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What is a LAMP Platform in Web Hosting?

If you have been looking to get your website up and running, you have probably heard of the LAMP platform in web hosting. LAMP, a term originally coined in 1998 by Michael Kunze, stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP–some of the most common components in web hosting. There are alternative forms of LAMP such as LAPP, where PostgreSQL replaces MySQL, or WAMP, where Windows replaces Linux. For the most part, a LAMP stack is a solid, easy-to-build starting point for a web hosting service that uses dynamic web applications, according to Webopedia.

Operating System

In the standard LAMP stack, the operating system is indicated by an “L” for Linux. Linux dominates the web server market space, with the most common Linux distributions being Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Ubuntu and Debian. Essentially, the base of your stack can be any operating system on which you can run the other three layers of the stack. Making changes or choosing an operating system other than Linux such as Windows rarely impacts the web application you run.

Web Server

Next, in the traditional LAMP stack, you have the web server Apache. As one of the oldest web server packages, Apache still maintains more than 50 percent market share in the web server space. You can substitute Microsoft’s Internet Information Systems on Windows-based systems, and Nginx is another popular alternative web server. Choosing a web server can usually be independent of the web application you choose to run.

Database Server

Third, the common database server used in a LAMP stack is MySQL, although there are a number of replacements available, including PostgreSQL and MariaDB, which is a project forked from MySQL that is gaining popularity. SQLite is also used by a number of web applications and provides scaled-down database implementation. Although most web applications are built to operate with one specific database, some may support a few or even a broader range. Therefore, it is critical to choose a database server that matches the requirements of your web application

Programming Language

Finally, you need programming language to run the web application. Most applications are written in Perl or PHP, though Ruby on Rails and Python are becoming increasingly popular. As with choosing a database server, your programming language choices are dictated by the web application you will run. Since web applications are typically written in one language, you will only have one option, unlike at the database layer where you may be able to choose from a number of servers. However, you are not limited to installing only one programming language and one database server. In other words, if you are building a system for a shared web hosting environment or if you would like to run more than one application, it is possible to have multiple applications running in different languages and multiple databases running at the same time.

Related Resource: What is Shared Web Hosting?

LAMP technology can drive a multitude of web applications, and while it is a powerful web application platform, it is also comparatively easy to use and simple, according to CNET. Whether you have years of experience in web hosting and web software or you are simply getting your feet wet with a LAMP platform in web hosting, the compatibility of these four systems make it easy to run any web application of your choosing.