PHP vs Node.js: SitePoint Smackdown

PHP vs Node.js

Image sourced from SitePoint.

PHP vs Node.js

Since 2011, my predominant language of choice has been PHP. While it has been the mainstay in my programming language toolbelt, I have observed the rise of Node.js. Since starting with Laravel, I have used Node.js on a regular basis; however, I have yet to create a full-blown app exclusively with it. Upon reading the post by SitePoint, I am definitely going to delve deeper into Node.js in the very near future.

Below are brief summaries of each round, you can view the full synopsis of each round on SitePoint’s original post.

Round 1 – Getting Started

PHP is simpler and takes out this round. Those who have some knowledge about it’s statements can write some useful programs. It depends on more software-related libraries, but PHP concepts are easier to learn for new developers.

Round 2: Help and Support

With Node.js, you usually don’t get too far without relying on external and third-party resources. For that reason, PHP comfortably wins this round; it has extensive, historic, and well-supported documentation. If you come across issues in your PHP development, chances are it has already been documented and solved..

Round 3: Language Syntax

Although PHP has numerous benefits, Node.js comes out in front here. Some reasons include:

  • JavaScript remains the world’s most misunderstood language; however other languages seem more difficult once it is grasped.
  • JavaScript code is terse compared to PHP.
  • Javascript can be used on the client-side and server-side, whereas PHP is only server-side.
  • Once you understand JavaScript concepts more, you will want to use it more frequently.

Round 4: Development Tools

PHP and Node.js have a wide set of quality IDE’s, debuggers, testing suites, and dependency managers. While both have good sets of developer tools, Node.js has a slightly more superior edge: npm — the Node Package Manager. npm allows you to manage dependencies, configuration variables, define scripts and more.

Round 5: Environments

A few years ago, JavaScript was considered to be too restrictive. Nowadays, JavaScript can be used in a wider range of environments — in the browser, on the server, terminal, desktop and also embedded systems. You can use JavaScript everywhere – Node.js has made JavaScript ubiquitous.

Round 6: Integration

When creating applications, you usually need to interact with database and drivers. PHP provides strong support in this area. It has a long history, and has extensions which allow direct communication with a range of APIs.

Round 7: Hosting and Deployment

It’s another clear win for PHP. Virtually all hosting providers these days offer PHP support. Chances are, you’ll also get MySQL or PostgreSQL as well – both which work with PHP nicely. .

Round 8: Performance

While PHP offers excellent extensions to enhance performance (e.g. Memcached and Varnish Caching), Node.js performance is generally better. As with developing any project, due care must be taken by developers with performance, but Node.js has several advantages…

Round 9: Programmer Passion

There are many JavaScript developers who either love or have Node.js, or have a love-hate relationship with it. However, Node.js is gaining acceptance very quickly and is being used in many applicaitons. This is because it’s new (for now), so Node.js wins this round.

Round 10: The Future

Eventually, Node.js will take some of PHP’s market share but for now it won’t gain a larger share. Since both have a bright future this particular round is a draw..

The Overall Winner

The final score: five rounds to Node.js, four to PHP and one draw. The result was much closer than first thought, and could have gone either way. In saying this, developers still need to exercise caution when choosing the right language for their app. While one language may have superior strengths to another, it might not be suited to your application’s requirements.This post is not a definitive guide, but it can still be used as a starting point of exploration.

Source: SitePoint Smackdown: PHP vs Node.js

Posted in Javascript, Node.js, Open Source, PHP, SitePoint, Web Development Tagged with: , , , , , ,

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