Web app development itself is a multi-layer process which implies solution of different kinds of tasks and involves various specialists. But before your application is being developed, the long preparatory work should be done, which in its turn is no less labor intensive and time-consuming than writing code for a future application. Planning stage implies a plethora of tasks, and one of them is the necessity to define the most appropriate tech stack. But why is it important to devote the lion’s share of time allocated for planning to picking up the technology stack for web app development? Wouldn’t it be easier to choose it at random or just by analogy with one of the previous projects? These and other important nuances related to the process of choosing the most suitable tech stack for web app development will be covered in the article.
What Even Is That Tech Stack?
Tech stack can be described as an array of technologies, programming languages, libraries, UI/UX solutions used by the team involved in web app development. The functionality of your future web application, its scalability and many other parameters depend exactly on the set of tools you select on the preparatory stage. If you endeavour to deliver the best possible result, it’s vital to keep an eye on the emerging technologies and follow the latest trends. These actions will be of great help when there comes time to make the final decision considering the array of technologies and also core functionality you want your future application to possess.
Meanwhile, a tech stack has its own “anatomy”. It consists of two big parts: client-side and server-side, namely front-end and backend correspondingly. Each of them plays a particular role in web development and may include different technologies, depending on the type and size of your project.
Users interact with an application and benefit from the functionality. To do that, they need to have the visual presentation of an app. And how a user sees and interacts with it depends on the client-side component – front-end. The combination of technologies which the client-facing part includes may vary, and is contingent on what exactly you want to gain in the result. As a rule, front-end development consists of the technologies marked below:
- HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
The markup language layout is used to make the content of your web page structured.
- CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
CSS is responsible for the presentation of an HTML page. In other words, it allows to format the content and make it more attractive for a reader.
- Front-end Frameworks
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Backend part is hidden from users’ eyes but meanwhile no less important. Basically, it is a set of tools that helps to implement the logic of your web application and facilitates communication between the components. All communication between front-end and backend happens through the HTTP protocol. When a user makes a request on an application (for example saves the information in a CRM system), the front-end transfers the data to the back-end. And here the back-end magic begins. It handles entered data and saves it on a server. When a user wants this information to be presented, he or she sends another request (in this case to refresh the page), the entered information will be visible. Below are the components of back-end:
- Programming Languages and Frameworks
As it has already been mentioned, back-end implements the logic of an application. In its turn, it can be done through the programming languages and frameworks designed specially for back-end development. For instance: NodeJs, Ruby (Ruby on Rails), PHP, Python.
Currently, almost each application implies working with data which need to be stored. For these purposes, as you may have guessed, there exist databases which make applications fully functional. The most common databases for web development are: MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB.
The Notion is Clear. How to Choose the Correct Tech Stack?
The number of technologies applied for software development is now enormous and each has its pros and cons that need to be taken into account. If the tech stack is chosen at random, without any understanding of the purposes this or that technology is designed for, the result will leave more to be desired. That is why it’s necessary to have some basic knowledge considering the combination of tools you intend to use, and also have a clear vision of what you want to gain at the end of the road. Let’s consider the vital factors you should pay special attention to below:
- Requirements to Your Project
It’s quite evident that it is first necessary to define what kind of project you expect to have and how large it will be. The more ambitious and complex your idea is, the more tools you will have to use for its implementation. Large full-featured projects require a more extensive tech stack to develop and maintain your web application. But meanwhile, there is a risk to overdo with technologies and overload your app. This is fraught with the thing that your project will be too complicated and unclear. Therefore it is better not to spread yourself too thin and focus on essential tools for your application only.
- Project Scalability
Even if your business is currently not that big, you should take into account your plans for the future growth. In case expansion plans exist, it is reasonable to select the technologies possessing great scalability. Also, keep in mind that scalability can be of two types: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal type implies that your web application can work on multiple devices and handle many requests simultaneously. If we speak about vertical scalability, it presupposes the possibility to add new features and functionality without significant changes in your infrastructure. If you have ambitious plans regarding the future growth, you should select the framework which would ensure good scalability of both types.
- Further Maintenance
If you create a long-playing product which will serve faithfully to your company for quite a long period of time, you will inevitably face the necessity of its maintenance. And it is definitely in your interest that this process goes smoothly and almost effortlessly. For that, you should consider such factors of application maintainability as an architecture and codebase your application has.
- Security Issues
“How will I ensure the security of my end-users’ personal data?” This question must be prioritized if you are a business owner who cherishes his/her reputation and does not want it to be ruined in one fell swoop. That is why it is vitally important to use the technologies that are well-known and can guarantee the privacy of user data. Another important thing is to follow the security guideline during the development process, and keep all the security elements updated after it.
- Development Cost
Yes, there is no escape from expenditures. Although the majority of web development technologies can be used without any payment, it may happen that you will have to pay for the subscription that would allow you to add a specific feature to your application. Another thing, if you entrust your project to a custom web application development company, you should also keep in mind the cost for their services, since the price for specialists possessing these or those skills may vary.
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The reality is that the world of technologies is constantly evolving, so there is no surprise that new programming languages and tools appear. On one hand, such diversity seems to be great, as you always have a chance to pick something that suits your project best. But on the other hand, the process of choice may turn into a real challenge, and there is a risk to overdo with the technologies and make your application excessively complex and user-unfriendly. If you have an idea to create a web application and have no idea how to choose the most suitable technical stack for its development, please contact us, our experts will assist you with pleasure.