The IT industry has developed exponentially over time.
With so many technologies, tools, and frameworks now available, selecting the right technology stack for a custom web application is a challenge for any business or startup.
What is a tech stack, what are the most popular technology stacks in 2023, what specific software products are recommended to be built using one or another technology, and how exactly do Oneest's experts assess & advise our clients on the tech stack side - are all covered in this article.
What is a technology stack?
Before starting a project, it’s essential to know what is a tech stack and why is so important for your business. Basically, a tech stack is a set of technologies and tools that you use to create and develop a web application. This set includes a lot of categories, but some of the most important are:
The programming languages - depending on the type of application you plan to develop, there are different programming languages to choose from.
Frameworks for the front-end & back-end - A framework represents the base for your software application. Using a framework is very efficient if you want to save time when you’re developing your project.
Depending on the programming language that you chose, there are wide ranges of frameworks you can select from. Also, there are front-end frameworks (client-side) and back-end frameworks (server-side).
The most used front-end frameworks are React, Angular, Vue, and Ember.js.
Servers and load balancing - this part refers to the server area and the distribution of the network content. Some of the most popular platforms are AWS (Amazon Web Services), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, and Apache.
Database - or also called a database system which includes three components: an organized selection of structured data, the database management system (DBMS), and all applications related to them.
Some of the most used database systems are Oracle, MySQL, MongoDB, Microsoft SQL, and PostgreSQL
Performance monitoring - After you launch an application, you must keep an eye on its performance and behavior when it’s used. Here the DevOps function comes into play. At the same time, monitoring refers not only to the application itself but also to the server, network, and infrastructure.
The are a lot of tools used for monitoring purposes, some of them are Prometheus, Sensu, Monit, and others.
Below you can see a general example of how a web tech stack looks like:
What are the most used technology stacks for web & mobile app development?
Be it a software app for your startup, a tech solution for your business challenges, or an innovative product as an investment to bring you passive income in the future - there are specific requirements that will make your product successful.
What is essential in achieving this is choosing the tech stack that will best help you achieve your objectives.
The mobile development and web development of the applications are two different things. That’s why you should take into account different technology stacks depending on your software product.
Tech stacks for Web App Development
There are some popular technology stacks for web app development.
A reliable software development partner experienced with different types of stacks can help you make the right decision once carefully he identified your expectations from the product. This way, you can select the best tools and technologies to create and develop an application.
Depending on your needs, here are some of the most used tech stacks:
Here are some scenarios where the MEAN stack might be best used:
Real-time web applications. MEAN stack is well-suited for building real-time web applications that require constant updates, such as chat applications or social media platforms.
Single Page Applications (SPAs). Angular, which is a part of the MEAN stack, is a popular framework for building SPAs. Combined with Node.js on the backend, you can build SPAs that are fast and responsive.
Scalable applications. With Node.js and MongoDB, it is easy to scale applications horizontally. This means that you can easily add more servers to your application as it grows.
Rapid application development. MEAN stack enables rapid application development. You can quickly build and deploy applications by leveraging the robust features of these technologies.
It’s a very similar option to MEAN. The only difference between the two is that the A - Angular becomes an R - React.
Here are some examples of where the MERN stack might be best used:
Building Single Page Applications (SPAs) - React, which is a part of the MERN stack, is a popular library for building SPAs. Combined with Node.js on the backend, you can build SPAs that are fast and responsive.
Rapid application development - MERN stack enables rapid application development. You can quickly build and deploy applications by leveraging the robust features of these technologies.
Building scalable applications - With Node.js and MongoDB, it is easy to scale applications horizontally. This means that you can easily add more servers to your application as it grows.
Real-time applications - Node.js and Express.js can be used to build real-time applications that require constant updates, such as chat applications.
As a business owner, startup founder, or a person in charge of digital solutions at your company, here's what you need to know about the MERN stack:
The MERN stack is a combination of technologies, and each technology has its own strengths and weaknesses. Make sure that the development team you work with has expertise in each of these technologies.
The MERN stack is well-suited for building web applications that require fast development, scalability, and real-time updates. Discuss your application requirements with the development team to see if the MERN stack is a good fit.
MongoDB, which is used as the database in the MERN stack, is a NoSQL database. This means that it is different from traditional relational databases. Make sure that the development team has experience with NoSQL databases, and that they can help you determine whether MongoDB is the right choice for your application.
In this case, the Angular server is replaced with Vue.js.
This is a modern and powerful combination of technologies for building full-stack web applications best used for many cases as MEAN and MERN, but also in:
Lightweight web applications. Vue.js is a lightweight framework that makes it easy to build fast and responsive web applications.
Applications/projects that need to be released fast. Vue.js has a more straightforward and flexible structure, which makes it quicker to develop applications with it. It makes Vue.js a better choice for startups and businesses that need to develop applications quickly and efficiently.
Small to medium-sized projects. Vue.js is a great choice for building small to medium-sized projects that require high performance and responsiveness. It is simpler and quicker to set up than React and Angular, making it a better choice for small to medium-sized projects.
