Node js eCommerce

Developing an eCommerce store from scratch is a tough task. A whole team of programmers, database managers, designers, testing engineers, and SEOs work together to shape an overall web store with competitive features.

Different developers choose different tech stacks to do the job. We have seen developers using the LAMP stack for a long time now. However, these days, Node js eCommerce development is on great hype. It is enticing developers towards the MEAN/MERN stack for building an array of eCommerce solutions on it.

Node js eCommerce

Why node js eCommerce framework has been a sublime for eCommerce development these days?  One reason for this massive acceptance of node js is the quick server-side development. Node js promises a more versatile, faster, secure, and scalable architecture when compared to the other counterparts in the market. 

In this article, we will uncover many such node js advantages and find out how it differs from its biggest competitor –PHP. We will also deliberate some additional benefits of the MEAN stack and comprehend why node js has been adopted by some of the biggest businesses in the market.

Node Js in a nutshell

Node js platform was built on Google’s Chrome V8 JavaScript engine. It can deliver some lightning fast and massively scalable web applications. Being an open-source cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment, Node js is easy to adopt and can develop multifaceted web applications.

Till now, over 81,405 websites on the internet are powered by node js. Around 18.4% of the total are business websites and nearly 5.77 % are the web stores. (source). Node js e-commerce platform powers some of the biggest eCommerce websites on the internet:

  • Microsoft store
  • PayPal
  • Netflix
  • GoDaddy
  • Uber
  • eBay
  • E-Bay
  • GroupOn
  • Walmart

LAMP Vs MEAN/MERN: Why Node js is better than PHP?

PHP has been a center of attraction for worldwide developers from a very long time. Both Node js and PHP act as server-side programming languages. It has been a long timeline for PHP though. It was introduced 23 years ago, back in 1995. However, node js is still a new kid in the block, released lately in 2009.

Developers have used PHP both as a script and a programming language. In a long journey of 23 years, PHP has evolved from an HTML embedding script to an autonomous programming language. Almost every web service and popular API is compatible with PHP’s stack.

However, when it eCommerce development comes in the picture, the newly introduced node js eCommerce framework proves as more versatile, speedier, and scalable than a PHP framework. Here is a detailed comparison to clear your doubts –

·      Node js is better for content within the codes

PHP can accommodate general content in the codes. You just need to open a PHP tag and you can add content from another website. However, you cannot expect every website admin to be well versed with the codes. A non-coder admin user can simply mess up the calibration and make the website’s code inconceivable even for the skilled developers.  

Node js gives a more simple way to do that. Here, you can segregate the source codes from the general and logical layers like a general text. This makes the UI lucid for the non-coders. Even if you don’t know to code, you don’t have to beat around the bush to apprehend a node js site’s back-end. You can understand the architecture with separate folders and module built through the MVC (Model View Controller) architecture.

·      Node Js has a contemporary code base

Being a very old programming language PHP codes can be found everywhere on the internet. It bases a decent number of eCommerce platforms and CMSs. PHP is literally everywhere, but it does not equip solutions with modern standards.

The code base is not competent to accommodate contemporary requirements as per the new scenario. Most of the PHP based eCommerce platforms are still using the codes at least two decades old. No doubt, updates are released from time to time, but these are just the feature updates; not the codebase update. Just it adds the new codes on the old code base.

Contrastingly, the code base of node js is new, cutting-edge, and offer contemporary tools for the new generation of developers. Node js is not getting old, at least for 10-15 years more.  

·      Node Js implements complex logic easily

One thing I can admit is PHP is easier to learn than node js. It is simple. However, simplicity in development is not what required when you build a complex project like an eCommerce marketplace.

You can expect a node js eCommerce platform or website to be simpler but not the development process. We should not measure the strength of technology on the virtue of coding simplicity but on the efficiency of implementing complex logic more easily.

Indeed, Node js syntax is slightly complex. However, you are not limited when it comes to handling challenging requirements with unmatched ease. It works superlatively with JavaScript, JQuery, HTML5, where PHP starts slowing down the pages with some heavy JavaScript on them. You can create complex objects and functions with simpler tactics than PHP.

·      Node Js with NoSQL is faster than MySQL

PHP uses relational database systems such as MySQL, PostgreSQL and MariaDB. These systems are great for traditional SQL based technologies like Microsoft and Oracle. However, it cripples when set to work without SQL. NoSQL databases are nearly impossible with PHP.

On the other hand, Node js is compatible with both the SQL and NoSQL (Not Only SQL) databases such as MongoDB and Couch DB. It can also execute the queries from graph-based database systems like Neo4j.

