The MERN Stack: Explained

Written by
Mariel Lettier

Do you tend to work with a specific tech stack? Do you have a favorite one? We'll focus on a popular web app development choice: the MERN Stack. Below, we'll explain what it is, its different technologies, and what makes it a great choice. Further, we'll provide some resources if you want to specialize in the MERN Stack. Let's go! 

What is the MERN Stack?

The MERN Stack is a collection of technologies used to develop web applications. It was developed by Facebook back in 2013. MERN is an acronym for the four technologies used: MongoDB, ExpressJS, React, and NodeJS. This collection aims to make the development process easier and smoother.

What Makes Up the MERN Stack?


MongoDB is among the market's most popular NoSQL Database Management Software (DBMS). It's necessary for any data that needs storage in the app (such as content, user profiles, and uploads). It works exceptionally well with the other technologies in this stack. The document-based DBMS supports scalability and agility and has speedy query performance. If you want to see a case study involving MongoDB, look here


Express is a server-side Node framework. The framework is minimalistic and unopinionated. Further, it's asynchronous, single-threaded, efficient, fast, and scalable. ExpressJS provides server-side logic for apps. It applies to single-page, multipage, and hybrid web app building.


Although many people refer to React as a framework, it is a Front-End JavaScript library. This library is open-source and used to build web user interfaces (UIs). React is a top-rated tool for development companies of all sizes. Its main features include being declarative, simple, and supporting the server side. It's also fast, easy to learn, and component-based. You can learn more about React here!


Node—or Node.js—is a JavaScript environment to build scalable network apps. Node is asynchronous and event-driven. It is also open-source, cross-platform, single-threaded, fast, and scalable. Node’s benefits include improved developer productivity and satisfaction and reduced development costs. Moreover, it has an easy learning curve and a large community. If you want to see an example of Node in action, you can look at our work with Marathon Kids. This article can tell you more about Node.JS and how it works with Flutter!

How do the MERN techs Work Together?

The MERN Stack uses a 3-tier architecture comprising the front end, the back end, and a database. React is in charge of the Front-End. You then have Node and Express for the back end or server side. Finally, MongoDB is the database chosen for this stack. These components use JavaScript and JSON to create web applications. React makes up the top tier, in charge of building the interface for your web application. 

Then Express, which runs inside a Node server, works on the Back -End. Express functions can connect to the React Front-End via XML HTTP Requests, GETs, or POSTs. MongoDB’s role is to store any data for your application. You can send JSON documents created in the React front end to the Express server for processing and storage in the MongoDB database. Look at this showcase for an example of products developed with the MERN Stack!

MERN Stack with React Native

Are you wondering if you can create mobile apps with the MERN Stack? The answer is yes! In this case, you must add React Native to the mix. To give you a bit of context, React Native is an open-source framework built over ReactJS. This framework specializes in native mobile apps. Moreover, it’s cross-platform, meaning you can use it for iOS and Android. Its benefits include faster development, native interface creation, and easy testing. 

MERN Stack with TypeScript

The MERN Stack is not only flexible on the Front-End framework. In this tutorial, you'll see it can also use a different language. And, if you're interested in learning about Typescript, check out our article about it!

MERN Stack vs. MEAN Stack

The main difference is that MEAN uses Angular instead of React for the Front End. While it's less popular than React, Angular is still a robust framework.  This change in frameworks gives different purposes to these two stacks. The MEAN Stack focuses more on file management and abstraction in coding. Meanwhile, the MERN Stack helps you code faster. Moreover, MEAN is more productive whit large-scale apps, yet MERN is best for small apps in less time. Do you want to learn more about the differences between React and Angular? You can check out our content on this topic (which also includes Vue.JS). Also, if you want to take a more in-depth look into their differences, this article can help.

​Why Use the MERN Stack?

What makes the MERN Stack so great? We’ll cover the pros of combining these four techs.

 All the MERN techs are open-source and constantly improved.
● The stack is easy to use and allows for building apps quite quickly.
● It's full-stack, so all techs work together to create the final product.
● All techs are prevalent and have excellent communities for support.
● With JS for both Front and Back-End, there's no need for context switching.
● It makes code maintenance and bug fixing easy
● Due to the prior, the MERN Stack is cost-effective.


The MERN Stack has many advantages for development and business. Also, given that all four tools work with JavaScript, the learning process is more accessible. We hope this article has given you a clear overview of the MERN Stack!

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