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Back at the start of 2017, we decided to create a web-based tool for the SEO OnPage analysis of our clients' websites. We had over 2.000 websites to analyze, so we had to perform thousands of requests to get every single page from those websites, process the information and save the big amounts of data somewhere.
Very soon we realized that the initial chosen script language and database, PHP, Laravel and MySQL, was not going to be able to cope efficiently with such a task.
By that time, we were doing some experiments for other projects with a language we had recently get to know, Go , so we decided to get a try and code the crawler using it. It was fantastic, we could process much more data with way less CPU power and in less time. By using the concurrency abilites that the language has to offers, we could also do more Http requests in less time.
Unfortunately, I have no comparison numbers to show about the performance differences between Go and PHP since the difference was so clear from the beginning and that we didn't feel the need to do further comparison tests nor document it. We just switched fully to Go.
There was still a problem: despite the big amount of Data we were generating, MySQL was performing very well, but as we were adding more and more features to the software and with those features more and more different type of data to save, it was a nightmare for the database architects to structure everything correctly on the database, so it was clear what we had to do next: switch to a NoSQL database. So we switched to MongoDB, and it was also fantastic: we were expending almost zero time in thinking how to structure the Database and the performance also seemed to be better, but again, I have no comparison numbers to show due to the lack of time.
As of now, we don't only use the tool intern but we also opened it for everyone to use for free: https://tool-seo.com
We recently decided to rewrite Ucraft's Laravel from scratch.
The namespeaces are going to be more correct and the app itself will be compatible with Composer packages.
This also improves the connection between MySQL and PHP making the reoccurring MySQL queries cached during the lifecycle.
I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research and trying different tools, these are what I came up with that work for me today:
For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.
Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.
I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. I consider TypeScript to be one of the best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible. It helps you catch a lot of bugs and also provides code completion in supporting IDEs. So for my IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is a blazingly fast and silky smooth editor that integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).
I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.
For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to #Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.
For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet with several variations in styles so you can find most of the icons you want for standard projects.
For the backend I was using the #GraphCool Framework. As I later found out, #GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language so later in my project I ripped out #GraphCool and replaced it with CouchDB and Pouchdb. Primarily so I could provide good offline app support. CouchDB with Pouchdb is very flexible and efficient combination and overcomes some of the restrictions I found in #GraphQL and hence #GraphCool also. The most impressive and important feature of CouchDB is its replication. You can configure it in various ways for backups, fault tolerance, caching or conditional merging of databases. CouchDB and Pouchdb even supports storing, retrieving and serving binary or image data or other mime types. This removes a level of complexity usually present in database implementations where binary or image data is usually referenced through an #HTML5 link. With CouchDB and Pouchdb apps can operate offline and sync later, very efficiently, when the network connection is good.
I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.
So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?
At FundsCorner, when we set out to pick up the front-end tech stack (around Dec 2017), we drove our decision based on the following considerations:
(1) We were clear that we will NOT have a hybrid app. We will start with Responsive Web & once there is traction, we will rollout our Android App. However, we wanted to ensure that the users have a consistent experience on both the Web & the App. So, the front-end framework must also have a material design component library which we can choose from.
(2) Before joining FundsCorner as a CTO, I had already worked with Angular. I enjoyed working with Angular, but I felt that I must choose something that will provide us with the fastest time from Concept to Reality.
(3) The first iteration of the web app was to be done by myself. But I was clear that when someone takes up the mantle, they will be able to come up the curve fast.
By picking Vuetify, we were able to provide a consistent UI experience between our Web App and Native App, besides making the UI development ultra blazing fast!
In the end, we were able to rollout our Web App in record 6 weeks (that included the end to end Loan Origination flow, Loans management system & Customer engagement module). www.jeyabalaji.com
I use Visual Studio Code because at this time is a mature software and I can do practically everything using it.
It's free and open source: The project is hosted on GitHub and it’s free to download, fork, modify and contribute to the project.
Multi-platform: You can download binaries for different platforms, included Windows (x64), MacOS and Linux (
LightWeight: It runs smoothly in different devices. It has an average memory and CPU usage. Starts almost immediately and it’s very stable.
.properties, XML and JSON files.
Integrated tools: Includes an integrated terminal, debugger, problem list and console output inspector. The project navigator sidebar is simple and powerful: you can manage your files and folders with ease. The command palette helps you find commands by text. The search widget has a powerful auto-complete feature to search and find your files.
Extensible and configurable: There are many extensions available for every language supported, including syntax highlighters, IntelliSense and code completion, and debuggers. There are also extension to manage application configuration and architecture like Docker and Jenkins.
Integrated with Git: You can visually manage your project repositories, pull, commit and push your changes, and easy conflict resolution.( there is support for SVN (Subversion) users by plugin)
I use Laravel because it's the most advances PHP framework out there, easy to maintain, easy to upgrade and most of all : easy to get a handle on, and to follow every new technology ! PhpStorm is our main software to code, as of simplicity and full range of tools for a modern application.
Google Analytics Analytics of course for a tailored analytics, Bulma as an innovative CSS framework, coupled with our Sass (Scss) pre-processor.
To deploy, we set up Buddy to easily send the updates on our nginx / Ubuntu server, where it will connect to our GitHub Git private repository, pull and do all the operations needed with Deployer .
CloudFlare ensure the rapidity of distribution of our content, and Let's Encrypt the https certificate that is more than necessary when we'll want to sell some products with our Stripe api calls.
