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PHP and Node.js are both powerful backends for dynamic websites. They both fall under the same category, yet their features are quite distinct.
PHP (hypertext preprocessor) is a general purpose scripting language which has been designed for web development purpose. It was released in 1995, and ever since has been used as the first choice of language preference for content management systems like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla and a number of modern frameworks such as Laravel and Symphony.
Though both Node.js and PHP are both server side scripting languages, they are bound to have various similarities but there exists various dis-similarities as well between the two scripting languages. Let us explore the differences and similarities between them:
These two technologies have some top – level similarities. They are as follows:
A. Interpreted languages
Both Node.js and PHP can be run in their runtime environments. Both PHP and Node.js are interpreted languages.
B. Viable Choices
Both PHP and Nodes.js are used to build websites and both are run on server-side. Different reasons make one more preferred over the other. Node.js is more extensive and faster compared to PHP which may make it a more viable choice. However, some programmers prefer PHP because it is easier to pick up than a Node.js and features an integrated database.
One is not better than the other. It is the uses that determine which one would be more preferable for use.
4. The difference between PHP and Node.js :
|Complexity of use||PHP is much simpler to use compared to Node.js.||Node.js is not too complex to use but requires more lines of coding and basic understanding of closures and callback functions|
|JSON||PHP uses it lesser than Node.js PHP makes use of json_encode() and json_decode() functions||JSON works better with Node.js than PHP. Node.js uses JSON.stringify() and JSON.parse()|
|Concurrency||PHP uses multi-threaded blocking I/O to carry out multiple tasks to run parallels alongside each other||Node.js uses event-driven non blocking I/O execution model|
|Execution||PHP is synchronous||Node.js is asynchronous|
|Execution Speed||PHP is slower than Node.js||Faster than PHP and also light weight compared to PHP.|
|Web Server||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.|
|Package Manager||Composer package manager is widely used.||Node Package Manager (NPM) is widely used.|
5. When to use PHP or Node.js?
Both are great server technologies available for use. Deciding on which back end server- Node.js or PHP server depends completely on the nature of your project.
6. When to use PHP
A. 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.
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. CMS’s like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla make it easier to create websites and work on almost every web host. WordPress powers 30% of the web.
7. When to use Node.js
A. Same Language across the Stack
B. Realtime Data
As I mentioned before, Node.js is 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.
What is better Node.js or PHP?
NodeJS and PHP have separate use cases and you should choose one according to the requirements of the project. If you are working on a project that will run on a central server and need portability, you should choose PHP. But if speed, real-time data analytics and dynamicity is your goal, you should definitely think of using NodeJS.
Can NodeJS replace PHP?
NodeJS and PHP are not there to replace each other. Both have their own uses. Though NodeJS might seem like a substitute for PHP but NodeJS won’t replace it. PHP’s portability and adaptability for web applications and websites cannot be replaced by NodeJS. At the same time, NodeJS is efficient in large requests. So, both are independent and exclusive when it comes to operations.
Why is PHP so bad?
The thing makes PHP great is ironically the disadvantage, too. Freedom to code without a structure can lead to the production of a lot of bad code with security loopholes. That’s why PHP is considered bad by many developers around the globe.
Is PHP losing popularity?
PHP was once a favorite among the developer community. But now, things are different. With rising popularity of languages such as Python, PHP is slowly losing its edge. The security issues with PHP along with the availability of better, scalable and secure alternatives like HHVM by Facebook in 2014 (Hack) has slowly reduced its usage over the years.
Can I use NodeJS with PHP?
Yes. You can use NodeJS with PHP. You will have to integrate Node with your PHP application to do so. You would need to configure several things to take advantage of Node’s Event-based architecture before fully integrating it for your PHP application.
Is Facebook still using PHP?
Yes. Facebook uses PHP even in 2020 but has its own configurations like a dedicated compiler to transform the native code on the web servers for a performance boost. It has also optimized Linux for performance optimization. So, it can be said that Facebook depends on PHP but with its own variations.