An introduction to Web Development
The process of building a website for the internet is called web development. Web engineering, design, content, web server, and e-commerce development are all part of web development services.
Now, web development is brought into action by coding. With the help of programming instructions, one can automate multiple blocks that perform different functions. These, when stacked together, can be termed as a website.
Now, as you must’ve guessed, there are multiple platforms which can be used to build a website. However, PHP and Node.js stand out. With their history, functionality, and usage, developers have always seemed to be divided when it comes to these.
So, let’s discuss them in detail. Remember that none of the 2 tools is recently developed; they’ve been around for years. So, getting a basic idea about the two web development supporters will give us an idea on the whose stand to take in PHP vs Node.js in 2018.
Basics of PHP
PHP stands for Hypertext Pre-processor. It was released in 1995 by Rasmus Lerdorf as a server-side scripting language for web development. Now, it is also used as a general programming language.
C, C++, Java, and Perl are the implementation languages it supports. The latest version of the language is PHP 7.2. Used by web giants like Facebook, Wikipedia, WordPress, and Tumblr, PHP has quite a notable clientele.
Basics of Node.js
Performance Comparison: PHP vs Node.js
- PHP has a limitation here. It cannot be run on its own and is dependent on Apache and NGINX.
- Node.js is independent and has built-in tools to create a personal web server. It can be run on Linux or SmartOS itself. However, on a production hardware server, NGINX is used as a proxy before Node.js by default.
- In PHP, multiple processes are allowed to run together on servers like Apache. However, if the work taken up in multitasking has a long runtime, the server runs out of PHP processes. This can lead to increased HTTP response time and you even risk timing out of the server.
- Node.js uses a non-blocking loop. This makes an event run in a single process. Thus, the approach of multitasking in Node.js is different than that of PHP. It only allows single threads, so the server can transform data, accept multiple GET requests, and answer them together.
Here, note that multi-threading is possible in Node.js through clusters or external modules.
When it comes to multitasking, in the case of Node.js vs PHP’s future, Node.js may lead.
The Apache benchmarking tool conducted a test. Its results are shown in the image above.
As evident, Node.js performs higher in the request per second feature. Note that its speed is nearly twice as high as that of PHP.
- PHP offers rapid app development due to its rich code-base. Additionally, since it is used on Apache, NGINX, and other platforms, PHP is highly portable. The user can write the code once and then access it through different platforms whenever they like.
Most importantly, PHP is designed particularly for the web. So, for website development targeting on the same, PHP comes as a blessing.
- Node.js has its own perks. Since there aren’t too many rules to it, the framework gives creative freedom to the developer.
Moreover, Node.js uses a single language across the stack. Thus, the communication on the user and developer end becomes way easier.
The event loop here provides a quick solution on the server side. Thus, applications that are data-driven and asynchronous in nature can see brilliant results through Node.js.
Website Development companies in India have been using this language for long now. The reason is that PHP has full framework support. CakePHP and Laravel, however, are two of the best frameworks PHP hosts. They provide back-end development that is robust and secure.
- For custom web development companies in India to provide a full web server support, the latest versions of PHP and Node.js are both very compatible.
PHP 5.4 and higher versions host a built-in development server, which makes the system more efficient. Prior to these versions, the language consisted of all-in-one tools.
- Node.js uses modules like DNS or a file system. This helps in precise customization of web servers.
- The shared hosting solutions of PHP are simple and cheap. However, due to the LAMP stack that tags along with most of these, PHP often sees security loopholes. Additionally, the server downtime sometimes gets affected due to host server overselling or malicious coding.
- The SmartOS in Node.js, developed by Joyent, allows debugging, smooth performance, and easy hosting.
Pros and Cons of PHP
PHP is loved for its ease of use and learning the most. Here are some striking pros of the language.
- PHP is supported by all internet hosting services, making its usage universal.
- PHP development environment is easily configurable.
- It supports multiple frameworks and CMS.
- In the 20 years of its usage, PHP has become easier due to its definite library of instructions and FAQs that was formulated over time.
- Relational database finds excellent support through PHP.
- The core behaviour of PHP frameworks is not customisable.
- Some PHP frameworks fail to give prompt support.
- To add a functionality to the web app, PHP uses PHP frameworks. Hence, the user needs to learn these first to use the language.
Pros and Cons of Node.js
- The built-in server support reduces the hassle in Node.js.
- Large files are easily handled with its stream module support.
- JS developers find this framework easy to use as Node.js is meant for JS code conversions itself.
- The codes are easily reusable due to a common syntax for the client and the server.
- Since it integrates the JS code directly into the machine code, it provides high performance to the user.
- Node.js requires more code than PHP to configure a suitable environment.
- Call-back functions and blocking are two concepts one must know to run Node.js.
- The library support system here is weak.
- Its asynchronous programming model is difficult to understand and deploy.
As we saw, PHP as a programming language and Node.js as a coding framework both have their shortcomings and benefits. Thus, it is not as if one is better than the other for web development of all kind.
You have to pinpoint at the web dev features that are the most important to you and choose the correct one of the two. And this is the kind of meticulous work only a professional can do. So, before you decide to start sowing the seeds, hire a web developer in India and let them take the lead.
We are a web development company based in Ahmedabad. If you found the blog post informative, you can share it forward. And for any further queries or discussion, you can ping us here itself. We’ll be happy to help with all web development stuff.