MEAN or LAMP (Stack) - which one would be your cup of tea?


Talk about web stacks today and LAMP & MEAN are what that pop up instantly. Both of them follow two separate technologies for backend languages, server environments and databases and both carry their own sets of pros & cons. In simple words, “stack” implies technologies which stack over one another with the common mission to build up a web server environment.

Now, web development companies are often confused about which one to go for. Should they be loyal to the good old LAMP or is it the MEAN that they have to adopt now? Well, the answer lies in a neat analysis of both the pros and the cons of both stacks so that it’s easier for you to choose the one most compatible with your nature and principle of work. You have to have a fair idea of the forte of each of these stacks, the projects they are best suitable for and so on.

Much to your convenience, the post below is all about the pros & cons of these two massively popular web stacks.

Age-old LAMP Stack development

A constant since the cradle days of the web, LAMP has surely stood the test of time. The acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP, and LAMP speaks of a brilliant combo resulting in a robust versatile server solution.

One of the key reasons to stay loyal to LAMP lies in its great commitment to security as well as widespread support. It has been doing the rounds for decades now and boy, it has duly proved its mettle in reliable web hosting.

The backend technologies framing it, such as MySQL and PHP, are extremely well-known & command solid support from all the major hosting providers. When you choose to work with LAMP stack, you have this amazing privilege to host just anywhere. Moreover, you will have access to highly popular CMS engines. Joomla, Drupal and our favourite WordPress- all are compatible with MySQL/PHP.

Another major perk of LAMP is its customization options like LEMP which replaces Apache easily with Nginx. For Windows, an easy variant would be the WAMP stack.

Then, PHP, MySQL and Apache speak of open-source benefits & are made mostly for Linux. No wonder, Linux is the most sensible option for a great server environment and this is why you still have LAMP followed by a huge bevvy of techies.

Developers love LAMP given its assurance of the simplest means to have a site online. The LAMP forums are bustling with amazing support in case you need help regarding configuration issues and troubleshooting.

MEAN Stack is powered by Node

When it comes to the latest technology favoured by developers to run scalable applications made with JavaScript, Node.js wins hands down. It’s the main power of MEAN stack & offers this exclusive perk- with Node, everything would run on one single language. How cool is that!?!

The acronym for MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js & Node.js, and MEAN eliminates the need for server software or server operating system. The MEAN stack runs just on any kind of OS & Node carries its very own server for handling JS on the backend.

Now, albeit MEAN has attracted huge attention of late, it cannot ever reach LAMP when it comes to the solid support that the traditional option is renowned for.

However, interestingly, many web pundits are voting for MEAN over LAMP. Why? The most important reason here is that end of the day, the new options assure much easier and faster scalability than LAMP. MongoDB is a NoSQL database that optimizes queries. The inclusion of full-stack JavaScript and even amps up development as a single language will go for all the backend and frontend work.

Besides, a good host of other types of JS frameworks seem to be hitting the scene as reliable options. For example, you can switch MEAN to MEEN by having Ember in place of Angular.

Programmers would be delighted to know that the MEAN stack can separate code for growth and maintainability. It signifies a breezier route to organize the JS web apps, enabling a smooth run for them in the natural environment.

Yes, it’s true that we still have a good lot of things to learn about regarding the MEAN app and, honestly, it’s one of the major points that irk the new developers. It would take months to learn all technologies needed to manage the MEAN app. But then, if you have fallen for Node & wish to run all on JS, the extensive effort is worth the T.

PHP (Big Daddy) Vs Node (Yesterday's Kid)

PHP has been a known name since the mid-quarter of the 90s and is undoubtedly the popular-most of all the backend languages. A lot of developers prefer to have their first tryst with PHP mainly given its omnipresence across hosting providers and web platforms.

Comparatively, Node refers to a newer framework yet it has been able to grab attention extraordinarily fast. It includes the popularity of the high-end as commanded by NPM as a package manager for the developers & extends further to robust frontend frameworks like Angular 2.

The very fact that Node carries its very own server, is another highlight of using MEAN.

It’s to stress here that there is a large community of web developers who tag PHP as a poorly-developed language. The reason is, its creator Rasmus Lerdorf basically did not design it as a language! PHP actually came to the scene as some generic solution for websites & over time dramatically expanded to a vast gallery of some unrelated functions. However, now that PHP has diligently started fixing its errors and thanks to free-of-charge OOP frameworks like Symphony and Laravel, it’s a way better language of late than what it was initially.

Now, the post has boiled down to your personal preferences. LAMP would be good if you are confident about your know-how in PHP. On the other, MEAN is for you if you prefer writing JavaScript.

Quick Comparison

  • MEAN also includes a solid frontend framework Angular. There is not any such required framework with LAMP- yet you can any day add one of your own while building an app.
  • In terms of OS, LAMP looks for a Linux derivative. Linux is always the best option for the server environment, irrespective of the stack and it rings true with MEAN too.
  • It’s true that MEAN leverages its position in the market with the cutting-edge Node package yet when it comes to community support, it’s Apache that’s more reliable.
  • Node server calls for JavaScript backend (without extensions). On the other hand, Apache is comfortable with most of the backend languages & you also have lots of free extensions here for solid support. However, at present, Apache does not have anything for Node support.
  • In regards to database management, LAMP goes for MySQL which speaks of relational data storage- whilst MEAN takes to MongoDB which implies a non-relational database. The non-relational databases are way faster and extend a more convenient method to scale with larger traffic.
  • PHP isn’t just restricted to MySQL. It uses MongoDB & other alternatives such as SQLite or PostgreSQL. It’s simply that most PHP developers are gaga over MySQL, which makes it the key contender for the LAMP stack.
  • MEAN stacks are reputed to scale larger and run faster but then call for huge time and extensive server know-how. On the other hand, LAMP assures tried & proven stacks & they are accompanied by the best-secured infrastructure as well as the widest support possible.
  • In regards to programming language, LAMP mostly favours PHP which includes Laravel and WordPress frameworks. MEAN goes for NodeJS/ExpressJS for the backend and for the front end, it prefers AngularJS.
  • MEAN means full-stack JS and it requires a lot of learning on your part. It’s a common choice for startups looking to exceed their horizons in web application development. But LAMP is more conventional with JavaScript on the front end & PHP on the back end. It’s especially for those who simply want to have the site set up and running online without many hassles.

Finally, if you want something that’s tested, LAMP is for you. But if you are more on the adventurous side and are looking forward to exploring new ones, MEAN can be for you.

Hexadesigns is a web design company located in Kolkata, India. We take advantage of the latest trend and technologies to design, redesign and develop websites. This is our blog where we publish information for the general people and web developers for their knowledge enhancement.

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