How is ExpressJS Better Compared to NodeJS for Server-Side Development?

How is ExpressJS Better Compared to NodeJS for Server-Side Development?

Server-side development is one of the most crucial aspects of building robust and efficient web applications. Essentially, it refers to the process of developing and implementing the backend logic of the web app. And when it comes to choosing the right technology for the job, the two most popular options available are ExpressJS and NodeJS. 


NodeJS is an open-source runtime environment that allows developers to implement JavaScript code on the server side. It is a programming language that uses the V8 JavaScript engine and follows an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model to build robust server applications. 


ExpressJS, on the other hand, is a minimalist web app framework built on top of NodeJS. It comprises tools like routing, middleware, and templating engines to simplify and accelerate development. ExpressJS offers several advantages in comparison to NodeJS, making it a preferred choice for server-side development. In today’s blog, we will explore why ExpressJS excels compared to NodeJS in this context. 


Why Choose ExpressJS?

ExpressJS is a quick and minimalist web application framework built on NodeJS. It offers a powerful set of features and a simple API that streamlines the process of building complex server-side applications. 


One of the most prominent features of ExpressJS is routing, which enables developers to define routes and map them to particular handlers. This simplifies the process of API creation and eases the handling of different HTTP methods and URL patterns. Another notable feature of this framework is its middleware system that allows developers to add modular functionalities to their web apps. ExpressJS’s middleware functions can manage tasks like parsing request data, authentication, error handling, and much more. 


Moving on, ExpressJS also supports template engines, which allow developers to build dynamic HTML pages and render them on the server side. Also, ExpressJS’s vast range of extensions and plugins makes it easy for developers to create intuitive apps quickly. 


Now, let us look at the many benefits of using ExpressJS for efficient server-side development.


  • Scaling the application quickly

This is one of the key benefits of using ExpressJS for server-side development. Any web app that is built using this framework is very easy to scale. 


ExpressJS is built on top of NodeJS, and thus, it inherits its scalability advantages. NodeJS uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that enables it to easily manage concurrent requests. This capability, in turn, allows ExpressJS apps to scale quickly and handle huge amounts of traffic without sacrificing performance. 


Additionally, ExpressJS is very flexible and lightweight in nature which contributes to its scalability. The framework is designed to be minimalistic, integrating only the essential app features. This results in the development of a lightweight application and provides developers with more control over the application’s architecture. 


  • JavaScript benefits

In the debate of ExpressJS vs. NodeJS, one thing that most developers consider is language. However, both technologies win in this regard as they are based on JavaScript. 


JavaScript is one of the most widely used programming languages, primarily known for its use in web browsers. The ubiquity of JavaScript means that most developers, even those with a non-technical background are familiar with it to some extent. This reduces the learning curve, making it easy to develop web apps in ExpressJS. 


  • Supported by Google‚Äôs V8 engine

ExpressJS enjoys the support of Google’s V8 engine, which is a JavaScript runtime engine utilized by NodeJS. This engine is known for its efficient JavaScript code execution and high-performance capabilities. It is optimized to compile and execute code at an incredibly high speed. ExpressJS relies on this platform for performance optimizations and delivers efficient server-side processing. 


  • Quick development

ExpressJS facilitates rapid web app development by providing a range of tools and features that accelerate the development process. The framework comprises several pre-developed functions and libraries that can be readily used by developers. These components streamline run-of-the-mill tasks and eradicate the need for developers to reinvent the wheel. 


Also, by using these pre-built components, developers can divert their energies towards implementing application-specific logic rather than starting from scratch for every single feature. This results in reduced development time and effort. 


ExpressJS also has numerous spinoff projects that are built on top of it. This includes Feathers, Poet, LoopBack, and many more. These projects enable developers to benefit from ready-made solutions for specific requirements such as implementing complex business logic. This not only enhances ExpressJS capabilities but also reduces developers’ efforts during development. 


  • A large and active community of developers

One big advantage of using ExpressJS for web app development is its sizable developer community that actively contributes to supporting each other. 


Thanks to this community, developers can leverage a wide range of tools, resources, and frameworks to quickly and efficiently develop apps with ExpressJS. 


Quick Comparison of ExpressJS with Other Server-Side Development Frameworks

ExpressJS is a highly versatile server-side development framework that is considered excellent for building JavaScript-based web apps. Thanks to its brilliant array of features like a customizable routing system and multiple template engines that streamlines and accelerates the development process. The framework is also compatible with multiple databases that ensure flexibility in selecting the most suitable option for the web app’s needs. Its rich and active community of developers contributes to its rich ecosystem of plugins. 


But often, many developers get confused with other frameworks such as Ruby on Rails and Django. 


Ruby on Rails is another popular framework for Ruby-based web development. It comes with a built-in server and an ORM that makes it easy to start building intuitive applications. However, Ruby on Rails is slightly more complex as compared to ExpressJS. It has a fairly high learning curve due to its conventions and complexity which requires developers to first obtain a thorough understanding of Rails-specific concepts. 


Django is another well-accepted Python-based web framework that is used for server-side development. It offers similar features as ExpressJS and Rails. It comes with a powerful ORM and built-in server along with an extensive library ecosystem. However, Django’s learning curve is also higher than ExpressJS as its concepts can be complex.



Ruby on Rails






Web Server

Compatible with all servers

Built-in server (WEBrick)

Built-in server (Django development server)


Flexible and highly customizable routing system

Convention-based routing system

Convention-based routing system


Supports many different ORMs such as Knex.js and Sequelize 


Django ORM


Supports multiple template engines

Embedded Ruby

Django template language


Works with various databases

Works with various databases

Works with various databases


Highly scalable 

Scalable, optimized for convention-based development

Scalable, optimized for large-scale applications

Learning Curve

Relatively easy to learn

Slightly complex 

Slightly complex


A large and active community of developers

A large and active community of developers

A large and active community of developers


When it comes to ExpressJS vs. NodeJS, the former is certainly a better choice for server-side development. A minimal framework, it provides developers with all the needed tools and functionalities for developing sophisticated backends of web apps. 


If you are planning to build your web app on this JavaScript-based framework, you can get in touch with us. The experts at Algoscale possess wide-ranging expertise in ExpressJS that can help to build the most logical backend of a web app. Schedule a consultation with us today to know more. 

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