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The increasing demand for web applications has changed the technology world. As a result, more and more frameworks and tools are launched to make developers’ tasks easy. Among the plethora of frameworks, JavaScript has set a benchmark as one of the most popular and used languages in recent years. However, front-end developers choose this language mostly to build appealing products.

In May 2022, Stack Overflow recently surveyed to know what tools developers are using and how they learn them. It came to know that JavaScript holds the top position, as 65% of respondents claimed that they use it extensively for development with HTML and CSS as core technologies.

As new technology emerges, many of the popular programming languages get out and start losing their fade. But this was not the case for Node.js as it has become very popular over a couple of years and continues to beat the competition in 2024, making sense for startups and large-scale enterprises over other options.

Due to Node.js’s immense popularity, its other framework Express.js is also dominating the market as it is one of the best web application frameworks for Node.js and provides developers some easy-to-use APIs with basic functionality that can be expanded when needed.

By enabling programmers to write JavaScript on the server side for the first time, Express.js and Node.js provided JavaScript newborn backend functionality. JavaScript may now be used to build complete websites. With Node.js, developers may create server-side applications, and then they can use Express to publish Node.js apps (applications) as webpages. However, Express.js is a rather small framework.

Do you have any questions concerning Node.js and Express.js? Are you interested in learning more about these ideas and seeing what you can (and cannot) do with them? So you’re in the proper spot as we are going to differentiate between these popular frameworks.

Node.js: A Quick Overview

Node.js is a free, cross-platform runtime environment and library for running web applications outside the client’s browser.

Although it was first created with real-time, push-based architectures in mind, it is utilized for server-side programming and is generally deployed for non-blocking, event-driven servers, such as conventional web pages and backend API services. Every browser has a unique JavaScript engine, and node.js is based on the V8 JavaScript engine found in Google Chrome.

One of the most often used technologies for backend programming is node.js. Through a popular example, large corporations like Uber, Netflix, and eBay encourage using Node.js.

PayPal’s director of engineering, Jeff Harrell, made a statement regarding Node.js. “Node.js powers our web applications and has helped our teams to work significantly faster in bringing their designs to life,” he claimed.

Because Node.js inherits many JavaScript features, front-end developers can pick it up very fast, which is one of the reasons it is so popular. Below are some notable features of Node.js, including,

  • Versatility
  • Zero buffering
  • Network
  • Occasion-driven input and output
  • Better performance
  • Scalability

It’s no surprise that large corporations keep including Node.js in their stacks, given that it has had LTS (a long-term support plan focused on security and stability) since 2015.

What is Express.js?

One of the best Node.js web application frameworks is Express.js. It is extremely lightweight and adaptable and has powerful features for the creation of websites and mobile applications. Without hiding Node.js functionalities, the Express.js framework offers a layer of basic web application features. On Express.js, many well-known frameworks are built.

Express is a straightforward, extensible, and open-source Node.js web application framework designed to make building websites, web applications, and APIs much easier. Express is ranked fourth among the top 5 backend frameworks for 2021, according to a survey by Statistics & Data.

In order to write responses to specified URLs, it enables you to respond to requests with route support. Express.js supports a wide range of templating engines for easily generating HTML. The fact that Express.js is open-source and quite straightforward is its major feature. Express.js was provided as part of a Node.js open-source framework. It conveys a silly application creation UI.

Key Features of Express.js

  • Server-side programming
  • Page state retention
  • Error-fixing
  • Dynamic content

In order to speed up its mobile web application Twitter Lite, Twitter switched to Node.js Express in 2017. It means Express.js is equally popular as Node.js. So what are some features that set them apart? Let’s discuss this in our next section.

Detailed Comparison Between Node.js and Express.js

Here, we will directly compare various aspects of Node.js vs Express.js, which will make it easy for you to choose the best framework for your product.


If you want to know the popularity of any framework, look at the GitHub stars. For example, Node.js had a whooping 85K stars, while Express.js enjoyed 57,000 stars and ranked in the top five Node.js frameworks by Github stars.


Due to its asynchronous and non-blocking approach, Node.js is proven to be one of the most reliable and high-performing JavaScript backend frameworks. Furthermore, Node.js utilizes reusable codes, which is advantageous for an event-based program that offers real-time data updates.

Express is extremely popular among developers because of how quickly it makes Node.js applications run. A straightforward “Hello, World” benchmark performance demonstrates Express software’s 11,202 requests per second capacity.

Learning Curve

If you are familiar with JavaScript, mastering Node will take just a few days. However, you’ll spend the majority of your time learning the foundations of backend development, including data analytics and incoming request processing.

For all the front-end developers who have experience with ReactJs and Android, it only takes about a week to begin creating node.js code for a production environment. Since most of the syntax is the same, learning Node Js will take you less time if you are already familiar with a js framework.


The architecture of Node JS uses a single-threaded event loop. Applications that require IO are best suited for Node JS. Resulting in less computation. Every request in node js will receive a response, which can either be a success or a failure (This will be helpful in high-traffic environments).

Express does not need a particular structure, which gives small or one-person development teams flexibility. However, if the team size or app complexity increases, especially when developers are working on various elements of the program, this may become an issue.

Tabular Comparison of Node.js vs Express.js

Parameter Node.js Express.js
Coding time More coding time as compared to Express Very less coding time
Building block Its built on Google V8 Engine Built on Node.js
Requirement Express is not required for Node Node is essential to run Express
Written in C, C++, JavaScript JavaScript
Controllers Controllers are not provided Controllers are provided
View model Does not support Node Supports view model
Routing Not provided Is provided

Final Thoughts

Business owners and other entrepreneurs continue to benefit from evolving technology’s advantages. Every day, tens of thousands of new smartphone apps compete for market share. Likewise, the growth of the developer community is sparked by the rise in demand for software apps.

Express.js and Node.js both have something to offer that is worthwhile. Although there is no disputing their differences, they are comparable in that they are well-liked and effective by developers. So a preferred JavaScript environment is Node.js that won’t let you down when it comes Node.js vs Express.js. But you should think about Express.js if you want to make your job simpler (and faster).

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