PHP OR Node.js

What am I going to do?  Should I change?  Will I be forced to change?

I feel more recently that I should start changing the way I make websites.  I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years now professionally and a few years on top of that just goofing around with my own sites.   I’m self taught as well as continuing college at Texas State University in computer science.  My usual combination of a site consist of a bootstrap that I’ve broken down into PHP with my own little framework.  A few PHP classes for the usual permissions, URL redirects, forms, etc.  All my applications use mySQL for the database . I’ve been using more and more JavaScript to give my sites a live validation.  Mainly to forms and calculations.  Maybe on a rare occasion a little JS and CSS3 for fancy visual stuff.  It’s been enough for the type of work I do;  Usually data management, CRMs.  I’m good and can make a simple CRM from ground up in a day or two.  Polishing it up in the next few or more, depending on the depth and how big of a project.

I’m using more and more JS nowadays in my daily life.  I’m also getting into developing on Android.  Which is where my desire to possibly start making the transition comes from.

I’m not certain that I do need to change.  I am very comfy with my current linux stack of Apache, PHP, and mySQl.  I know very little of the node.js world.  I hope because of this that my journey diwn this road is helpful.  I know i’m not the only guy around who’s been in this world and seeing a whole different world being built.

Again, i’m going to record my journey here on the blog of  I’m going to dive into Google’s new Webstarter Kit, that’s using boilerplate and node.JS from my uunderstanding so far.  I’ll post more here and let you know how it’s going.  What I like and what I don’t like.

I found these “wins” on a similar topic at, and recommend reading it. I found it helpful.

PHP \/ Node.js

Where PHP wins: Mixing code with content

You’re typing along, pouring thoughts into text for your website, and you want to add a branch to the process, a little if-then statement to make it look pretty, say, depending on some parameter in the URL. Or maybe you want to mix in text or data from a database. With PHP, you open up the magic PHP tags and start writing code within seconds. No need for templates — everything is a template! No need for extra files or elaborate architectures, just programmable logistical power at your fingertips.

Where PHP wins: Deep code base

The Web is filled with PHP code. The most popular platforms for building websites (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla) are written in PHP. Not only are the platforms open source, but so are most of their plug-ins. There’s PHP code everywhere, and it’s waiting for you to download it, modify it, and use it for your needs.

Where Node wins: Newer code means more modern features

Sure, there are thousands of great open source PHP files, but some are 8-year-old WordPress plug-ins hoping and praying that someone will download them. Who wants to spend hours, days, or weeks monkeying with code that hasn’t been updated in years? Node.js plug-ins are not only newer; they were built with full knowledge of the latest architectural approaches. They were built by programmers who understand that modern Web apps should push most of the intelligence to the client.


Eddie Dounn

Web developer by day. Enthusiast by night. Owner of VAZED

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