Are you looking for a software platform that can scale with you? If you are a businessperson, you might be wondering why not leave this choice to a developer? It’s because developers only want to use the software they are familiar with, regardless of whether the it is suitable for your business. Keep in mind they’re developers and not strategic thinkers who can help you build a platform that fulfils your business goals. 

Today we’re discussing how to build your platform, what programming language to choose and which technology stack. There are many options out there that we want to clarify why each of them is important, and which one you should choose for your business.

1. Hosted Platform

  • It’s easy and fast to build. You can setup a whole e-commerce business in a few days.
  • It’s scalable.
  • It can handle a million visitors because the platform is suited for this. 
  • Example: Shopify.

The problem with hosted platforms is that you lose control if you are coding something extremely unique. Let’s say your business model depends on affiliate marketing and users need an invite to be able to buy from your website. Shopify cannot provide that. 

If you’re building a regular e-commerce store, use Shopify. However, if you are building a custom website and your competitive advantage is in your software not in your marketing, then choose another software.

2. Open Source Software

 

  • It allows you to setup your website quickly. You get a hosting, setup your WordPress, install plugins, theme, and you’re done.
  • The most popular open-source software is WordPress. 
  • It gives you control over your website.

The problem with opensource is that it is very hard to scale. It originally started as a blog software and then became an all-purpose software. So, it was not initially built to scale and therefore can get expensive to do so.  

You can choose WordPress in case Shopify is not suitable for your business and you don’t have the budget. However, once you get traffic, you will have to pay money in order to optimize and scale it. 

So, if you’re building your first business, go for WordPress because you can’t afford spending too much money developing a proper software and MVP. But if you’re seasoned, know your market, have the right product market fit, and are confident of what you’re creating, then use a framework other than WordPress.

3. Development Frameworks

 

  • A framework is a set of tools and libraries that are packed together, which helps you speed up your development. 
  • Examples: Laravel and Ruby on Rails.
  • As you move forward, the cost will shift towards creating new features, while with WordPress, 50% of the cost goes for creating new features. 

Use a framework when:

  • You have the right product market fit.
  • You want to build something unique.
  • You want to spend your money on something that can handle thousands and millions of visitors without requiring much maintenance.

4. Building From Scratch

There are two categories of people who might need to build something from scratch:

  • Those who are building from something unique and innovative, for example the first blockchains like Ethereum and Cardano. These have to be built from scratch because there is nothing like them in the market. They can’t use a framework because they are still experimenting what works and what doesn’t.
  • Big companies that require intellectual property.

How to Choose a Stack?

It depends on what platform you are using:

Hosted platform: 

  • Compare two stacks by gathering details from their respective customer support and choose what best suits your needs. 
  • Ask a developer used to working with these platforms if you can build what you need using them, and how much it will cost. 
  • Get two developers each specialized for every platform and let them write you a report including how much it will cost, what the risks are, and how far it can scale. 
  • Choose your platform accordingly.

Open-source software: 

  • WordPress, Drupal and a few others. 
  • Get a developer for each software and let them write a report on how they are going build your project and how much each will cost.

A Framework:

 

  • If you are building something for the web, the first programming language we suggest is PHP because:
  • It’s supported. 
  • You can find lots of developers.
  • The recent PHP versions have greatly improved. 
  • You can find good developers at a good price.
  • Good community support.  

Our second choice is Python if you are building custom and heavy products with complex requirements like AI and financial modeling. 

Java is suitable for enterprise applications like Fortune 500 companies. 

For more interesting topics, visit our website www.staggeringroi.com where you will find more articles and in-depth analysis to help you build the right platform, hire the right people, and most importantly scale your business without causing you headaches and spending lots of time and money. Also, check out our YouTube channel for interesting videos!