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I am going to start writing a web application.?

I have experience on both Node and PHP so let me try and answer this questions. Both systems are essentially going to create a web application as you said. So I'll only focus on the part where you ask how much of a difference is there. The difference is speed. Tests - node-js-vs-apache-php-benchmark - Node JS vs Apache PHP benchmark - Google Project Hosting Here are some benchmark results of Node vs PHP on Apache. As you can see, Node performs at least 100% better in all test cases. And in some concurrency tests, Node performance exceeds PHP performance by leaps and bounds. If you expect a lot of concurrent requests to your server for your web app, opt for Node. If your app is not dealing with that high of a request traffic, you can opt with Laravel.

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