Difference between Express.js and Node.js

Hermit Chawla 19th Jan 2021

Web application development is a major service in the IT sector and it is in high demand in every industry domain. There are various web application frameworks and libraries available that lead to an easy web development. Developers opt for the various frameworks and easy processes that makes the development fast and reliable.

Every framework is ideal for the particular web app development. For instance, for the node web development, the express.js is a good option.

A detailed explanation of Node.js vs Express.js

If you are a developer then it might be a question hit in your mind about the difference between Node.js and Express.js. Both terms are related to each other but there are many factors that differentiate them from each other.

Here we will give you a clear roadmap about the same because we will discuss the Express.js and Node.js. Before moving ahead let’s understand the meaning of Express.js and Node.js in simple terms.

Delimitation of Express.js:

Express.js is defined as a small Node.js framework of the web application. It is a back end web app framework for Node.js that offers a good collection of topography for web applications and mobile applications.

Express.js is a prebuilt Node.js framework that helps create the server-side web application. It is a faster and smarter approach. The certain characteristics of this framework are flexibility, minimalism and scalability that make it an ideal option to choose than other frameworks.

Key features of Express.js:

  • Page state retention: The Express.js allows the retention of the page state using the routing through their URL.
  • Modular framework: It is a modular web framework for the Node.js.
  • Server-side programming: It uses many Node.js features to call functions anywhere. The numerous lines of codes can be reduced to less number of lines with the use of Express.js.
  • Error fixing: With the help of Express.js it is easy to locate and find the bugs in the application and node web development.
  • Dynamic content: Using the HTML templates, the templating engine of Express.js is providing the provision of dynamic content on the web page.

Also read: Top 12 PHP Frameworks Trending 2020

Why use Express.js?

  • It supports the multiple templating engines to simplify the HTML generation.
  • Helps you in responding to requests with route support.
  • It makes it easy to write secure and fast applications.

Definition of Node.js:

It is a library for the execution of JavaScript applications that is external to the browser. The main use of Node.js is about server-side programs or networks a web application creation. The use of this library is mostly for the server applications in real-time.

It also allows JavaScript to run locally on the server or machine. Without Node, the execution of the JavaScript was not even imaginable on the system. There are ample frameworks available to use like hapi, koa etc. and Express.js is one of those. The most useful framework is Express.js that is also more popular than other frameworks

The main use of Node.js is for the desktop applications and there is no limitation on the use of programming languages. There could be the use of any language that transpiles to JavaScript. The node web development is powerful in terms of performance.

Key features of Node.js:

  • Single-Threaded: It follows a single-threaded model with event looping
  • Scalability: Server responds in a non-blocking way so it is exceedingly scalable.
  • Community: It supports open source tribes. There are many stupendous modules integrated into the Node.js app with time.
  • Open source: It is an open source and cross-platform runtime platform that is used to create all kinds of applications in JavaScript.
  • Zero Buffering: App at no time buffer data in Node.js because they only output the statistics in the large pieces.

Why use Node.js?

  • Due to the use of event-driven and non-blocking I/O models, it is light in weight and efficient.
  • It’s a JavaScript runtime that is built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. The Node.js is fast because it’s an open-source engine that takes the JS code and compiles it fast.

Event-driven Programing: It is defined as a different way of thinking about the program flow. The flow of the program is defined by the events that are taking place. 

Express.js v/s Node.js:

Before stepping forward let's understand the difference in a simple language.

  • Express.js is a framework which is based on Node.js for implementing the web application with the use of Node.js principles. It makes the node web development easy
  • Node.js is a platform that uses JavaScript to build server-side event-driven I/O apps.


UseThe main use of Node.js is to build server-side, event-driven apps and input-output apps. It is best suited to implement a chat app and the web server.The main use is to build web apps using the principles of Node.js. Moreover, it is also used to create APIs in Node.js
Coding timeMore coding timeVery less coding time
RequirementExpress is not required for the NodeNode is required for the express
Building blockIt is built on Google’s V8 engineIt is built on Node.js
Written inC, JavaScript and C++ are the main languages in which Node.js is written.JavaScript is the only main language in which Express.js is written.
RoutingIt is not providedThe routing is provided
View modelIt does not support the view modelIt supports the view model
Platform and FrameworkRun time platform or the environment that is designed for the server-side execution of the JavaScriptA framework that is used for the Node.js
Level of featuresThere are few features than Express.jsThe features in Express.js are more as compare to the Node.js
View ModelIt doesn’t supportSupport the view model
MiddlewareThere is no use of such provisionUse the middleware for the arrangement of the functions in a systematic way
ControllerControllers are not providedControllers are provided


Wrapping up:

So, far we have covered all the important factors which differentiate the Express.js and Node.js. Hope the confusion gets clear with lucid words. If you choose node web development, then have a clear approach for the same.

Authored By Hermit Chawla

Hermit Chawla is a MD at AIS Technolabs which is Web Design and Web development Company, helping global businesses to grow. He love to share his thoughts on nodejs development company

Also on DiscussDesk