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LAMP vs Jamstack banner

A technology stack refers to the databases, frameworks, programming languages, and technologies that operate together to create apps and websites. The LAMP Stack is one of the earliest and most widely used open-source software stacks, while the JAMstack is a relatively new architecture and is considered to be a more modern approach to website development.

With the push to increase website flexibility, speed, and security, many web developers are making the change from the LAMP to the Jamstack.

This approach has gained traction in the business community because it allows for greater flexibility in websites, more streamlined user experiences, and a better problem-solving approach to web development and design. With all the advantages of Jamstack, does this mean the end of LAMP as we know it?

What Is LAMP Stack?

The widely popular LAMP Stack was coined by Michael Kunze in 1998. It has been the established leader in stacking technologies for Linux hosted websites for over 20 years.

The LAMP Stack is a collection of open-source software components and programs that work together to support web application development. LAMP is an acronym that stands for following software programs:

  • Linux – an operating system software
  • Apache – a cross-platform HTTP web server software
  • MySQL – a relational database management system
  • PHP or Python – general purpose programming languages

These web development components operate together in a streamlined manner to create efficient and functional websites and applications. In addition, all four of these components are open-source software, which means users can eliminate the costs associated with developing their websites.

The LAMP Stack is a tried-and-true platform known to be customizable, dependable, and secure, with a large, shared community continuously improving and updating the platform. Drupal and WordPress are common examples of a LAMP stack.

What Is Jamstack?

The Jamstack was first coined in 2015 by Mathias Biilmann, the CEO of Netlify. It is a concept that can involve a variety of methodologies and technologies. The Jamstack is a modern web development architecture designed to make the web faster, more secure, and easier to scale.

Jamstack is also an acronym that includes the following components:

  • JavaScript – a programming language for complex features
  • APIs – an application programming interface software
  • Markup – pre-rendered or content markup in HTML

The Jamstack architecture involves the principles of decoupling and pre-rendering.

Decoupling the user interface from Content Management Systems allows for the separation between the services that operate an application or website. This allows for greater web development flexibility because components can be changed and upgraded seamlessly.

Pre-rendering is this context means that the front end of an application or website is prebuilt into static assets and pages rather than being dynamically built and served at runtime. This means that users can provide better developer experiences, reduce server costs, and improve website performance and speed.

Using these core components and principles, The Jamstack is a scalable, high-performance architecture that allows for greater developer experiences, faster loading speeds and increased security protocols.

What Are Static Site Generators?

When discussing Jamstack, it Is worth mentioning static site generators (SSG). They are critical components in developing the Jamstack applications because they account for the “Markup” concept of the Jamstack acronym. Templated markups are prebuilt using static site generators for websites with content.

An SSG is a software application that creates HTML pages and applies them to templates, which generates the page for website users to view. This differs from traditional database-driven content management systems, which operate by storing content in a database. In traditional CMSs, a server receives a request, it is retrieved from the database, and then it produces an HTML page. SSGs make generating a large amount of HTML pages easier and improves loading speeds because they are ready to serve ahead of time rather than waiting for a page to be requested.

Why Should You Care About the Differences Between These Stack Architectures?

They are key advantages and some disadvantages for both the Jamstack and the LAMP Stack that are important when considering web development and stacking technologies for your website or application. Ultimately, your project requirements should dictate which stack you choose.

Pros of the Jamstack

Front End Experience: It focuses heavily of front-end building and delivery for a more streamlined developer and user experience. This cultivates smoother performances and better integration with third party APIs.

Cost: The Jamstack has relatively inexpensive hosting and users can reduce maintenance costs because it requires fewer developers and technical personnel to operate.

Scalability: Because the Jamstack uses content delivery networks, applications and websites that utilize it can seamlessly handle a greater number of active users.

Security: There is often no database or less need for one, which means there are fewer security risks involved in the use of static pages and content delivery networks.

Site Generators: There are variety of prebuilt themes and site generators for simpler development. It allows users to select a layout that meets their specific requirements.

Cons of the Jamstack

Dynamic Features: The Jamstack has limited dynamic features, such as ecommerce transactions, because it does not rely on a database.

Third Party Systems: It is dependent on a variety of third-party systems to operate effectively, meaning that changes to those systems can affect this stack.

Pros of the LAMP Stack

Community: The LAMP Stack has a vast community of web developers and resources. This community provides guidance and continually improves and updates the technology and components involved in this stack.

Dynamic Web Development: The dynamic functionality of LAMP is significantly better than the Jamstack, allowing for more complex features like file collection and ecommerce purchasing.

Open Source: All the programs that make up LAMP are entirely open source, which means that there are no licensing fees, and it is easy to access and use.

Reliability: The LAMP Stack has been around a lot longer than the Jamstack, and it is known to be reliable due to its customizability, design, and usability.

Cons of LAMP Stack

Learning Curve: For more novice developers, getting all the components and programs to work together can be a challenge. The only was to learn how to use this stack is through experience and without mastering the individual components, there is a considerable learning curve.

Performance: The largest disadvantage of LAMP when compared to the Jamstack is performance issues, especially on high-traffic websites. This can be partly due to potential security issues, but most often is the result of the database driven model and page rendering methods.

Can Jamstack and LAMP Stack Coexist?

Now that you know the pros and cons of these web stacking architectures, you may be wondering if there is a world in which both can exist. The answer is “Yes.”

An example of Jamstack and LAMP Stack working together is the hosting platform, Strattic. It provides a fast, secure, and scalable site through its hosting and optimization services.

As stated before, WordPress runs the LAMP Stack architecture, using Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. However, using the principles of the Jamstack, Strattic delivers a high-performance, static site to visitors.

The Fate of LAMP Stack

The LAMP Stack remains one of the most popular web stacking architectures among web developers and it has a variety of benefits that speak to its relevancy. According to the experts at SteadyRain, LAMP is not going anywhere.

However, it is clear that the Jamstack will continue to grow and become a stronger stacking concept in the web development community because of its performance, scalability, and security capabilities.

Based on the variety of advantages and uses associated with both the stacks, there is a good case to use either. Ultimately, the choice between LAMP Stack and Jamstack should come down to the project requirements of each website and application.

Questions about how or when to use LAMP Stack or JAMstack? Contact the experts at SteadyRain for more information.

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