PHP to NodeJS

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How to convert from PHP to NodeJS

Migrating from PHP to NodeJS can be a daunting task, especially if you're well-versed in PHP but just starting with NodeJS. By understanding the differences and similarities between these two languages, you can effectively convert your PHP code to NodeJS.

Understanding the Core Differences Between PHP and NodeJS

Before diving into the code conversion process, it is essential to understand the fundamental differences between PHP and NodeJS:

  • Execution: PHP is a server-side scripting language that runs on a server, while NodeJS is a runtime environment that allows JavaScript to be executed on the server side.
  • Concurrency Model: PHP operates on a synchronous, blocking I/O model, whereas NodeJS uses an asynchronous, non-blocking I/O model.
  • Package Management: PHP uses Composer for dependency management, whereas NodeJS uses npm (Node Package Manager).

Setting Up the Environment

To start converting your PHP code to NodeJS, ensure you have the following set up:

  1. NodeJS and npm: Download and install the latest versions of NodeJS and npm from their official website.
  2. Development Environment: Use a code editor such as Visual Studio Code, which supports both PHP and JavaScript/NodeJS development.

Directory Structure

In PHP, your projects might look like this:

├─ index.php
├─ includes/
│  ├─ header.php
│  ├─ footer.php
└─ styles/
   ├─ styles.css

In NodeJS, a similar project might look like:

├─ index.js
├─ views/
│  ├─ header.ejs
│  ├─ footer.ejs
└─ public/
   ├─ styles.css

Converting Basic Syntax

Variables and Types


$name = "John";
$age = 25;


const name = "John";
const age = 25;

Conditional Statements


if ($age > 18) {
    echo "Adult";
} else {
    echo "Minor";


if (age > 18) {
} else {

Handling HTTP Requests

One of the key differences between PHP and NodeJS is how they handle HTTP requests.


    $name = $_POST['name'];
    echo "Hello, $name";

NodeJS (Using Express):

First, install Express using npm:

npm install express

Then, create an Express server:

const express = require('express');
const app = express();

app.use(express.urlencoded({ extended: true }));'/', (req, res) => {
    const name =;
    res.send(`Hello, ${name}`);

app.listen(3000, () => {
    console.log('Server is running on port 3000');

Connecting to a Database

PHP (Using MySQLi):

$servername = "localhost";
$username = "username";
$password = "password";
$dbname = "database";

$conn = new mysqli($servername, $username, $password, $dbname);

if ($conn->connect_error) {
    die("Connection failed: " . $conn->connect_error);

$sql = "SELECT id, name FROM users";
$result = $conn->query($sql);

if ($result->num_rows > 0) {
    while($row = $result->fetch_assoc()) {
        echo "id: " . $row["id"]. " - Name: " . $row["name"]. "<br>";
} else {
    echo "0 results";


NodeJS (Using MySQL module):

First, install the MySQL module:

npm install mysql

Then, connect to the database:

const mysql = require('mysql');

const connection = mysql.createConnection({
    host: 'localhost',
    user: 'username',
    password: 'password',
    database: 'database'

connection.connect((err) => {
    if (err) throw err;
    console.log('Connected to the database');

    connection.query('SELECT id, name FROM users', (err, results, fields) => {
        if (err) throw err;
        results.forEach(row => {
            console.log(`id: ${} - Name: ${}`);

Error Handling


function divide($dividend, $divisor) {
    if($divisor == 0) {
        throw new Exception("Division by zero");
    return $dividend / $divisor;

try {
    echo divide(10, 0);
} catch (Exception $e) {
    echo "Caught exception: " . $e->getMessage();


function divide(dividend, divisor) {
    if(divisor === 0) {
        throw new Error('Division by zero');
    return dividend / divisor;

try {
    console.log(divide(10, 0));
} catch (err) {
    console.error(`Caught exception: ${err.message}`);


Migrating from PHP to NodeJS involves understanding the differences in execution environments, concurrency models, and package management systems. While the syntax transition is relatively straightforward, some paradigmatic shifts require attention, especially regarding asynchronous programming and non-blocking I/O.

Using this guide, you should now have a foundational understanding of how to begin converting your PHP code to NodeJS. The transition might feel overwhelming at first, but with practice and familiarity, NodeJS can become as intuitive as PHP.

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