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How To Choose A Technology Stack For A Web Application?

How To Choose A Technology Stack For A Web Application?
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Sunday, September 13, 2020
technology stack
What's the first thing that comes to your mind when developing a web application? No idea. It's the technology stack that needs to be considered most when developing one. Because your app will be built upon a technology stack. And, it directly influences the performance of your application.

If you have confusion and don't know where to begin, this article will help you choose the right technology stacks for your web applications.

But first, let's understand what web applications and technology stacks are.

What is a web application?

A web application is an application that uses web browsers to perform tasks over the Internet. It is stored in a remote server and delivered over the Internet through a browser interface.

Did you know that each application includes components that are necessary to run one? If you don't, then here are some:
  • A database: It is used to store the application data.
  • A caching system: It helps to decrease database load, helping the database process surges in traffic.
  • A web server: It handles requests sent from the browser and returns information.

What is a technology stack?

A technology stack is a list of technology used when building a web application. In other words, it is a set of tools such as programming languages, frameworks that are used in the development of an application. It consists of a particular set of components that work together to create a web application.

Structure of a technology stack

The technology stack consists of two main components:
  1. Front-End
  2. Back-End
But, what are they and why are they needed?

Let's explore them and understand each of the components.

  1. Front-End
The Front-End includes everything a user can see on their screens. It is a visual part of the software application. It enables the user's interaction with the application.

The core technology that front-end technology stack includes are:
  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • Javascript

In addition, these technologies have different frameworks. Bootstrap is one of the most used CSS-based frameworks. Similarly, Javascript frameworks such as AngularJS and ReactJS are gaining popularity these days. These Javascript frameworks help in designing highly interactive user interfaces.

  1. Back-End
The back-end is not visible to users. It is used to create the logic of websites and applications. It basically powers the front-end and allows users to perform certain actions.

The back-end includes the following components:
  • An operating system where developers build the app.
  • Web server processes requests sent from the browser and returns the corresponding content.
  • A database stores the app data.
  • A programming language to write code for the back-end.
  • Web development frameworks used for faster and easier development.

Technology stack models

Are you using the right technology stack models for building applications? If you are unknown about the stack models, then you are in the right place.

The technology stack models help to build the app in an optimal way. The most popular technology stack models that developers use are:
  1. Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP)
  2. Linux, Nginx, MySQL, PHP (LEMP)
  3. Python-Django
  4. MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, Node.js (MEAN)
  5. MongoDB, Express, React/Redux, Node.js (MERN)

  1. LAMP
It is an open-source web development platform that uses Linux as the operating system, Apache as the webserver, MySQL as the relational database management system, and PHP as the object-oriented scripting language. It is one of the earliest technology stacks to get popular among the developers. It is popular for its adaptability, security, and high customization choices.

  1. LEMP
It is similar to the LAMP stack where Apache is replaced by Nginx as a web server. Nginx is an HTTP proxy application allowing it to handle a higher load of HTTP requests. It uses an asynchronous event-driven approach to handling requests. It provides a more predictable performance under high loads.

  1. Python-Django
It is based on the Python programming language. It also uses the Apache web server and MySQL database, as well as the Django framework. It helps developers to build applications with clean, readable and maintainable code. It also helps developers to build applications rapidly to varying business requirements.

  1. MEAN
It is used to create cloud-hosted applications. It includes both the back-end and front-end development tools. It is an implementation of Javascript everywhere concept. It is popular for its high performance and flexibility.

  1. MERN
It is a Javascript stack that is designed to make the development process smoother. It supports the Model View Controller architecture that makes the development process flow smoothly. All four components allow an end-to-end framework for developers to work in. It offers a short learning curve, high productivity, and enhanced agility.

Now, you know about the technology stack models. Why don't you start using stack models for building applications? But, you must choose the right one for building applications. Otherwise, you might get in trouble in the future.

Now let's look at the benefits and drawbacks of stack models.

Benefits of choosing the right stack

Choosing the right stack is most crucial when developing an application. Because it can be beneficial to your business after choosing the right one. The benefits are as follows:
  • The base performance of your application will be solid.
  • The developer will be able to code better and faster.
  • It will be well documented and will be easy to fix common bugs and performance issues.

Drawbacks of choosing the wrong stack

Choosing the wrong stack can prove fatal to your application. Some of the troubles you might face are:
  • A new stack will require additional time to adopt
  • The tech stack may become unsustainable.
  • You may face trouble finding skilled and experienced developers.

These are the benefits and drawbacks of choosing the technology stack models. I think now you are convinced about choosing the stack models. If not, we have yet to discuss how to choose the right one. So, let's dig into it right now.

How not to choose a technology stack?

Well, you now know about different technology stack models, we would like to discuss the common mistakes that the developers make when choosing the stack models.

So, what do the developers do when choosing the stack models? Let's see some of the mistakes they make.

  1. Based on personal preferences
The first common mistake that the developers make is choosing based on personal preferences. Well, it might work if you have a solid knowledge of web development. Otherwise, you might end up choosing the wrong one. This strategy might lead to the failure of the project.

