Choosing which tech stack to use is one of the most important decisions you’ll face when building software. A tech stack ensures that the software website or app you are developing will run efficiently. It impacts its speed but also its ability to change and transform in the future.
If you are creating a reliable software web application, you’ve probably done some research on the best tools and frameworks. All this information can make you feel overwhelmed and pressured when making the right decision. Fortunately, there is a simple solution. The trick is to identify your project’s main needs and then analyze what tool suits the project better.
In this article, we will take a more in-depth look into what a tech stack is, how it impacts software, and the best models you can choose for your next software project.
What is a Tech Stack?
Before diving deep into the best tech stack tools is fundamental to understand why you need a tech stack in the first place.
Let’s imagine that your project is to build a web application. For that, you will need a back-end server where all the information is processed and passed to the database. And you will also need a front-end server that consists of what your users see and interact with when they visit your web app.
The collection of all languages and tools used on the back end or front-end, along with other tools to create the web application, is known as the technology stack.
Web development stacks work as the foundation of your website. The competitiveness, viability, and success of your web app will depend on the web technology stack you choose as it impacts:
- How your app works
- Its scalability
- The application storage
- How will it behave in the future
Full Stack Web Development Components
The tech stack for modern web development divides into two parts: front-end and back-end. Each of these categories also divides into different elements and tools.
Front-end Tech Stack
The front-end consists of the client’s side of the web application. Everything you see on this website or what you can engage with on your screen is part of the front-end. When developers work in the front-end of any software, they create the best user experience possible. This means building a smooth user interface with the right speed and easy for users to understand.
To develop the front-end, developers use a combination of tools. These are the most common ones:
- HTML: Short for Hypertext Markup Language, briefly explained, consists of the code used to structure a web page and its content. This means the content is structured in paragraphs, bullet points, images, or data tables, for example.
- CSS: Short for Cascading Style Sheets, is responsible for the format and layout of the web pages. The font styles, sizes, colors, and other more creative aspects made content and web pages look better.
- UI frameworks: React and Angular are some of the most popular -UI frameworks to build existing structures and components.
Back-end Tech Stacks
The back end, on the other hand, isn’t visible to users. It consists of all the behind-the-scenes work of web applications. Backend developers work on business logic aspects, authentication, database management, among other things.
The backend stack includes:
- Programming languages: These create logic for apps and websites. Node.JS, Ruby on Rails, and Java are some of the popular ones.
- Operating system: The operating system is installed on the server before anything else.
- Databases: It contains all the information about the user, transactions, products, and other data stored in the database. Some of the most popular ones are MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB.
- Frameworks: Provides support of applications based on a single programming language. It reduces development time by providing templates, structures, and components to build one. Some examples of frameworks are Laravel and Django.
- Hosting: A service that allows websites to be published on the internet.
Popular Tech Stack Models
Using the right tech stack for your software product helps you build a stronger foundation to increase the chances of success and profitability. Companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Uber have created their own tech stack based on their needs and goals. And although building your own web technology would be ideal, not everyone has the budget or a software development team to focus only on such a task.
The good thing is that there are already tech stacks build and ready to be used.
So, what are the leading tech stacks at the moment? Let’s check them out.
In case you’re wondering, the name is an acronym that stands for:
Express.js – Back-end web app framework.
AngularJS – Front-end web application framework. It runs your JS code in the user’s browser allowing your UI to be interactive.
MEAN’s main features:
- MEAN is backed up by a strong community of developers. Therefore, if you face a roadblock, you’ll easily find a solution.
- The applications of the MEAN stack are suitable for cloud hosting since they are flexible and scalable.
- MEAN is one of the fastest open source stacks for developing frameworks, and it contains many tools and plugins that help developers reduce time and optimize their workflow.
- Supports the MVC (Model View Controller) architecture to make the development process more efficient.
One of the biggest benefits developers experience when using MERN is that they can create powerful web applications characterized by having interactive UIs. This, in terms of business, is highly relevant because having a website with good UI performance is what makes users attracted to your website, making them possible customers.
