This leads to quicker bug fixes and faster application development. With very few dependencies, rules and guidelines, Node.js helps programmers be creative and select the best design patterns, modules and features for the project. Using the NPM repository, the development team also has access to thousands of modules for faster development.
However, not all is good news for Node.js. Applications that require graphics processing and editing audio or video may become sluggish due to the single-threaded and event-based environment of Node.js. Processing very large files also cause Node.js applications to become sluggish.
The modernity of Node.js also brings in some subtle bugs that might creep in from its ecosystem of modules. Version inconsistencies amongst these modules make it difficult to maintain them. This calls for added attention while selecting packages so that you get access to the latest bug fixes and updates.
PHP has come a long way from its origins in 1994. A powerful codebase that includes time-tested platforms for building websites like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, paired with powerful web development frameworks like Laravel and Symfony that enabled Rapid Application Development have made PHP earn the reputation of being the language of the web.
With support from industry majors like WordPress, cPanel and a large developer community mean that everything you need for your application is at your fingertips.
With the capability to run on nearly any server and almost every platform, PHP is truly portable. Most hosting providers offer shared hosting options for PHP. This is in contrast to Node.js that requires a virtual server with SSH access to run Node.js applications.
This makes the integration and deployment of PHP easier for smaller organizations. PHP was designed from the ground up for the web. IT includes all needed functionality to manage HTML, servers, and databases.
This means that all pages can be dynamically generated and rendered from the server, making client-side apps lighter. However, this also might cause regular requests to the server for page generation that makes PHP not the obvious choice for SPAs.
PHPs capabilities also cause problems. As PHP is not a great fit for the MVC approach that entails a clear separation of concerns between data and presentation, and the fact that MVC is the de facto best practice in web development to ensure readability, maintainability, and scalability of web apps makes PHP code difficult to manage.
As PHP can mix HTML and language syntax within HTML, it becomes difficult to extend and manage. The requirement to initiate a connection for each page request makes PHP much slower than Node.js that only needs a singular initialization. Thanks to that, Node.js is most suitable for HTML5, AJAX, and WebSockets. Memcached offers a similar solution for PHP, but as it is not a standard feature of the language, it might not be available for everyone.
So, how does one choose? Real-time applications like instant messaging and collaborative apps like drawn and video conferencing make the asynchronous and event-based architectures of Node.js a great fit for these applications. The Publish-subscribe architecture used in Real Time Applications also benefits from the support that Node.js provides to WebSockets and server-side events to quickly update client-side views.
These features make Node.js the perfect fit for applications that process data from IoT and SPAs that require a very flexible, dynamic and heavy client-side functionality. Node.js also makes it easier to implement web services that have the server side function as a REST API, which is of great importance to CRUD operations and async processing for client-database connectivity.
PHP, however, is a great fit for a standardized solution like a news site, a blog or a portal. With the WordPress community providing thousands of themes and templates, a blog can be up in no time, with literally zero coding required to customize it. The flexibility of PHP along with the massive support offered by hosting providers, it is the de-facto go-to solution if you wish to be up and running quickly.
In short, when trying to choose between Node,.js and PHP, the first evaluation should be of the type of application that is to be created, the hosting requirements of the client and the required speed of development. If the requirement is of a standardized solution, then PHP is the obvious choice. For Real-time Applications and Single-Page applications, Node.js offers a better solution.