Should I Choose Node.js or PHP to Build My E-commerce Website?

Leverating an e-commerce website to sell your product or service online is a great way to handle your sales and have a store open 24 hours a day. In order to create a great customer experience on your webshop, you have to have the most important e-commerce features to stay ahead of competitors and gain sales. However, an e-commerce website is a quite complex system. In order to make it work, you will need a solid, scalable technology to build it.


Let’s see what programming languages that web developers should look towards when building e-commerce websites so you can pick the one that suits you most! But before we do, it is important to understand that any e-commerce website uses the same frontend programming languages, including HTML, CSS and Javascript. For professional e-commerce websites, HTML5 in particular plays an important role, making crisp user interfaces for the end user. Therefore, it will contribute to a better user experience.



E-commerce website flow with HTML5


With a solid frontend, we now look to the backend, or server-side, where the most common technologies used for that is Node.js and PHP.


Node.js vs PHP

Node.js and PHP are server side languages that developers use for creating applications and other web-based platforms. These languages are playing a crucial role in the building webhop’s main features. Both of the languages are able to deal with applications of any complexity, but it is important to keep in mind that Node.js and PHP have been built around different architectures and concepts. So let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the two languages when choosing a codebase for your e-commerce website.



PHP is a scripting language that has an extensive codebase, which enables web developers to build websites and webshops on many of the well-known Content Management Systems like Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress. This programming language makes it easy to deploy an e-commerce website within a short period of time. This way you can save some time and you can use it on any server and any platform. The programming language has been designed to work well on the web and it contains many built-in functions to handle databases (like MySQL), servers and smooth frontend work in HTML, CSS and JavaScript.



fluid designs developed in PHP


There are also limitations of PHP as each page request initiates a connection between database, application, configuration parameters and HTML rendering. Because of that, PHP falls behind Node.js in speed. Node.js applications can run on a permanent basis and it has to initialize only once. This feature makes Node.js more applicable for HTML5 features which enables the webshop to connect to different channels through APIs like social media, payment gateways or other third-party APIs used on the ecommerce website. This brings us to the many opportunities for building an outstanding webshop with Node.js



This language is a highly scalable server-side framework, which enables you to make event-based, non-blocking I/O heavy applications, meaning you can build applications more efficiently for the Web 2.0 era. As Node.js uses asynchronous JavaScript processing, you are able to maximize computer memory and single CPU usage, which will allow you to service concurrent requests. These features allow developers to create real-time applications and single-page applications that will operate with an outstanding runtime.


A massive benefit with Node.js is that you can use its syntax – JavaScript – to build the whole stack – both frontend and backend – making Node.js an excellent tool for developing and maintaining an e-commerce website and to coordinate between team members on the back-end as well as the front-end. Having the same JavaScript structure on both ends will accelerate the application development process. It is also important to mention that it makes bugs fixing way easier.



Node.js ecommerce websites


One of the limitations of the programming language can be that it is event-based. A single-threaded platform is not the best fit for handling CPU intensive operations. So it is not preferable for editing or generating graphics, video, and audio.


So what should I choose?

There are many successful companies using Node.js for their applications as it gives more opportunities for developers to stay up-to-date with changing trends. Because of that, Node.js can help you create a great experience for customers visiting your e-commerce website. As Node.js is a more complex platform, it lets developers build more complex things easier than with PHP. It also supports multitasking which generates better outcomes for lower costs.


On an e-commerce website, a buyer’s journey involves many actions and operations. For example, changing product features and adding things to the basket, or selecting payment types. That is why it is important to choose a codebase which can handle these tasks at the same time. From a scalability point of view, e-commerce stores can grow significantly in a short period of time. As Node.js has a built-in mechanism to handle scalability it makes it a great choice for an e-commerce website.



As our digital world is changing every day it is important to keep up and adapt. With more possibilities and the newest features on your e-commerce website, you can stand out and show that you care for your customers and their preferences.



If you would be interested in building a new e-commerce website on PHP or Node.js, we are here to help, so reach out to us!

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