It represents a mix between Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl, and Python.
Here are some use cases where the LAMP stack might be a great option:
Building dynamic websites. The LAMP stack is well-suited for building dynamic websites that require a high level of interactivity and functionality. PHP, which is a part of the LAMP stack, is a popular server-side scripting language that makes it easy to create dynamic web pages.
Content management systems (CMS). The LAMP stack is a popular choice for building CMS platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. These platforms are built using PHP and MySQL, which are part of the LAMP stack.
E-commerce platforms. The LAMP stack is a popular choice for building e-commerce platforms that require a high level of security and reliability. PHP and MySQL, which are part of the LAMP stack, make it easy to create complex and secure e-commerce websites.
Web applications. The LAMP stack is well-suited for building web applications that require a high level of scalability and reliability. The combination of Apache, PHP, and MySQL makes it easy to build robust and scalable web applications.
Web services. The LAMP stack is well-suited for building web services that require a high level of performance and scalability. Apache, PHP, and MySQL can be used to build RESTful web services that can be consumed by other applications and services.
Django is a popular web application framework that uses Python as the programming language. It is known for its security, scalability, and ease of use.
The Django tech stack is a popular choice for web application development, and it is best suited for building complex and data-driven web applications that require high performance and security. Here are some scenarios where the Django tech stack might be best used:
Content management systems (CMS). Django provides powerful built-in tools and features for creating CMS platforms, such as Wagtail, a popular CMS built with Django.
Social networking applications. Django's built-in user authentication system, user management, and security features make it an ideal choice for building social networking applications that require high levels of user privacy and security.
E-commerce platforms. Django's powerful ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) and templating engine make it an ideal choice for building complex e-commerce platforms that require a high level of data modeling and management.
Big data applications. Django's ability to handle large amounts of data, combined with its high-performance framework, makes it well-suited for building big data applications.
Scientific and research applications. Django's support for scientific libraries such as NumPy and SciPy, combined with its ability to handle large amounts of data, make it a popular choice for building scientific and research applications.
The .NET stack includes Microsoft technologies such as C#, ASP.NET, and SQL Server. It is well-suited for enterprise-level applications.
Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails is a full-stack web application framework that uses Ruby as the programming language. It includes tools for database management, web servers, and more.
Tech stacks for Mobile App Development
For mobiles, there are different approaches that you may take depending on the targeted audience.
So, these are the most popular tech stacks you can choose from:
Tech stack for Android. For the Android interface, you have special technology to create a qualitative application. Java and Kotlin are the programming languages that you can choose from.
The development platform for this interface is Android Studio and for the framework, you can choose between Jetpack Compose and Android UI. Take into account: the second option is faster because it involves already-built templates that you can modify.
Tech stack for IOS. Swift is the most popular programming language for creating IOS applications. In contrast to the other option, Objective-C, Swift is easier to learn and faster.
Xcode is the official option, unlike AppCode, and it’s a more efficient tool! Not least, UIKit and SwiftUI are the frameworks that you can choose from.
Cross-platform technology stack. If you want to build an application for Android and IOS, then this is the perfect option to do so.
You work twice less and obtain a qualitative product in less time.
React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin are the programming tools that you need in cross-platform.
Why choosing the right technology stack for custom web application projects is fundamental?
The stack that you choose should minimize the costs of the creation and development and bring value to your project in the long run.
So, in order to obtain the best final product, it’s important to select the right tools.
Here are some reasons that highlight the importance of the right choice:
1. Product vision and market demands. The overall success of a product is determined by the tech stack that you use in the process.
When you’re developing an application you must take into account its viability.
In time, the customer’s needs change, so you’ll face the need to update your app in order to offer a satisfying experience. Otherwise, there’s a high chance that your target audience opt for one of your competitors.
2. Development cost. Your project is an investment of time and money that you can easily lose if you’re choosing the wrong tech stack. Any product that is developed on the wrong technology represents a total waste of money. So, it’s your duty to prevent such an event.
We work Agile especially because we can identify rapidly any problem and solve it. By doing so, we make sure that we obtain exactly the final product that our customer expects us to deliver.
3. Time to market. When you’re developing a product you must have a timeline and stick to it. If you use the wrong technology stack, you’ll need to rebuild the application on a new one. So, this means that you lose time that can cost you the whole success of your product.
It is known that the faster you ship the application to the market, the faster you can get feedback and move on.
What are the benefits of the right chosen technology stack?
If you make a suitable decision for the project that you’re planning to start, you can discover the benefits of the right choice:
a. Successful launch of the product. The customers are waiting for your product, so if you don’t want to lose their interest, you must launch it on time. Also, the customer's needs represent your priority.
So, only with the right technology stack you can meet their expectations and keep them engaged.
Furthermore, with the right technology you can keep up with the market and update your application whenever it’s the case.
b. Eliminating any risk of refactoring or rewriting the project on another technology. Nobody wants to redo a project from scratch or modify the majority of the code. That’s exactly why you need to examine all your options and choose the most suitable one. That way, you can be sure that you won’t face any problems later in the development process.
c. Faster time to market. If you work with the right tech stack then you’ll definitely be able to finish your application in time. So, you can receive your feedback and then launch the product on the market. In this industry time is money and you don’t want to lose either of them.
