You are most likely to see the term “LAMP Stack” when searching for website hosting, or browsing technology news.
It describes how a web server was set up and the software it uses to accomplish specific functions. This cartoon explains the concept in broad strokes.
What is LAMP?
LAMP stands for Linux, Apache MySQL, PHP, and PHP.
Each piece of software in the stack helps the server run a web app (such as a website management system such as WordPress).
- Linux – A computer operating system. It is the software that runs the server, just as Windows runs your computer or iOS runs your iPhone.
- Apache is a web server software which converts server requests into specific instructions. Your browser sends a request for a website URL to a web server when you type it in. Apache is the software that receives that request and tells the web server how to fulfill it.
- MySQL is a database software which stores all information needed to build a website. The text of this blog post, for example, is stored in a MySQL Database. My server retrieved all the text from this database when you visited this URL.
- PHP is a scripting language that executes the server’s instructions. It is a programming language that retrieves information from your database, and then constructs it in a way that fulfills the original request. PHP was used to extract all text, images and fonts from this URL into a set to be delivered to your browser.
What is a LAMP Stack and How Does It Work?
One way to set up a web server is with a LAMP stack. A server, just like your smartphone or home computer, requires several pieces of software in order to function properly.
Different web applications require different requirements, just like smartphone apps and PC games. LAMP is a set of software (or “stack”) that meets these requirements.
To build a website, you will need to use PHP 7.4 or higher, MySQL 5.6, Apache, and WordPress.
You can substitute NGINX for Apache or MariaDB for MySQL. These are just a few software options. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses.
What is a LAMP stack used for?
LAMP stack can be described as a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house or 4-door sedan that is used to configure web servers.
It is the “standard” configuration for web servers. This is not because it is the best, but because it has the most versatility, the best documented stack, and the longest history.
The “stack”, which includes all the pieces, is also open-source and free to everyone.
LAMP is best-known for its ability to manage website content management systems such as WordPress. However, it can be used for almost any type of web application.
Alternatives to LAMP Stack
There are many LAMP stack options. Each of the four components of LAMP can easily be replaced with a different piece or software.
These are some of the most popular stacks that can replace pieces of the LAMP stack.
WISA – Windows, IIS SQL, ASP. This is a Microsoft-owned stack that companies can use to meet all of their IT needs.
WAMP Windows, Apache MySQL, PHP. It allows you to run an LAMP stack on Windows servers. It is useful to test WordPress on PCs.
LEMP – Linux, NGINX, MySQL, PHP. “Engine-X” is the name of the software. The “E” stands for “Engine-X”. This is a popular alternative to Apache for WordPress websites that speeds server requests by up to 50%. This website, which runs on InMotion’s WordPress plans, uses a LEMP stack.
It is not easy to choose the right stack for your web app. Sometimes this means tweaking your stack to achieve the best performance for the web application. Other times it is a matter of what resources and expertise you have.
Because it is stable, mature, and well-known, the LAMP stack is very popular. It will be supported by most well-known hosting companies. It can be installed on all cloud hosting or VPS options.