MERN’s main features:
- It’s perfect for full-stack developers because it follows the traditional 3-tier architectural pattern, including the front-end display tier (React.js), application tier (Express.js and Node.js), and database tier (MongoDB).
- MERN comes with a pre-built extensive suite of testing tools.
- Using MERN allows you to use code on browsers and servers simultaneously.
Yes, MEVN is exactly like MEAN and MERN, only that instead of using Angular or ReactJS, it uses Vue.js.
Over the past years, Vue.js has gained popularity because it incorporates both Angular and React’s best features. Therefore, with the MEVN stack, you have a lightweight solution that offers great performance and a rich set of tools to create a website application.
Vue.js is mostly used in front-end web development, and it has two-way data binding that allows seamless front-end development and interactive, server-side applications.
To sum it up, the MEVN stack contains software components that are used to design both front-end and back-end development to improve your website or application functionality.
MEVN’s main benefits:
- It’s easy to learn, and it delivers a clear programming style.
- MEVN is the best tech stack for full-stack developers using mainly Vue.js
- MEVN is used to design efficient front-end and back-end components and significantly improve your web application performance.
The LAMP tech stack is known to be the classic of stacks. It has been popular because it offers technologies that allow you to build web apps in a fast and stable manner.
The LAMP acronym stands for:
Linux – Operating system
Apache – HTTP server
MySQL – Relational database management
PHP – Programming language
The LAMP was one of the first open-source software stacks; it was created in 1998, and despite its years, it’s still one of the most popular stacks to deliver web apps. It offers stability and simplicity, making it suitable and a common choice for developers who want to build easy and effective web applications.
LAMPs main features:
- It can run on any operating system.
- LAMP can manage dynamic pages updating the content every time it’s loaded.
- Because LAMP is open-source and non-proprietary, you can choose the components you need depending on your project.
- It offers a robust platform that is suitable for creating and maintaining large-scale apps.
- LAMP offers thousands of libraries, modules, and add-ons.
5. Meteor.js Stack
This web development stack has been around since 2011, and it continues to be constantly updated and improved. Meteor.js focuses mostly on two aspects: Speed and simplicity. It provides all the necessary tools for those who want to start building their own web applications faster and easier to understand than other tech stacks.
Meteor.js main features:
- It’s an open-source ecosystem that provides developers with all the necessary tools to create web apps from scratch.
- Provides seamless client-server communication.
- It contains a wide range of packages and libraries.
- It makes debugging easier.
- Provides real-time testing tools.
The Flutter stack is an open-source software development program suitable for Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Web, and Linux applications from a single codebase.
One of its main advantages is that speed isn’t affected when you build user interfaces, add more features, or fix bugs. Its major components are the Dart platform, Flutter engine, Foundation library, and Design-specific Widgets.
Flutter’s main features:
- Suitable for different operating systems
- Efficient performance
- It has a mid-learning curve making it easier than other tech stacks to learn.
- One of Flutter’s highlights is its ability to create great UI designs for both Android and iOS. So you would require to hire just one experienced Flutter developer to create your MVP.
- Great documentation and resources.
7. Ruby on Rails Tech Stack
Ruby on Rails is an open-source and object-directed web development stack. It uses Ruby, a dynamic programming language, and it helps developers simplify the entire development process. Any server-side web app written in Ruby requires less knowledge to work on.
The Ruby on Rails tech stack consists of different libraries, software packages, and utilities that help reduce the overall time in a product’s creation. Additionally, RoR allows default structure for web pages and database management, and it provides Ror developers with a detailed error log that helps them create bug-free applications.
Ruby on Rails main features:
- Has many helpful tools and libraries to build web applications.
- It has an active community.
- Automated testing
- It has a localization feature that helps developers integrate their pre-design code into the RoR framework for a bigger project.
Now that we have covered some popular choices out there available for you, the question is, what do I choose?
How to Choose a Tech Stack?
All the tech stacks explained above are useful and contain great features. However, its effectiveness relies on what you use them for. For example, if you are developing a web application where you want to focus mostly on the user interface (UI), MERN is likely the right tech stack for you.
