What is a Web Stack? Web Stack Explored & Explained

What is a Web Stack

In this article, we introduced web development and the categories that it encompasses. These are client-side coding (frontend), server-side coding (backend), and database technology and details about what is a web stack.

While you can go out and choose any tool or software that allows you to work on the frontend or server-side of your website, there are more cohesive options. These are called ‘web stacks’, which are groups of applications, tools and services that come together to help you make a website.

This means that you don’t have to worry about mixing and matching the plethora of tools and services that exist to complete your web project. So, let’s take a look at a few popular options:

Top Web Stack Models

  1. MEAN

The MEAN stack consists of:

As you can see, these encompass all 3 aspects of web development, with Angular.js covering the frontend, Express.js and NodeJS taking care of the backend, and lastly MongoDB being the database service.

The term ‘JS’ here means ‘JavaScript’. JavaScript is a language used for making web pages interactive. The MEAN stack makes use of tools and applications that all use JavaScript. This is really convenient for web developers as working with multiple languages for a project has its fair share of challenges. Because of this, the MEAN stack is very popular as it is great for building all types of websites and web applications.

All of the components in the MEAN/MERN/MEVN stack use JSON (JavaScript Object Notations) for data transmission, which is a data-interchange format. As such, JSON is a topic worth looking into.

One thing to keep in mind is that Node.js is not a web server. It can become one with the help of modules. These modules enable Node to do anything that a full-fledged web server like Apache can.

  1. MERN/MEVN

The aforementioned MEAN stack has a couple of variations. Namely, MERN and MEVN. These replace the traditional Angular.js frontend framework with React.js and Vue.js respectively. The decision of ‘which framework to choose?’ is of course your own. Angular, React and Vue have some differences but all 3 remain JavaScript based frameworks.

The MERN stack consists of:

  • MongoDB (Database)
  • Express.js (Back-end web framework)
  • React.js (Front-end framework)
  • NodeJS (Back-end JavaScript webserver)

The MEVN stack consists of:

  1. LAMP

The LAMP stack consists of:

  • Linux (OS)
  • Apache (Webserver)
  • MySQL (Database service)
  • PHP (Programming language)

This is considered the best-performing (in terms of speed) web development stack.

The Apache web server is used by more than 50% of the websites on the internet.

PHP is the backend language used in this stack. It can be replaced by Python or Ruby. Apache and PHP combined together to handle the backend duties in the LAMP stack.

MySQL is one of the most popular database services out there. No surprise that it is used in the LAMP stack.

One drawback here is that programmers need to employ additional JavaScript frameworks and tools to create frontend web applications when using the LAMP stack.

Where do you start Web Stack?

All web stacks are a collection of tools and services that you can master one by one. Here are a couple of resources to aid in your journey:

  1. Start with YouTube. Since YouTube is free it is a great place to grab basic knowledge on any of the tools mentioned in this post.
  2. Udemy is filled with awesome courses that you can buy or scoop up for free (coupons, etc.) that will help you further master these tools.
  3. Official documentation for all of these tools is a great place to look for common issues that you will inevitably encounter.
  4. Go ahead and build your very first project! This will challenge you the most and will help you gain expertise more than any article/video ever could.