What Is Node.js and Why You Should Use It

One of the most widely used programming languages worldwide is JavaScript. Today, it powers millions of websites, and it has drawn hordes of programmers and designers to create new web features. JavaScript is unquestionably one of the greatest programming languages to learn if you're a beginner.

For the first 20 years of its existence, client-side scripting was the dominant use of JavaScript. Between the front-end and back-end components, developers had to work in several languages and frameworks because JavaScript could only be utilized within the script> tag. Later emerged Node.js, a run-time environment that has all the components needed to run a JavaScript program.

Node.js is an open-source, single-threaded, cross-platform runtime environment for creating networking and server-side applications that are quick and scalable. It utilizes event-driven, non-blocking I/O architecture and operates on the V8 JavaScript runtime engine, making it effective and suited for real-time applications.

What Is Node.js Written In?

C, C++, and JavaScript are used to create Node.js.

As stated in the definition provided by Wikipedia, Node.js is "a packaged compilation of Google's V8 JavaScript engine, the libuv platform abstraction layer, and a core library, which is itself primarily written in JavaScript."

The core JavaScript execution engine used by the runtime, Chrome V8, is written in C++. Node.js now has more use cases available to it, including the ability to leverage core system features like networking.

Node.js Architecture and How It Works

The "Single Threaded Event Loop" architecture of Node.js is used to manage several clients at once. We need to understand how multi-threaded concurrent clients are dealt with in languages like Java in order to comprehend how this differs from other runtimes.

Multiple clients send requests in a multi-threaded request-response architecture, and the server processes each one individually before delivering the response back. However, handling concurrent calls requires the usage of several threads. Each time a request is received, one of these threads that are defined in a thread pool is given the task of handling it.

Node.js works differently. Let’s take a look at each step it goes through:

  1. Node.js maintains a limited thread pool to serve requests.
  2. Whenever a request comes, Node.js places it into a queue.
  3. Now, the single-threaded “Event loop”—the core component—comes into the picture. This event loop waits for requests indefinitely.
  4. When a request comes in, the loop picks it up from the queue and checks whether it requires a blocking input/output (I/O) operation. If not, it processes the request and sends a response.
  5. If the request has a blocking operation to perform, the event loop assigns a thread from the internal thread pool to process the request. There are limited internal threads available. This group of auxiliary threads is called the worker group.
  6. The event loop tracks blocking requests and places them in the queue once the blocking task is processed. This is how it maintains its non-blocking nature.

Node.js uses fewer threads, which requires less resources and memory and speeds up task execution. Therefore, this single-threaded design serves the same purpose as multi-threaded architecture for our objectives. Using multi-threaded languages like Java makes considerably more sense when processing data-intensive activities. On the other hand, Node.js is the logical choice for real-time applications.

Features Of Node.js

Node.js has grown quickly in the last few years. This is thanks to the vast list of features it provides:

  1. Easy—Node.js is quite easy to start with. It’s a go-to choice for web development beginners. With a lot of tutorials and a large community—getting started is very easy.
  2. Scalable—It provides vast scalability for applications. Node.js, being single-threaded, is capable of handling a huge number of simultaneous connections with high throughput.
  3. Speed—Non-blocking thread execution makes Node.js even faster and more efficient.
  4. Packages—A vast set of open-source Node.js packages is available that can simplify your work. There are more than one million packages in the NPM ecosystem today.
  5. Strong backend—Node.js is written in C and C++, which makes it speedy and adds features like networking support.
  6. Multi-platform—Cross-platform support allows you to create SaaS websites, desktop apps, and even mobile apps, all using Node.js.
  7. Maintainable—Node.js is an easy choice for developers since both the frontend and backend can be managed with JavaScript as a single language.

Market Size

In the previous 20 years, websites have grown tremendously, and Node.js has followed suit by expanding quickly. Node.js is a well-known runtime that already surpassed the one billion download mark back in 2018, and 1.2% of all websites worldwide utilize it, according to W3Techs. In total, there are more than 20 million websites on the internet.

