Why Node.js is for Real-time Applications?

Real-Time apps have become the necessity of the people residing in this ever-advancing digital world. The value of getting things done faster has increased like never before and hence the need for real-time features. In applications, the most common real-time features are notifications and messaging. The flow of messages on online chatting apps is like talking to a person sitting just next to us. This feature has evolved over time and impacted individuals and businesses. Besides this, the need for real-time tracking, live streaming, online gaming, video conferencing and more everything has changed the lives of people in a way such that now these apps have become part and parcel of our lives. 

As the demand has soared so is the search for the right technologies that deliver efficient real-time applications. Thousands of frameworks and platforms offer real-time app development and choosing one out of these is a catch because all platforms have some of the other extravagant features and you have to decide which can be the best for your business. 

JavaScript languages have always awed the developers with their really valuable attributes. Node.js is one of them and has made its place in the real-time app development world. Whenever a project of such apps springs up, developers first opt for Node.js. Why is that? It offers some specific features that are best defined for real-time apps.

What are real-time applications? 


Real-time apps are the applications that function in a time frame that the user senses as in present or current. The time frame is in seconds and gives a real-time experience to the user. Apps supporting live streaming, video conferencing, instant messaging, and notifications are real-time apps.

Recommended for you: Why choose Node.js for your Next Project?

Why Node.js for Real-time app development? 


Understanding the importance of Node.js first needs the explanation-What is Node.js? Node.js is an open-source, event-driven backend JavaScript runtime environment. It lets developers use JavaScript to write codes for command-line tools to produce dynamic page content before the page is sent to the web browser of the user. 

Therefore, for the applications that aspire for speed, very high performance, and scalability for those apps, Node.js helps with its event-driven features and non-blocking I/O. Node.js has all those features that result in building an application that is fast, simple, flexible, quick, and more. 

The main advantage of Node.js that makes it the first choice for real-time apps is its asynchronous and event-driven approach. The ability to perform several requests simultaneously and handle maximum real-time users at a time makes Node.js a perfect choice for real-time apps.

Here are the advantages of Node.js: 
  • Seamless data syncing: Node.js offers glitch-free data transmission between server and client by making the proper use of non-blocking I/O.
  • Reusing code package: This is one of the most likable features of Node.js. Being a real-time development language Node.js helps the developers to save a lot of development time. It offers to share and reuse the library code package again in other projects too.
  • Proxy server: Node.js server can be used as a proxy server that too very easily. The developer just has to add a 20-line code to the app and it will be capable of streaming data from other sources.
  • SEO friendly: Node.js is SEO friendly, if you do not want your app to lose out on SEO then Node.js is recommended to add to the tech stack. Node.js offers backend rendering that makes the application.
  • Real-time application development using Node.js: Node.js offers two-way connections to platforms that require real-time features. Social media, stock exchange software, ad servers, data-intensive apps, and IoT device. Frameworks such as Feather.js and Express.js are recommended. For real-time chat apps, developers need the Socket.IO library and Express.js framework.
  • Microservices architecture: Node.js is best suitable for microservices architecture as it follows the event driven I/O model. This implies that whenever each user sends a request to a certain part of an app gets the response directly from it.
  • Faster development process: Node.js offers faster development as compared to its competition. You need Twice less time to develop the exact functionality, 33% fewer lines of code, and 40% fewer files.

Suitable environments for Real-time application development 


Feather.js and Express.js are suitable for real-time app development using Node.js. Socket.io library and Express.js framework work well for developing real-time chat apps.



It is a JS library that works perfectly with real-time web apps. It creates a two-way flow between servers and web clients. Socket.io offers a server-side library for Node.js.

Socket.io is also event-driven as Node.js. It is highly useful in the implementation of binary streaming, document collaboration, instant messaging, and real-time analytics.



Express.js is just like the Node.js framework. It is mainly recommended because it enhances the functionalities and usability of Node.js. And it promotes better code organization. It performs like a Node.js framework and uses many effective features that help organize the routing of the app.

