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Pros and Cons of Node.js Web Development

The prevalence of Java Script in the world of web development is not a new phenomenon. However, if you want to use this object-oriented programming language for server-side development, Node.js is the way to go.

It is a runtime environment introduced in 2009, and since then, has been a popular choice for web development. Today, we are going to discuss the pros and cons of Node.js web development. But before we proceed, let’s have a look at what Node.js is.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a runtime environment based on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. It was introduced by Ryan Dahl at the annual European JSConf and was hailed as “the most exciting piece of software in the JavaScript universe” in 2009. Joyent sponsored Node.js open-source project along with the Ruby on Rails framework and provided hosting services to big names like LinkedIn and Twitter.

LinkedIn also used Node.js for the mobile application backend, and it was also adopted by Walmart, eBay, Uber, and Netflix. Lately, Node.js has been one of the most used technologies for web development. If you are looking at Node.js for the development of your project, here is what it brings and what it shouldn’t.

Pros of Node.js Web Development

First, let’s talk about the advantages of Node.js web development:

1. It offers Scalability

Node.js features like microservices let you break down your application into smaller parts so that it uses less computing power or RAM. The tasks can be defined and allocated in each division of your application which allows scaling up based on the needs of the modern applications. This ensures high performance with few resources. Elements like a non-blocking event loop also help in processing requests seamlessly and provide better scalability. 

2. Node.js is Simple To Learn

It takes a shorter time to learn and work with Node.Js, considering the popularity of Javascript for front-end development. One of the reasons behind the popularity of Node.js as a web development environment is how quickly you can learn and write codes.

3. Node.js Offers High Performance

Node.js is built on Chrome’s V8 Engine, and Google invests heavily in its engine for improved performance and security. Moreover, it is written in C++ and therefore breaks Javascript functions into machine codes fast. Node.js is single-threaded and its event-driven architecture processes multiple concurrent requests without taking up a lot of RAM. This improves the app performance significantly.

Also, the event-loop and non-blocking I/O operation allow code execution at a pace that improves the overall performance of the app.

4. There is Freedom to Develop Cross Platform App

With Node.js, you can build cross-application platforms without writing separate codes for different operating systems. Moreover, native desktop applications can also be built with Node.js without extensive knowledge of Objective-C, C#, and other languages. A developer can access Google Chrome Developer Tools to write and debug codes without any limitations with Node.js.

5. It Provides Extensibility

Node.js will also support the evolution of your web application. Whether your user base increases rapidly, or you are planning to explore new industries, Node.js can be customized for the growing and changing needs of your project. The built-in API for developing HTTP, DNS servers, and JSON makes data exchange between the web servers and client easy, allowing for the extension.

6. There is Quick Caching

Whenever the first module gets a request in your web application, it will get cached in the app memory which will allow quick access to web pages in a fraction of microseconds. The users will not have to wait for long. With its caching module, Node.js makes re-execution of code easy for developers.

7. Node.js has Better App Response Time

An application built with Node.js can handle multiple concurrent users at the same time. It has been made possible with its single-threaded event-loop model, which offers to block asynchronous architecture by employing fewer resources and without creating more threads.

8. Development Speed Is A Plus

When you hire a Node.js developer for your project, it allows you to reduce your ‘time-to-market’. Node.js is lightweight and that allows the developers to boost the development speed. There are many easy-to-use codes and resources available for Node.js which will save you a lot of time and effort. One can also easily manage and store files and codes since Node.js offers client and server sides in Javascript.

9. Community Support for Node.js

There are a number of tools and libraries available to be used in your project. There are forums, resources, solutions, codes, and registries available for Node.js. The community is also backed by the giants like Google, Facebook, IBM, and Netflix, contributing to bringing more and more open source solutions for Node.js. In the future, this community is only going to grow.

Cons of Node.js Web Development

Now that we know what makes Node.js special, here are some of the disadvantages of Node.js that you should know about:

1. Changes in API

Due to the unstable API of Node.js, which experiences frequent API updates, developers need to change the access code to keep it in sync with the latest API. This is by far the most reported issue developers face with Node.js.

2. Lack of Library Support

Many NPM registries and libraries are not up to quality or are even downright incomplete. The inadequate monitoring makes it tough for beginner developers to succeed with their projects. The developers will have to be well-qualified and experts. Because it’s an open-source environment, the quality of the code is susceptible to taking a hit. Therefore, it’s important to hire the best Node.js developers for your project.

3. Very Few Experienced Resources

To learn Node.js back-end developer, you need to have a good grip on Javascript. However, not all Javascript developers are Node.js developers. As the demand rises, the scarcity of experienced Node.js developers is surfacing.

4. CPU-based Computing

Node.js is not ideal for executing heavy CPU-based computing because it is single-threaded and event-driven. If it receives a heavy CPU-driven task, it will utilize all CPU power available to complete that task. It will decelerate the event loop and hinder your application’s interface. The “worker threads” module helps with the execution of multiple threads at the same time, but it does not eliminate the challenge entirely.

5. Asynchronous Programming Model

With Node.js web development, it is essential to keep the code clean. Because of the asynchronous programming model, if there are too many callbacks in the background, they get nested in too deep and create ‘callback hell’. This makes it difficult to understand and maintain the code. The developers, thus, need to avoid running multiple queued tasks in the background.

Quick Summary

Let’s have a recap then. The advantages of Node.js web development include scalability, high performance, extensibility, quick caching, better app responsiveness, quicker development, and large community support.

On the other hand, unstable API, lack of library support, shortage of experienced developers, heavy CPU-based computing, and callback hell are some of the disadvantages that come with Node.js development. Based on the requirements of your project, you can choose Node.js for your web development needs, since it is backed and used by many industry giants, and the pros outweigh the cons with the end result when done right!

Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for general education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. It is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal, tax or any other advice specific to you the user or anyone else. TurtleVerse does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information and shall not be held responsible for any action taken based on the published information.

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