Ruby on Rails vs Node.js: A Head-to-Head Comparability

by | Jul 18, 2022 | Etcetera | 0 comments

Choosing a framework or language in your project may also be tricky, in particular on the backend, where maintaining shopper data and developing APIs and libraries are key. The most popular web construction technologies at the time of writing are Node.js and Ruby on Rails.
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Choosing one amongst them is normally a tough activity. Both a kind of technologies have advantages and disadvantages, and working out them will permit you to make a choice your only option in your project. We’ll provide you an impartial comparison of Node.js versus Rails in this article to lend a hand you decide.

Let’s get started!

What Is Node.js?

Node.js is an open-source runtime setting in-built 2009 on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. This can be a single-threaded and cross-platform which is broadly used in backend building.

Node.js's website homepage, showing two green download buttons for macOS users.
Node.js’s homepage.

Node.js may also be put in on different platforms comparable to Linux, macOS, and House home windows. It’s used to create a large number of packages, along side real-time chat apps, REST API servers, command line applications, and additional.

How Node Handles Libraries

Node.js has built-in improve for library keep an eye on, referred to as the Node Package deal deal Manager (npm). With over 1.3 million packages and over a thousand million downloads each and every week, it’s merely one of the most fashionable package libraries, and as such, it plays an important place inside the JavaScript ecosystem.

This enormous library is completely open provide and unfastened. The ones libraries are rapidly emerging in size, making the Node.js workforce stronger with each and every passing day.

One of the fashionable libraries in npm is Express.js, a framework for rapidly developing and deploying applications and APIs. It’s a minimal Node.js web software framework that provides a whole range of purposes for each and every online and cellular applications, and it sees more than 22,000,000 downloads by means of npm each and every week.

Proper right here’s the code for a simple Node.js and Express API:

const specific = require('specific')
const app = specific()
app.get('/', function (req, res) {
  res.send("A simple GET response")

Inside the above code, we’re importing specific.js and creating a simple GET API. Inside the ultimate line, we’re passing 3000 to pay attention function, this fashion, our software will run on port 3000.

Express.js makes it simple to create various kinds of web apps in a short lived time frame. For consumer requests, the framework provides a simple routing system. It moreover accommodates middleware that’s in charge of making choices in offering the right kind responses to the patron’s requests.

Companies that Use Node.js

One of the fashionable companies that use Node.js are:

  • Netflix: Netflix began the use of Node.js to allow high-volume web streaming to over 182 million shoppers, moreover they supposed to magnify their use of Node.js to include content material subject matter production.
  • Uber: As a result of its asynchronous primitives and simple, single-threaded processing, Uber’s core commute execution engine was at first developed in Node.js.
  • PayPal: When converting Java, PayPal decided on to use JavaScript from the browser all the method to the backend server for web applications.
  • NASA: After an unsightly incidence in house, NASA decided to use Node.js to better safe their data and even prevent loss of lifestyles.
  • LinkedIn: As a result of its scalability and serve as efficiency, Linkedln decided on Node.js and stopped using Ruby on Rails.
Image showing the logo of the popular companies that use Node.js, with the Node.js logo on the left..
Companies that use Node.js. (Image provide: Coruscate)

Node.js is particularly well-suited to writing strategies that have all their state in memory.

—Kris Kowal, Software Engineer at Uber

What Is Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails — also known as Rails or RoR — is the most popular open-source web software framework written in Ruby beneath the MIT license. Complex in 2004, it’s recognized for its code efficiency and over the top tempo.

The Ruby on Rails homepage showing a section of Ruby code open in a code editor.
ROR’s homepage.

Rails was supposed to lend a hand inside the keep an eye on of routine, internal not unusual sense, data computing, and other tasks. It’s a web software framework that’s properly fitted to database-backed MVC web applications and metaprogramming. Ruby’s distinctive heresy was undoubtedly to position the happiness of the programmer on a pedestal. ~ David Heinemeir Hanson, creator of Ruby on Rails Most web servers that improve CGI can run Rails. MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, SQL Server, DB2, and Oracle are all supported by the use of this framework. What’s further, Ruby on Rails has a clear, concise, and flexible syntax that is similar to the English language. This lower learning curve makes the framework in particular attractive to newcomers.

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Companies that Use Ruby on Rails

One of the fashionable companies that use Ruby on Rails are:

  • Airbnb: Airbnb has used Ruby on Rails since its inception. The framework plays an important place in Airbnb’s tech stack.
  • GitHub: GitHub’s backend is Ruby on Rails, with over 200 million code repositories and 32 million per thirty days shoppers. It’s been seven years given that app was established by the use of the company’s founders.
  • Shopify: Shopify is a great example of a sophisticated however properly structured and user-friendly Ruby on Rails ecommerce platform, with over 820,000 sellers using their provider.
  • Fiverr: Certain, Fiverr moreover adopted Ruby on Rails at unlock, and it’s however the generation that powers their online provider marketplace.

