hire PHP developers easily within a short time. Approximately PHP developer charges $29 to $35 per hour.

Node js vs PHP – Advantages and Disadvantages

There is no doubt, that both technologies are powerful when it comes to development, but as usual, like other technologies, they both have their own set of benefits and limitations.

So before finalizing one, you should be aware of the advantages as well as disadvantages

Advantages of NodeJS

  • It is the best choice to build any custom web application.
  • Javascript oriented, which means one language Javascript is used on both server as well as client-side
  • It is able to process multiple calls and functions at a time
  • It is asynchronous and event-driven
  • Offers code reusability

Disadvantages of NodeJS

  • Nodejs is not suitable for managing big files.
  • It is not effective with CPU-heavy apps
  • Lack of support for library and framework

read more – Advantages and Disadvantages of NodeJS

Advantages of PHP

  • Compatible with all servers
  • Easily portable to another server
  • Easy learning and quick coding
  • Easily configures the development and environment process
  • Provides CMS called WordPress – is the most used cms
  • Has huge support of library
  • Vast community support
  • Flexible as well as scalable


With some pros and cons, both technologies are best at their own respective places, and when it comes to development, both have performed very well, and it’s really hard to pick one among them.

So in our opinion, before choosing one of the two, you should pen down all your project requirements and then choose one which is capable of fulfilling all your requirements and also make sure while hiring, the experts you should aware of its expertise and experience in the desired technology.

Still, if you are getting confused about what to choose? Please contact our Upsqode team, as a software development company, we offer the facility to hire developers remotely from us within a short period.

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