Node.js is a runtime for JavaScript, one of today’s best and most widely used programming languages. With features that support flexibility and scalability, developers frequently use Node.js for backend development.

Although Node.js has several benefits, it also has flaws:

  • It has limited CPU-bound processing capabilities because it runs on a single thread.
  • It lacks built-in type-checking.
  • It’s dynamically typed, which makes it prone to typing errors that you can only identify at runtime.
  • Its support for different libraries is limited, hindering your development experience.

If any of these Node.js shortcomings hinder your application, it may be time to consider trying something else. Let’s look at the top eight Node.js alternatives to try.

Node.js alternatives for modern developers

Despite its popularity, Node.js can be slow and prone to errors. The CPU limitations can also present substantial challenges when creating a more robust web application. As such, it isn’t ideal for every environment or all applications.

The following are eight alternatives to Node.js for modern development, exploring the pros, cons, and ideal use cases for each.

1. Deno

Deno is a relatively new JavaScript runtime environment that, like Node.js, runs on JavaScript Chrome’s V8 engine. The original founder of Node.js, Ryan Dahl, developed Deno to address performance and security issues that Node.js users encountered.

Developers use Deno to build scalable, secure backend web applications and command-line tools. Its module system, built-in security features, and first-class TypeScript support make it a compelling choice for web developers who value performance and security.

Thanks to these capabilities, companies like Redis Labs and Docker use Deno via the Oak framework to build internal tools.

Features and benefits of Deno

  • With an additional runtime for TypeScript, Deno code provides the type-checking feature that Node.js lacks.
  • Deno boasts modern architecture with better performance and a more secure environment than Node.js.
  • Deno avoids blocking I/O operations by using a system for loading modules, leading to faster execution times.

Cons of working with Deno

  • As a new runtime, Deno’s ecosystem is still relatively small. Compared to Node.js, finding the right libraries and packages to use when developing applications may be difficult.
  • Similarly, the Deno community is small, meaning there are few contributors to its core features. In contrast, Node.js has a broad community and many tutorials available.

2. Go

Go is a popular language for building web applications and backend services. At its core, Go is a statically typed and compiled language that uses a garbage collector to manage memory. Its syntax is influenced by C but with a more modern programming approach. It’s concise, clean, and efficient. Go is designed to handle concurrency and parallelism more efficiently than Node.js.

Go proliferates in the DevOps space as developers use it to create Docker and Kubernetes, the most well-known containerization and container orchestration platforms, respectively.

Features and benefits of Go

  • It has built-in support for goroutines and lightweight threads for efficient concurrency. In contrast, Node.js uses an event-driven model that can sometimes lead to callback delays and performance issues.
  • Go is a compiled language that produces fast and efficient code. Its garbage collector is optimized for low latency, which makes it well-suited for applications that require high performance.

Cons of working with Go

  • Go has a relatively simple syntax, but it can be challenging for developers unfamiliar with its idioms and best practices.
  • While beneficial when used correctly, Go’s concurrency models and channels can be challenging to learn and apply correctly.

3. Elixir

Elixir is a functional programming language focusing on scalability and fault tolerance. It has a similar concurrency model to Go, and developers often use it to build high-performance distributed systems.

Some similarities between Elixir and Node.js include concurrency design and event-driven architecture to handle I/O operations. This construction allows applications to handle large numbers of requests efficiently.

Elixir’s architecture gracefully handles failures using built-in mechanisms for detecting and recovering from errors. Developers can easily build robust and reliable code. In contrast, Node.js relies on external libraries for error handling and recovery.

Large-scale systems like WhatsApp use Elixir to handle the high volume of messages its users send and receive. Other real-world applications using the power of Elixir include Pinterest and Discord.

Features and benefits of Elixir

  • Elixir uses the Erlang Virtual Machine (VM) to manage concurrent processes. This powerhouse results in lightweight processes that are more efficient and consume less memory than Node.js’s worker threads.
  • Elixir’s syntax and functional programming style make writing concise and maintainable code easy. This reduces development time and increases productivity.

Cons of working with Elixir

  • Elixir has a steep learning curve for developers who are more used to the syntax and nature of traditional languages like JavaScript.
  • Elixir’s reliance on the Erlang VM and lightweight processes can mean increased performance overhead, particularly for CPU-bound tasks. As a result, Elixir is a less suitable choice for some performance-critical applications.

4. Rust

Rust is a systems programming language focusing on safety and performance. Developers often use it to build high-performance networking and web applications. Rust is also well suited for building low-level systems such as operating systems and device drivers.

Node.js and Rust are comparable in performance. However, Rust is a compiled language — meaning it provides better memory safety and performance due to its emphasis on zero-cost abstractions and low-level control.

