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How to select the right technology stack for web application development?

Updated on ・5 min read

What is the technology stack?
Technically, a tech stack is a combination of components like tools, frameworks, programming languages, and technologies used for software development. In layman’s terms, web development requires a front-end, a back-end, and a database. All these layers form a technology stack.
Structure of a technology stack
The technology stack has three components:
• Front-End
• Back-End
• Middleware
But what are they? What do they do? And why are they needed? Let’s dig deeper and understand each component thoroughly.
Front-end development:
In simplest terms, front-end is where all the user interactions happen. In Web App Development, users can only see and interact with this part of the app. For a web application, this user interaction is carried out in a web browser such as Safari, Chrome, or Internet Explorer. For front-end development, there are the following three technologies used.
HTML: HTML is a Hypertext Markup Language used for describing the structure of content presented on a webpage.
CSS: CSS is called Cascading Style Sheet which is mainly used for formatting the content written in HTML language.
JavaScript: JavaScript generally helps to create web pages dynamic, intuitive, and interactive. Using JavaScript, you can embed animations that can improve user experience. Right now, Angular and React are the most popular front-end JavaScript frameworks which allow you to design highly delightful user interfaces.

Back-end development
The back-end component basically powers the front-end and allows users to perform certain actions. Unlike front-end, the back-end part of a web app is not visible to the users. When choosing a technology stack, the biggest challenge lies in choosing the back-end technologies. The back-end is basically used for creating logic around the entire web application using server-side programming languages.

The middleware layer in a technology stack consists of content management systems, web servers, and other similar tools that help the web application developers. These middleware are written in languages like C# or Java which facilitates data management and communication between the front-end and the back-end. In simple terms, middleware enables communication between data and database. For instance, when a user submits a registration form, it is through the middleware which creates a profile of the user and stores the data into the database.

Factors to consider while selecting the tech stack

Size of web app
The size of your web application project impacts the technology stack choice process. For instance, as your web app grows, the complexity increases as well.

Small-size web app
Small size web apps are like 1 to 3 web page sites, portfolios, and other small web solutions which can be easily designed using Webflow or Readymag tool.

Medium-size web app
Medium-size web apps are basically financial apps, online stores, or enterprise applications which usually require more complex technology stack than the small-size category. These kinds of projects have more features and are usually developed using frameworks like Node JS, Angular, and so on.

Large-size web app
On-demand marketplaces and social networks fall into the large-size category. These web apps require higher performance, better serviceability, and top-notch scalability. In large-size web apps, the complexity is higher as it requires more tech layers and needs third-party tools to develop individual parts of the project.

Time to market is also one of the important factors to consider. If your web app needs to be developed and launched quickly, it’s best to go for MVP development. MVP means minimum viable product and it shortens the time-to-market drastically. Not only it will help you launch your web app quickly, but the faster time to market will also help you collect feedback from early adopters and suggest important changes in features of your web app.

However, just a minimum viable product development approach is just one part of the battle. The other part, the important one, is the developer expertise. But, if you have planned to partner with a modern web development companyhaving years of experience, then release your web app on time will be easy.

Scalability in web app usually refers to the ability of a web application to handle the load. For instance, if the number of users goes up, your technology stack should allow your web app to handle the growth. Therefore, your web developers must choose the best technology for web development which could support both horizontal growths as well as vertical growth. Horizontal progress generally means the ability of your web application to handle user progress. Vertical growth, on the other hand, means the ability to add new features & functionalities as your user's demand.

Maintainability is a crucial factor for web app development company when building web applications. To put it simply, the maintenance of your web application should be able to done effortlessly even when you scale. Specifically, there are two factors on which your web app maintainability depends on.

The architecture of your web app must support reusability, portability, and scalability. In layman’s terms, your technology stack should allow including additional tools and frameworks when the time comes for growth.

The codebase of your web application should neither be too lengthy nor too concise. The reason is that the lengthy code would require more time to process, while the concise code might create debugging errors. Therefore, it’s critical to choose a programming language that is neither lengthy nor too concise and is easy to maintain and reusable.

Development cost
It is important to decide beforehand how much you are willing to spend on to create a web app of your own. Though most technologies, tools, and frameworks used in web development are open-source and free-to-use. But you may have to buy subscription plans to get access to their advanced features. In addition to subscriptions, one more important and major cost would be paying the invoice to your web development partner. Therefore, it's necessary to weigh the balance of cost before finalizing a technology stack.

Of course, you want your web application to be secure at all costs. After all, you've probably spent a fortune on building it. Moreover, the number of cyber attacks is rising every year. For instance, according to Jupiter Research's forecast, the financial losses due to data breaches and cyber attacks will reach $2.1 trillion by the end of 2019. That data alone should make you consider security among top-most factors. Now, when it comes to the security of your web app, you must follow security guidelines while developing your web app. Most web app development companies have comprehensive security guidelines documents that can help you prevent cyber-attack threats. In short, you need to make sure that all security guidelines have been followed by your development team.
Your turn!

These are the essential factors you need to consider if you want your web app to be successful. However, technology isn't the only thing that matters. The overall quality of your web app is equally important to build a successful web application. Quality means you need the right design that would appeal to your target audience. So, make sure you don't limit your web app to the technology stack. Pay equal attention to the user experience of your web app. Because in the end, you are developing the web app for them.

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