The programming language you choose for your project is a foundation of its performance, scalability, and, as a result, user experience, conversion, and future growth. So it’s important to spare enough time to study all the pros and cons of different technologies and speak with the specialists who work with them. In this article, you will learn where to start and choose a web application stack wisely.
How to choose technologies for a web project
So what is a tech stack? It’s a combination of technologies, frameworks, and programming languages for building web or mobile apps. Before studying the possible variants and evaluating their pros and cons, you need to know the following:
- Requirements of your project
- Size and complexity of your project
- Target audience
- Development and maintenance cost
- Your project’s scalability
- Time to market
- Security of the tools
- Time, budget, and staff constraints
Make sure to concentrate exactly on your needs and do not choose the technology based on such factors as your earlier solutions, the technology your rivals choose, your likes and dislikes, and the information your find online.
Everything starts with your business needs. Before developing the application, you need to define the main characteristics of your product: its audience size, the number of requests, the project type, and its scalability. If you plan to extend your project in the future, make sure to choose the technology that makes it easy to add new components and features without overwriting the app logic.
The next thing to consider is your time to market. If you have tight deadlines, consider the technology that provides ready-made solutions and third-party integrations. For example, the Ruby on Rails platform provides access to many libraries with out-of-the-box components that will save your time.
As for security, make use of technologies that are known to guarantee the privacy of user data. It’s essential to constantly update your security elements and follow the latest technological advancements.
“Consider the pros and cons of different tech stacks based on the criteria to help you determine which tech stack is best for your project. Since your project may be unique, there may not be a simple answer. However, by selecting one that is a better fit for what you are trying to accomplish, you will avoid future headaches.”
— Ankit Sharma, Founder & CEO at Inventive Byte, the No. 1 Startup Venture Studio in Silicon Valley
Old technologies in web dev and why they are no longer used
The website development technology world is constantly changing with new trends replacing the old web technologies. Here are some of the examples of old technologies for web development that are no longer relevant.
Proprietary code and formats
Proprietary software code is software that is usually owned by the person or firm who has developed it. Typically, there are restrictions to using it, and its source code is protected and not accessible to others. Proprietary software has existed since the 1970s, but it wasn’t always possible to create a business out of selling software. Software started outside copyright laws when developers would share updates and bug fixes; only the creators can see the source code, meaning it is only the creators who fully understand how it works who can make changes to the code and distribute it.
If you wanted to add animation, games, or video players, you would have to get a Flash package. For developers, these were hard times where a 10-second clip could take hours to create. Flash content isn’t only time-consuming to develop but also required a big budget. To create the original flash content, you had to buy an expensive software package (first from the original maker, Macromedia, then Adobe). So flesh content required a big amount of resources to create and update it.
A static website consists of a series of HTML files, each representing a physical page of a website. Each page is a separate HTML file on static sites, and updating it or adding new elements took a lot of time and effort.
“The IT era is dynamic and complex, with constant and sudden changes and updates. You need to keep your eye on the ball, which means the latest updates and nuances. Quite often, choosing external professionals for custom software development solutions is far more efficient.”
— Vlad Medvedovsky, Founder and CEO at Proxet (ex - Rails Reactor), a software development solutions company
Modern web development technologies: Their characteristics
Let’s review the modern technologies and their pros and cons for your web application.
Ruby on Rails
Ruby is an open-source language that allows the simple and fast creation of web applications. Here are its benefits for your startup:
- Compatible with different technologies
- Slow performance
- Lack of flexibility
Ruby has many default modules and plugins out of the box, which is great for standard functionality. However, if you want to develop a product with specific functionality, Ruby can be hard to adjust.
Python is the fastest-growing language in the world that doesn’t fail at popularity since 1991. It’s used for products of different sizes and complexity (data science, machine learning, and AI among them).
Here are the main pros and cons of this technology:
- Fast time to market,
- Large community and detailed technical documentation
- Easy to learn
- Not native to a mobile environment
- High memory consumption
With Python, you can quickly develop an MVP and test your product on the market. Developers can easily reuse existing code and create the same functionality much faster. However, Python is not so suitable for memory-intensive tasks and needs additional optimization for mobile apps.
Java Script is a universal and constantly evolving programming language. It can accomplish different applications: mobile, web, desktops, gaming apps, chatbots, machine learning, etc. Let’s see what its pros and cons for your startup are.
- High server availability
- Variety of interfaces for better user-interactivity
- Now efficient security on the client-side
- Old browsers do not support some new functionality
C++ is one of the oldest programming languages that are called the mother of all languages, as many programming languages are built with its base.
- Combines the features of both high level and low-level languages
- Compatibility with C
- C++ is very specific and niche-oriented
In general, C++ is not the best choice for the startup unless you have very specific performance requirements. When your goal is to build MVP quickly, it’s better to choose another language that enables fast prototyping.
SPA time: What is a single-page application
A single-page application (also known as a SPA) is a web application or website that uses a single HTML page as a shell for all web pages. Single-page applications are not fully updated during interaction with a user since different pieces of content are downloaded automatically as per request.
Here are the main benefits of a single-page application:
- Battery reusability
- Client-side rendering
- Linear user experience
- Easy debugging
- Less complex implementation
- Better caching
To develop a single-page app, you need HTML5 and AJAX to form responsive pages, while React, Angular, and Vue are accountable for managing the ‘heavy lifting’ on the client-side of SPA.
SPAs provide their users with an easy linear experience offering an outstanding interactive user experience utilizing parallax scrolling and astonishing transitions and effects to display the whole customer journey in popular web applications
Best stack for web development
Before choosing the stack for web development, you need to know what the main types of web development are.
In web development, the 'client side' development refers to everything in a web application displayed or took place on the client (end-user device). This includes what the user sees, such as text, images, and the rest of the UI, and actions that an application performs within the user's browser.
'Server side' development means everything that happens on the server, including rendering dynamic webpages, interacting with databases, identity authentication, and push notifications with server side technology. Server-side processing is used for permanent storage like databases or files. Server-side processing happens after the page is first requested and when pages are posted back to the server. For this purpose, a backend stack is used.
Here are the most popular web stacks for web development in 2021:
MEAN technology stack
MEAN Stack consists of four major modules: MongoDB- open-source document-oriented top web technology DBMS, Express.js- a modular lightweight framework, AngularJS- a framework that speeds up web development Node.js- to that provides a runtime environment for developing quick and scalable apps.
LAMP stack for different types of large web applications
LAMP is one of the first open-source technology stacks, and it consists of 4 different components. Namely, Linux- an open-source OS, Apache-cross-platform web server, MySQL- works as DBMS, and PHP- back-end scripting language.
MERN stack for enhanced rendering services
PERN stack consists of PostgreSQL, Express, React, and Node.js. Combining these technologies, you can as well build a full-stack web application with CRUD operations.
One of the benefits of serverless development is growth. You do not have any limits to growth because the plans are designed to your needs. You pay for the resources you use and do not have unnecessary shortages or unused resources. Also, you use the best of the processors and storage that are available in the market.
“Don’t try to save money by solving problems with a “quick and easy” in-house fix. It’s rarely either. Invest in a first-rate technology stack early on, and let your team focus on their real priority: improving the value of your core product.”
— Roman Taranov, CEO and Founder of Ruby Labs, a London-based mobile apps developer.
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