How to Select Technology Stack in Web Application Development?
Are you planning to develop a web application? If yes, then one of the most important things you might come across is the tech stack.
Moreover, the success of any web application depends on the selection of the right technology stack and the right development team. Why?
Because building a new web app is not only about good UI/UX but also about putting out a stable, secure, and maintainable web app.
Later, it should allow you to reach the target audience and help your business reach new heights.
And all these things can be achieved when your technology stack is correct.
It is also said that a technology stack directly affects the quality, performance, and usability of the web app.
Hence, choosing the right technology stack for web app development is highly essential.
With many web technology stacks available in the market, various startups and SMEs struggle to find the best technology stack for web application development.
To help you with this regard, we will decipher crucial things that help in selecting a web application stack. By following these things, you will be able to choose the most suitable tech stack for your next web application.
So, let’s get the ball rolling.
What is a Technology Stack for Web Development?
Before we dive deep into choosing the best technology stack for web development, it is essential to understand what a technology stack consists of.
A web application stack generally consists of programming languages, frameworks, databases, and tools.
The technology stack for a web application is divided into two main components: Frontend (client-side) and Backend (server-side) stack.
Even though different tools power both components, they function together to make a web application.
Let us have a brief about them.
Frontend Tech Stack
Frontend or client-side programming ensures that your web application is visible on any web browser. It involves all the things that a user sees and interacts with the web application.
For instance, an eCommerce store viewed in a web browser is the client-side of a web solution.
Now, let us quickly go through essential web technology stack components widely utilized by frontend developers.
HTML: It informs the browser how to showcase the content on a web page. It is the primary building block of any web application.
CSS: It stands for cascading style sheet and offers style to change the look & format of the HTML components in a browser. It helps to set fonts, colors, size, etc., on a web page.
Apart from these components, you can utilize frontend frameworks for building a client-side of your web app. It helps you create beautiful interfaces and provide an uninterrupted user-experience.
Backend Tech Stack
As the name suggests, the backend tech stack consists of things not visible to the users. It works behind the door and powers the frontend to carry out their task.
The backend helps you define the logic of a web application and establish communication between all of its components. The technology stack consists of components that respond to user requests efficiently.
The backend technology stack consists of three essential parts: programming languages, a database, and a server. We will go through them in detail:
It helps to create the logic of a web application. As of now, there are many programming languages available in the market. The backend developers use these languages to build web applications.
Hence, it might be challenging to decide on a suitable programming language to build a web application.
Apart from this, there are various web application frameworks for every programming language. These are useful to speed up the development process.
Despite these frameworks, developers face many errors while building a web app. To enhance the development & reduce errors, developers can use some of the best web development IDEs.
Now, let us look at some of the most well-known programming languages along with their frameworks.
► Ruby on Rails
► Laravel, CakePHP, CodeIgniter, Symfony
► NodeJS, ReactJS, VueJS, MeteorJS
► Django, Flask, Pylons
Even though it is possible to build a web app without any database, this kind of app will have limited functionality. The database is required if your web app asks for details from the user.
Currently, the majority of web applications ask for the primary contact details of all the users. Therefore, a database is necessary for a web app tech stack
There are primarily two types of databases widely used in web app development. These include relational and non-relational databases. Here is the list of databases for web app development:
A caching system decreases the server lag and frees the database from heavy network traffic by offering commonly accessed data.
A web application cannot offer better performance without a caching system. As of now, the two leading caching systems in the market are Redis and Memcached.
A web server receives, processes, and acts upon all the requests obtained from the user through an HTML message.
Hence, it indicates that the server is needed to host the web application. Apache and Nginx are two of the popular open-source servers for web apps.
Technology Stack Diagram for Web App Development
[Image Credit: learn.g2]
Things to Avoid While Choosing a Web App Technology Stack
Here are some of the most common practices you should avoid in choosing a web application stack.
1. Competitor’s Tech Stack
Looking at the competitor’s stack is not a good strategy when choosing the web app tech stack.
The reason is, your goals are different from competitors.
Moreover, how can you be sure that the competitor’s tech stack will be applicable for your web app project?
