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You’ll want to be meticulous when choosing a web development stack for your project. Depending on your choice, it could make or break the functionality and user experience of the web application.
As a Back-End Developer with a special proficiency in cloud-computing and architecture, I always root for individual approaches in choosing web dev stacks for projects. To build and maintain scalable backend systems the tech stack is the key. In this article, you’ll get to know what a web stack is, what the types of web dev stacks are, and how to pick the best stack for web development for your startup.
What is a Web Development Stack?
What you’re experiencing on a web browser is built through a set of frameworks, programming languages, databases, and tools. The combination of every piece of tools and technologies that result in a web application is called the web development stacks.
The technology stack for web development is then categorized into front-end and back-end. The tools that power both types of web components differ, yet synchronizes to function as a whole. Both front-end and back-end dev stacks are mandatory when you’re building a web app.
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Frontend Web Development stacks
Frontend, which is also known as client-side, refers to the interface that users interact with. An e-commerce store on the browser is the client-side of the web solution. Visuals, graphical layouts, and user-friendliness are important factors for a successful frontend.
To develop the front end, developers use a combination of loosely termed tools as the frontend tech stack. Here are some commonly used stacks for front end development:
- HTML - instructs the browser on how to display the underlying content. It forms the basic building block of a website.
- CSS - provides styles to format the HTML components on the browser. CSS determines the fonts, size, colors, and other static elements of the frontend.
- Frontend UI frameworks - React, Vue, and Angular are popular UI frameworks that allow you to build on top of existing structures and components.
- CSS preprocessors - Extension languages like SCSS, SASS, and LESS. They overcome the limit of CSS.
Besides programming, you’ll also need tools for version controls, testing, and deployment when developing the frontend.
Backend Web Development Stacks
The back end, which isn’t visible to the end-users, involves business logic, authentication, database management, and synchronizations with the client app. Also known as the server-side, it is made up of a server, database, and applications that run on it.
Developing the backend requires these web development stacks components.
- Operating system - The OS that’s installed on the server before anything else. Usually, it’s either Windows or Linux.
- Web server - A component that synchronizes communication between browsers, mobile apps, and the backend server. It uses HTTP/HTTPS to transfer data between both ends.
- Databases - User information, transactions, products, and other data are stored in a database. MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and MySQL are commonly used in web dev.
- Storage - Documents and images require secure and reliable storage on the backend. This is where AWS S3 and Firebase Storage comes into play.
- Hosting - A service that enables websites to be published on the internet. Reliability, security, and speed are vital in choosing the right hosting provider.
- Programming language - Various programming languages have been used to develop the backend application. Popular ones are Node.js, Ruby on Rails, and Java.
- Web development frameworks - Backend frameworks reduce development time by providing templates, structures, and components to build on.
Web Development Stacks at Uptech
Each software developer may have their preferences of web stacks. At Uptech, we prefer the convenience of open technologies that come with a good ecosystem.
Our choice of web development stacks allows us to quickly implement an MVP, reduce time to market, validate ideas, and refine the app, thanks to the scalability of the technologies.
We’re using popular stacks, which allow our team to develop and maintain similar products that share the architecture.
Here’s a sneak peek into our web stack list:
- Backend: Node.js
- Databases: MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Elasticsearch, Redis
- Cloud: AWS Cloud, Google Cloud
- CI/CD: Travis, Jenkins, Gitlab CI
- Infrastructure: Terraform, Ansible
You can learn more about our tech stack here.
How to Choose Web Development Stack for Startup
There isn't a one-size-fits-all solution for web development stacks, particularly when it comes to startups. You'll have to take the following factors into consideration when choosing a web stack.
- Requirements of your project
- Development and maintenance cost
- Think about scalability
- Time to market
- Security of the tools.
Defining the Requirements of Your Projects
The nature of your project could define the web stacks that you will be using. To build a web app you should launch a web browser only with both frontend and backend development stacks. The challenge here is real-time data processing on web pages to make it work fast and smoothly. So, the technology stack for web development should be able to do it economically.
Mobile application stacks are different. If you’re building a native mobile app, you choose one specific platform (iOS or Android) or both. The development includes the utilization of particular programming languages like Swift for iOS and Kotlin/Java for Android.
It's essential to choose the tools based on what you're working for. The site builder used to build a simple blog may not help build a large e-commerce store.
Development and Maintenance Cost
For startups, it is better to choose web stacks that are popular and proven to be effective. First, you'll have no issues finding developers who are proficient in popular tools. While an experienced specialist may cost more, it's still a better position than having trouble finding developers to build or maintain the solution.
For example, you can build a simple web server with JS and Rust. However, using JS will get the webserver up in a couple of days while it takes weeks for a developer using Rust to do so as there are limited tools available. Therefore, you'll save a significant cost of staff-hours rendered during development.
Think about Scalability
It's always wise to build a web app with minimum features to test it out in the market. However, you'll still want to give a thought about scaling the application in the future. When you're choosing the web stacks, ensure that the components and frameworks are scalable.
The technologies that you're using to create an MVP may be sufficient to handle hundreds of users, but does it hold true when you have hundreds of thousands of users on the app? You don't want to end up switching core technologies when the app is growing, because the existing web stack isn't scalable.
Keep an eye on the current needs while having the other on growth.
Time to Market
For startups, it's all about being the first to hit the market. Therefore, you'll want to consider popular and well-tested technologies. Usually, popular frameworks have a comprehensive ecosystem that helps to reduce development time.
When creating the MVP, you'll want to choose a web stack that supports the app's primary features. It helps you to get the web solution to the market in the shortest time. At the same time, you'll want to consider future expansion where the stack can integrate with 3rd parties with little hiccups.
The web stacks are only as good as the developers using them. As such, you'll want to ensure you're using technologies with a large pool of developers to choose from.
Choose Secure Tools
Security is crucial for web applications. Be it a full-fledged e-commerce site or a simple blog; users expect their data to be managed and kept securely. Incidences of a data breach can result in legal issues, which tarnish the business reputation and causes financial losses.
Considering the grave implications of security risks, you'll want to ensure that you're using technologies with no known vulnerabilities. Start by establishing a clear policy of data access and processing. Developers should use services for checking dependencies, tools for static code analysis, and monitoring systems.
Our Success Cases with Web Development Stacks
At Uptech, we have experience with popular tools and technologies that form the backbone of web development. Not only that, but we also have a knack of picking the right combinations that suit the requirements of the app.
Here are some of our best cases.
Plai is a free app that helps companies to manage remote teams. It does so by setting up OKR and keeping the team engaged.
Here’s the tech stack we’ve used.
- JAVA + Spring
- AWS Cloud + Terraform
We’ve created Apprvl as an app to help photographers submit images for their client’s approval. Photographers upload their images with the app and share the links with their clients.
The development involves these components as the tech stack for images.
- Ruby on rails
- database - postgresql
- swagger (API documentation)
You don’t want to rush through the process of choosing the web development stacks when planning a new project. Choosing the wrong tools frustrates your team’s effort in getting the app to the market.
If you’re still wondering which tools, frameworks, or technologies work best for your app, drop us a message here. We’ll be happy to help.