Node.js vs. Python: what shall be the most effective technology for developing your website or app?

By Roman Berezhnoi July 22, 2021 702 views

Node.js vs. Python: what shall be the most effective technology for developing your website or app?

Over the years, Node.js and Python have evolved as the top favorite backend development technologies which are used for web development. These two technologies are extremely potent, and choosing between them is a tricky task. Like every other technology, Node.js and Python have several merits and demerits that you shall learn in this post.

Before you start developing a website, it is necessary to choose the right set of technologies that will make your task easier. The expense, development time, scalability, and ease of maintenance of your project shall depend on this choice. Additionally, you should emphasize roping in able developers who can handle top website development technologies efficiently.

Small Description of Node.js and Python

Node.js is based on JavaScript, which is highly user-friendly. However, the popularity of this technology is quite behind Python. This section of the blog will enlighten you with some of the vital details about these technologies that will help you understand their effectiveness better.

Node.js

Node.js is an open-source technology that can run seamlessly on various platforms. It is single-threaded and can help to develop highly scalable back-end and networking apps. Node.js is a runtime environment that can execute JavaScript codes outside the browser. This platform is written in C, C++, and JavaScript and implements event-based and non-blocking input-output architecture. Therefore, you can develop real-time applications effortlessly using Node.js. Besides, this environment can also run on the V8 JavaScript runtime engine.

Vital Features of Node.js

Below are the top features of this technology that make it highly efficient:

  • Easy to access: Beginners will find Node.js extremely flexible to use since the internet shall provide them with plenty of tutorials. Besides, a huge community backs up this web app development environment, offering instant help to developers.
  • Offers maximum scalability: This technology is single-threaded, and thus, you can work with numerous connections simultaneously. Node.js is highly scalable and has higher throughput.
  • Has a high speed: Node.js follows a non-blocking thread execution approach, which amplifies its speed and productivity multiple times.
  • Numerous packages available: You can access millions of open-source packages of this technology that will help you develop a website effortlessly. Currently, the NPM ecosystem holds more than a million Node.js packages.
  • Powerful backend: Node.js can run a server very fast and offer top-class networking support since it is written in C and C++.
  • Cross-platform support: You can easily create desktops apps, SaaS products, and mobile applications with Node.js because it offers unmatchable cross-platform support.
  • Maintenance-friendly: The frontend and backend of Node.js are JavaScript-friendly. Therefore, this technology demands less maintenance after the completion of developing a website.

Python

Python is an open-source, object-oriented programming language extremely popular among developers from scripting. It is a high-level, dynamic language having syntax and dynamic typing with interpretation. Guido van Rossum initially released the first version of Python in 1991, and many other versions have been released since then.

This programming language is considered the most favorite one for machine language worldwide. It primarily runs on Google’s App Engine and offers several libraries and tools to users. Top developers update these tools and libraries across the world.

Vital Features of Python

  • A free and open-source language: Python is a high-level, open-source programming language available for free. You can learn it easily from different tutorials available online and develop a unique web application. Its open-source nature allows developers to add new updates to the language and its various packs.
  • Thousands of packages: You can develop complex and highly functioning websites with Python. It offers thousands of packages that help developers work with the greatest ease.
  • Supports multiple paradigms: Python supports multiple paradigms, namely functional, structured, and object-oriented programming.
  • Works on numerous operating systems: Python’s cross-platform support enables developers to execute it on all operating systems like Windows, Linux, and Mac.
  • Adaptable: Python’s high adaptability allows executing this platform with numerous languages such as Java, C, C++, etc.
  • Supports multiple GUI frameworks: You will receive support for many GUI frameworks while working with Python. It supports popular GUI libraries like Tkinter, PyQT, and Pygame. You can use these libraries to develop various types of web applications.

Detailed Comparison between Node.js and Python

Node.js and Python are two of the most popular backend technologies having numerous unique features. They are supported by a vast community of developers that help beginners invariably. The following portion of the post will take a bigger dig into the features and efficiency of these two technologies. We will compare them on various parameters and bring forth honest conclusions.

Architecture

The structure of a software component is termed its architecture, and it also determines its functioning. Software elements, their relationship, and their properties are the main components of software architecture. If you want to develop a large app, you should opt for software with a good structure. However, if you choose software with average architecture, your system’s loading speed will decrease gradually, and the cost of adding new features will increase.

