#Code Type and Execution Speed PHP is mostly synchronous with the exception of some APIs that behave in an asynchronous manner. If a previous line of synchronous code has a function that takes much time to execute then the rest of the code have to wait. As such, this increases the overall execution time. Node.js code, on the flip side, is asynchronous. This means that the JS engine runs through the entire code at once and there is no need for waiting for a function to successfully complete execution. Hence, Node.js can be very fast compared to PHP code.

#Database Preference

More often than not, PHP is used with traditional or relational databases to the likes of MariaDB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. Though there are ways to use NoSQL databases with PHP, doing so is not so frequent in the industry. Though Node.js works fine with SQL databases, the trend is shifting towards using NoSQL databases, such as CouchDB and MongoDB.

#Development Stacks

While writing back-end code in PHP, the developer frequently switches between different programming languages. This is due to the fact that PHP is mostly used as a part of the LAMP (Linux, Apache HTTP Server, MySQL, and PHP) stack. Node.js, on the other hand, typically uses either MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and Node.js) or MERN (MongoDB, Express.js, React, and Node.js) stack. The only programming language knowledge required for using the entire stack is JavaScript.

#Web server Setup

PHP versions prior to v5.4 required downloading and setting up LAMP and XAMPP servers. However post that, PHP comes bundled with an inbuilt development server. Node.js, on the other side, comes prepackaged with core modules, including the file system, HTTP, and DNS. These help in developing customized web servers.

#Which One is Better for Your App?

Node.js is new compared to PHP and so it will definitely have some functionalities which are not present in PHP like asynchronous and event-based architecture. This makes it suitable for real-time applications in which many requests take place concurrently. Node.js is also perfect for application which involve dynamic, highly flexible, and heavy client-side functionality.