There are many things to consider when building an efficient website for your product. But above all, one thing is certain: Starting with a strong foundation will make it easier to add on more features later. This is where technology stacks come into play. The process of choosing a tech stack, also known as solutions stack, is determined by the needs of your customers and the potential scalability of your company. 

First things first… What is a tech stack?

The term “tech stack” refers to the front-end and back-end development tools and applications that “stack” on top of each other in order to create a website web app environment. A back-end technology stack is made up of the following components:

  • Programming language: the languages and/or operating systems that create the logic for your website or app and link it back to the database. 
  • Framework: the compilation of languages, libraries, and utilities that provides the basic structure for how your web app functions. It is designed to help developers build applications without having to start from scratch.
  • Server: how your website will actually manage content distribution and client requests. A more robust server provides a smoother user experience and a better scale capacity.
  • Database: the actual digital space where your real time and historical data is stored. 

Which tech stack is right for your project? 

The design and functionality of your website or web app directly impacts your product’s ability to scale, so choosing the correct tech stack is crucial to your success. The three industry leading tech stacks are LAMP, MEAN, and MERN, the names of which are acronyms for the individual technologies that have been combined into one server solution. We’ve compiled an overview of the pros and cons of each to help you decide which stack may be right for your product.   

LAMP

(Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP)

The traditional LAMP stack has been around since the beginning of the web, and until recently, was the only stack available to developers. But as with fine wine, LAMP just seems to get better with age, and it is still favored today among development teams today for its simplicity and versatility.  

Pros

  • Massive online community support presence 
  • PHP and MySQL are supported by most hosting providers and CMS engines, including WordPress 
  • Customizable and versatile: Developers have several choices when it comes to web servers, program languages, and database solutions
  • PHP and MySQL have a shallow learning curve, making LAMP an ideal solution for novice web developers
  • Contains high-end encryption for assuring security

Cons

  • Not ideal for high traffic websites
  • only supports Linux operating systems
  • Not as developer friendly as other stacks, as there are restrictions on the libraries available to them
  • Somewhat outdated and not as efficient as newer stacks 

MEAN

(MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, NodeJS)

Currently one of the most used stacks, MEAN is developer friendly, as it allows quick creation of web-based applications. Providing more advanced features than most other stacks, MEAN focuses on providing a simple, yet robust environment for developers to work in. 

Pros

  • JavaScript is used on the server and client side, allowing more seamless coordination between the front-end and back-end
  • Adaptable and scalable: supports cross-platform operating systems and a wide range of web apps 
  • Express provides a flexible framework and less restrictive library options 
  • Mongo speaks Javascript natively, making it more optimized and generally easier to manage queries 
  • Built to be used with cloud data storage

Cons

  • Steeper learning curve for developers to take full advantage of the scalability
  • Angular can be complicated to use, and may not be worth the time or budget for more simple websites 
  • Not as user friendly for the novice developer, as they need to be fluent in Javascript
  • JavaScript could cause slower load times throughout the website, and if it is ever disabled, it may cause the website to break

MERN

(MongoDB, Express, React, Node)

A variation of MEAN, the MERN stack architecture incorporates JSON with JavaScript to construct the front-end, back-end, and database, but the traditional Angular front-end framework is replaced with React. MERN is known for its open-source support, accessible set-up and reduced learning time, which is why it has been growing more popular in recent years. 

Pros

  • Includes the entire web development cycle from front-end development to back end development with Javascript and JSON
  • React is robust enough to allow quick development and scalability of software and web applications
  • Includes pre-built extensive suite of testing tools
  • Smooth integration with cloud data storage platforms
  • More adaptable for mobile application development

Cons

  • JavaScript could cause slower load times throughout the website, and if it is ever disabled, it may cause the website to break
  • Not as user friendly for the novice developer, as they need to be fluent in Javascript and JSON
  • May not be suitable for larger applications, as third-party libraries would be needed in order to effectively power them

Although all three of these stacks are reliable and practical, choosing the right tech stack for your website takes a deep understanding of your project’s requirements. An experienced team may decide to use a hybrid model, creating a custom combination per their client’s specific needs.

At Bean Machine, we work with you to figure out which tech stack would produce the optimal results. Want to chat more about your project ideas? Click here to connect with us and let’s create something great!