Let’s not forget the seamless compatibility with JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). Using JSON the node js applications can work even without SQL. You can execute the queries without switching between different database syntaxes for front-end and back-end entities. It uses the same syntax on the server side, database and as well as the web browser side scripting.

Being a non-relational database, NoSQL approach is extremely faster and processes the requests with lightning fast speed. 

·      Node Js is more stable with synchronous coding

Apart from some selectable APIs, PHP is mostly synchronous programming language. Hence, it compiles the codes in sequences. It waits for the current line of code to execute first before compiling the subsequent lines in a program. This sequential compiling does not only slow down the whole process but also crashes a whole program if it detects an error or deadlock happens in the current line.

Contrastingly, node js follows an asynchronous code compilation to run a program. The JavaScript engine compiles the entire program in one go, without waiting for the individual lines to run in a sequence. Hence, it generates the output programmed for the lines below the function, irrespective of the lines before that has an error or deadlock situation. As a result, a node js program is extremely faster and suitable for complex implementations like a node js eCommerce platform. Here is an example of doing it.

You can use the promise proxy value to call asynchronous processes like resolve or reject. After that, you can call the then function via promise code and take the two asynchronous functions as the parameters. Now, you can run the first function if it meets the condition. Otherwise, you can call the second function reject if the condition fails. For example, you can write a promise creation code like below:

var myPromise = new Promise(function(resolve, reject){

request.get(options, function(err, resp, body) {

            if (err) {

                reject(err);

            } else {

                resolve(JSON.parse(body));

            }

        })

    })

}

·      Bid farewell to syntax switches

While building your eCommerce site with PHP, you would require to switch continuously between the front, back, and database syntaxes. For example, PHP MVC model demand SQL syntax for the database, altered PHP syntaxes for View and Controller, and Linux for server-side programming and commands.

However, if you are using the node js eCommerce framework, the MVC architecture uses the same JavaScript syntax on server-side, browser-side, and database. You do not have to switch between the languages and syntaxes while building the front or back end of your node js eCommerce site.

·      Saves your time with functional inheritance

PHP uses Prototypal inheritance, which is fast and flexible. However, node js also lets you utilize the functional inheritance for a simpler and trap-free system. PHP’s prototypical inheritance is undoubtedly faster, but not easily implementable in the actual execution. You have to call both the super constructor and the inherit function to implement it. Doing so makes your program more prone to errors as you cannot pass a method as a callback parameter without wrapping it in a function.

In many of the situations, the functional inheritance with node js is easier to implement when binding the methods to their instances. In short, functional inheritance with node js gives a better performance benchmark and helps you avoid redundant methods calls.

·      Node Js is resourceful and lightweight with NPM

Node Package Manager (nmp) helps a node js project in two aspects:

  • NPS gives access to an online repository of open-source Node.js projects
  • It allows a command-line interface to fetch resources from the repository that are required for package installation, version control, update management, and dependency regulation.

In short, NPS in node js lets a developer re-use the code from online repository. Not just that, it also lets the developers download the code updates made to the particular code being already used from the repository. 

For example, NPM lest you install the vows testing framework from git repository and handles the eyes dependency automatically with no extra coding:

git clone https://github.com/cloudhead/vows.git

cd vows

npm install

You just have to create a new node js project using npm init and it will automatically create a new package.json. Now you can add as much metadata and save other collaborators from the extra work in the project.  

$ mkdir my-new-project

$ cd my-new-project

$ npm init

·      Handles errors more responsibly

E-commerce development is a highly risky job. Even a slight mistake can make your business lose millions. Be it a PHP site of node js eCommerce framework, keeping the code up and running is of utmost importance.

Node js offers a competent method to write asynchronous programs and manage error and exceptions like none. The .catch() handler in node JS lets you catch all the errors and deal with them using exceptions handling.

Even if you cannot catch some exceptions manually, the node js can be coded to avoid this mess by triggering uncaughtException event on the process object. For example, a simple code looks like this-

process.on(‘uncaughtException’, (err) => {

    logger.log(‘whoops! There was an uncaught error’, err);

    // do a shutdown,

    // close database.

    process.exit(1);

});

Node js gives an array of other ways to handle the uncaught errors and exceptions and keep your eCommerce site from crashing.

Takeaways

Node.js is supported by a massive community of skillful developers. Its open-source architecture lets you access some outstanding modules and repository to update your code base. For example, you can use Socket.io to establish constant communication between the client and the server. Using it, you can program the server to send real-time updates at the client side. There is no end to the exciting features of the node js frameworks. I don’t say PHP is not efficient, but node js gives some better hands for eCommerce projects of mammoth scale.

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