Now that you just’ve a excellent working out of the ones two technologies, let’s discuss their execs and cons.

Ruby on Rails: Pros and Cons

Although it’s a feature-packed, tough framework, Ruby on Rails does have some drawbacks.

Pros of Ruby on Rails

There are a lot of advantages to using Ruby on Rails. We’ve listed the best ones below:

  • Building tempo: RoR’s well-developed construction of modules, atmosphere pleasant package keep an eye on system, and expressive and compact characteristics of the Ruby language allow developers to create applications briefly.
  • Massive Infrastructure: Ruby on Rails comes with a built-in web server and a database with generators to make internet web page construction a breeze.
  • Large workforce: Each different wonderful thing about Ruby on Rails is its tough and energetic workforce. It’s plenty of the fashionable frameworks on GitHub, and the Ruby workforce has perhaps already performed all of the functionalities you’ll call to mind.
  • Best possible apply: Rails was created with the aim of setting up best possible practices for web construction, and it comes with all of the necessary libraries and modules for following the ones necessities in construction tasks.
  • Code top quality: The usual of third-party Ruby code is significantly higher than in several languages.

Cons of Ruby on Rails

One of the cons of Ruby on Rails may also be spotted below:

  • A lot much less flexibility: Customizing Ruby on Rails to create a one-of-a-kind software with unique choices could be tough.
  • Runtime tempo and serve as: One of the no longer ordinary arguments against Ruby on Rails is its poor runtime tempo, which makes scaling your applications problematic. This was moreover the reason why Twitter stopped using Ruby on Rails for its search engine.
  • Boot tempo: Most developers whinge about Rails’ boot tempo. It is going to most likely take a long time to get started, depending on your number of gem dependencies and files.
  • Tough debugging: It can be tricky to troubleshoot a Rails software as a result of Ruby on Rails’ complexity and various layers. Finding an error inside the mix can take a long time.

Pros and Cons of Node.js

Node.js is known to be a flexible framework that can be shaped to suit just about somebody’s needs. However, it too has its drawbacks.

Pros of Node.js

We’ve listed our top choices of Node.js’s advantages:

  • Easy to be informed: On account of Node.js is according to JavaScript, it may be so much more straightforward to be told if you already have a excellent programming background and are familiar with JavaScript. There are a lot of categories and tutorials available to make learning enjoyable.
  • Community: An engaged workforce way a lot of improve and feedback. Node.js is surrounded by the use of a large developer workforce. npm, Node’s package manager, is most probably one in all the freshest and rapidly expanding instrument registry. It equipped a lot of libraries and reusable templates that you just’ll use for your project.
  • Seamless JSON improve: While other backend technologies, comparable to Ruby on Rails, can keep up a correspondence using JSON construction, Node.js does so without converting between binary models and as a substitute uses JavaScript. This is extremely useful when creating RESTful APIs with a NoSQL database, corresponding to MongoDB.
  • Extraordinarily extensible: Node.js is known for being extraordinarily extendable, this means that that that developers can customize and extend it to satisfy the desires of their tasks.
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Cons of Node.js

Listed here are a couple of of Node.js’s disadvantages, which may make it a miles much less suitable variety in your project:

  • Risky API: Node.js suffers from incompatible API changes continuously. The ones incompatibilities lead to heavy code changes, which is the main problem to using Node.js.
  • Immaturity of tooling: Although the core Node.js modules are slightly unswerving, lots of the packages inside the npm repository are of poor top quality and poorly documented. Consequently, finding the right kind package in your needs could also be tough.
  • Not fitted to CPU-intensive tasks: The loss of Node.js to process CPU-bound operations is the other number one downside it has at the present time. It’s only for I/O-related tasks (like web servers).
  • Callback issue: Callbacks, the needs that run when each and every activity inside the queue is done, are a big part of Node.js. The usual of code is immediately impacted by the use of protecting somewhat a large number of queued processes inside the background, each and every with its non-public callback.

Node.js vs Ruby on Rails: Head-to-Head Comparison

Now that you just’ve a excellent working out of the ones two technologies, let’s go deeper and evaluation them facet by the use of facet.


While potency will not be a component for small tasks, it is important to to believe when building huge and sophisticated tasks. Node.js wins in terms of potency. Node.js comes with the V8 engine designed by the use of Google and it’s so much faster, in particular on IO heavy operations. It’s moreover recognized for producing extremely fast and scalable ways because it employs event-driven construction and non-blocking (asynchronous) processes that run on a single thread. Node.js apps can also handle further requests as a result of the framework’s ability to control heavier server workloads.