Rust’s efficient memory management and safety guarantees make it a solid alternative to Node.js. Rust is an especially effective alternative to Node.js when building memory-intensive applications requiring low-level control and safety. For instance, Rust implements most of the codebases for Firefox.

Its focus on systems programming makes Rust a suitable tool for developing operating systems. Redox OS, for example, is a microkernel operating system written in Rust.

Features and benefits of Rust

  • Rust provides memory safety that is guaranteed through its ownership and borrowing system. In contrast, Node.js uses garbage collection to manage memory.
  • Rust’s unique ownership and borrowing system provides efficient concurrency and memory safety, ensuring that multiple threads don’t access memory simultaneously.
  • The Rust community contributes to user success through high-quality libraries, frameworks, and tools.

Cons of working with Rust

  • Rust has a steep learning curve due to its complex type system and ownership/borrowing system, especially compared to the low barrier to entry that Node.js offers.
  • Rust requires more manual memory management than Node.js, which can be challenging to master.
  • Rust’s ownership and borrowing system can make code more difficult to write, especially for developers used to garbage-collected languages.

5. Scala

Scala is a multi-paradigm programming language often used to build high-performance, concurrent, and distributed systems. It’s similar to JavaScript and runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Scala and Node.js support functional programming paradigms, which can help make code more modular, easier to test, and less prone to bugs.

Running on the JVM makes Scala applications more performant, efficient, and scalable. Scala’s type safety and functional programming features make it a solid alternative to Node.js, especially when building data-intensive applications requiring high throughput and low latency.

LinkedIn uses Scala to build web applications using the Play Framework. Scala also gets heavy use in the big data space, where developers use it for big data processing and analysis. For instance, Apache Spark’s widely used big data processing framework is built on a Scala foundation.

Features and benefits of Scala

  • While Node.js is dynamically typed and relies on event-driven, functional programming, Scala is statically typed, supporting functional and object-oriented programming. These features allow developers to develop highly maintainable applications with good error detection.
  • Scala is well-designed for writing scalable systems since it emphasizes concurrency and high performance for distributed systems.

Cons of working with Scala

  • While it has high performance, Scala’s bytecode compilation can result in considerable performance overhead.
  • The Scala ecosystem is still relatively new and fragmented. You may find that existing libraries and tools have overlapping functionality and are poorly documented.

6. Python

Python is a general-purpose programming language. Like Node.js, developers frequently use Python to develop web applications. It has a large ecosystem of libraries and frameworks, and its simplicity and readability make it a great choice for beginners.

Python also contains a repository of libraries and third-party tooling that make it easy for developers to improve their skills. Python’s extensive scientific computing and automation libraries and framework exemplify this tooling. These resources make it a great alternative to Node.js for data analysis and machine learning, as it performs better in these areas.

Developers use Python in a variety of industries. For instance, Instagram was developed with Django, Python’s framework. Instagram still uses Python for its backend systems, including content management, analytics, and data processing. Other companies, including Spotify and Netflix, use Python for data analysis, machine learning, and algorithm recommendations.

Features and benefits of Python

  • Python is a multi-paradigm and cross-platform language. It supports functional, object-oriented, and procedural programming styles.
  • It can run across disparate environments, including Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Cons of working with Python

  • Because it’s an interpreted language, Python requires an interpreter to execute the code. This makes Python slower, especially compared to other programming languages and runtimes like Java Runtime Environment (JRE).
  • Python’s global interpreter lock (GIL) can also limit performance in multi-threaded applications.

7. Ruby

Ruby is a dynamic, object-oriented programming language. Developers often use Ruby in web application development, similar to Node.js. However, the effort required when setting up and configuring applications through Ruby is minimal compared to Node.js. The key difference between the two is that Ruby is an object-oriented programming language, while Node.js is a runtime environment built on the JavaScript language.

You can use Ruby to develop prototypes quickly, which makes it great for testing ideas regarding functionalities and use cases. This functionality shines even brighter with Ruby on Rails’ “Convention Over Configuration” approach.

You can also use Ruby to build real-time applications like chat apps, and companies such as GitHub, Airbnb, and BaseCamp have used Ruby to build various applications. Ruby also forms the foundation for the ubiquitous e-commerce platform Shopify.

Features and benefits of Ruby

  • Ruby has a clean, easy-to-read syntax popular among beginners and experienced developers alike.
  • It’s also a flexible language suited for faster prototyping.
  • Ruby has many libraries and frameworks available, including Ruby on Rails.

Cons of working with Ruby

  • Ruby, like most scripting languages, performs slower than Node.js.
  • Despite having a large community, Ruby lacks standardization in its language and libraries. As a result, incompatibility issues may recur when working with the language.


Open-source framework ASP.NET helps you build server-side web applications. You can use ASP.NET with programming languages like C#, Visual Basic, and F#.

