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Choosing the Best Web Development Stack: A Comprehensive Guide

James Sullivan
James Sullivan
October 11, 2023
Best Web Development Stacks for Building Great Websites


A web development stack is the combination of technologies, tools, software, and frameworks used to build and run a web application. Selecting the best stack for web development is important, as it directly impacts your project's performance, scalability, and maintainability.

In this article, we will explore the best 5 web development tech stacks that have emerged as leaders in 2023. We will discuss the pros and cons of each and help you understand which stack is best for web development suited to your specific needs.

What is a Web Development Stack?

A web development stack is a combination of technologies and tools used by developers to create dynamic web applications. By using the right stack, developers ensure that websites or apps run smoothly and offer a good user experience.

Frontend vs. Backend

The web development stack is broadly divided into two essential components: frontend and backend.


This is the user-facing side of a web application. It encompasses everything users see, from graphics and design to interactive elements and user interfaces. The primary aim of the front end is to provide users with an engaging and responsive user experience.


Operating behind the scenes, the backend is responsible for the core operations of a web application. It deals with application logic, data management, server interactions, and database operations. It's the powerhouse that ensures data is stored, retrieved, and processed efficiently.

Best 5 Web Development Stacks in 2023

Let's explore the most popular tech stacks in 2023:

1. MERN Stack

The MERN tech stack is a combination of four core technologies: MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js. This stack emerged as an alternative to MEAN and MEVN. While all three stacks are similar, their primary difference lies in the frontend technology stack they employ. MERN uses React.js, MEAN utilizes Angular.js, and MEVN incorporates Vue.js.


The components include:

  • MongoDB: A popular NoSQL database.
  • Express.js: A web application framework for Node.js.
  • React.js: A JavaScript library for building user interfaces.
  • Node.js: A JavaScript runtime built on Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine.

Pros of MERN

  • Cost-Effective: Being open-source software, MERN doesn't come with licensing fees.
  • JavaScript-based: It uses JavaScript, the most popular programming language, as its primary language.
  • Power of React.js: React.js, the most popular frontend framework, is a part of the MERN stack.
  • Robust Developer Community: MongoDB, Express.js, and Node.js boast extensive documentation and an active developer community.
  • Unified Code Base: You can use the same code on the server and the browser, enhancing efficiency.
  • Scalability: Built to handle large amounts of traffic and data, MERN scales impressively.
  • Versatility: Suitable for various web applications, be they simple or intricate.

Cons of MERN

  • Steep Learning Curve: New developers might find it challenging to grasp.
  • Rendering Limitations: Its server-side rendering might not be optimal for apps with complex user interfaces.
  • Security Vulnerabilities: It's susceptible to SQL injections and XSS attacks.

Used by Companies

  • Facebook (Meta)
  • Tesla
  • GoDaddy
  • Walmart
  • Shutterfly
  • Under Armour
  • Accenture
  • Philips
  • Airbnb
  • Netflix
  • Mozilla

2. MEAN Stack

The MEAN tech stack consists of four technologies: MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, and Node.js. These components together form a powerful toolset for developing dynamic websites and web applications.


The components include:

  • MongoDB: A widely-used NoSQL database.
  • Express.js: A server-side web application framework running on top of Node.js.
  • Angular.js: A JavaScript-based web framework designed for creating single-page applications.
  • Node.js: A runtime environment that allows JavaScript to be used on the server side.

Pros of MEAN

  • Unified Language: Just like MERN, MEAN also uses JavaScript across the board, simplifying the full-stack development process.
  • Angular.js Benefits: Angular.js provides two-way data binding, making it efficient for real-time applications.
  • Full-Stack Solution: MEAN offers a complete package for web development needs with both frontend and backend components.
  • Active Community: A robust community means better support, plugins, and solutions to common challenges.

Cons of MEAN

  • Complexity: Angular.js can be complex to understand, especially for beginners.
  • Performance: As a full-fledged framework, Angular.js can sometimes be slower than libraries like React.js.

Used by Companies

  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • IBM
  • Amazon
  • Uber
  • PayPal
  • LinkedIn

3. MEVN Stack

The MEVN tech stack is a combination of four core technologies: MongoDB, Express.js, Vue.js, and Node.js. This stack provides developers with cohesive tools to create dynamic web applications. The term "MEVN" was introduced by Evan You, providing an alternative to the MEAN stack named by Valeri Karpov in 2013.


The components include:

  • MongoDB: A powerful NoSQL database.
  • Express.js: A backend framework that runs atop Node.js.
  • Vue.js: A model–view–viewmodel front=end JavaScript framework, ideal for crafting interactive user interfaces and single-page applications.
  • Node.js: A versatile runtime environment that supports server-side JavaScript.