  1. Based on trends
Choosing the right stack models based on trends might be a good idea. But, does it add value to your business? If not, why to spend money that does not add value to your business. You need to research and plan first and then you should choose the right stack model that will match your business needs. So, you should implement a stack that meets the needs of your application.

  1. Based on competitors experience
Watching out the competitor's experience is a good strategy for your business. But, you should choose the technology stack models based on the project type and goals.

So, are you sure to choose the technology stack models based on competitor's experience? Think about it first. Because choosing the wrong one might cost you a lot.

  1. Based on online research
We are living in the era of the Internet. Within a second we can find anything we want. So, it means we can find many articles about the technology stack models too.

Am I right? So are you thinking of choosing the right stack models based on online research? But, what I suggest is not to depend on online research. There are many articles on the Internet with different opinions. It might create confusion and you might be misguided. So, you should choose the right stack models based on your experience, project goals, and project requirements.
  1. Based on previous projects
Was your previous project a success? Thinking of using the same stack models for your future projects? Think twice before choosing one.

The technology stack models that you previously used might not be the right choice for your upcoming projects. It might be outdated by now. You should choose the latest one that suits your projects. Moreover, the projects might not be the same as well as the requirements too.

How to choose the right technology stack?

You learned about how not to choose the stack models for your projects. So now let's learn about how to choose the right one.

There are many stack models to choose from. Which one to choose? Which stack models might be right for you? So, let's discuss some of the criteria you should consider when choosing the right stack models.

  1. Project type
The first thing you should consider is the type of project you are working on.

Do you know in which category your application falls in? See below to learn about your application size.

  • Small size app
Small size applications are like 1 to 3 webpage sites and other small web solutions. They can be designed easily using a Python-Django or Node.js-React stack.

  • Medium size app
Medium size applications are normally e-commerce or enterprise applications. They require a more complex technology stack than the small size applications. These types of applications can be developed using MEAN, MERN or LAMP stack.

  • Large size app
Large size applications include social networks and international market places. These types of applications have much higher complexity and requirements as compared to the other two. These applications have a lot of functions and integrations. So many developers prefer using Angular-Node.js, Python-Django or Ruby on Rails as their core technologies.

  1. Development cost
Shaping your ideas into reality comes with a cost of its own. Since building your applications isn't going to be free. So you must prepare for the development cost of your application.

The tools, frameworks, and technologies you are going to use might be open-source and free to use. But, what about the premium features? Sometimes you might have to use premium features. So, you have to consider this.

Are there any other factors that determine the development cost of your applications? Yes, of course. The other factors that you have to consider are:

  • Developers salaries
Your applications aren't going to be popped out in the air. Developers are responsible for developing one. But, are they going to be working for free? Of course not. No one is going to work for free. Their salaries depend upon their skills and the technologies they are working with. So higher their skills and advanced technologies, higher their salaries will be.

  • Maintenance cost
Your job isn't finished after developing the applications. Sometimes you have to update or fix some bugs even after developing the applications. In such a scenario you have to consider some extra expenses.

  1. Time to market
Considering to launch the application quickly in the market? Well, that's a good idea before anyone does. The faster the application launches in the market, the less you spend on development costs.

But, do you like inferior and useless applications? No one does. So plan carefully and launch the application in the market as soon as possible.

  1. Scalability
Are you thinking about the future of your application? If not, start thinking. Otherwise, it might be too late for you. What I mean is that your application should be able to handle the increasing load in the future.

You are most probably hoping for your application to grow and gain market shares. Oh well, who doesn't? What a stupid question? Of course, everyone hopes that their application will grow and gain popularity. Therefore, you should focus on scalability during development. So choose the right stack that offers scalability.

Generally, there are two kinds of scalability:
  • Horizontal - allowing to handle increased volumes of requests.
  • Vertical - enabling to add new components without affecting its performance.

  1. Security
What's more important to people other than securing privacy? Nothing. In this era, people are searching for a secure application that protects their data.

I know it is important to build applications that are clean, interactive, and useful. But what about security? What most people think about is the security of the application. Whether it protects sensitive information or not? Do I give my information to the app or not? Such thoughts arise when providing information. So, it is important to follow security guidelines when developing an application.

I suggest you choose the right stack models that are safer than others.

  1. Maintainability
It is one of the important factors that should be considered when building an application.

Why is maintenance necessary? Because it helps in making the application up-to-date. The application should be allowed to add additional components and frameworks in the future.

And it should be able to handle the load at the time of maintenance.

  1. Licenses
When deciding a stack, be sure to implement technologies that are as free as possible. They should be open source. Choosing the open-source technologies helps in lowering the initial development cost as well as maintenance cost.

As explained, a technology stack is a part of web application development. Different web applications use different approaches to choosing development tools. But to choose the right technology stack is a challenge. Choosing the right stack models depends on project goals and project requirements. If you follow the guide and use the right technology, then you will definitely succeed.

It doesn’t have to be only these. New technologies are also emerging and you might get to see the rise of new ones in the future too.

Hope this article helped you.
Kiran

Just a guy who loves traveling, cooking, and writing.