Ruby on Rails vs Node.js. Which to Choose for a Startup?

Comparing Ruby on Rails and Node.js


Statistics have shown the hardest decision amongst startup has to do with which technology or language to use in development. However, in between this dilemma, amongst the top most popular languages and framework, NodeJs vs Ruby on Rails tend to have a huge debate as to which is better between startups.



In the cause of the article, we will look into Node JS vs Ruby on Rails comparison together with the attributes of these two technologies. We will be able to see the reason for this argument and startups in this kind of situation can easily make a quick decision.

Ruby on Rails

Ruby is an object-oriented language which sums up important features of other languages while Rails is an application framework built around The Ruby language. Ruby on Rails quite a good number of benefits and that is why startups often decide to go for it. These benefits are:

  • rapid application development
  • good code quality
  • large community
  • design friendly
  • saves time and efforts
  • enables you to write few codes
  • have good libraries

Pros of Ruby on Rails

Startups tend to go for Ruby on Rails not just because of the benefits, but the pros as well. Here are the pros/advantages of using Rails:

  • cost effective as you tend to spend less
  • easy to code which applies also to refactoring codes
  • fast development process as it reduces your developing process with almost 50%
  • suitable for all business

Cons of Ruby on Rails

It is often said that whatever has a good side always have its own downside. It will be unfair to look into the benefits and pros of Ruby on Rails without talking about the cons of Ruby on Rails.

  • the runtime speed of Rails is very low compared to other languages
  • multithreading as it leads to performance issues
  • boot speed is low and it takes more time than usual to start
  • activerecord as your domain becomes tightly coupled to your persistence mechanism
  • it is usually hard to find a good documentation


Node.JS is an open source platform for executing JavaScript code server side as it was built on JavaScript runtime. With the help of event-driven, non-blocking I/O model, Node.JS tend to be efficient and lightweight. Node.JS has it’s good sides and downside. Further, we will see it’s pros and cons.

Node.JS Pros:

  • it has a full package from HTTP server to templating engine
  • the client and server side has the same language
  • it is simple to deploy, monitor and provide support
  • page load is faster
  • it has high demand rate in the market
  • it has powerful underlying libraries

Node.JS Cons:

  • it is not suitable for intensive processor tasks
  • it has unstable API
  • it doesn’t have a standard library
  • most of the codes will have JavaScript’s problem
  • it requires Asynchronous Programming Model and many developers finds it more difficult.

Node.JS VS Ruby on Rails 2017 Comparison

Comparing these two technologies i.e. Ruby on Rails and NodeJs a mango and guava. NodeJS is an application runtime environment which allows writing on the server side application using Javascript while Ruby on Rails is a framework. Nevertheless, we will look at the difference between this two technologies.


Node.JS Ruby on Rails
Flexibility Node.JS is very flexible and can do things out of the box but you will have to write some codes and install some modules. Ruby on Rails is not a flexible framework and makes you adhere to its way of doing things out of the box. You have to build your app in a particular way.
Setup NodeJS gives you nothing but a fresh install. While Rails on the other hand gives you a lot from a fresh install which includes generators.
Development process NodeJS takes more time as you need to find the modules and follow the instruction for integrating them. Ruby on Rails seems to be fasters as you can perform some task like database migration with just a few commands.
Learning curve The learning curve is partially less than Rails. It is flexible and easy to understand for frontend developers to pick and not restricted to only developers from background. Though learning Rails is easy, you might need to know and understand the attributes like arrays, objects, classes, Ruby-level methods etc that are important and that takes considerably much time.
Finding Talent It is quite easy to find NodeJs developers as most frontend and backends developers have experience with NodeJS. Contrary to that, It can be hard to find Ruby on Rails developer with a good experience in the language and framework.
Pricing The price for developing your application using this framework tends to be higher because it takes more time. On the contrary, you tend to pay less because Rails helps you develop your project faster.


In conclusion, it is actually hard to make a decision as to which technology is more preferable for startup. Startup needs to look into the business model, analyze the pros and cons of both the technologies, which means making a decision is by preference.

Both technologies can help you achieve same results but Rails is perfect when you want to move at a high pace, unlike Node.JS. When building your application, the language or framework doesn’t really matter but the execution that matters. Analyze the pros and cons, features and then get started.

Dagala Wadzani

Dagala Wadzani

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