If you’ve been involved with internet content for any length of times, you’ve probably seen the term LAMP, which is an acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. (For WAMP amd MAMP, replace linux with windows and mac, respectively).
What’s so special about these four things? They’re all you need to build a general purpose web server. (Sometimes Perl or Python will be used instead of PHP). Along with HTML/CSS and AJAX, you have all the tools you need to build interactive websites. So why do we use these technologies?
For one, LAMP is cheap. Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP are all free to download and use, and tend to be available on any halfway-decent web host. In most cases it’ll all be set up for you in advance, making it easy to get started.
Linux, of course, is your operating system; generally you’ll have the choice of hosting on either a linux or a windows box, but computer geeks tend to prefer linux.
Apache is a web server (actually, the most popular one in the world). It’s been around for over 15 years.
MySQL is a multiuser database management system using SQL, which is available under the GNU license. SQL is an easy-to-use relational database that forms the basis for most modern database systems.
PHP, which recursively stands for PHP Hypertext Processor, is a server-side scripting language that can be embedded into HTML; it’s generally used to create dynamic webpages.
When hiring a web design expert to create your dynamic website, you’ll want to be sure to find someone who’s familiar with all of the above technologies, as well as HTML (preferably HTML5), CSS, and possibly AJAX; together, these technologies allow you to create a clean, fully-functional interactive website.