Many people will tell you that choosing a back-end technology is one of the most challenging aspects of the process. They may be partially right — mostly because the choice, more often than not, ends up being between PHP and Node.js. Why? Simply because these two are the leading names in the market when it comes to server-side technologies. However, that also means that choosing between the two typically proves to be an uphill task.

However, before exploring the differences between the two, allow us to give you a quick brief about them. While both of them are open-source server-side technologies, it is only PHP that technically qualifies as a scripting language. Node.js is a JavaScript runtime environment engineered atop Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. Also, both of them are utilized by developers to serve web requests. Now you see why it would be challenging to pick between the two? Therefore, let’s get down to business and see how different these two are so you can decide which one suits your requirements better.

  1. Type of app: When one is looking to develop an app wherein the interaction between the client and the server-side is minimal, then PHP is the one you need. Node.js, on the other hand, can be used for developing single-page apps, real-time apps, and more.
  2. Performance: Eventually, the app’s performance is decided by a large variety of different factors. It includes the environment, the code, execution of dependencies, and usage among others. Now, some may be inclined to deem this point of comparison between PHP and Node.js pointless, but since performance is critical, we will do it nonetheless. Since Node.js is generally made use of to serve API requests, it means there’s a slim layer between the database and the web client whereas PHP is known to be used for the complete stack, including compiling and rendering the web page.
  3. Platforms: PHP, as well as Node.js, can run on pretty much all operating systems. Node.js can be executed on SunOS, Windows, Linux, and macOS. PHP, on the other hand, can be run on operating systems based on Unix, which includes Sun and Linux; Windows; and macOS. Typically, PHP is installed as either a CGI component or a web server module. Moreover, while you can operate it straight from the command line, it is usually run via the webserver. Finally, there are pre-developed packages for this one — so you can either use that option or compile it from the source code.
As you can see, both technologies, though highly valuable resources, come with their sets of pros and cons. Like we mentioned earlier, there’s a reason why the choice is almost always between these two. No matter if you are contemplating opting for PHP website development services or are inclined towards Node.js, the final decision must be carefully scrutinized, factoring in the requirements in the context of the development project.