Pros of MEVN

  • Simplicity: Vue.js is known for its gentle learning curve, making it accessible to new developers.
  • Reactivity: Vue.js offers a reactive data-binding system, providing an efficient way to handle data changes.
  • Flexibility: Like MERN and MEAN, MEVN also offers a full-stack solution catering to front and backend needs.
  • Supportive Community: With an active community, Vue.js provides robust support, plugins, and solutions.

Cons of MEVN

  • Smaller Community: Compared to React.js, Vue.js has a relatively smaller community, which might limit third-party resources.
  • Newer: Being newer than React.js and Angular.js, some enterprises might be hesitant to adopt Vue.js.

Used by Companies

  • Alibaba
  • Xiaomi
  • Tencent
  • Baidu
  • ByteDance
  • JD
  • Pinduoduo
  • Huawei

4. LAMP Stack

The LAMP tech stack is a composition of four technologies: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. The acronym LAMP, which stands for its respective components, was first introduced by Michael Kunze in December 1998. LAMP gained popularity as it was among the inaugural open-source software stacks tailor-made for the web. Its capabilities made it an ideal platform to host various web frameworks, such as Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal.


The components include:

  • Linux: An open-source operating system.
  • Apache: A widely-used HTTP server.
  • MySQL: An open-source relational database management system.
  • PHP: A popular server-side scripting language.

Pros of LAMP

  • Cost-Effective: There are no associated licensing fees as it is open-source software.
  • Reliability: Despite being among the oldest tech stacks, LAMP is reliable, stable, and secure.
  • Vibrant Developer Community: A vast community of developers and resources back it.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: LAMP is adaptable, straightforward to set up, and scales well with growing needs.
  • Versatility: It's an excellent choice for e-commerce platforms, content management systems (CMSs), and bespoke web applications.
  • Widespread Adoption: Many small to large organizations employ LAMP for web-based solutions.

Cons of LAMP

  • Age-Related Limitations: Given its age of 25 years, some technologies in the stack may need to be updated.
  • Security Concerns: Despite its reputation for security, it remains susceptible to various threats and cyber-attacks.
  • Performance: LAMP can exhibit slower performance compared to newer stacks like MERN, MEAN, or MEVN, which could be a concern for applications demanding swift responses and minimal latency.
  • Language Limitations: PHP, as a server-side scripting language, has constraints, especially when juxtaposed with JavaScript.

Used by Companies

  • Wikipedia
  • Yahoo
  • Etsy
  • Shopify
  • WordPress
  • Magento

5. Serverless/Jamstack Stack

The Serverless/Jamstack Stack stands out as a transformative tech stack that deviates from traditional tech stack norms. The essence of serverless architectures is allowing developers to craft and execute code without the added pressure of handling infrastructure.


The serverless services include:

  • Function-as-a-Service (FaaS)
  • Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS)
  • Static Site Generators (SSGs)
  • Event-driven Computing

In serverless environments, developers are relieved from infrastructure management tasks. Cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure oversee the infrastructure.

One of the most prevalent serverless tech stacks is Jamstack. This architectural pattern and solution stack derives its name from the initialism "JAM," which represents JavaScript, API, and Markup. 

Pros of Jamstack

  • Swift Performance: Managed by cloud providers, servers ensure rapid outcomes for users, irrespective of their geographical location.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: The absence of a backend server for operations slashes hosting and maintenance expenses.
  • Scalability: It can handle substantial traffic without extensive resources or infrastructure investment effortlessly.
  • Enhanced Security: With no backend server to target, they stand more secure than traditional server-side web applications.
  • Superior Development Experience: It allows full-stack developers to focus on code creation instead of being bogged down by server and infrastructure management.

Cons of Jamstack

  • Limited Server-Side Functionality: Implementing certain functions, such as processing form submissions or dispatching emails, can be intricate.
  • API Dependencies: If issues arise with APIs, performance can decelerate or even lead to downtimes.
  • Dynamic Content Hurdles: Relying on caching to enhance performance can sometimes curb the ability to present dynamic content.
  • Increased Complexity: The need to seamlessly integrate multiple services and functions can make maintenance challenging.

Used by Companies

  • GitHub
  • Netlify
  • Smashing Magazine
  • Stack Overflow
  • Stripe
  • Big Cartel


The world of web development is vast, and the choices can be overwhelming. We've explored some of the most prominent web development stacks, each with strengths and challenges. From the full-fledged solutions offered by MERN, MEAN, and MEVN to the time-tested reliability of the LAMP stack, there's a broad spectrum of technologies tailored to various needs.

Choosing the right stack is pivotal. Consider your project's specific requirements, your development team's skills, and future scalability needs. Whether you're building an e-commerce platform, a dynamic web application, or a content management system, there's a stack that aligns with your vision.

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