Introduction to Node.js: When and Why to Use it?, Hostripples Web Hosting

Introduction to Node.js: When and Why to Use it?


Yes, Node.js is a very renowned tech narrative. If you have a tech background and are aware of terms called JavaScript or C++, then you must have also heard of Node.js. It is popular amongst programmers. The reason is very simple it gives easy access to Node.js the second being that it’s proficient with the internet fundamentals of HTTP, DNS, and TNS.

Welcome Node.js as the trusty buddy in your programming adventures, not just any character in your story but the key partner that clubs your innovative ideas to bring out the best in your ideas.

Node.js has the rare skill to transform the complex into the attainable, making developing applications not just a possibility but in a funnier way.

Hang on to learn more about Node.js – where each line of coding you write allows you to unlock the hidden benefits of your projects in the broad world of programming.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a runtime environment utilized to implement JavaScript code on servers. It helps you to run JavaScript without a web browser. Node.js is suitable for operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Linux. It is an open source platform and this brings flexibility for all users to operate the source code for free.

The Node.js developers initially designed it for real-time, push-based architectures. These architectures involve chatbots, notifications, streaming media, and collaboration tools, providing a way to run JavaScript on the server side.

Plus, JavaScript traditionally made a static web page interactive, adding features like animations and drop-down menus via “<script></script>” tags in HTML documents.

Node.js emerged as a solution to give easy processes, developing a more efficient runtime environment for JavaScript that extends its capabilities beyond web browsers, allowing developers to develop scalable and high-performance applications.

Node.js was introduced in 2009 to address JavaScript’s inefficiency that managing various connections without blocking. It also offers everything essential for running a JavaScript program.

Node.js is suitable for various industries, including banking, healthcare, communication, eCommerce, and entertainment. It helps to develop desktop apps, SaaS websites, and mobile applications.  

Node.js Architecture

Introduction to Node.js: When and Why to Use it?, Hostripples Web Hosting

Node.js excels in handling a large number of various connections and data-intensive tasks efficiently. It’s great for tasks that include processing large data volumes swiftly. However, it’s less acceptable for compute-intensive tasks that need CPU resources. In such cases, Node.js’s single-threaded nature can cause a slow-up in responding to other requests.

 Imagine a busy restaurant with a single, highly efficient chef (the event loop) and a team of waiters (callbacks):

  • Customers (Clients) Arrive:

Customers (clients) enter the restaurant and place their orders (requests) with the head waiter (the event queue).

  • Event Queue:

The head waiter takes the orders and adds them to a waiting list (event queue). This queue ensures that requests are processed in the order they are received.

  • Event Loop (The Chef):

The chef (event loop) constantly checks the event queue.

If there’s a simple order (non-blocking I/O operation) like fetching a beverage from the fridge, the chef handles it immediately and sends the beverage to the customer (sends the response).

  • Callbacks (Waiters):

For complex orders (blocking I/O operations) that require cooking (like a main course), the chef takes the order but cannot start cooking right away if other orders are being prepared.

In this case, the chef assigns a waiter (callback) to the order. The waiter takes the order details (callback function) and goes about their other duties (executes other code).

  • Asynchronous Operations:

Once the chef finishes preparing simpler orders or if ingredients become available for the complex order, the chef calls the assigned waiter (invokes the callback function).

The waiter then delivers the cooked food (processed data) to the customer (sends the response). In short, node.js is an excellent option for instant, numerous requests that can struggle with heavily taxing the CPU.

The differences between single and multiple threads are easy: A single-thread architecture performs and scales faster than multiple-thread configurations.

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Key Features of Node.js


As per the study, Node.js is the most used web development tool in the U.S. consisting of 6.3 million websites. Its most interesting feature is the ability to divide programs horizontally through “child processes”.

Child processes allow Node.js to run various tasks at once and optimize the server’s power. They have resources that decrease their impact on other processes while dealing

This feature helps enterprises to give various app versions to different audiences. Thereby permitting them to collaborate on client requests for customization.

Event-Driven, Asynchronous Architecture:

At the heart of Node.js lies a single-threaded event loop. This indicates that Node.js can only handle one operation at a time. However, its power lies in its asynchronous nature.

When a request arrives, Node.js doesn’t wait for I/O operations (like database access or file reads) to complete before moving on to the next request. Instead, it uses callbacks or promises to handle these operations asynchronously.

The event loop keeps track of these outstanding operations and efficiently executes callbacks when the data is ready, ensuring high performance for applications dealing with many concurrent requests.

JavaScript on Both Sides:

Unlike traditional server-side languages like Java or PHP, Node.js allows you to use JavaScript for both server-side and client-side development. This can significantly reduce development complexity and time, especially for developers already familiar with JavaScript.

A single codebase can handle both server logic and dynamic content generation, leading to a more unified development experience.

Non-Blocking, I/O:

As mentioned earlier, Node.js excels at handling I/O operations asynchronously. This means it doesn’t block the event loop while waiting for data from external sources.

