Strengths and Weaknesses of PHP, Python, and Node.js

ADMEC Multimedia > Web Development > Strengths and Weaknesses of PHP, Python, and Node.js

A web application is a conjunction of Front-end and Back-end Development. Front-end is dealt with client-side languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. When it comes to building the logic of an application, we make use of the server-side programming languages like PHP, Python, and Node.js, etc. In this article, we will be discussing each of these server-side languages and their strengths and weaknesses.

Here at ADMEC, we offer courses in each of these technologies in both online and full-time variants. The links for the same have been shared in this article.

PHP

It’s almost impossible to not have come across this one if you have been involved in the web development industry. It was developed in 1194 by Rasmus Lerdorf as an open-source server-side scripting language, originally called “Personal Home Page” and later changed to “Hypertext Preprocessor”. PHP is one of the most used back-end programming languages; almost 80% of websites whose server-side languages are known are using PHP. Content management system (CMS) like WordPress is powered by PHP and almost 30% of existing websites are built using WordPress. CMS like Drupal, WooCommerce, Shopify, etc. also consume PHP in their technology stack.

  • Development-Principle: PHP is an object-oriented driven programming language
  • Types of Applications: Dynamic websites, e-commerce, CMS, Blogs, Social Media Sites, etc.
  • Frameworks: Zend, CakePHP, CodeIgniter, Laravel, Symfony, etc.
  • Database Support:  PHP is mostly by default used with MySQL. Apart from this, it can be used with PostGres SQL, Oracle DB, etc.
  • Platforms:  PHP is cross-platform which means you code can run it on any OS like Windows, Linux, MAC OS, Unix, etc.
  • Most Used Technology Stack: LAMP (Linux Apache, MySQL, PHP)
  • Popular websites Using PHP:  Facebook, Etsy, Yahoo, and Wikipedia, etc.

PROS:

  • PHP is Open Source which cuts on the cost of purchasing a license
  • Small learning curve
  • Platform independent, compatible with modern browsers and supports multiple databases
  • Since it is widely used it has a large community base and many available resources, thus making problem-solving easier
  • Effective debugging with XDebug package
  • The multitude of frameworks, libraries, and packages are available to work with. This allows customizations to all extents
  •  Allows for interoperability which means code written in one framework can be easily ported to another

CONS:

  • Lacks security features
  • Time and effort needed to master frameworks that use PHP
  • Loosely typed language
  • Slower execution speeds as compared with other languages.
  • Being replaced by other languages and declined usage as predicted in trends year by year.

If you are looking out to take PHP development as a career check out our PHP MySQL Premium Course & PHP Master Course. If you are someone who has an interest both in front-end and back-end technologies try out our Web Master course. For an intermediately trained person in PHP, we offer a  WordPress Master course.

PYTHON

Python is a powerful multi-purpose programming language developed by Guido Van Russom in 1991. In fact, it is considered one of the best programming languages amongst both experienced developers and beginners since it lets you focus on how to program instead of emphasizing on the syntax. It was introduced to create programs with minimum lines of code. Many companies choose this as their back-end programming language.

  • Development-Principle: Python is an object-oriented driven programming language
  • Types of Applications: web-applications, statistical & Financial & Business applications, applications involving numerical computations, machine learning, network computations; GUI & console applications, Audio/Video Applications, game development, System administration products, Operating systems, language development, etc.
  • Frameworks: Django, Flask, etc.
  • Database Support:  Python has bindings for PostGre SQL, Oracle, MariaDB, MongoDB, etc.
  • Platforms:  Python is cross-platform which means code written in windows will run on a MAC OS.
  • Popular websites Using Python:  Google, YouTube, Quora, Dropbox, etc.

PROS:

  • Free and Open source
  • Increased readability of code; requires comparatively fewer lines of code to achieve functionality.
  • One can learn python easily and quickly since it has a smaller learning curve.
  • The extensive library supports available for almost everything can create any type of application for e.g.: internet protocols, operating system interfaces, web services, etc.
  • Built-in user-friendly data structures like list, dictionaries which can be used to create more structures.
  • Dynamically typed, which means you do not have to declare the type of data, it is decided at runtime
  • Large community base and documentation, which makes resolving issues easy.
  • Provides powerful debugging with PDB (Python Debugger) and effective error handling.
  • Increased productivity and speed of applications as python provides unit testing, integration features, and control capabilities.
  • Suitable for the development of large-scale projects.

CONS:

  • Not preferred for mobile applications since it lacks featured for mobile computing.
  • Python can get slower since it is an interpreted language causing slower execution.
  • Since it is dynamically typed, it leads to runtime errors.
  • Python is high on memory consumption so it’s not suitable for memory-intensive applications.

Check out or Python Master Course designed to train you in python for application in websites, Machine learning, and data science.

NODE.JS

This one is relatively newer on the block. Node.js was developed in 2009 by Ryan Dahl. It is a few of those languages which make it possible for a client-side language to run on a server i.e. it makes JavaScript run on the server-side. It provides a JavaScript-runtime environment that lets you JavaScript outside a browser. It is mostly consumed in a technology stack where the entire ecosystem is written in JS (from the front-end to Back-end to the web framework to the DB). NodeJS comes with a package manager named NPM (Node Package Manager).

  • Development-Principle: NodeJS is an event-driven asynchronous I/O programming language
  • Types of Applications: IoT (internet of things) applications, Real-time applications (chats, the transmission of audio, video texts, etc.) which make use of web sockets, high-level single-page applications (SPA), streaming applications, microservices architecture, e-learning portals, project management, etc.
  • Frameworks: ExpressJS, MeteorJS, Socket.io, etc.
  • Database Support:  PostGreSQL, Oracle, MongoDB etc.
  • Most Used Technology stack: MEAN (MongoDB, ExpressJS, Angular, NodeJS) or MERN (MongoDB, ExpressJS, ReactJS/Redux, NodeJS)
  • Platforms:  NodeJS is cross-platform and runs on Windows, MAC OS, and Linux. Windows is preferred by a lot of developers since NodeJS provides support for windows.
  • Popular websites Using NodeJS: PayPal, LinkedIn, Netflix, Uber, GroupOn, GoDaddy, eBay, etc.

PROS:

  • Ease of learning and advantage of knowing JavaScript, since JavaScript has been around since forever and is extensively used in applications a developer gets an edge in working in NodeJS since he is not learning a completely new language.
  • Fast execution speeds, NodeJS are a JavaScript-runtime that makes use of Google’s V8 engine. V8 compiles JavaScript into machine code thus increasing execution speeds.
  • Allows for scalability in applications
  • Web Sockets and non-blocking I/O in NodeJS make it most suitable for real-time & Multi-user applications. Web Sockets make use of TCP which avoids overheads caused by HTTP.
  • NOP is a robust and super speedy package manager with more than 60000 modules and still growing.

CONS:

  • The application programming interface keeps changing frequently which causes issues in backward compatibility
  • Has limited library support
  • It is not for JavaScript beginners; you need to have advanced conceptual and practical knowledge of JavaScript to work in NodeJS

If you want to gain expertise in NodeJS Checkout out our NodeJS Master Course and to gain knowledge in full stack development using NodeJS checkout our Web Master Plus Course.

Summary

In this article, we have seen some of the most used server-side technologies. Every company before beginning a project decides on a technology stack in which client-side and server-side technologies are chosen. This decision depends on many factors like the type of project, Team expertise, cost of development, scope & requirements of the project, functionalities offered in a language, etc. As a developer, one must pick a particular technology and master it to know what can be achieved with which language.

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