What can happen if you select the wrong technology stack?
If you make the wrong choice, you can’t expect your project to be a success. So, before you take into consideration any type of technology stack, you must learn how to make the best decision.
There are lots of dedicated development teams that you can collaborate with. Their experience in the field and professionalism are what recommend them as the most suitable choice. Also, they are your guarantee that your investment in the project will be worth it!
The price can represent a trap for lots of people that want to develop an application. Low prices don’t guarantee you quality or the lack of it. So, the price should be a factor in the process of making a decision, but it shouldn’t be a decisive one!
Here are some situations that you may face if you’ve made an unsuitable decision:
1. Huge costs for development and rewriting. Any problem needs a solution. So, if you work with an inappropriate tech stack then you’ll need to pay for the rewriting of the project. Also, all the steps that you’ve done with the wrong technology, you’ll need to redo.
2. The launch of the product can be delayed. A delay can affect your product’s success, and also your company’s reputation. So, there can be long-lasting negative effects on your activity if you delay the launch of a product.
That’s why you must have a realistic timeline and be prepared for any problems that may occur.
3. The incapacity to develop the product because of the technology limitation. If the technology is outdated, then you may need to select a new stack and rewrite the project. Why? Because there’s a possibility that you won’t be able to modify and expand your application.
4. Weak security. Once you have a breach in your security, it’s very hard to solve such a problem. Especially if it involves the stealing of data. Weak security can be found in outdated stacks because along with the evolution of technology, new threads have appeared.
5. Irrelevance of the product. Once again, if you opt for an outdated tech stack, then your product can end up being irrelevant. The technologies evolve along with the industry, so you must keep up in order to launch relevant products.
7. The lack of specialists on the market. The programmers choose to specialize in modern technologies that are highly demanded on the market. That’s why you must use popular technologies for your project. By doing so, you have access to a wide range of specialists you can choose from.
Things that Oneest considers when choosing the technology stack for a project:
So you have a project in mind, but don’t know where to start?
The first thing you need to do is choose a technology stack to work with. If you don’t know how to make a proper decision, then our team can help you.
These are the factors that we check when we’re selecting a stack:
a. Project requirements, size, and complexity. Identify the needs of your project and your expectations from it. There are lots of options for the tech stack, but you want to pick the most efficient for that specific project.
The size and complexity are two other aspects you want to take into consideration. There are small, mid-size, and complex projects. For mid-size and complex projects, there is much more work to do. Depending on the features and exact use of the application, the ideal technology stack is different.
b. Project budget, timeline, and time to market. Every project has an initial budget and a timeline. When picking the tech stack we always take into consideration business tasks, the available budget and a potential release map that stakeholders have in mind.
c. Scalability and performance. These two indicators are very important when choosing the right tech stack. For us, scalability refers to 2 things: architecture scalability and business scalability.
Scalability in terms of architecture refers to the capacity of an application to perform well even after it increases in work volume or size. Here a lead engineer or an experienced software architect will advise what can be done depending on the requirements.
Scalability in terms of business refers to your perspectives on the product. Our team always takes into account future plans, and long-term business growth strategies when making a decision.
It is very important to think about scalability. Because it matters for the moment when your application is going to expand. Also, the scalability of the product directly influences the scalability of your business.
d. Security. The security of every tech stack is different, so you need to pay a lot of attention when choosing.
Some projects need higher security than others, so you need to adapt to your project’s needs. For example, to make sure that everything works as it should, you can monitor in real-time your security.
Also, keep your data safe, encrypt everything! And, lastly, don’t forget that you can use security extensions such as SELinux or AppArmour.
e. Development team expertise. At Oneest we always look at the product and business requirements first when selecting a tech stack, and only after we can consider the experience of our development team. This is an approach that we developed with time and experience.
Development teams are a resource for the project implementation, just like time and budget. It's great when our available developers also have the right experience for our project, but generally, the decision does not depend on this.
f. Future product maintenance. Product maintenance refers not only to fixing bugs or making small improvements to the app while it's already in production. In fact, product maintenance also includes the ongoing process of adding new features to the application based on user feedback.
Product maintenance is the last part of the software development life cycle (SDLC). In software development, there is an unwritten rule that the closer to the beginning of the development process any changes are made, the less expensive these changes are.
In other words, making changes in the product maintenance phase can cost you 50X more compared to implementing it at the beginning. That's why working with an experienced development partner, you are less sensitive to matters like this.
Finding the best technology full-stack for your custom web application is no easy job. There are lots of options on the market, but it’s still hard to find the most suitable for your project.
If you want to find out more about how to choose a suitable technology stack for your application, you can visit our blog. There you can easily find valuable information about the field.
So, if you need web development support, Oneest has extensive experience in building full-cycle custom web applications. No matter the type or dimension of your project, we’re ready to give you the best tech stack solutions for your needs. Contact us today and let's start building.