Why I stopped creating PHP projects with Wappler and why you probably should too

You all know my beef with PHP. I wouldn’t start a PHP project even if your life depended on it. This decision is tool agnostic.

But why did I stop doing it with Wappler specifically?

For each server model they have to support the turnaround for new features, bug fixing, documentation and general support increases. Yes it is all kind of abstracted for us, but they have to build and support such abstraction for each backend and that takes time.

Wappler’s app is built with javascript, html and CSS. That means that they have to be more comfortable with those languages than with any other.

So why not do us a favour by doing them a favour?

The most practical server model we can choose right now is nodejs. By choosing nodejs you are choosing the same stack of tech as they have to use on a daily basis to support Wappler app.

Next time you start a project do yourself a favor and choose nodejs. By doing that the team can shift focus to nodejs and build features at an improved rate.

If I was able to wish one thing is that Wappler 4.0 was reserved exclusively for nodejs and newer server models.

And Wappler 3.x branch was left for older models and only received security updates for some time.

I understand this is a hard choice after so many hours have been poured into php and asp but all things must come to an end if its in the name of progress.


I want to upvote this 1 million times.

From a business perspective, Wappler is currently lacking so many things it makes more sense for the team to start focusing on one or the other to move fast and gain as much market share as possible, before other Wappler-like apps come up. It also makes more sense to focus on nodejs as well. The user base is huge and the packages are plenty. Just look at stackoverflow surveys:

For the second year in a row, Node.js takes the top spot, as it is used by half of the respondents.

Lastly, “any application that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript.”


I always love to hear your viewpoint @JonL!

Please bear a thought for us PHP based “App Entrepreneurs” who are building a one off app as a business and came to Wappler before node support existed… and for whom there will be no “next project” for the foreseeable future!


You can always expand your app to use a nodejs backend and have a hybrid php+nodejs app until you slowly migrate your php part to nodejs.

It’s doable!

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During which time I’m not marketing, selling and supporting it to bring in any money! :rofl:

It’s a different world when you are self funded @JonL!


I respectfully disagree. Not all of us have access to Node hosting and working with a local version is horrible/difficult. Node hosting is the big thing though.


Working with NodeJS locally is the easiest way to get up and running of all server models actually. There’s a built in node server in Wappler so you don’t need to do anything than just selecting NodeJS as a server model :smiley:

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Then I change my comment to some of us (me especially) are too stupid to figure it out. :wink:

Still without a node hosting it is still a big stumbling block.


I fully agree with you on this. This idea started spinning in my head about 5 months ago, because I am well aware of the huge benefit for everyone if the team can focus on a specific technology in the future development of Wappler. For this reason, I started actively studying and testing nodejs about 3 months ago and continue to do so.

To date, I have firmly decided to use nodejs in all future projects and, if possible, migrate past projects from php to nodejs.

The most serious obstacle to the transition to nodejs today for a wide mass of users, I see the problem of hosting. @brad post above only confirms this. But I have encountered such messages on the forum periodically. And I will not hide, in the process of testing and studying, I myself periodically encountered and am faced with a much less friendly application deployment process.

Deployment of an application in php is possible at any hosting, for a meager fee and is done on a one-two basis, because the deployment infrastructure was created over many years. And the first thing a new nodejs application developer faces is a much more complex application deployment model. It will be harder or more expensive or both harder and more expensive.

Today I raised the topic about CapRover on the forum. This is exactly the tool that can open the door for all developers, because it will make the deployment procedure simple, clear and cheap.

A simple, intuitive methodology for working with CapRover - this is what is absolutely lacking today in Wappler, for a large number of people who want to start working with nodejs.


You will get the hang of it as you did with e-commerce and the help of the community :slight_smile:

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@brad no any other server model allows you to get up and running with a project, a server and preview your page in your browser in 45 seconds :slight_smile: Not sure which part of this do you call hard, but installing MAMP/WAMP etc. servers and setting them up locally is more time consuming and complicated than running Node locally :slight_smile:

I do have a couple sandbox sites set up on Docker. One Node and one PHP.

Really stuck on local databases and publishing. I would imagine it’s easy if you know all this stuff. But it’s not easy for starters. Especially if you have been using a system like MAMP for twenty years. :wink:

I was referring to your statement:

And as you can see it is not really difficult to create a node project locally and run your site using the built in Node server :slight_smile: You don’t really need Docker to run Node locally.

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With Wappler I do not think programming language is such an issue anymore, I have never developed an ASP project in my life and I just did a fairly large one in Wappler the other day, just chose that server model and off I went, was just like working in php or nodejs for me.
Was quite blown away with it actually.

I agreee with parts of what JonL said, Nodejs is utterly amazing in many other ways, and I have found life far simpler by using it, just because of this type of stuff, which saves me loads of time '<%=_('$_PARAM.pageida',locals)%>', however I like the continued support for php and asp as well because sometimes we do not get a choice in what hosting environment we are forced to work within.

I do some governmental stuff and it has to all run on their own server, and they use microsoft tech throughout, therefore is ASPx and MS SQL Server or nothing.
Considering I do not know a line of ASP in my own head, I rely heavily on Wappler.

EDIT: Docker on the other hand and volumes can be a total pain, really no filemanager for docker volumes, I could cry in the CLI

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Yeah. I completely understand.

I mean PHP/ASP support shouldn’t be dropped overnight. But I think a time should come when Wappler team says that no new features will be added to them and only security updates will be issued.

To finally sunset completely the support. Just like any other software piece. Of course, being able to keep using the server model after that without support would be a plus. Something like legacy models. You can use them but without support.

Apart from not knowing NodeJS and the relative difficulty of hosting options, another reason I’ve hesitated to get started with NodeJS is that it seems the vast majority of issues with Wappler which crop up here relate to NodeJS rather than PHP.

I think this is inevitable given the integration of NodeJS is so new to Wappler, but perhaps it’s not so much of an issue now.

Another concern I have, related to hosting generally, is stability and robustness. For my customers, reliability is by a long away the most important thing (this is in relation to applications I develop generally, not specifically websites). I have no doubt that software developed with NodeJS can be just as robust as PHP, but perhaps as developers and others involved may be relatively less experienced with NodeJS, this may not always be the case. Eg there have been a number of threads about NodeJS having to be restarted - again, no doubt an issue which would disappear with experience. Comments like the one below I find alarming. When George says ‘only’, it could ‘only’ be a matter of costing a customer thousands of pounds and/or losing hundreds of hours of work.

I’m sure these fears are essentially based on ignorance. Before long I hope to become less fearful as I gain more knowledge, but I hope PHP will remain in Wappler for a long time.

Docker, rkt, mesos, etc= How you package and run your apps on top of some hardware.

Nodejs, php, asp, go, rust, c++ = Programming languages.

Both are completely independent.

You mention nodejs stability but your concern comes from a docker deployment and specifically how Wappler implements it.

Again. Nothing to do one and other. This is important because there seems to be this misconception that docker and node go together.

Well I’d be really hacked off if after just completing my app which is a product for the next 10 years then half of my development world no longer had support.

@JonL I appreciate your blue sky thinking, but some of us need to be sure we are dealing with a business which has its feet on the ground, as I am sure the Wappler team does!


Thanks for your comments @JonL

Yes, but this is one of the issues. You could say the same about a server running Apache and PHP. They are ‘completely independent’ following your example, but they are also not completely indepedent - they are closely associated with each other and very well supported - which make them an attractive and successful combination (with MySQL too of course).

Your app won’t last 10 years in php buddy. If it explodes in popularity you will migrate. If it doesn’t you wont be in business or you can easily switch.