Node.js in popular real-time applications 


Discussing the above features has already justified the benefits of Node.js in building real-time applications. Many big tech giants are already using its features:

You may like: Seven Awesome Things You Can Build with Node.js.


Netflix is the very famous OTT platform that was once a DVD shop! It has now become the world’s largest streaming platform and holds millions of users live at a time. The reason behind such an efficient platform is Node.js in the backend. Node.js has built restful instances that are stored in separate docker containers. This enhances the performance making the app highly scalable. 


Uber offers fast, instant cab services and its app is very easy to use. They are capable of offering such great and faster services because of live tracking and many other features offered by Node.js. the ability to process large amounts of data, organized code, and cost-effectiveness are also some of the reasons that made Node.js the first choice for app development. Sharing JavaScript on the frontend and backend makes Uber hold its essence.


The other tech company that has opted for Node.js is PayPal. Node.js implementation has helped PayPal handle twice as many user requests per second. PayPal is capable of 286 million financial accounts worldwide.


Just like other apps, LinkedIn was also looking for a way to handle ever-increasing users on its platform. Node.js made it easy for it too. Node.js was used on the server-side and now LinkedIn can handle twice as many users in real-time.

Twitter Lite 

The management of Twitter came up with the idea of Twitter Lite to accomplish its goal to reach every individual on this planet. Twitter Lite is built with Node.js in the backend that has offered it tremendous popularity. The Node.js features have made the app accessible to maximum people and it can run in any browser with the best speed. The service worker stores the content even the app is offline and hence, helps the users access the app in poor internet connection also.


GoDaddy handles around 70 million+ registered domains, which means a lot of users. To handle such a huge amount of traffic GoDaddy chose Node.js for the backend. GoDaddy has an entire team of full-stack JavaScript developers. This transformation in adopting the microservices architecture has reduced the deployment duration to under 1 minute. GoDaddy has also migrated its website builder platform to Node.js which has reduced the number of servers by 10 times.

Node.js for IoT applications 


This is the era of smart devices that means almost every device that we use today is connected to the internet for its proper, fast, and smart functioning. As the number of IoT devices is on the rise, almost every electronic manufacturer is thinking of jumping on this bandwagon.

Node.js is mostly preferred in developing the server side of IoT applications. Here’s why: 

Node.js easily integrates with IoT protocols 

The messaging protocol used by IoT applications, MQTT uses WebSocket for transportation and encapsulation. These WebSocket and MQTT both are well supported by Node.js hence making IoT development easier.

Node Package Manager 

The Node Package Manager features ample IoT modules. It has over 30 packages for sensors, beacons, and various other tools used in IoT development. 

Node.js is scalable 

The most important reason is its scalability that does not allow any overload on CPU and RAM, hence allowing glitch-free development. It does not require many resources and makes development faster.

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Real-time applications are the need of the hour. Almost all the businesses require this feature if not in many then at least for the real-time chat app for support. As the demand for such applications is rising, node.js is proving out to be the best-in-class platform to deliver as per customer expectations. The amazing features already discussed above describe the importance of the technology and its impacts. It is the perfect option for the codes that require non-blocking driven servers or event-based servers. For getting better development of apps, you need to gather a strong team that knows full-stack development. The knowledge of NPM is very important before developing Node.js apps. Businesses can also opt for third-party service providers to get a dedicated team for their projects.

This article is written by Ramavtar Sharma. Ramavtar is a Tech Blogger, and Digital Marketer at Programmers.io located in Dallas, Texas. If you are looking for a Node.js development company, hire Node.js developers to build your custom and, secure real-time applications. You can follow them on LinkedIn.

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Souvik BanerjeeWeb Developer & SEO Specialist with 15+ years of experience in Open Source Web Development specialized in Joomla & WordPress development. He is also the moderator of this blog "RS Web Solutions".