When it comes to finding improve and input, both a kind of technologies have a vast workforce of developers spherical them.

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In step with a developer survey via Stack Overflow, Node.js is among the top technologies used by developers far and wide the sector. One of the tech giants comparable to Google, Facebook, and Amazon made necessary contributions to the Node.js setting. Quite a few workforce forums are available for Node.js, comparable to Github, Stack Overflow, and Reddit.

Similarly, Ruby on Rails has a huge and robust workforce too, with huge repositories on GitHub. It has more than 4,000 energetic individuals on GitHub and quite a lot of other energetic workforce forums. Rails developers are actively engaged inside the building of the existing functionalities and new serve as construction. They frequently substitute the provision code, restore bugs, and maintain protection vulnerabilities.

Rails moreover has many workforce forums, along side GitHub, Slack, and Stack Overflow. Their Slack group has over 17,000 folks and 27 channels from in every single place the sector, along side avid OSS individuals, full-stack engineers, startup founders, backend engineers, and other people merely learning Ruby on Rails.

Job Choices

Since both a kind of technologies have huge communities of consumers, there are lots of process possible choices for Node.js and Rails developers alike. The moderate wage of a Node.js developer in the United States is between $71,000 and $92,000, whilst in Europe it falls between $24,000 and $94,000. And Node.js freelancers may just make spherical $80–100 consistent with hour on average. Consistent with Certainly, a Ruby on Rails developer may just make spherical $116,000 consistent with 12 months in the United States; the typical salary of a Rails freelancer is spherical $49 consistent with hour.

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Node.js is used to create apps which might be very scalable. Multiple concurrent requests are handled by means of the non-blocking I/O and event-driven paradigm.

Node.js is after all further scalable than Ruby, because of the cluster module. The process is spawned in clusters with abstractions consistent with the workload of the program with the fewest number of CPUs.

Scaling Ruby on Rails is achievable, but it calls for added property than one of the most the most important other fashionable backend frameworks. However, this shouldn’t save you you from using Ruby on Rails on your project.

Listed here are some tips to scale your Ruby on Rails software:

  • Rails’ built-in movement, internet web page, and fragment caching could also be used to its maximum potential. You’ll be capable of moreover use Memcache to cache results from your database that can another way be retrieved.
  • You’ll be capable of moreover benefit from third-party equipment like Docker and Kubernetes to help you magnify your software simply.
  • Make load tests an ordinary part of your pre-deployment procedure. This will likely from time to time help you practice how long each and every procedure takes and where there is also room for building.


The popularity of your stack is some other factor that you simply should believe while building a modern product or software. Typically, the additional fashionable it’s, the better supported it’s going to be.

Consistent with Google Developments, Ruby on Rails was slightly fashionable from 2005 to 2009, then again since then, it has slowly begun to fall out of style. Node.js, on the other hand, has been rising in popularity since 2017, this means that that that there are a lot of people who need to benefit from and be informed further about it.

Image showing the google trends comparing the popularity of Node.js and Ruby on Rails on Google search engine.
Graph comparing the popularity of Node.js and Ruby on Rails on Google search engine.

For many who’re on the lookout for the most popular selection at the time of writing, Node.js is your winner.

Node.js vs Ruby on Rails: Which Should You Use?

Now that we’ve discussed the details of Ruby on Rails vs Node.js, it’s resolution time! Let’s take a last take a look at which framework could be best possible suited to which tasks.

When To Use Node.js

Node.js is an excellent variety if you want to assemble a real-time software that are supposed to prepare a lot of concurrent requests and information between shopper and server, corresponding to talk apps or video calling apps. For many who’re interested in potency or scalability, you’ll have to first turn Node.js previous than shifting at once to Ruby on Rails.

When To Use Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is an excellent answer for CPU-intensive applications where fast construction is wanted. Rails is a in particular good choice if you want to assemble an ecommerce platform or a social networking internet web page that can handle a lot of web site guests.
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Each and every Node.js and Ruby on Rails are tough frameworks for internet pages and apps. It can be very tricky to make a choice one as a winner. Developers and startup householders should believe their business models and analyze the pros and the cons of each and every technologies.

If your concern is ready potency or scalability, Node.js is normally a very good variety. However, if you want to assemble an software that can handle a heavy amount of web site guests and CPI-intensive tasks, Ruby on Rails could also be the better framework for you.

Do you plan on using Node.js or Ruby on Rails in your next project? How did you decide between them? Let us know inside the comments section below!

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