Pros and Cons of Node.js You Must Consider for Your Web App Development Project

The present-day business environment is predominantly hard to survive. To do so, organizations need to cover all the important aspects of app development correctly. Since the market has become so fiercely competitive, you can’t really afford to be I-am-alright-Jack.

Now to create an efficient product, you need strong and advanced technologies to support it. JavaScript, without a second doubt, has been considered one of the best client-side programming languages. Through much evolution, it has become a powerful cross-platform and web front-end development tool

But, does the usage and benefits of JavaScript end there? Not exactly. Lately, there’s been a heavy buzz around its use for server-side programming. And one of the major tools bringing this paradigm shift in web development is Node.js. Sure, it’s one of the popular choices for web app development among developers, but most importantly, can it add value to your project?

Now along with some drawbacks, Node.js has a range of diverse and immense advantages. But before we take things forward, it’s important that we understand the basics of this framework.

Let’s begin!

What is Node.js?

As an open-source runtime environment, Node.js primarily performs JavaScript on the server-side. It was first developed in 2007 by Ryan Dahl and took the web development world by storm with its multiple benefits. The interest level in Node.js frameworks gained its peak in 2017, and it has not sunk since then. It has become a go-to-choice for various industries, and market leaders such as LinkedIn, Netflix, PayPal have successfully used this technology.

When people ask about the advantages of Node.js, the one-word answer is its structure. That’s the sole reason for its creation as well as for the entire ecosystem of dedicated, open-source modules.

No matter what platform you’re building apps for, such nodes or microservices make the environment exceptionally useful for programmers. Each task is split up into different independent node paths that can seamlessly work together at the same time. This is why the server doesn’t bog up even if it’s using up high capacity levels.

Node.js offers event-driven I/O APIs that help it run on a single thread. Such non-blocking I/O calls allow it to manage thousands of concurrent threads in a single event loop. Using Google’s V8 JavaScript engine, it can also decipher JavaScript codes.

To know more of its usefulness, here’s a read on understanding Node.js and its business benefits.

So, when it all comes down to using this particular runtime environment for your web app, and you have to hire Node.js developers, there are a lot of positives and negatives to consider. This read will walk you through the most significant points.

The Bright Sides of Node.js

The complete list of Node.js advantages can be long and heavy but crucial for understanding and planning your development process. And it’s important that you follow the best tips before hiring efficient developers from a top rated Node.js development company who can make the most of these benefits. Let’s go through them.

Each node in Node.js is based on an event. You can add as many nodes as you want to your core programming function. This essentially means you can scale vertically and include new capability paths to your core application code or horizontally to include new resources to already existing programming.

Nonetheless, scalability gives room for your web apps to grow, and that’s definitely a key benefit of Node.js.

Node.js’ input-output, non-blocking operations make this runtime environment one of the quickest among others. Code runs swiftly, and that improves the whole environment. This happens because it has a sectioned-off system and runs on Google’s V8 JavaScript engine. Node.js products are usually programmed end-to-end in JavaScript. So that plug and play interoperability plays a great part in its high performance and speed.

While in other frameworks and runtime environments, you need to go all the way back to the core programming to make any changes. But you just have to make changes in a single node in Node.js. This is such an amazing benefit not only for your initial development but for future maintenance as well.

On top of this, when you merge Node.js with JSON, the exchange of information between the web servers and client servers. Developers can also use APIs to create DNS, TCP, HTTP into the server.

In discussing the pros and cons of Node.js, caching certainly comes up as one of the key benefits. Node.js has an excellent capability to cache data. The requests you make to an app are cached in-app memory. As a result, when requests go through execution and re-execution, the nodes don’t get bogged down by historical data and, thus, run smoothly.

Node.js is powered by JavaScript, meaning if you hire Node.js developers, they can easily tie nodes with the rest of the full-stack development. Consequently, front-end programmers can now easily take on more back-end programming tasks.

Moreover, other server-side languages become unnecessary. This essentially boosts the development process and enables programmers to have easy access to the back end of web apps. How exciting that would be!

The fact that JavaScript powers Node.js brings a handful of advantages to the table. Developers can easily add more pre-designed tools, templates, and features to the app. It contains hundreds of open-source options and a considerable package management library that you can immediately add to your project.

These pre-packaged resources not only cut down your programming budget but reduce the overall time to market as well. This is a glaring benefit of Node.js that you can’t ignore.

One of the interesting features of Node.js is its capability to manage multiple requests at once. And how is it able to do this? Through providing an elective nob-block I/O system. It gives priority to the requests taking lower response time and this prioritization, in turn, helps your app run more speedily and smoothly. Such features you won’t find in other languages like Ruby on Rails or Python.

