How to Choose Web Development Technology Stack?
In this article, we'll explain what technology stack is.
We'll also explore best tech stacks available for web development.
You'll also learn about factors to consider while choosing tech stack for your project.
Let's dive in!
Table of Contents
Before launching every IT project, there are many planning and decision-making processes. This planning phase is critical and can have a significant impact on the future of the project. Choosing the right web development technology stack can affect development time, cost, application quality, and scalability, which is why it’s important to make the right decision, even if you need to spend more time analyzing the pros and cons of the available solutions.
In this article, we will explain to you what a technology stack really is, and in addition, we will look at the technologies available, their pros and cons, and try to choose which technology is suitable for a particular case. Additionally, we have selected several important factors to consider before deciding on a web development technology stack.
Once the technologies are chosen, each external project still needs to make a few more decisions, such as the structure of your external application, to help you maintain and scale it.
Let’s start by explaining what technology stack is in the front-end.
What is a Technology Stack?
A technology stack is a combination of programming languages, frameworks, and software used to build an application.
Each web application consists of two parts: client and server. The client-side is everything that users can see on the screen. The most important elements of the client-side technology stack are:
- HTML, which is responsible for displaying content in the browser,
- CSS styles content,
These technologies can be used with useful frameworks like Bootstrap or React.js.
The server side of the application is not visible to the end-user, it provides data to the client-side. On the server-side, we have to consider the choice:
- a backend programming language like Java or C#,
- frameworks like Spring or .NET,
- a database like PostgreSQL or MongoDB,
- a server like Apache or Nginx, or choose a serverless architecture.
When planning your next web application technology stack, you must consider the server and client-side. This article will dive deeper into the front-end technology stack and look at the various front-end development options.
Overview of Frontend Frameworks
Modern front-end frameworks can manage all three user interface elements; they have HTML templates, styles, and interactive features.
Right now, there are three of the most common frameworks to choose from; these are ReactJS, Angular and VueJS.
It is good to know more about each technology to be able to choose any of them, so we will go through each and describe them in terms of the external technology stack and front-end architecture.
ReactJS is not a framework; it is a UI library created by Facebook and maintained by a huge community. ReactJS is suitable for less complex applications and is more focused on rich user interface and reusable components on very complex front-end logic.
Also, if you are planning a mobile app for your project, ReactJS has a framework for mobile development called React Native, which is very similar to ReactJS itself.
From a company point of view, the most significant benefits of ReactJS are its relatively low development costs and short development times. In addition, it is not difficult to find developers with knowledge of ReactJS, and the technology has been on the market for a long time, supported by a large creator and a huge community. This means that ReactJS will not disappear or be out of support anytime soon.
Let’s quickly recap when choosing ReactJS for your next project is a good idea and why.
- If the application you are planning has a rich user interface with a lot of reusable components and a lot of DOM manipulation, then ReactJS is a good idea.
- If you’re on a tight deadline, ReactJS would be a good idea as well.
- If you have an average budget and at least one senior developer with experience planning and building ReactJS apps.
This is not a good choice if the application has advanced logic or you cannot hire an experienced developer to plan the application workflow.
ReactJS is easy to learn but doesn’t require developers to write quality code, so you always need an experienced person on the team to take care of it.
ReactJS’s big competitor is Angular. Unlike the first technology described, Angular is a framework and is good for complex projects with more advanced logic.
Angular has a robust development ecosystem built-in like routing or state management. It also has a very clean architecture and everything is split into three different files (logic, template and styles).
Another benefit of the Angular site is that it is easy to integrate with the MVC backend.
Angular also forces developers to plan and develop applications before they start working on them, which prolongs development and improves project quality.
From the point of view of the company and management, Angular provides a very high quality of the project being developed but increases the cost of the application, and the development time is slightly longer. Angular was created and is supported by one of the largest IT companies (Google), so you don’t have to worry about code becoming outdated quickly. The disadvantage of choosing Angular as the main project technology is that it is not easy to find developers who know this technology, and the training is not easy.
Let’s summarize for Angular as well.
- If the project is large and complex, with complex logic, but a fairly simple user interface, Angular is a good solution.
- If you care about code quality and want your project to have reliable scalability, Angular is your choice.
- If you have Angular developers on your team, choosing this framework is a great idea.
If the application you are planning is more user interface oriented and has a lot of DOM manipulation, then it would be much better to choose something else.
Recommended Read: Angular vs ReactJs – Which is better for your next project?
