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Development is a crucial part of any online business and choosing the right development stack goes a long way. For a long time, developers have been using the LAMP stack. However, with the advancement of technology and shift in the approach of dealing with web applications, web developers are gradually shifted towards the MEAN stack.

In this article, we will understand what a stack is, the basic difference between LAMP and MEAN stack and figure out if you should be making the switch from one to another.

Let us first try to understand what does a Stack mean.

From a data structure theoretical point of view, a stack is simply a structure of data which can be utilized to store a collection of items or elements. A Stack typically has two features – Push and Pop. Push helps to add elements to a collection while Pop helps remove any element from the collection. However, when it comes to understanding stack from the point of view of your website it mainly includes the operating system, web server, the programming framework, and APIs.

Depending on the kind of project you undertake the components may differ, eventually leading to you choosing one stack over another. So let us begin with learning about the most widely used and known stacks, the LAMP and MEAN stack.

What is LAMP stack?
LAMP Stack is an open source software and a great substitute for commercial software. It stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. With lots of programs under its hat, it provides a great platform to develop applications and servers on the web-based platform.

Historically LAMP has been a highly effective medium to develop web apps at an enterprise level. Also, it provides great room for component customisation and is cost effective. Linux, Oracle, Zend are some of the users of the LAMP stack.

What is MEAN stack?
MEAN stack, on the other hand, has become one of the most widely adopted stacks in recent times. It is also an open source and free of cost stack which helps in quick creation of web-based applications. MEAN stands for MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and NodeJS.

The USP of MEAN stack is that it uses only one language (which is JavaScript) at every stage of the application. The likes of Google, Uber, and Netflix use Mean Stack i.e all those companies which use a ‘NoSQL database’ like BigTable, MongoDB, Cassandra, CouchDB, etc. make use of the MEAN stack.

Let us now take a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of both the stacks to help in identifying the right one for you:

Pros and Cons of MEAN stack:


MEAN Stack Pros

MEAN Stack Cons

  • In MEAN, JavaScript is used for both the server and client alike. Using JavaScript for frontend and PHP for backend helps in coordination within teams.
  • In the case of JavaScript disablement, it may render websites ineffective. This can create issues between the user and website owners.
  • MEAN supports cross-platform operating systems.
  • The MEAN stack is slow and not as scalable as the LAMP stack as it has a non-blocking structure.
  • Owing to the versatility of JavaScript (the core programming language of MEAN), it is highly adaptable for a vast range of web apps.
  • JavaScript tends to make websites slower to load, and this could reduce its popularity.

Pros and Cons of LAMP stack:

LAMP Stack Pros

LAMP Stack Cons

  • The interactions between the end users and the source under LAMP can be altered to suit the needs of the developer as this is an open source software.
  • Developers don’t have control of the libraries that are available. For example, depending on your hosting provider, you can get stuck with the libraries and the versions of those libraries that have been built.
  • The LAMP stack is faster and scalable as it has a non-blocking structure.
  • LAMP stack only supports Linux operating systems.
  • MySQL and PHP are easy to learn and can be convenient for beginners. Also, deployment of LAMP is smoother as it utilises PHP as an APACHE module and uploads PHP files through a MySQL Database to an APACHE server.
  • It is challenging to switch between PHP or Python and then use JavaScript or HTML.

The question that arises now is what should you go for – MEAN or LAMP?

If you deal with large amounts of unclustered data or big data, then chances are you would be using MongoDB or databases belonging to the same JavaScript family. In this case, MEAN stack becomes the most suitable stack for you. Whereas, on the other hand, if you deal mostly with developing simple non-high end websites then LAMP is the most preferred choice of a stack.

Most small-businesses usually choose Linux as their base operating system, as it offers innumerable free softwares that work on it. Furthermore, Linux is a preferred choice for hosting and thus, in most cases, Apache is the server. For instance, WordPress Hosting by ResellerClub comes pre-installed with Apache.

Nevertheless, as always the reply to the above ‘MEAN or LAMP’ lies in the customised needs of your business. The one you choose depends on your web application requirement.
We hope this article helped you understand the LAMP and MEAN stacks better. Do you have a preference of your own or a query? If yes, please do leave them in the comments box below!

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H. FatimaH. FatimaH. Fatima used to be an Engineer by profession and Writer by passion until she started pursuing full-time writing. She is presently a Content Marketeer at Newfold Digital (APAC). She mostly writes what she deeply perceives and analyses, it is her way of unwinding. Her interests include writing, reading (an avid reader), watching foreign-language movies and public speaking.View all posts by H. Fatima