ASP.NET and Node.js share several similarities. For instance, they support backend API libraries and web application server development and development environments. You can develop ASP.NET and Node.js using integrated development environments (IDEs), such as Visual Studio or Visual Studio Code.

The cross-platform nature of ASP.NET and Node.js allows you to develop applications across Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems. They also both support mobile operating systems like Android and iOS.

Like Node.js, the ASP.NET community is active and provides support through forums, blogs, documentation, and other resources. Microsoft also provides extensive documentation and support for ASP.NET, including online tutorials, forums, and documentation.

One key difference between the two is that ASP.NET is developed and supported by Microsoft, while Node.js is an open-source project with contributions from developers worldwide. For templating, ASP.NET uses the Razor view engine for rendering HTML, while Node.js relies on templates and libraries such as Handlebars or Easy Javascript Simulations (EJS).

In terms of security, ASP.NET has a robust security framework built into the platform. The framework includes authentication, authorization, and encryption features to help developers create secure web applications. In contrast, Node.js has built-in security features but requires developers to configure them properly.

Additionally, since Node.js is a more lightweight platform, it may be easier to overlook potential security risks, making your systems more vulnerable to attacks if not configured correctly.

Developers often use ASP.NET to build large-scale, enterprise-level applications due to its robustness, flexibility, and support for multiple development models. It’s also popular for building e-commerce applications due to its scalability, security, and performance. Large sites like Amazon and eBay use ASP.NET.

Features and benefits of ASP.NET

  • The ASP.NET framework provides tools and libraries for building robust and scalable applications.
  • It also supports multiple development models such as web forms, MVC, and web pages, making it flexible and easy to use.
  • ASP.NET uses an automatic, generational garbage collector, which optimizes memory management by dividing it into multiple generations. This approach reduces memory leaks and optimizes performance by freeing up memory no longer needed by the application.

Cons of working with ASP.NET

  • Compared to Node.js and other runtimes/frameworks, ASP.NET doesn’t have a vast repository of libraries. Instead, the platform has built-in core features.
  • Cost makes it difficult for individuals and small businesses to work with ASP.NET. Using advanced features and tooling — like Visual Studio Professional and Enterprise Edition — requires subscription and licensing fees. However, there is a free community edition of Visual Studio with limited functionality, and Visual Studio Code is another free, cross-platform alternative that offers plenty of functionality for cost-conscious small businesses.

Deploy your applications with Kinsta

Kinsta application hosting lets you deploy your applications irrespective of the programming language you use easily. All the Node.js alternatives listed in this article are supposed by Kinsta using your preferred option to build the container.

Here’s how you can deploy your application with Kinsta, leveraging our versatile build environments:

  • Nixpacks – This option takes your application’s code directly from the source directory in your Git provider. It automatically detects the language, framework, and runtime dependencies of your application to configure the environment optimally. Nixpacks is designed to be resource-efficient and supports a broad spectrum of languages and frameworks.
  • Buildpacks – Similar to Nixpacks, Buildpacks are scripts that execute during your application’s deployment to install necessary dependencies and configure the environment. Though they support fewer languages, they provide a streamlined deployment experience.
  • Dockerfiles – For languages not supported by Nixpacks or Buildpacks, Dockerfiles offer a flexible solution to set up your container image. This method allows for extensive control over the deployment process and accommodates almost any programming language.

Steps to deploy with Kinsta

  1. Push your code to your preferred Git provider (Bitbucket, GitHub, or GitLab).
  2. Log in or create an account to view your MyKinsta dashboard.
  3. Authorize Kinsta with your Git provider.
  4. Click Applications on the left sidebar, then click Add application.
  5. Select the repository and the branch you wish to deploy from.
  6. Assign a unique name to your application and choose a data center location.
  7. Configure your build environment using a supported option.
  8. Go through other configurations and then click Create application.

Deployment typically takes a few minutes, and upon success, you’ll receive a link to your application along with a dashboard containing deployment information.


The Node.js runtime environment is a solid and valuable platform for building JavaScript applications. However, it does not cover most use cases developers may want to explore. Alternative languages can fill these gaps.

For instance, Deno and Bun provide an additional layer of security and TypeScript support. Go, Rust, Scala, and ASP.NET are best for heavy computations, and Ruby and Python are scripting languages that can build fast and scalable web applications.

You may still choose to work with Node.js, but the constraints of your unique project or organization might make one of these other options a better choice. Weigh your application requirements to choose the best alternative.

What are your thoughts on these Node.js alternatives? Are there other languages you use that you feel should be added to our list? Share with us in the comment section.

Jeremy Holcombe Kinsta

Content & Marketing Editor at Kinsta, WordPress Web Developer, and Content Writer. Outside of all things WordPress, I enjoy the beach, golf, and movies. I also have tall people problems ;).