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Node.js: 7 Types of Applications You Can Build with Node.js

JavaScript can be really powerful and diverse in terms of tools and solutions you’re able to create. Take one of the frameworks, Node. Apps built with its support can be of diverse functionality, different goals, and various purposes. From social media to streaming services: here are 7 main types of applications made with Node.js!


Node.js took IT world by storm, no surprise the number of Node.js applications is constantly growing. Here are our top picks of applications built using Node.js.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a JavaScript framework for server-side built based on Google Chrome’s V8 Engine. It provides a rich library of modules that simplify the development process. Thanks to its asynchronous and event-driven nature as well as the Engine it was built upon, Node.js applications are extremely fast. Performance-wise, it blows most of its competition out of the water.

Why is Node.js so popular?

JavaScript is usually associated with the front-end side, but since Node.js, as a back-end technology, uses it as well, development speed and the productivity of both teams increases significantly. This framework allows companies to spend less on hardware because it can handle the same amount of load with less horsepower.

So what types of apps can you build using Node.js? Without further ado, let me present you some interesting live examples of companies leveraging the awesomeness of Node.js!

Online payment system


Paypal was co-founded by very well-known entrepreneur Elon Musk. It provides online payment solutions to its users and it is a featured payment method on the e-commerce giant platform - eBay.

The service has over 227 million users and over 7.6 billion payment transactions. With growing number of people signing up, Paypal was looking for a solution to provide better service in terms of performance for their users. Switching to Node.js resulted in amazing results. Compared with their previous Java application, the Node.js app was built almost twice as fast with fewer people. It was written with 33% fewer lines of code and constructed with 40% fewer files. The page loading time was 200ms faster and the average response time decreased by 35%.

Social platform

LinkedIn - Professional networking

LinkedIn is the largest business-oriented social media platform. It has over 530 million members. Currently, it takes the 31th place in the Global Ranking by Alexa Internet. LinkedIn development team switched to Node.js for some parts of its back-end system what resulted in much more performant application than ever before.

On the server side, our entire mobile software stack is completely built in Node. One reason was [the] scale. The second is Node showed us huge performance gains.

Kiran PrasadMobile Director of Engineering for LinkedIn

Storify - social platform for timelines and stories

Storify allowed users to create stories and timelines by using posts from other social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Node.js is the perfect for Storify because of its asynchronous nature and high scalability. (…) Using Javascript everywhere (both front-end and back-end) means that a small team can develop faster.

Philippe ModartLead Engineer of Storify

Why was it built using Node.js? Philippe praises Node.js development for its awesome community and more importantly, JavaScript utilization both on front-end and back-end. He said that it has significantly increased the development speed what resulted in fast deploy which is very important for every startup.

Even though Storify ended its service on the 16th of May, 2018, it used to be a home for over 200,000 users.

Streaming service

Netflix - Video on Demand

Netflix is one of the biggest streaming services in the World. It is a home for over 5500 titles that are streamed 100 million (!!!) hours a day for around 120 million users in 190 countries.

Alex Liu, a Node.js developer on the Netflix website team, said that using JavaScript on server-side is a natural extension of their work environment. They noticed huge gains in the productivity of developers.

Since Netflix’s migration from Java to Node.js they experienced significant improvements in terms of service performance - startup time was decreased from 40 minutes just to 1 minute. Their development team can utilise lots of open source modules Node community has to offer.

E-Commerce platform


With over 113 million unique visitors every month, 9.6B revenue in 2017 alone, I think it is clear that eBay is one of the e-commerce giants. According to eBay's developers, Node.js has become their front-end web stack and it powers many of their web flows. eBay Engineer Senthil Padmanabhan says that the modern web was built with Node.js in mind and it allows them to benefit from it.

He also mentions how numerous development tools, automation libraries and other useful components are distributed as Node.js modules and that web developers, since they already know JavaScript, can intuitively work with Node.js.

Online publishing platform


Medium is an extremely popular online publishing platform where anyone can publish posts, mostly related to the field they work in. In 2016 alone 7.5M articles were published. In that year, site noted over 60 million unique monthly visitors (140% increase compared to previous year).

According to Stackshare, Medium initially leveraged Node.js to do most of the required work, which they later divided into certain sections for other tools. Node.js still remains as the core of the app, but it is being run in multiple instances.

Wall Street Journal

The first time Wall Street Journal development team used Node.js was during the development of an experimental Facebook reader application. It turned out that Node.js met all their expectations.

Amazing results shed a different light on Node.js, developers started to take this (at that time) relatively new technology much more seriously. They started working on their first premium project called 'Wall Street Journal Real Time' which came out about a year later. It was considered as the same success as their first Node.js project.

E-learning platform


Quizlet is one of the largest online education platforms in the world. Quizlet takes a bit different approach to education. It teaches via flashcards, various games and quizzes. It has over 200 million flashcard sets generated by users and 30 million active learners.

Quizlet’s CEO Dave Margulius in an interview stated that Node.js allowed them to scale their app to handle over 600,000 visits each day.

Project management


Trello is a visual collaboration tools in the world - in various comparisons between similar solutions, it takes the 3rd place and is right behind Slack and G Suite. It is a well-known tool among startups and companies that rely on cooperation. Over 1.1 million users visit Trello every day and 150,000 join Trello every week.

According to Stackshare, Trello's server side is built with Node.js. Developers stated that Node.js it is a great prototyping tool for single-page applications. Also, it turned out to be a good choice for a lot of open connections and instant propagation of updates.

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