It should come as no surprise that millions of businesses also favor it. Here are a few well-known examples of current Node.js users:

  • Twitter
  • Spotify
  • eBay
  • Reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Godaddy

Applications Of Node.js

Node.js is used for a wide variety of applications. Let’s explore some popular use cases where Node.js is a good choice:

  1. Real-time chats—Due to its single-threaded asynchronous nature, Node.js is well-suited to processing real-time communication. It can easily scale and is often used in building chatbots. Node.js also makes it simple to build additional chat features like multi-person chat and push notifications.
  2. Internet of Things—IoT applications usually comprise multiple sensors, as they frequently send small chunks of data that can pile into a large number of requests. Node.js is a good choice since it’s able to handle these concurrent requests quickly.
  3. Data streaming—Companies like Netflix use Node.js for streaming purposes. This is mainly due to Node.js being lightweight and fast, besides which Node.js provides a native streaming API. These streams allow users to pipe requests to each other, resulting in data being streamed directly to its final destination.
  4. Complex single-page applications (SPAs)—In SPAs, the whole application is loaded in a single page. This usually means there are a couple of requests made in the background for specific components. Node.js’s event loop comes to the rescue here, as it processes requests in a non-blocking fashion.
  5. REST API-based applications—JavaScript is used both in the frontend and backend of sites. Thus, a server can easily communicate with the frontend via REST APIs using Node.js. Node.js also provides packages like Express.js and Koa that make it even easier to build web applications.

Is Node.js A Programming Language?

Simply put, no.

It is not a programming language, Node.js. Instead, JavaScript is run in this environment outside of the browser.

Similarly, Node.js is not a framework (a software development environment). The JavaScript runtime in this scenario serves as the foundation for the Node.js runtime, which aids in the operation of frameworks.

In conclusion, Node.js is an environment for programming languages and frameworks.

Is Node.js Frontend Or Backend?

Developers frequently believe that Node.js is solely used to create servers and is a backend framework. Contrary to popular belief, Node.js can be used on both the front end and the back end.

The event-driven, non-blocking nature of Node.js frameworks is one of the reasons they are a popular option for developers creating a flexible and scalable backend. However, frontend developers will also clearly perceive these advantages of Node.js in their own work.

Let’s take a look at why Node.js works for both backend and frontend:

  1. Reusability – JavaScript is a common language that’s used to write both backend and frontend with the help of frameworks like Express.js and Meteor.js. Some popular stacks like MERN use Express.js as a backend (a Node.js framework). Multiple components can be reused between frontend and backend as well.
  2. Productivity and developer efficiency – Thanks to a reduction in context-switching between multiple languages, a great deal of developer time can be saved. Using JavaScript for both backend and frontend results in increased efficiency, as many tools are common for both.
  3. Huge community – A thriving online community factors into the speed of a successful development cycle. When you get stuck on a problem, there’s a good chance that someone’s already solved it and shared the solution on Stack Overflow. Node.js makes great use of this community, which is active and engaged when it comes to the popular runtime and its packages.

The Best Node.js Hosting Provider

Node.js is a great alternative if you're seeking for a quick, scalable hosting solution for your company (or any form of website)! Which Node.js hosting service should you use, then?

We've done a lot of research on the leading Node.js vendors and ranked the top solutions appropriately. We'll go into detail about each service and talk about some of the alternatives that didn't do as well in our study. However, let's begin with the best of the best:

  1. ASPHostPortal
  2. HostPapa
  3. HostForLIFE.eu
  4. Chemicloud
  5. EvenNode


To put it briefly, Node.js is a well-known programming environment that may be used to create large-scale applications that must accommodate several concurrent requests. It is a fantastic option for both real-time and data streaming applications due to its single-threaded non-blocking I/O.

To further strengthen it, Node.js has the largest open-source package repository in the world, NPM, which now has over a million products. It also has a huge community of active developers.

With Node.js, getting started is simple. All that's left to do is think about how you'll use and include Node.js in your own stack now that we've gone through how to install and create a server in Node.js. Visit the official Node.js documentation at nodejs.dev to further your understanding.

Rate this post
error: Content is protected !!