Suppose you chose a tech stack without having a strategic approach or without even analyzing your project. In that case, you have a higher risk of having performance failures or errors that will lead you to start your project again, wasting your time and money.
Before making a fast decision, analyze your project, and understand what the main purpose is. This will help you make a wise decision regarding the tools and technologies you need for your website or application. Here are 5 factors that will help you decide which is the right tech stack for your project:
First, you must think big. Scalability is one of the factors that may be a rocket launcher for you.
Ask yourself some questions that are relevant to your project. For example:
- How big will your project grow?
- Why do I want to build this project?
- Is it a long-term project?
- Will it survive in the market?
You might be wondering that asking those kinds of questions might be even utopic because you haven’t even started the project, so it’s better to start small and then go big. However, it’s the other way around. Yes, you start small, but you need to have a goal in mind. If you build software that is not scalable when your business grows, it will fail with time because you didn’t prepare for that growth.
Besides thinking of your business growth, it’s always relevant to keep in mind your project’s audience. Who will the project serve? Think about your end-user; is your project going to be B2B or B2C?
When thinking of the audience, other facts start to appear. For example, it’s equally important to consider the best technologies that make your users have the best experience possible, tools that will generate great feedback. Along with this aspect, you have to consider the budget; how much are you willing to pay for these tools?
Speed is also another factor that becomes fundamental, and that matters to most users. Imagine for a moment that your web app has an audience of business entrepreneurs. Not to generalize, but most of them have a trillion things to do daily, so if you develop a slow app, they won’t stand it. They will wait for three seconds and then delete it because it was way too slow.
There is no way you’re going online as a banking app without considering your users’ security and data protection.
You can build the security on your own or look for a library or framework that does the job. Think about firewalls, DOS safety protocols, malware intrusion, and many other important aspects. Search for a security framework that does the job for you.
You have now identified critical points that you must think of. The next step is to look for technologies that suit your needs in scalability, end-user, and security. When you have already figured out these aspects, and other essential criteria for your project, then you can choose between these top tech stacks to build your project successfully.
Another aspect you need to review while choosing a web technology stack is its cost. Everyone can have a great idea for a web application, and the biggest mistake is to think that making this idea into a real-life project is cheap.
In the first place, keep in mind that you need experts on that matter to build an application. In other words, you need to hire developers. If you live in the U.S. or another country where hiring IT talent is expensive, or you simply can’t seem to find the talent you need, consider hiring remote IT professionals.
Before hiring, you need to review the skills and requirements candidates need to be considered for the position and your budget. Additionally, the app maintenance cost is another thing you can’t forget. While the main problem right now for you might be creating the application, you need to have someone who maintains it constantly. That ensures to updated it, review that it’s running smoothly, among other aspects. This is why hiring a full-time software developer is better than having a short-term project with a freelancer.
5. Complexity of Your Web Application
Not every web application has the same level of complexity. And before choosing your tech stack, you need to define what type of web app you want to build. This will help you identify your needs easily and understand what tools and technologies will help you achieve your ideal app.
There are mainly two types of web projects:
- Static Web Apps: Consist of restricted content, and they have no flexibility. They are very basic and are characterized by having little content. These applications are often created using CSS and HTML and can handle animated content such as GIFS and Videos. Some examples are Online portfolios, digital curriculums, landing pages for marketing.
- Dynamic Web Apps: Although dynamic web apps are more complex to build, they can fetch real-time data based on the users’ requests. This type of web app requires a database to store data, and it’s continuously updated anytime users access them. Some examples are E-commerce sites, blogs, to-do sites, and overall any type of web app that needs to be updated regularly.
Start Building Your Web App with The Right Team
Regardless of the tech stack, you choose for your app, you should focus on how your project will manifest in real-time. And as finding a development team can be a time-consuming task, we are here to help you.
DistantJob can help you find the developers that are right for your project. Feel free to reach us, and we will find you the best remote developer in under two weeks.