Web Design & Dev

Node.js vs Ruby on Rails – Which One Suits You Best?

Sergey Lypchenko 27 February, 2019

The choice of development tools is often as important as writing the code itself. Depending on the technology selected, we may implement required features in a new way, save customers’ time and resources and, most importantly, create a well-designed project with great functionality. As a few years ago, ‘Node Js vs Ruby on Rails 2019’ remains one of the hottest topics on IT forums. These technologies have both advantages and disadvantages that’s why we suggest learning more about them.

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In our Node js vs Ruby on Rails article, we will shed some light on the main pros and cons of both the options, discuss their implementation and basic features. So if you’re still bouncing between Node.js and Ruby on Rails, don’t worry – we’ve got this covered.

What Node.js is used for?

Node.js is a platform written in JavaScript which is used to execute code outside of a browser. It allows running JS as a separate application on Windows, Mac, and Linux OSes. JavaScript and Node.js both run in the V8 environment – engine uses JS code and converts it into a much faster machine code that a computer can run without having to interpret it first.

Using Node.js, we can do much more than create interactive JavaScript-based websites. Node works with external libraries, performs commands from JavaScript code and acts as a web server. Using Node.js, you can create cross-platform applications – both mobile and desktop versions at onсe.

In addition, there are a lot of built-in libraries written for Node.js. The platform is great for creating API due to already existing libraries, for example, Loopback. It is also worth noting that callback functions are often used in Node.js in spite of the usual JavaScript language.

Finally, Node.js is widely used for the popular Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Thermostats, home appliances, fitness trackers and other devices – they all can be programmed via Node.js.

Companies that do programming with the help of Node.js for their commercial websites or applications include:

  • Walmart
  • LinkedIn
  • Google
  • Netflix
  • Uber
  • PayPal

Why choose Node.js?

As we already know what Node is and the way it can be implemented, it’s time to review Node.js vs Ruby on Rails performance in details, minding its main advantages.

Enhanced speed

Loading time and performance speed are vital for each delivered product. Node.js platform shows great results in this area due to being powered by the V8 engine. It allows running code written by developers way faster than usual, enhancing framework speed.

Node.js runtime compared to Java

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Thus, the only thing that remains (and it completely lies in hands of your developers) is writing the right code.


Node.js encourages developers to share their code written to solve specific issues. It has an expanded repository which contains over 800,000 NPM packages that are intended to help developers to tackle different problems. By the way, programmers are still welcome to update the repository or add their own examples of code, enlarging the library.

Data processing

HTTP queries and responses are considered to be two isolated events, however, they both are, actually, streaming data. When developers use the Node platform, data streaming looks much better and becomes way easier to perform. This approach is mostly used for adding features such as file processing during their upload.

Processing options provided by Node js vs Ruby on Rails are mostly used by specialists whose current projects are connected with video or audio encoding.

Real-time apps development

As we said, Node.js is good for data streaming, so it’s widely used in building real-time web applications with a two-way connection. This approach is implemented in social networks, live chats, messengers, etc. On all these platforms users can exchange data fast and easily due to a reliable communication channel.

Proxy establishments

By means of Node.js, you can create a proxy server to address issues with the response time of different services. Proxy servers can also be used for streaming data from a number of sources. Node.js can also be used as a proxy server in case there is no proxy infrastructure created.

Server and client side development

The platform can be used for both front and back-end development. Node js vs Ruby on Rails helps programmers to save time and efforts as it allows synchronizing and sending data between both sides. This approach, for example, may change the cost to build a website a client has to pay.

What is Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails is a fully-fledged, multi-level framework used for building web applications with the help of databases. The framework is based on Ruby language and has a developed Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture.

The framework provides powerful tools that greatly speed the programming process up. For instance, during the development of a web or corporate application, Ruby on Rails helps with writing high-quality code and spending less time on testing and product launch.

Node js vs Ruby on Rails is often considered to be an innovation in programming, still, Rails is stable, scalable and can be used with any JavaScript library. By the way, Rails support community is extensive, reliable and extremely friendly too.

Famous services based on Node Js vs Ruby on Rails 2019

projects written in node js vs ruby on rails

Currently, the framework still operates such well-known and popular websites as Github, Airbnb, and Hulu.

Why use Ruby on Rails?

As you see, Ruby on Rails framework also has a lot of advantages and we’re going to review them prior to directly comparing Node.js vs Ruby on Rails performance.

Quality focus

Bugs are something both developers and users are not happy to see. No wonder that tools allowing to write simple yet effective code and check it right away are on the top of each developer’s list.

Rail is the right means for developing bug-free products due to its testing tools (e.g. Minitest). It provides features like benchmarking, mocking, test-driven development, and behavior-driven development. These approaches ensure a thorough checking of the written code and a well-thought-out architecture.

