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JAMStack versus MERN Stack

Jean-François Arnaud
Jean-François ArnaudCEO of Blacksmith

Which stack should I choose?

This is THE question that every developer asks before launching his website, web or mobile application project: which technological stack to choose to carry out his development.

While we've talked about our favorite stack at Blacksmith in the past and dedicated an article to the JAMStack, today we're going to focus on the differences between JAMStack and MERN Stack, another popular stack.

Why this comparison with the MERN stack (MongoDB, Express, React, Node) and not with the LAMP stack (Linux Apache MySQL PHP)?

Because if the LAMP stack is one of the most popular (it is used as a base on popular CMS like Drupal or Wordpress), see certainly THE most common stack in the web, we want to compare 2 JavaScript stacks as could be done JS or TypeScript developer.

Why the MERN Stack?

The MERN Stack allows you to create complex web apps based on open source Javascript technologies.

MongoDB is a non-relational database, which allows storing data without having to use SQL language, but instead using JS to store data using JSON format.

Based on Node.js, Express is used to create API (application programming interface) routes and handle incoming HTTP requests.

On the front and back sides, developers can rely on React.js, a very powerful JavaScript framework, created by Facebook engineers.

If you want to develop a product with large data processing, MERN can be a good solution.

It is also practical for developers who are going to develop the whole product in the same language (in JS).

The main disadvantage of this stack: it is not designed to use relational databases.

Why Use the Jamstack?

The JAMStack makes it easy to develop generated static sites.

This stack is very light and has certain advantages in terms of hosting costs, since it does not require interactions with databases.

It is perfect for creating sites based on third-party SaaS or showcase sites or blogs.

Who says static site does not say "frozen", you can have JAMStack sites with many animations, micro-interactions and whose content is entirely managed via a backoffice, as would be the case for sites made with CMS like Wordpress and not using the JAMStack.

Sites developed in JAMStack are generally more fluid, more secure (less interactions with a backend server) and more economical to host and more ecological than sites based on a LAMP or MERN stack.

As in JAMStack we try to limit the number of calls to databases, this techno stack will be more focused on the front-end part than on backend processing issues.

The main disadvantages of JAMStack: it does not handle dynamic and database-requiring features (for example an e-commerce site) well.

JAMStack vs MERN Stack

As we have seen in this article, the JAMStack and the MERN Stack each have their advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of application or site you want to develop.

If you want to develop a complex webapp, we advise you to start with a MERN stack.

If you want to develop a fluid showcase site with economical hosting, we advise you to start with a JAMStack stack.

In any case, do not hesitate to contact us at ;)

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