Which Technology Stack Should You Use For Your Web Application?

Which technology stack should you use for your web application? Here's what to consider and why this decision is important.

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April 23, 2019
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The combination of technologies used to create and run web applications varies in complexity, scalability, and latency. The technology stack you should user to power your web application depends on a variety of factors. Here’s a rundown of each type of tech your web app needs to work, and what to consider before beginning development.

How web development works

Web applications include two parts: what the end user sees (front end or client-side), and how the information is delivered (back end or server-side).

Front end (client-side)

The front end is pretty straightforward. You have two main components:

  1. HTML and CSS: Layout and style of content
  2. Javascript (JS): Adds interactivity to websites

Back end (server-side)

There are significantly more components to the back end than the front end. Back end development technologies include the following:

Languages/Framework

  1. Python: Django, Flask, Pylons Frameworks
  2. Ruby: Ruby on Rails Framework
  3. Java: Spring Framework
  4. PHP: Laravel Framework
  5. Scala: Play Framework
  6. js (a Javascript runtime used for backend programming)

Databases

Information storage takes place on relational or non-relational databases, including:

  1. MySQL
  2. PostgreSQL
  3. MongoDB

Caching Systems

These systems reduce database load and handle traffic. The most common are:

  1. Memcached
  2. Redis

Server Type

Finally, you’ll need to choose a server type for your web application development needs. Choose one of the following:

  1. NGINX
  2. Apache

What’s The Best Tech Stack for Web Application Development

The best technology stack for your web application will vary depending on the needs of your project. Online research will yield lots of opinions, but little practical information.

The technology you need is largely determined by:

Type of Project: Small projects that need to ship fast may use a CMS like WordPress. The advantage of WordPress is that developers are inexpensive and widely available. Time to deploy is fast. Mid-range projects like ecommerce websites are more involved and will require multiple programming languages and a team of developers to work properly.

Development Costs: Small, simple projects are obviously the least expensive. Building a small project on simple technology may not be the best way to start. If you plan on growing your application to accommodate more users and functionality down the line, you’ll need to choose more robust technologies, which will require a larger upfront budget.

Keep in mind that development costs are just the beginning of the total budget, as you’ll need to allocate money towards maintaining and upgrading when necessary.

Time to Market: The faster a product goes to market, the less you spend in development costs. However, if the project is not carefully planned, it may have to be scrapped and rebuilt sooner than later.

Available talent: If you’re starting a team from scratch, you’ll need to hire developers with the appropriate expertise such as Node.js or C#. If you have a team in place, you may need to invest in training in order to get everyone up to speed.

Choose a Tech Stack Based on Needs, Not Preference

At the end of the day, the project determines the best type of tech stack for your web development needs. Find real-world examples similar to what you want to achieve and investigate how those apps work.

It’s tempting to rely on opinions and preference, but the best technology is based on practicality and data.