As we previously mentioned, Ruby on Rails community is trying to keep the code as simple as possible yet save its functionality. Thus, the piece of code created with this technology can be easily read, tested and maintained. It greatly helps to eliminate bugs and save more time on other tasks for junior, middle and senior developers. That is a serious advantage as, for example, from now on you don’t have to dig in someone’s complex code trying to understand what is actually going on.

Efficient time management

As we’re comparing Node js vs Ruby on Rails usability, it’s worth mentioning that Rails is a popular framework too. No wonder there are a great number of plugins, modules and other ready-made tools developed for resolving various issues. This, again, greatly helps with time-efficiency, speeds the development process up and helps with creating great code.

In addition, the implementation of MVC completely changes the workflow as now two or more developers can work on the same application simultaneously, sharing the responsibilities.

Finally, Ruby on Rails makes it easier to stick to common rules of storing files and converting the code. In turn, its structure becomes more readable and understandable which saves time on maintenance and updating.


If you type ‘node js vs ruby on rails 2019’ into the search bar, you can find mentions of Rails as an old-fashioned technology. The community of Node.js may indeed be one of the most expanded, still, Rails users are often more experienced and active. And we all know that friendly community is priceless when you’re testing a new technology on your product.

Ruby on Rails has almost 4 thousand contributors and 72,000 commits on GitHub as developers gladly share their experience and pieces of code dedicated to resolving specific issues and helping newcomers.

Query Processing

Every product owner wants their website or application to gain as more visitors and users as possible. That also means processing a lot of requests simultaneously, preferably, without any performance issues, bugs, and downtimes. Ruby on Rails technology is exactly what you need for your product to cope with a number of requests the same way Shopify (developed on Rails framework) does.

At the same time, you cannot relate scalability to technologies only. Databases and the system are points you should pay attention to. Again, Node js vs Ruby on Rails performance comparison shows us that the latter has a great potential due to its use of various modules.

Security features

One of the many Ruby on Rails benefits is its security. Ruby on rails has a number of built-in security features that become active once you start using the framework.

Coding on Rails means protecting your project from such issues as Сross Site Request Forgery, Script Injection and other security breaches.

In addition, the community has a decent policy of reporting framework vulnerabilities and receiving updates in a timely manner.

Node js vs Ruby on Rails – Which One to Use?

As for now, we have thoroughly reviewed both the options and can finally compare them face to face.

Prior to that, it’s good to know that both the platforms support complex web apps. This, neither Node nor Rails can offer a perfect solution for each and every issue. It’s rather that each of them suits better when used for specific tasks.

However, Node.js works much better for real-time applications in which we experience an interchange of data between user and server. This technology is implemented in live chats, video conferences, and social networks.

Node.js vs Ruby on Rails performance has drastically increased in the last few years, leaving Rails far behind in some aspects. For instance, when it comes to runtime, the Rails framework shows less impressive results than applications written in Node.js.

Ruby runtime compared to PHP and JavaScript

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Node.js community, as well as the demand of Node developers, grows from year to year, so it’s unlikely that the platform will lose its position in 2019 or even 2020.

Rails is a better option for developing scalable apps that are expected to process a big number of requests simultaneously. As Node.js is a single-threaded environment, it shows worse results when processing images and graphics.

Also, due to the ability for a few developers to work on a project at the same time, we can significantly speed the process up, leaving more time for other important tasks, for example, bug fixing.

As for examples, having reviewed the Node js vs Ruby on Rails options, well-known LinkedIn network replaced their code created with the help of Ruby on Rails technology with Node.js. That was done for meeting the current demands of loading time and achieving close to the perfect performance.

Thus, if you are choosing between these two options, you should pay attention to the following points: development speed and server performance, scalability of your website or application, desirable platform flexibility as well as many other details.

Ruby on Rails

Flexible, can be easily transferred to another platformRequires more processing power
Extremely active communityRelatively slow in comparison with other platforms
Amount of additional tools and librariesFlexibility shortage


Demand on the marketLess efficient with CPU operations
Can be used for front and back-end developmentUnstable API
Faster page loadingModules quality
A number of expanded libraries
Easy maintenance and support

So can we say that Node.js or Ruby on Rails is better?

Actually, we cannot. As we said previously, each technology has its own advantages and disadvantages which increase or diminish its general popularity among developers. Same applies for Node js vs Ruby on Rails – the decision whether one to use is for you to make.

What we can say for sure is that Ruby is not that good for developing long-term and massive projects. And if you want to build a project on Node.js, get ready to cope with all the difficulties of finding experienced programmers with an affordable hourly rate.

Node js vs Ruby on Rails is a great set of tools, a trendy, fast-growing, and efficient platform compared to most development tools. At the same time, Rails is equipped with different functions and libraries that make the development process reliable and convenient.

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Author: Sergey Lypchenko
Sergey Lypchenko is a technical writer at Cleveroad. It is a web and mobile app development company located in Eastern Europe. Our main goal is to develop first-rate and competitive software for our customers. My mission is to provide people with interesting material about innovations in the world of IT.