If you’re opting for Node.js for your web app development, you’ll be blessed with the support of a large and active community of developers from every corner of the world. If you’re struggling with any part of the development process, you can find quick solutions from the community.

Moreover, they are continuously contributing to develop further and enhance this framework. In fact, the developers are well backed up by JavaScript programmers who provide effective codes and solutions on Github.

Learning Node.js is comparatively easier, mainly because it’s based on JavaScript. JavaScript being one of the popular programming languages makes it easy for front-end developers to have a good command over it. They can comfortably learn complex server-side programming and consume much less time to work with it. 1

Node.js facilitates a smooth connection between the server and the user. This implies there’s no lag between the server working on a request and the user asking for that. Node.js wholly processes a request while other runtime environments tend to break down a message letter by letter.

It’s important for you to consider the fact that Node.js supports Websockets, a leading real-time communications solution in the modern industry. This guarantees that users are always in sync with your updates.

Most of the Node.js packages and resources are open-source and free. Such availability comes with a security risk, but Node.js has eliminated the risks with its package manager for enterprises. The enterprise manager helps the packages operate behind the organization’s firewall and offers a private registry with high-security features. So, companies can easily replace unsafe codes, manage the views on codes, and detect vulnerabilities.

With Node.js, you can develop cross-platform real-time web apps by leveraging platforms like NW.js and Electron. You don’t need to go through the hassle of writing separate codes for different desktop versions — Linux, Windows, and macOS.

If you hire Node.js developers, they can create dynamic web apps without expert-level knowledge in other languages. Additionally, there are many Google Chrome Developer Tools to write, build, and debug codes without any restrictions.

The Not-So-Bright Sides of Node.js

Now that you know the high-flying benefits of Node.js, it’s important to learn the stumbling blocks as well. Although the list of its cons is far shorter, Node.js, like every other technology, is not perfect. Some of its serious disadvantages that are worth mentioning are discussed below.

Node.js has its own set of benefits for being even-driven and single-threaded. But for the same reason, it struggles with executing heavy CPU-based tasks. Upon receiving a CPU-bound task in its event loop, it prioritizes the task and uses its available CPU strength to complete it. This leads to the slow processing and overall declaration of the event loop.

To fix this issue, Node.js developed the “worker threads” model in 2018, enabling developers to manage several threads at once. However, this doesn’t entirely solve the CPU-driven computing challenges.

Frequent API changes are one of the considerable downsides reported by Node.js users. Such API changes are backward-incompatible, driving them up the wall. Sadly, this phenomenon pushes them to frequently alter the access code in order to match in sync with the brand new version of Node.js API.

The key characteristic of Node.js has the asynchronous approach so it responds a lot to callbacks. If you have a number of pending tasks running in the background, then you could fall into what developers call “callback hell.” This will directly affect the quality and performance of your codes. This disadvantage nearly makes it tedious to comprehend and maintain codes.

Node.js has multiple NPM libraries and registries that are either incomplete or subpar quality or inappropriately documented. So if you’re not that experienced in developing web apps with Node.js, chances are such adequate monitoring will be difficult for you.

Only well-skilled and experienced developers from a top rated Node.js development company can execute your project successfully. Because it is open-source with a diverse pool of modules and libraries, there is a lack of high-standard coding. Programmers are often forced to look for support in common libraries for complicated tasks like XML parsing and Object-Relational Mapping (ORM), database operations, etc.

People often think JavaScript developers are Node.js developers too. But the truth is it requires a different level of expertise and JavaScript back-end knowledge to learn Node.js. According to a study, there was a 2493% increase in demand for Node.js technical skills. Even though there’s a booming rise in demand, finding a competent Node.js developer is not an easy task.

Final Words

Node.js plays a crucial role in developing high-performing and scalable web apps. Developers absolutely love experimenting with its advantages, and its popularity among them is not much of a surprise. It offers a whole package of speed, performance, and scale that empowers today’s use cases vital for web apps. The advantages of Node.js surely outweigh its disadvantages.

So, the bottom line is — if your desired web app doesn’t include heavy CPU-based tasks, Node.js is the trump card for you. Explore the market and choose a top rated Node.js development company that can leverage the benefits mentioned in this read and give the best solutions for your next web app development project.

If you think there are other advantages of Node.js that I should have touched on, let me know through your comments!

Technologist and Vice-President of Sales at www.radixweb.com with a track record of growing revenues and enabling value-based partnerships to customers.