This article is not a tutorial on how to use Node.js (resources for that can be found in the last part of this article). Instead, it’s an introduction to what Node.js is, its features, and what it’s used for.
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The goal is not to compare Node.js with other back-end technologies, but to help you understand some of its functionality.
Node.js is fast at executing tasks (receiving requests and sending responses) because of its single-threaded and asynchronous nature.
Single-threaded, meaning Node.js has a single source for handling requests. Multithreaded backend technologies assign a new thread to each new request.
You can think of a thread as someone serving multiple people. A very familiar real-life example would be a restaurant. We will explain this example further along with the asynchronous part of Node.js.
A customer arrives at a restaurant and sits down to wait for a waiter. The server comes to the customer’s table and takes their order. The order is then delivered to the kitchen.
But the server doesn’t wait until the request is ready before moving on to the next client. Customers will return with what they ordered when it is ready; Meanwhile, the server moves to the next client and repeats the same process.
The example above is similar to how Node.js works under the hood. It is capable of processing multiple requests using a single thread asynchronously (without waiting for one request to complete before proceeding to the next request).
The single-threaded, asynchronous nature of Node.js makes it extremely fast and ideal for building data-intensive, real-time applications.
Before the release of Node.js, web developers had to learn another programming language to build the backend of their web applications.
Node.js supports many major platforms. So you can write your code and it will run on Windows, MacOS, LINUX, UNIX and even some mobile devices.
Now that you’ve gotten a brief introduction to what Node.js is, its features, and what it’s used for, here are some resources you can use to learn how to use Node.js:
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Publishing a website is a complex matter, as there are many ways to do it. This article does not attempt to document all possible methods. Instead, he outlines the pros and cons of three approaches that are practical for beginners. He then goes into a method that may work instantly for many readers.
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To have more control over the content and appearance of the site, most people choose to purchase web hosting and a domain name:
Additionally, you’ll need a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) program (see How Much It Costs: Software for more details) to actually transfer the website files to the server. FTP programs vary widely, but in general you must connect to your web server using the details provided by your hosting company (usually username, password, hostname). The program then shows you your local files and your web server files in two windows, and lets you transfer files back and forth.
In general, most web applications use a local file system or network attached storage (NAS) as their asset storage. Here is an example of a site that uses local file storage to host assets.
Here’s why – consider a situation where domain.com is a high traffic website. The higher the traffic the higher the cost, you will need to scale the servers to meet the demand. What if we move the assets to an external CDN? According to the example above, out of those 5 HTTP requests, only one request will reach the nginx server – and all other assets will be served from the external CDN, saving bandwidth, computing resources such as CPU, RAM on the main web server.
Another example is if your applications are deployed in a load-balanced environment with multiple web server instances, you’ll need to keep each instance updated with static content, and things get even more confusing with dynamic content because you have to copy assets. to all nodes or use shared storage. But with a CDN in place, you’ll need to copy them to one place: your CDN.
This is indeed a theory – in my next CDN post I will try to compare these two approaches and see if it really works – in terms of performance improvement and cost savings.