Below is the description of the difference between the software architecture of Node.js and Python:

Node.js

Node.js applies the single-threaded event loop model that allows managing more than one client simultaneously. This technology uses a small number of threads and resources, and thus, you can run your programs at a higher speed. Besides, Node.js has a non-blocking feature that makes handling a large number of simultaneous connections effortless. Therefore, this platform can be your favorite choice for developing a real-time web application.

Python

The architecture of Python is quite different from Node.js because it does not transform codes into machine language. Python first converts its code into bytecode and then into machine language with the help of an interpreter. This technology is single-threaded but allows creating asynchronous and event-oriented applications through modules, such as asyncio.

Speed

If you are looking for a robust web development programming language, you should check its speed before anything else. The faster an application can execute your program, the better are its software components. A high-speed programming language assures lower operational expenses while expanding your app in the future. The response time of an application is very less if its code is executed at a higher speed.

Node.js

Node.js uses resources sustainably and offers better performance since its codes are executed outside the web browser. This web development tool works very fast due to its non-blocking feature and the execution of the V8 engine. Therefore, you can develop real-time apps within a short time using Node.js.

Python

Python does not transform its codes to machine codes directly, and thus, it is called an interpreted language. It converts to byte codes and then to machine codes, increasing the execution time to a great extent. Python processes a request slowly with its single-thread, which makes it a less favorite programming language for developers looking for speed and performance.

Scalability

As a developer, you will always dream of creating an outstanding application that will attract a large number of users. However, if your app is not efficient enough to handle thousands of customers, its performance will deteriorate with time. Therefore, an application should be scalable so that it can accommodate the changes made to it without harming its performance.

Node.js

Node.js supports scalability better than numerous other platforms. It can accommodate numerous microservices since it supports lightweight interaction and executes all processes at a higher speed. Applications created with this programming language are vertically and horizontally expandable.

You can scale your app horizontally with Node.js by adding new nodes to the system. Vertical scaling is possible by adding extra resources to the nodes already present. You can deploy the cloning approach on a single server effortlessly with the in-built module cluster of Node.js. Cloning allows scaling applications efficiently, and thus, it is a preferred technique of ace developers.

Python

Python lacks scaling abilities because it executes codes very slowly. Besides, it supports single-threading due to Global Interpreter Lock (GIL). The Python interpreter cannot execute multiple tasks simultaneously due to GIL. It can run one thread at a time, making it the last choice for developing a scalable application.

Extensibility

The hard work that goes into expanding a system and adding new features is termed extensibility. If your app’s performance is not degraded due to the addition of new or modified features, it can be safely called an extensible app. Node.js and Python are highly extensible and allow adding new functionalities without much effort.

Node.js

Node.js is compatible with customization, extension, and integration with different tools. It offers an in-built API that can develop HTTP and DNS servers. Node.js can be extended with frameworks such as Angular, Vue, Express, etc., for building web applications. Besides, it can be extended to deployment monitoring and problem detection using Log.io tools like Webpack for module bundling, process management, and data migration.

Python

Python is extensible since it enables developers to write codes in other programming languages, including Java, C++, and C. Its bindings allow calling functions and passing data from Python to C or C++. Therefore, you can enjoy the efficiency of two languages at the same time. This programming language allows accessing various libraries and frameworks like Flask, Web2Py, Django, and Pyramid.

Libraries

The growing library support provided by Python and Node.js is a vital reason for their increasing popularity among developers. Developers can access modules that are readily usable without learning about their detailed descriptions. Moreover, you can develop your application faster if you get comprehensive library support from a programming language.

Node.js

Node.js supports a large number of libraries that facilitate the development process significantly. The Node Package Manager or NPM looks after these libraries and packages. NPM contains the highest number of open-source libraries and more than a million packages. You can access NPM free of cost and receive updates from worldwide open-source developers every day.

The package support offered by Node.js grabs the attention of maximum developers. Some of the widely-used NPM packages include Lodash, Express, Passport, Async, and Moment.