This non-blocking approach allows Node.js to handle a high volume of concurrent requests efficiently without compromising performance.

NPM (Node Package Manager):

Node.js boasts a vast and active open-source ecosystem with a rich collection of pre-built modules available through the Node Package Manager (npm).

These modules provide functionalities for various tasks like database interactions, web frameworks, authentication, and more. This extensive library saves developers time by leveraging existing solutions instead of reinventing the wheel.


The combination of the event loop, asynchronous I/O, and JavaScript’s speed (powered by the V8 engine from Chrome) makes Node.js a performant choice for I/O-bound applications.

It’s particularly well-suited for real-time applications like chat, single-page applications (SPAs), and data streaming services.

Open Source:

Node.js is open-source software, freely available for anyone to use and contribute to. This fosters a large and active community that continuously develops and improves the platform.

Open-source nature also reduces licensing costs compared to some commercial server-side solutions.

What Distinguishes Node.js From Other Frameworks?

Node.js uses a programming language and another framework equally. Likewise, it also operates differently from other JavaScript frameworks. It uses a unique set of APIs’ (Application Programming Interface).

Unlike other frameworks, Node.js APIs focus on back-end development. These consider the built-in module called “HTTP” streams, file system support, and child processes.

Additionally, the platform consists of a comprehensive package ecosystem named npn (Node Package Manager). Developers can access pre-built modules and libraries with over a million packages accessible.

Top Business Applications for Node.js

Real-Time Applications:

Node.js excels at handling real-time communication due to its event-driven architecture and non-blocking I/O. This makes it ideal for building chat applications, collaboration tools, and social networking platforms that require constant data updates and interaction between users. For instance, chat applications like Discord and social networking platforms like Netflix’s chat feature leverage Node.js for their real-time communication capabilities.

Single-Page Applications (SPAs):

SPAs provide a more responsive and dynamic user experience by loading content dynamically on a single HTML page. Node.js, with its ability to handle asynchronous requests efficiently, is a popular choice for building server-side logic for SPAs. Frameworks like Express.js and Socket.IO are often used alongside Node.js for SPA development.

Microservices Architecture:

Microservices architecture breaks down complex applications into smaller, independent services that communicate with each other through APIs. Node.js is well-suited for building microservices due to its lightweight nature, scalability, and ability to handle asynchronous communication efficiently. By using Node.js, developers can create modular and loosely coupled services that are easier to develop, maintain, and deploy.

API Development:

Node.js is a powerful tool for building APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that allow other applications to access data and functionality. Its ability to handle multiple requests concurrently and efficiently makes it ideal for creating scalable and performant APIs. Many companies, including Netflix, Uber, and PayPal, use Node.js to build APIs that power their mobile apps and web services.

Streaming Applications:

Node.js is a popular choice for building real-time streaming applications due to its ability to handle high volumes of concurrent connections and data streams. The event loop and non-blocking I/O model enable Node.js to efficiently handle data flow and ensure smooth streaming experiences. Examples of streaming applications built with Node.js include Netflix, Hulu, and Twitch.

Data Processing and Analytics Applications:

While not traditionally known for CPU-bound tasks, Node.js can be effectively used for data processing and analytics applications, especially when combined with libraries like TensorFlow.js. Its ability to handle asynchronous tasks efficiently can be beneficial for processing large datasets in a piecemeal manner.

Internet of Things (IoT) Applications:

Node.js’s lightweight nature and event-driven architecture make it suitable for building real-time applications that interact with IoT devices. It can efficiently handle the high volume of data and frequent communication that often occurs in IoT environments.

E-commerce Applications:

Node.js can be a good choice for building e-commerce applications due to its ability to handle high traffic and concurrent user requests. Frameworks like Express.js and KOA.js can be used to create scalable and performant e-commerce platforms. Companies like eBay and Groupon have successfully used Node.js for their e-commerce platforms.

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What is Node.js?

Node.js is a server-side, open-source JavaScript running environment. It relies on Google’s V8 engine, libUV that offers cross-platform connectivity.

What is the usage of Node.js?

Node.js is useful for developing fast applications that allow real-time communication, data streaming, and browser gaming.  Plus, developers also opt for Node.js to develop web servers, APIs, and microservices.

Is it a framework?

No, it’s a runtime environment.

What is the difference between Node.js and JavaScript?

It is a computer language that allows applying to front-end and back-end development. Meanwhile, Node.js is a runtime environment that helps JavaScript to operate on the server. In short, JavaScript is a language, and Node.js is a platform helping server-side execution.

Introduction to Node.js: When and Why to Use it?, Hostripples Web Hosting
Ekta Tripathi
A passionate Digital Marketing Ex and Content Writer working with Hostripples. I am passionate about writing blogs related to Information Technology and Digital Marketing. In my free time, I love to listen songs, spend time with my daughters and hang around social networking sites.