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PHP vs Node.js

What is PHP?

PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, which is an open source scripting language. It is a server-side scripting language and a powerful tool for creating a dynamic and interactive website.

PHP is an interpreted language, so it doesn't need compilation. It is specially designed for server-side scripting, which executes on the server. PHP can be easily embedded with HTML files.

Note: PHP is mainly used to develop server-side applications.

It has several advantages that are given below:

  • We can execute PHP code on different platform such as Windows, Linux, UNIX, Solaris, etc.
  • It is easy to use and learn.
  • PHP provides a built-in module which helps it to connect with the database easily.
  • PHP is an open source language that means it is available for free of cost.

In general, PHP is cheap, cross-platform, fast, and reliable to develop web applications.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a JavaScript programming language which runs on the server. It helps to create dynamic and interactive web pages. Node.js file is saved with .js extension, and it only contains JavaScript code. It executes JavaScript code outside the browser.

Node.js is an open-source language which executes in different environments such as Windows, Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS, etc.

Node.js has many advantages which are listed below.

  • Node.js is fast and lightweight.
  • It is more secure than PHP.
  • Node.js allows us to write JavaScript code for both client and server-side.
  • Node.js offers scalability, i.e., it easy to scale the application vertically as well as horizontally.
  • JavaScript is now available for every browser and as well as it can run on each server due to Node.js.

Difference between PHP and Node.js

PHP and Node.js both are server-side scripting languages; thus, they have become the competitor for each other. They are bound to have some similarities and also some differences. Following are some differences based on their functionality and features.

Features PHP Node.js
Runtime Environment PHP is straightforward to install and use at server-side. Node.js is a JavaScript programming language which runs on the server and is used to make web pages interactive and dynamic.
Powered by PHP is powered by Zend engine. Node.js is powered by Google's v8 JavaScript engine.
Execution PHP is synchronous except some APIs. It is totally asynchronous.
Framework PHP has many frameworks for easy backend development, such as Laravel, CakePHP, etc. Node.js also has popular frameworks like Express, Meteor, and DerbyJS, etc.
Execution Speed PHP execution speed is slower than Node.js. Node.js is faster than PHP and lightweight too.
Web Server PHP needs Apache web server to execute the code. Node.js doesn't need any web server to execute. It runs in its own environment.
Compatibility with other languages PHP can contain HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and even plain text. Node.js can contain only JavaScript.
Used by Facebook, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Flickr, and Wordpress, etc., are using PHP. IBM, GoDaddy, NetFlix, LinkedIn, Paypal, and Walmart are the adopters of Ndoe.js.
Complexity PHP is simpler to use than Node.js. Node.js is not too complex, but need more lines of code and callback functions.
Basic syntax echo 'Hello PHP'; Console.log('Hello Node.js');
Module A developer needs to download and install PHP manually. It doesn't come in bundled with module. It comes prepackaged with the NPM package management system and its registry.
Performance PHP is fast, but slower than Node.js due to the database, third-party request, and file system. Node.js is faster due to its non-blocking mechanism.

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