Asana is here to let us list all the functionalities, possibilities and ideas we want to implement.
At labinator.com, we use HTML5, CSS 3, Sass, Vanilla.JS and PHP when building our premium WordPress themes and plugins. When writing our codes, we use Sublime Text and Visual Studio Code depending on the project. We run Manjaro and Debian operating systems in our office. Manjaro is a great desktop operating system for all range of tasks while Debian is a solid choice for servers.
WordPress became a very popular choice when it comes to content management systems and building websites. It is easy to learn and has a great community behind it. The high number of plugins as well that are available for WordPress allows any user to customize it depending on his/her needs.
For development, HTML5 with Sass is our go-to choice when building our themes.
Main Advantages Of Sass:
- It's CSS syntax friendly
- It offers variables
- It uses a nested syntax
- It includes mixins
- Great community and online support.
- Great documentation that is easy to read and follow.
As for PHP, we always thrive to use PHP 7.3+. After the introduction of PHP 7, the WordPress development process became more stable and reliable than before. If you a developer considering PHP 7.3+ for your project, it would be good to note the following benefits.
The Benefits Of Using PHP:
- Open Source.
- Highly Extendible.
- Easy to learn and read.
- Platform independent.
- Compatible with APACHE.
- Low development and maintenance cost.
- Great community and support.
- Detailed documentation that has everything you need!
Why PHP 7.3+?
- Flexible Heredoc & Nowdoc Syntaxes - Two key methods for defining strings within PHP. They also became easier to read and more reliable.
- A good boost in performance speed which is extremely important when it comes to WordPress development.
This is my stack in Application & Data
My Utilities Tools
Google Analytics Postman Elasticsearch
My Devops Tools
Git GitHub GitLab npm Visual Studio Code Kibana Sentry BrowserStack
My Business Tools
For markup and style, I used Pug and Sass, since they’re the perfect match to me. I love the clean and strict syntax of both of them and even more that their structure is almost similar. Also, both of them come with an expanded functionality such as mixins, loops and so on related to their “siblings” (HTML and CSS). Both of them require nesting and prevent untidy code, which can be a huge advantage when working in teams. I used JSON to store data (since the data quantity on my website is moderate) – JSON works also good in combo with Pug, using for loops, based on the JSON Objects for example.
To send my contact form I used PHP, since sending emails using PHP is still relatively convenient, simple and easy done.
DevOps: Of course, I used Git to do my version management (which I even do in smaller projects like my website just have an additional backup of my code). On top of that I used GitHub since it now supports private repository for free accounts (which I am using for my own). I use Babel to use ES6 functionality such as arrow functions and so on, and still don’t losing cross browser compatibility.
Side note: I used npm for package management. 🎉
Rants about PHP are everywhere, but during the last years the language and the whole ecosystem has evolved.
The lastest versions support namespaces, closures, traits, generators and with composer a dependency manager that changed the way PHP developers work and collaborate.
- Most server-side scripts, all unit tests, all build tools, etc. were driven by NodeJS.
- ExpressJS served as the 'backend' server framework.
- MongoDB (which stores essential JSON) was the main database.
- MongooseJS was used as the main ORM for communicating with the database, with KnexJS used for certain edge cases.
- MochaJS, ChaiJS, and ExpectJS were used for unit testing.
- Frontend builds were done with Gulp and Webpack.
- Package management was done primarily with npm - with a few exceptions that required the use of Bower (also configured with JSON).
- The frontend was build primarily with ReactJS (as the View) and Redux (as the Controller / Store / frontend model).
- Configuration was done with json files.
The only notable exceptions were the use of SCSS (augmented by Compass) for styling, Bash for a few basic 'system chores' and CLI utilities required for development of the app (most notably git and heroku's CLI interface), and a bit of custom SQL for locations where the ORM extractions leaked (the app is DB-agnostic, but a bit of SQL was required to fill gaps in the ORMs when interfacing with Postgres).
At the user interface level, the platform provides a rich visual editor that allows web interfaces to be composed by dragging and dropping. Instead of purely writing HTML, developers use visual widgets. These widgets are wrapped and are easy to reuse just by dragging and dropping without everyone needing to understand how they are built.
We are now re-considering TypeScript because 1) the tooling has improved significantly, and 2) and the root cause of the majority of our front-end bugs are related to typing (despite having PropTypes).
Its used for "Food Ordering System" with Mobile Responsive theme.
Custom email template ( Static and dynamic updates)
Cart and checkout modules.
Banners and ads management.
Restaurant listing and website ordering.
It support all the mobile browser compatibility.
We use PHP as our main backend preprocessor. Being a well established language, it is supported by a large community as well as a dedicated team of developers. It is used for much heavier projects that do not require realtime processes as well as being used in a hybrid system alongside NodeJS.
PHP has been the backbone of what we've done at Visualsoft for years. We have lots of experienced people who have used it and know how to get the best out of it. It's come on leaps and bounds over recent years, and is the basis of pretty much everything we'll build with.
The reason being they are simple to learn and easy to implement apps on any size.
The learning curve for PHP and MySQL is less compared to MEAN. It’s advisable to learn PHP and MySQL if you want to have a taste of web-development or you are in a hurry.
Use the ipwhois.io IP lookup API to quickly and simply integrate IP geolocation into your script or website. Save yourself the hassle of setting up local GeoIP libraries and having to remember to regularly update the data.
All of our responsive wireframes that are used to build the front end of our clients' sites are built with HTML 5, so we can ensure the most efficient and up to date experience for their customers.