Node.js vs PHP: Which Language is Being Preferred by Developers?

PHP is the most popular general-purpose programming language used for web development. There are thousands of websites running PHP on their servers. The Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla are still completely based on PHP. These facts inspire freshers to learn PHP and go for backend development using this language.

However, a recent report is showing the growing popularity of another server-side language Node.js. More and more organizations are shifting to Node.js for the backend for their websites and services. PHP may be the cornerstone of the web, but the new trend is expected to bring many changes to the industry.

node.js - Best open source framework for Web and App developer

It’s not like developers were completely unaware of this upcoming change. They have been already using JavaScript as a scripting language in the browsers for many years. Now, as the demand for single-page web apps is increasing rapidly, developers have also started using it at the backend, running under Node.js environment.

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According to a survey happened last week, developers who use Vue.js JavaScript framework said they use Node.js more frequently than PHP as a backend language.

As per the State of JavaScript 2018 report, Node.js was found to be used by 63% of developers while PHP by 50%. Not only these, but there are also many other reports which evidence that the usage of Node.js is growing.

The 2018 Node.js user survey report tried to figure out how the language is being used. They found people are using Node.js mainly for web-apps followed by enterprise applications. The report also stated that “Node.js continues to see its popularity grow on every continent and in a very broad set of use cases due to its flexibility and utility for a wide variety of use cases”.

Although, it’s not wise to take any decision solely based on these surveys. The problem with the mentioned surveys is their conclusion are mainly based on the views of developers who primarily work with JavaScript. Also. it’s not necessary that companies are only using Node.js. They may use it for some websites while leaving others keep running on PHP.


Thus, if we want to conclude anything from these reports, we can say almost one-third of developers have used PHP alongside Node.js. PHP might be lagging behind JavaScript, but when it comes to backend languages to learn, PHP is still present in top 10 most popular languages, according to Developer’s survey done by Stack Overflow the last year.

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There are a huge number of websites running PHP on their servers. They don’t have any plan to shift to Node.js in anytime soon, nor they have any reasons to spend money and time on it. Overall, the demand for PHP developers is not going to dry anytime soon. But as per the trend and recent changes, a gradual shift away from PHP on the web will continue to take place.