If you choose to go with a competitor’s tech stack, then there is a strong possibility that you will modify it to meet your goals.
2. Previous Projects
Even if the majority of your web development projects became successful in the past by using a web technology stack, it doesn’t matter now. Why? There are two main reasons.
Firstly, the web technology stack components you have utilized earlier might not be trending now.
Secondly, every web app development project has different requirements & goals, and that’s why the web app technology stack you used in all of your previous projects might not be relevant to your upcoming project.
3. Personal Preferences
It is a human tendency to depend on personal preferences while selecting a web app technology stack. However, here is the catch: this method does wonder only for people with a robust background in web app development.
4. Online Research
Another thing that you should avoid is the online research. Why? The internet consists of many resources that suggest going for a specific web technology stack.
On the flip side, various resources suggest you not choose the particular tech stack. What source should you trust?
Selecting a technology stack is a mere practical experience. Hence, you can choose the most suitable technologies if you have worked on them.
If you have limited knowledge, the possibility of selecting the right technology is minimum.
Therefore, one better strategy is to consult a professional web app development company. They have worked on various technologies and have enough experience; hence, they can help you choose the best tech stack as per your needs.
Factors to Consider While Choosing a Web App Tech Stack
Here are some essential aspects to consider while choosing a technology stack.
1. Project Size & Complexity
First & foremost, you should define the project size & complexity as it will directly impact the choice of the tech stack.
Here, if you have a clear idea about what type of web application you want to develop, you can choose the right web app tech stack that assists you in the further stage of development.
Depending on the size and complexity, web applications are divided into three categories:
Simple: Landing pages with less interactivity, MVPs, and simple online stores (which offer limited services) fall under this category. You can create these types of web apps with out-of-the-box solutions such as CMS software.
However, if you want to provide better security, usability, and experience, you can combine both front-end and backend technologies and create an appropriate tech stack.
Medium: Web apps with more features as compared to simple apps fall under this category. For example, big eCommerce stores and enterprises. You can develop these web apps with a combination of programming languages and various technologies for APIs.
Complex: Web apps with custom features, third-party integrations, and built-in analytics fall under this category. For instance, social networks, global marketplaces, HR software, etc. You can develop complex web apps using multiple development technologies, programming languages, and custom solutions.
2. Time to Market (TTM)
Time to market is one of the essential factors you consider while selecting the right technology stack for web app development.
Here, the choice of a technology stack should be based on the disposal time you have for your web application.
If you have less time, then you have to choose a tech stack that offers code reusability. This thing significantly reduces the development time, which further leads to less development cost. In a nutshell, the TTM of a web application relies on the choice of your technology stack.
Here are some of the problems that you should keep in mind while selecting a tech stack for web development:
Out of the box solutions
Verify whether the technology offers some unique solutions which you can use to integrate any functionality in the web app.
For instance, Ruby on Rails enables developers to utilize the open-source libraries that speed up the development process and decrease TTM.
Also, it is the go-to programming language of developers to create simple web apps and MVPs.
Documentation & Dev Community
While working on the latest technology, it might be challenging for the development team to produce great code.
Hence, they will spend the majority of time finding solutions to errors; this will ultimately delay the deployment time.
Therefore, you should choose to work on technology that offers better documentation and has a vast community.
The web app stack you choose enables you to integrate third-party services from different providers. Hence, you can add functions to your web application efficiently.
Whenever you develop a new web application, you can face multiple bugs. To remove these bugs, you need to invest a lot of time.
To resolve this issue, go for technologies that are quick to test. Moreover, some technologies follow the test-driven development method, where testing happens before coding.
The method assists you in producing quality code and also enhances the development speed.
Although you have chosen the correct technology stack, you still face a problem, and, i.e., you need developers to carry out the entire task.
Here, you must verify if you can find the developers for your specific web technology stack. Also, you will first need developers not only to create your web application but also for maintenance.
3. Web App Development & Maintenance Cost
To convert your web app idea into reality, you will require a specific amount of investment.
