Is it worth building a site on Node.js? What are the pros and cons? When should it be used?
Node.js: a guide with benefits and drawbacks
However, where are the advantages of Node.JS? Let’s try to make everything clear.
Here are a few advantages of Node.JS:
- Lightning-fast execution of web applications: you click on a button or link on a website, and you see a loading bar. It feels like minutes. At the same time, nobody wants to wait that long. With Node.js, you can create web applications that run very quickly. In most cases, it doesn’t even take loading time.
- Brilliant scalability: Node.js can be used to write scalable applications that can handle a very large number of connections/requests at the same time.
A few disadvantages:
- Not suitable for computationally intensive tasks: if it comes to CPU-heavy tasks that use a lot of computing power, then Node.js is definitely not the right approach.
- Often missing backward compatibility: when new versions of Node.js are released, it may be necessary to adapt the existing code so that everything continues to work normally. This lack of backward compatibility can be seen in many JS technologies, such as Angular, for example.
- No ready-made technology: technologies like PHP or ASP.NET have been around for many years. PHP, for example, has been around for more than 20 years. Node.js has only been developed since 2009, and one can speak of an immature technology. So if you use Node.js in projects, you should assume that there may be additional programming work simply because Node.js is still changing.
In which cases can this technology be used?
There are cases where Node.js is the right choice. Here are some options:
- Chat applications: Node.js is suitable for chat programs that many users access simultaneously.
- Real-time programs: systems that multiple users can access and make changes at the same time, and the users should see the changes. Good examples of this are Trello and Google Docs.
- Streaming: it is suitable for streaming large amounts of data. For example, it is used by Netflix.
- Websites: Node.js is a frequent choice of developers for website creation.
Many small companies (startups) but also global companies rely on this technology.
Here are a few notable examples:
- Trello: Trello runs very fast, although there is a high number of hits, and the platform has become popular in just a few months/years. It did all of that without slowing down under the load. The scalability was and is given by Node.
- PayPal: PayPal uses this technology for its apps. According to PayPal’s engineering team, it takes 33 percent fewer lines of code and 40 percent fewer files to write these applications. At the same time, the speed of development has doubled.
- Uber: The popular driver app Uber has been using Node since it was launched.
As you can see, it seems that it is a trustworthy technology.
Node.js is used by startups as well as large companies these days. Despite its minor weaknesses (e.g., it is a changing technology), it is preferred because of its strengths (fast execution of web applications even with high access numbers).
However, Node.js is not always the right choice. PHP, ASP.NET, Java, Python, or Ruby still have their fields of application and can be a better choice in some projects.
Node.js is, therefore, not an all-purpose weapon, but it fits better in some cases (real-time web applications, chats, streaming, etc.) and less in some cases (computing-heavy tasks, embedded software, etc.).
Node.js is most commonly used for large-scale applications that communicate directly between the user and the server. Therefore, you should find Node.js programmers who can do the following:
- Understand agile development techniques.
- Understand the interface and know how to work with it.
- Create optimized, readable, and well-documented code.
- Working with databases and cloud platforms.
- Understand the basic principles of API development.
- Identify and fix problems during application development.
- In addition to technical skills, dedicated Node.js developers need to work as a team.
If you are looking for a reliable developer to solve tasks of any complexity, SECL experts will help you. Guys will help you choose the most suitable tools for developing your product.