PHP vs. Node.js - The Adoption Debate
Another important reason of the ease of learning PHP is the abundance of industry standard frameworks such as Laravel and Symfony. In many cases, a newbie working with a PHP framework is able to create robust applications quite easily.
PHP could be used to create almost everything from a simple blog to enterprise level ERP. This is one area where PHP has little competition from Node.js.
Since PHP has been around for a long time, the developers could use a huge repository of scripts, frameworks and libraries that add an astonishing range of functionalities into PHP projects. In contrast, Node.js package repository is still in a growing age and would need time to become as huge and versatile as PHP.
An important aspect of the flexibility debate is the ability to adopt the language to requirements of the project. Given the range of tools available to PHP developers, adapting the framework to the project specific could be done without compromising the deadlines. In contrast, Node.js often requires custom code to cater to project requirements. This translates into longer project deadlines and higher project costs.
Errors are an inevitable part of all dev projects. However,the way in which error handling is implemented in a language makes all the difference for the developers and the project.
In contrast, error handling in PHP is handled by specialized functions such as die() and trigger_error(). In addition, developers could create their own custom error handler that could handle class and script level errors without any issues.
Adoption of a development language is highly dependent upon the available tools. In many cases, developers choose a language that offers the shortest (and easiest) development cycle. For this, the chosen language should have the right tools at the highest level of maturity so that the project could be handed over to the client ASAP.
In this context, Node.js clearly lacks because the range of tools and the maturity level of the said tools. Only a handful of the libraries are mature enough to offer any real-world competition to PHP. In contrast, PHP offers a framework for almost all popular project types. In the rare cases when Laravel and Symfony are not adequate, PHP offers several microframeworks to fill the gap.
Tremendous Community Support
PHP and Node.js have very passionate communities. However, the composition of the two communities is a major advantage for PHP. while the Node.js community comprises almost entirely of developers, PHP community is more “democratic” with a sizeable portion of newbies. This distinction is visible across all dev focused communities including StackOverflow, Meetups and GitHub.
In many cases, new developers feel more welcomed in the PHP community because of the large number of members with similar skill level. They feel more comfortable asking questions and seeking project related advice.
The Final Verdict
The adoption of a particular language for a project is a highly subjective issue. When comparing PHP and Node.js, the issue should be resolved by evaluating the fit of the language’s strengths to the project’s requirements.