Here, you should note that the selection of your tech stack will hugely impact the overall web app development cost. Here, you need to consider two things:
Developers are talented professionals whose salaries rely on the technologies they choose to work. Hence, your investment will depend on the web application stack. It would be best if you kept in mind that the more advanced the technology, the greater the salary of the developer.
Web App Maintenance Cost
Besides building a web application, you need to maintain it regularly to ensure that it works smoothly. In general, the cost of maintaining a web app is mainly 10% of the overall web app development cost.
Cyberattacks and data breaches are the most common threats in the digital world.
Every year, various companies lose millions of dollars due to these attacks. Hence, the government is putting all efforts into providing next-level cybersecurity.
Despite this, it is not feasible to get complete security & protection from these attacks.
Therefore, you should give utmost importance to web application security. For the same, you should choose technologies that offer better security. If your web app stores a massive amount of customer data, you should analyze the security of all languages used in the tech stack.
In order to cope up with this, you need first to choose the best technologies for your web application. Secondly, you need to ensure that the developers you have hired work based on the security guidelines of a specific language. It ensures that there are no vulnerabilities in the entire code.
Scalability is another important aspect you should consider in the tech stack if you plan to scale up your app as per the demand of users in the future.
In other words, scalability is the capacity of a web app to handle massive traffic.
Here, you need to check two types of scalability:
Horizontal Scalability: It is the ability of a web application to integrate a new web server alongside the current one.
Vertical Scalability: It is the ability of a web application to integrate more resources (RAM, CPU, etc.) in the current web server.
It would be best to choose a technology stack keeping in mind your web app scalability. Initially, it might be difficult for you to choose the best components and frameworks because of different options.
Here, one better strategy is to choose a technology by looking at its most recent trends.
Best Technology Stacks for Web Application
The selection of a tech stack relies on the web application development project. However, there are several popular web technology stacks that you can utilize for your web application. Let us look at them:
MEAN is one of the best technology stacks for web development. It is suitable for full-stack web development as it is a combination of MongoDB (database), Express.js (backend application framework), Angular (frontend framework), and Node.js (runtime environment).
MERN is almost similar to the MEAN stack. Here, Angular.js in MEAN gets replaced with React, and the rest remains the same. The modern web technology stack is suitable for full-stack development. It utilizes ReactJS for frontend and NodeJs for backend development.
LAMP is one of the oldest yet highly popular web application stacks. It consists of the Linux operating system, the HTTP server Apache, MySQL database, and PHP/Perl/Python as a programming language. The technology stack is open-source.
It is not necessary to use the Linux operating system. The tech stack is compatible with various other operating systems, such as Windows, Mac, Solaris, etc. Hence, developers can install LAMP on these operating systems. It offers more flexibility and performance. Therefore, it is the preferred choice of many developers for building web apps.
The web technology stack brings all the advantages of Python language and Django framework for building web applications. Besides this, the framework comprises of Apache web server and MySQL database.
Developers can utilize features of this stack to enhance the development process and create scalable web applications. Moreover, it is suitable to build an MVP.
Ruby on Rails Tech Stack
Ruby-on-Rails is a modern web stack. It is basically an integrated development environment based on a dynamic programming language known as Ruby. The primary purpose of the tech stack is to enhance development.
The web app stack comprises many tools, libraries, software packages that speed up the development process. The technology stack enables developers to utilize the standard structure for web pages and database management. Also, it offers developers with comprehensive error-logs to create faultless web apps.
Choose the Tech Stack That Gives You Success
Here we conclude our guide on web app tech stack. From this, it’s clear that choosing the best technology stack for web applications is one of the most challenging tasks. For this, you need a thorough understanding of all the tools & technologies used in it.
It would be best if you didn’t rest upon any time-tested technologies, although the leading companies have utilized them. You shouldn’t fall for your personal preferences and consider all the pros and cons of choosing a tech stack. The reason is that the wrong tech stack can cause you a lot in the future.
In order to reduce this risk, you should reach out to a web application development company. At GuruTechnoLabs, we have been working in the web development field for years; hence we know what works in the industry. Thus, we will help you choose the correct combination of the web technology stack for your project.