In a few years, the Internet and especially the World Wide Web, evolved rapidly from a media of information sharing to a ubiquitous platform for several apps like on-line trading, e-government, e-commerce, digital libraries, online banking, etc. Most business processes have become digitized, and most of the organizations have diverse digital requirements. To fulfill these needs, businesses require a combination of different hardware and software products.
So, which programming language should we choose in 2020? What’s the best technology stack for web app development? These are just a few from many of the questions that we often come across from clients and partners. Because the competition level in the web app development industry is very steep, there is no margin for errors. Therefore, the tech stack influences the process of web app development making the entire project more scalable, feasible at reduced cost & time.
To address the most common queries, it’s important to first understand the meaning of a technology stack.
What is a Technology Stack?
A tech stack is a combination of programming languages & software products used to create a web or mobile application. It includes programming languages, frameworks, libraries, patterns, servers, UI/UX solutions, software, tools, etc.
Structure of Technology Stacks:
1. Front-End (client-side):
2. Back-End (server-side):
The back-end is something that gives the power to the front-end and provides business logic or data persistence. This part of a web-app is not visible to the users. In the whole process, choosing the tech stack for back-end development is the most challenging part.
Structure-wise, the backend consists of the following elements:
- Frameworks - Ruby on Rails, Flask, Django, Swift or Objective-C
- Databases -MongoDB and MySQL
- Server providers - Apache, Nginx
Middleware is responsible for the system to system integration between back-ends. Usually, it is installed as a separate application written in C# or JAVA.
Most well-known Web Technology Stack Models:
- LAMP- Linux (working framework), Apache (web server), MySQL (database), PHP (programming language).
- Python-Django- Python-Django is dependent on the Python programming language. It additionally utilizes the Apache web server and MySQL database
- MERN: MERN incorporates MongoDB, Express, React/Redux, and Node.js.
Things to Consider while Choosing the Right Stack:
Web based applications may turn out to be quite complex, challenging, and multi-dimensional. Therefore, unless you’re an experienced software developer, you probably would have no idea how to choose a tech stack for web app development. And that’s okay. The best advice we can give is simple: work with someone who has built similar apps & can provide invaluable expertise. As there are several kinds of tech stacks available for web developers, how do you choose the right ones?
Here are some guidelines:
- Type of the Project:
Identifying the type of project you’re planning to work on is always a determinant in choosing the right tech stack.
- Small Projects (MVP or single-page apps): If the project is small and if the requirement entails a working prototype that has to be delivered within a strict timeline then usually technologies like CMS or WordPress can be used. For portfolios, single-page sites, digital magazines, presentations, other small web solutions, etc. you can also rely on design tools like Webflow, Readymag, Python or Node.Js.
- Mid-range Projects: Government projects, online stores, digital multimedia, enterprise apps require a more complex technology stack that might include a combination of programming languages and designing tools. As these kinds of apps involve multiple systems, they have to be implemented using various frameworks or cross-platform integrations.
- Complex Projects: Trading platforms, social networks, marketplaces are considered large or complex projects. Such projects require more speed, serviceability, and scalability. Due to the high scope of functions, these projects require a combination of multiple web app development technologies that may involve several programming languages.
2. Team Expertise & Knowledge Base:
A web application is normally developed based on the target platform. It can either be mobile, desktop, or both. So, it’s necessary to have deep architectural and technical experience for picking the right stack.
Rather than experimenting on new technologies, it is always better to go with which you can work confidently. However, at the same time, be careful that you do not give preference to technologies and tools that are outdated and ineffective.
For any kind of web app project, it’s important to have the feature of upscaling. Mainly there are two types: Vertical scalability- the ability to add new functionality via different modules for a bigger audience and Horizontal scalability refer to the ability to process more requests while retaining the same amount of features.
Whether it is scaling upward or sideways, the architecture should be scalable as it is the core factor that determines whether the project can handle heavy loads without lags & going offline. Tools like Angular, React, Node.js, Golang, and Ruby on Rails have excellent scalability.
Web apps generally incorporate important business assets and therefore, maintainability is another important factor to be considered while choosing the tech stack. In particular, there are 2 types of app maintainability: Architecture (should support reusability) & Codebase (should be clean and concise).
Like over time, different people would be working on the project for both maintaining current behaviors and adapting the project to new use cases. So choose tech stack wisely because developers should be able to work on it productively.
5. Time to Market:
Time to market is the period between the ideation to the availability of the product to the consumer markets. If your project needs to be launched in a short time, you may consider starting with an MVP. For this, you can rely on agile development practices, ready-made solutions, or frameworks that enable easy integration.
6. Development Cost:
Before setting out on this venture, you need to have a clear idea of what you expect out of your web app. Right from hiring the correct team of developers to the maintenance after app deployment, everything needs to be allocated enough space in your budget.
So, while choosing the technology stack, first and foremost consider your team. Because choosing a stack your developers doesn't have experience on, would doom the need to hire third-party developers. And this might cost you double the budget. Hence, sit with your team, understand what’s appropriate, and then end up on a sound decision.
When deciding on a technology stack, make sure you implement solutions that are open source. Picking open-source technologies ensure lower initial development costs and availability for use with limitless modifications.
8. Bug testing:
Untested or broken codes can create the biggest mistakes while working on a web app project. Therefore, to avoid bug fixes and to save time, try to include technologies where testing is easier. Test automation framework Selenium, Katalon or Cypress.io, etc. can be used for the speedy delivery of quality web apps.
While complete security and invulnerability from hacking is impossible, be sure to thoroughly analyze the security measures while implementing the technology stack. If proper security guidelines and best practices are implemented then, the vulnerabilities hiding within the code can be kept to a minimum.
As I’ve already pointed out, choosing the right technology stack is the main aspect of building a successful Web application. For this, you have no universal solutions but some beneficial tips to pay attention to. A proven tech stack in the hands of skilled developers can create better web app development success stories. Therefore, choose wisely!
Are you looking for someone whom you can share your web app idea and know the perfect web tech stack for your new project? Our dedicated cross-functional team at NEOITO will walk you through the entire process and suggest the best tools.