7 Tips to Choose a Technology Stack For a Web Application

Imagine you came up with the idea for a web application. The question is what tech stack to use to get a powerful web app. 

The technology stack for your product does not only bring it to life but affects its further maintainability, scalability, and many other factors.

Let’s consider the major tips you should take into consideration before getting the web tech stack and other web development services.

What is a web development stack?

Before we dive straight into the web technology stack, let’s figure out what web development stack means.

It’s a set of tools such as programming languages, frameworks, libraries that developers use to build mobile or web applications. Two main fields make up the stack web developers’ skillset — front-end web development and back-end web development

Below you can find what tools to use for both options.

Front-end technology stack

The front-end involves the actual presentation of your website. In other words, how customers see the information on your website and interact with while using the app is built with the help of various sets of front-end stack.

Talking about web development stacks, front end developers need to be well versed in basic technologies that make the coding process faster, easier, and more flexible.

Top technologies includes:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • SCSS
  • SASS
  • LESS

Plus, these technologies have many frameworks. One of the most used CSS-based frameworks is Bootstrap. However, there’re many different things to learn within that realm.

Also, Javascript includes such front-end frameworks and libraries like Angular, React, Vue, jQuery, and others. They make user interfaces dynamic, interactive, and much more advanced than it used to be years ago.  

Here are auxiliary languages for front-end building:

  • TypeScript. It’s a strict superset of JavaScript. That means if you have a TypeScript application, it has both JavaScript files and TypeScript files. JavaScript eliminates the number of errors in JavaScript and speeds up the development process. For example, Angular (a popular front-end framework) is built using TypeScript. 
  • CoffeeScript. It’s a programming language that compiles to JavaScript. CoffeeScript lets you clearly express your program with a lot less code than JavaScript. It’s a perfect choice for web development and game development.

JavaScript language is the major technology for web development (both front-end and back-end) as it has all the necessary frameworks, libraries to build full-fledged websites. And it is a part of each modern web development stack.

Back-end technology stack

While front end developers are concerned with the website’s presentation, back end web developers manage the website’s functionality. They create algorithms and business logic to manipulate data and receive information from the user. 

For example, when you fill in a form to order some products and press a button – you engage with the front-end stack technologies, while back-end provides your further use by analyzing if the information you entered is valid.

Back-end has a server, an application, and a database. The server-side is the central side where web developers create business logic, interact with hostings, deploy their web app and work with databases. A web application includes an operating system, web server, language, frameworks.

Let’s look at the whole back-end tech stack, including the following technologies:

  • Operating system. The first stage of the web development process is to select the operating system where you will build a web app. Linux and Windows are the most suitable operating systems to deal with.
  • Web server. The web server processes HTTP requests sent from the browser and then transforms HTTP responses into web pages. nginx and Apache are the commonly used servers.
  • Databases. It’s an organized structure for storing and processing a large amount of data like figures, dates, geopositions, and so on. MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, ElasticSearch, DynamoDB, Firebase Database, Indexed DB 2.0 are the examples of databases. 
  • Storage. Services for objects storage where your files get stored. AWS S3 and Firebase Storage are the most reliable and convenient ones to use.
  • Hosting. A service that lets you publish your website to the Internet. The most commonly used hosting services are Firebase Hosting, AWS S3 Bucket in hosting mode, Amazon EC2 (Linux), nginx.
  • Programming language. A language that is used for writing the code. There are many different languages like PHP, Ruby, Java, C#, Python.  
  • Web development frameworks. Frameworks are tools that intensify web apps and streamline the process of code writing. There are various back-end frameworks like Laravel, Yii2, Zend, Express, Nest.js.

Now, let’s check out the web stack that combines tools for front-end and back-end development:

  • LAMP. It stands for Linux (OS), Apache (server), MySQL (database), PHP, or Perl (back-end language). It’s a good option if you need to develop your web app quickly since it lets you expand web app faster. But, it is not a scalable stack and has low performance as it uses the same server resources.
  • Python-Django tech stack. You can use Python language and Django framework for server-side development. Web developers often work with Apache, MySQL, or PostgreSQL to create web apps. Django has good security features (prevention of CSRF and SQL injections), its own ORM layer for managing database access, but it works slowly and does not fit small websites.
  • .NET. It is a framework written in C# programming language providing services and an extensive set of libraries to applications and developers. Usually, .NET developers interact with such technologies as ASP.NET MVC (great programming environment for building a flexible and dynamic web app and services), .NET Razor Engine (for front-end building), or Angular framework (front-end), MS SQL or MySQL (database). 
  • MEAN. That means MongoDB (database), Express (back-end framework), Angular, and Node.js (back-end platform). But these technologies may range, you can work with MySQL database instead of MongoDB, it depends on what kind of DB is more appropriate for a specific project — a document-oriented or relational one. By the way, MEAN is an excellent choice when building a marketplace website.

Tips for choosing a web technology stack for web application

Follow these seven tips to make the right choice if you want to select the best technology stack for web development.

#1 Use your experience

For a start, you should use your existing experience and skills. For instance, if you have Node.js developers and engineers working with other JavaScript technologies, use them to create a web application. 

Moreover, if it’s a typical web app, you probably have a set of tools that you can use to create a website or web app much faster and with fewer efforts. It’s always better to use the strong skills you already have.

#2 Set up the requirements for your project

Firstly, you should define your target audience and who you build a product for. It will help you consider the UX of the project to customers’ needs.

After, you need to determine the product’s complexity, whether it will be a simple landing page or an eCommerce website with specific features? Answer these questions, you will understand what web application stack you need on a case-by-case basis.

Angular framework can be the right choice for a single-page web app, but a complex website requires you to use .Net, JS frameworks, and libraries with databases and storages.

#3 Keep scalability in mind

Scalability means that your website should handle load increases and an unexpected amount of users. Moreover, you may want to add something new in the future or during the development process, so it’s essential to make a scalable website.

There is horizontal and vertical scalability. The choice will depend on your requirements. It’s better to use programming languages like JavaScript that offers libraries and frameworks that improve the language and make it more flexible.

#4 Keep up with trends

As we’ve mentioned above, it’s vital to use time-tested tools for web apps building, but be sure that you implement technologies that will be trendy now and then.

It’s much easier to work with tools that are widely used by large developers’ communities. In this case, you’ll find a solution on the web because many programmers use these technologies.

#5 Don’t forget about secure tools

It’s essential to provide customers with a secure and reliable web app. Thus, you have to use encrypted and protected technologies, especially if it involves financial data processing. Bear in mind all security issues before you use any technologies – you have to be confident in the tools you want to integrate into your web app.

#6 Estimate your skills clearly

When you choose a specific technology, be sure that you’re experienced enough to adopt everything you need due to this technology. You should consider developing processes to overcome the challenges related to skills you are not good at.

#7 Think about expediency

Don’t use the new technology stack for web development only because it’s popular now. If you are good at old ones but still frontrank tech stacks, then use it. 

However, it’s better to keep pace with the times and work with a similar but trendy tech stack.

Summing Up

Selecting the right web technology stack for web application development is a challenging task you need to be prepared for. But these tips will help you select the right tech stack for your future project to succeed.

Author’s bio:

Vitaly Kuprenko is a technical writer at Cleveroad, a mobile and web app development company in Ukraine. He enjoys writing about tech innovations and digital ways to boost businesses.

Vitaly Kuprenko

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