The latest of the most popular front-end technologies currently in use is VueJS. This is the youngest of the three. VueJS, like ReactJS, is a UI library that is a mixture of ReactJS and Angular concepts.
Vuex, which is a state manager for VueJS, is much easier to maintain than Redux.
VueJS, like ReactJS, requires external freedoms to create a complete ecosystem, but there are far fewer ready-made solutions, which makes it a little risky.
Also, VueJS doesn’t have a big company and isn’t supported by a huge community, so it’s not known how long it will be supported.
From a management and company perspective, VueJS is a low-budget solution and developers can learn the structure easily, so you don’t need a highly skilled developer with years of experience in this technology. If you want to reduce development time and your project is small, VueJS is a great solution.
Let’s summarize the VueJS solution.
- If the app you are developing is a small side project or a small MVP, then VueJS is a great solution.
- If you are on a tight budget and are just beginning developers, VueJS is also a good idea.
- If the project doesn’t have a lot of logic and big user interface requirements, and the deadline is close, VueJS is a good solution.
In some cases, Typescript is required; for example when you decide to build your project with Angular. But VueJS and ReactJS do not require the use of Typescript, although they can have many benefits.
First, using Typescript reduces development time as it reduces errors, affects the maintenance of the application, and simplifies it. In addition, all modern frameworks support this technology. Also, it might be easier to design an interface with Typescript if the backend isn’t ready yet, but we know what kind of data we’ll get.
The only drawback of Typescript is that it is not very easy to set up with ReactJS or VueJS.
The good news is that Typescript is created by Microsoft, so it is very unlikely that it will be forgotten and you have to rewrite your application.
To summarize, choosing Typescript can simplify and speed up the development process and help avoid frequent debugging, which can be very important, especially before the deadline.
CSS, Less or Sass?
While modern front-end frameworks can provide you with all the elements important in your front-end technology stack, you decide how you would like to style your application.
Writing styles in pure CSS is not very convenient for large projects. Having huge CSS files can turn the development of any project into a time-consuming nightmare.
To keep things simple, it’s a good idea to use a preprocessor like Less (Leaner CSS) or Sass (Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets). They are very easy to implement in a project using Webpack and the code is much cleaner.
Both Less and Sass allow us to use mixins, inheritance or variables, so if there is an urgent need to change branding and colors throughout the application, this is no longer a problem.
From a company perspective, the biggest benefit of using preprocessors is the time it saves, and this allows us to avoid the hassle of maintaining an application, especially as it grows.
What to Consider When Choosing a Web Development Technology Stack?
At this stage, we would like to highlight some factors that should be important for everyone who decides about the frontend technology stack.
The first factor to consider when choosing a web development technology stack is probably pretty obvious, because the size of the application matters a lot, as complexity grows with the size of the project.
Another important factor in choosing a web development technology stack is time to market.
If time is short, you need to choose a technology that does not require lengthy planning, development is not difficult, and you can turn to developers who know this technology.
For a long time to market, there are several factors you can consider to make the right choice.
Considering that you are spending a lot of money on an app, you need it to be secure. Moreover, the number of cyberattacks continues to grow, you need to take this seriously to take care of the security of your data.
Most of the popular frontend frameworks contain some security guidelines. You need to follow all of these guidelines throughout the development process.
For many companies, this is one of the most important factors. Most of the frameworks and tools are free and open-source, but you still need to hire developers, so you have to calculate how many developers you will require to complete an application in a given period using the technology of your choice.
Apart from development costs, you need to take into account maintenance and server costs. If you want to reduce your maintenance costs, it might be worth considering a serverless architecture for your application.
Scalability and support
It is also important to think about the future of the application. If you want it to grow, it must be easily scalable and maintainable. This is easy to achieve; you just need to choose a good project structure and take care of using reliable technologies.
Depending on the type of project, you may need to pay attention to several other factors, such as performance. Remember to rethink every aspect of the application so you can plan before launching, else any architectural changes become costly to implement afterwards.
Choosing the right web development technology stack for your project is important to the success of the application you plan to build and to smoothly complete the development process within the deadline.
To make the right choice among all the web development technology stacks available on the market, you must carefully examine the most important functions of the application and look at the factors that may affect the decision in one way or another.
Different applications need a different approach, so it’s worth remembering that if a previous project was done with Angular and was successful, the current one may need different technology.
If you are not sure which web development technology stack will be the perfect match for your web application, Contact Us. Our lead software architects will carefully analyze your project requirements and recommend the right frontend technology stack.