When thinking about websites and how they’re designed, it’s useful to differentiate between ‘static’ and ‘dynamic’ sites. Generally, static sites display HTML-based content stored on a server, but can only be updated by a developer changing the source code. Dynamic websites, by contrast, are much easier to update and feature content that can be actively generated by user requests.

When a website displays constantly-changing content and offers a range of functionality to users, it can be safely described as dynamic. To support these features, dynamic websites are usually more demanding than static ones in terms of server resources and development. So if you want to build a dynamic site, what kind of setup do you need? One of the best solutions is a LAMP stack server.

What is the LAMP stack?

Dynamic sites require a specialised infrastructure of software that includes an operating system, web server, database and scripting. A LAMP stack includes all of these within a single platform that bundles together Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. These four open source software solutions complement each other and function together to form the complete infrastructure needed to create and maintain dynamic websites.

The beauty of the LAMP stack is in how the individual components work in concert to achieve the desired results. For example, Apache running on Linux can be used to create a base of static web content, while a programming language such as PHP delivers an additional layer of advanced functionality. On top of everything else, relevant information can be pulled from the MySQL database to provide a truly dynamic experience for site users.

Why choose LAMP stack?

Running a LAMP stack on a server can be an affordable option because of its reliance on open source software. The open source nature of LAMP also means you can depend on long-term support from the developer community.

LAMP doesn’t require a huge investment in server hardware, either. You can set up a LAMP stack on a fairly modest dedicated or cloud server – just keep in mind the level of performance you need for the visitor numbers you expect, plus any additional requirements like streaming media.

On our new CloudNX platform , a LAMP server is a relatively simple solution because it only requires a one-server configuration, with your whole environment residing on a single virtual machine. How to set up a LAMP stack on CloudNX.

Another strength of LAMP is its flexibility. While the catchy LAMP acronym has stuck, it’s really more of a general model with interchangeable components. So for example, you could use Nginx instead of Apache, or Python instead of PHP, depending on the needs of your project. Whether you want to use LAMP on a dedicated server or a cloud platform, Fasthosts provides everything you need to get your LAMP stack up and running.