Python

Pip or Pip Installs Python manages the packages and libraries present in Python. It is the language’s package installer and is extremely dependable, fast, and user-friendly. Therefore, you can develop your application effortlessly using the packages and libraries offered by Python. Pipenv, Numpy, Pandas, and Scikit-learn are some of the popular packages available in Python.

Applications

The pros and flaws of a backend technology are unavoidable, and thus, developers need to assess them thoroughly before using them. Node.js can develop real-time applications in a short time. Similarly, Python is an exceptional language that assists in machine learning and data assessment. The applications of these two languages are discussed below:

Node.js

If you are developing a real-time application involving handling multiple requests simultaneously, Node.js is the best solution. Its event-based architecture allows dealing with more than one request at a time. Other use cases of this programming language are developing single-page apps, I/O bound apps, data streaming apps, JSON API-based apps, and data-intensive real-time or DIRT apps.

Python

Data science applications dealing with data analysis and visualization, machine learning, neural networks, and image-processing software can be built successfully with Python. This programming language supports several frameworks such as Flask and Django. Python allows creating business, desktop, and gaming applications.

Community

The community support received by Node.js and Python developers is extremely powerful and ever-growing. These two programming language has a vast open-source community where developers from different parts of the world contribute regularly. 

Node.js

Node.js users get support from a vast community containing videos, tutorials, and modules developed by top developers. NPM offers more than a million packages, and the community manages all of them. You can find solutions to all your problems and queries in this community that will save your development time. Developers can also contribute to this community if they find or create something useful that might help others.

Python

The support community of Python has over a million members since it is one of the first languages available to web developers. You can seek answers to your queries from several Python-oriented portals. PyCon is the name for the learning and conference programs held in this programming language across the world. Developers can obtain useful resources from this platform and continue building a robust app.

If you are active in the community of Python with regular contributions, the chances are high that a big organization might hire you. Companies working with Python follow this community regularly to search for able web developers.

Popularity

You can check the popularity of a programming language by finding out the size of its community. This aspect speaks volumes about a language and acts as a vital factor for determining whether to use it or not. Programming languages widely used worldwide have more active members and contributors.

Node.js

The past few years have witnessed a massive growth in the popularity of Node.js. This language is flexible, lightweight, and offers many libraries and packages that help users create apps effortlessly. Top companies like Spotify, Twitter, Reddit, Linkedin, etc., use Node.js, which shows off its popularity. This language has thousands of followers on Github and is one of the most used non-database and non-operating system tools worldwide.

Python

Python also has a large number of lovers, and its popularity stands second to Node.js. A study by Stack Overflow shows that this programming language is the third-most-popular one in the world. Many developers continue using this language for developing robust applications having top features. If you are building a machine learning or data science app, do not look beyond Python.

Which of These Two Programming Languages is the Most Suitable Choice for You?

The applications, benefits, and demerits of Node.js and Python can confuse any developer. Below all the differences are combined for your convenience:

Node.js

It is a runtime platform enabling the development of fast and scalable backend and networking applications easily.

Node.js executes its programs on the V8 JavaScript runtime engine powered by Google.

You can expand Node.js vertically and horizontally without much hassle.

The V8 JavaScript engine increases the development speed of Node.js.

Node.js is extremely flexible and helps in full-stack development. Therefore, you can use this platform for developing both the backend and frontend of your project.

Node.js offers top-notch assistance for developing real-time, gaming, and ecommerce apps.

Python

It is a high-level, object-oriented programming language used for creating responsive and multipurpose applications.

It deploys the PyPy interpreter.

Managing a large codebase is a challenging task in Python, even though it is dynamically typed. Its scalability is insufficient for big projects demanding huge expansions.

Python follows the single-flow approach, which makes it slower. First, it converts codes to byte codes, and then an interpreter transforms them into machine codes. This process takes a longer time, making Python a slow programming language.

Although Python has libraries supporting frontend development, its popularity as a backend development tool remains unmatchable. Besides, it is used for creating independent apps for desktops and smartphones.

Server-side, business, desktop, and data science applications can be developed effortlessly with Python.

Final Note

Choosing between Node.js and Python is difficult since they both help to create top-quality backend of websites and apps. You should figure out your requirements and choose between them accordingly. We hope this guide will help you immensely in choosing the most efficient programming language for your project.

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