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With the advent of Node.js in the web development arena there has been an increasing speculation about its superiority over PHP, the most well-known programming language. Debates and discussions are rife regarding which is better for web development.

Every developer must try to develop at least a simple application in Node. This will enlighten you about the pros and cons, and also the latest updates about Node. PHP has undergone a number of changes since its outset. A number of versions with improvements have been introduced. It is slowly transforming into a language developer actually need. However, this article emphasizes on, being a PHP programmer, why you must give Node a try.

Increasing the Learning Curve:

No matter what stage of life you are at, Learning is an important and indispensable part of it. It helps you expand your horizons. Learning Node you will also get to know its abilities to enhance performance and solidarity both in your front-end and back-end code. This ensures better testing and code verification for elimination of bugs.

There is no doubt that there are loads of open source PHP projects developed. However, it is also true that a number of projects have not been touched for years together.

Node.js is a new code developed by programmers who completely understand the modern web apps. Node.js varies from PHP in the sense that it enables you to present your logical processing to the client. This event-driven system ensures that the client is always kept updated. JavaScript has its own restrictions, but the modern language supports advanced syntax including closures. Whilst extending JavaScript you can transform it into an object configured as per your requirements.


You can expect speed when working with Node as it is built on a computationally sound core system built considering modern web servers and their interactions. Node requires less CPU resources and can easily respond to the high number of requests in a short span of time.

There won’t be much difference in processing or event times if you have joined hands with Nginx, Varnish, Memacched and PHP OpCache whilst using PHP. However, the multi-threaded setup of PHP will serve as a major barricade.

This is where Node really becomes a hit. When there are multiple connections, your server highly requires shifting to asynchronous and non-blocking, and, if any part of your code hinders then you will require a thread which involves a huge overhead both in terms of resources and speed.

With so many connections it is nearly impossible to go on creating threads for each connection. On the other hand, Node is non-blocking and asynchronous.


To pass logic from one asynchronous call to the next Node makes use of Gridlock. This will ensure that new threads are safe from spawning. There is also no requirement for a deadlock process. There is no function in Node which performs I/O. This implies that the process never blocks which is a major outcome of scalable systems.


With Node your code is totally asynchronous and if not handled appropriately, then you can end up with a callback refuge wherein you end up looping up into a callback chain.


PHP and SQL are chums as they work in sync. On the other hand Node serves as the powerhouse for JSON. SQL can be accessed by a number of plugins, but JSON is the basic language for communicating with a number of NoSQL databases. If you are going to work on a project requiring loads of SQL or you are not open to use NoSQL approach, then you may have to spend a lot of time in re-writing your query logic to enable your calls to support asynchronous blocks.

Segregation of Concerns:

PHP is the most impeccable language for a project. There are a number of frameworks with MVC structure, but there is nothing preventing you from churning out a file having some logic, database calls and HTML output. It is not the same in case of Node which segregates the fundamental components which gives a clear classification of concern across controllers / routes, models and views.

In the end, I would only like to say that it is your choice. However, it would be better to learn something new than to go on with the customary. New technologies are always in demand and given the popularity of Node in developer industry you must try and hone your Node skills.

Source by Michael L Waugh