08/08/2022
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How to choose the best frontend technology for your online store?

React, Angular, Vue.js, Node.js and many, many more... Have you ever heard of these names? If not, no need to worry - after all, according to the 360-degree eCommerce idea we promote, when you outsource the creation of an online store to us, we will provide you with comprehensive support in choosing the so-called "tech stack", i.e., among other things, the right frontend technology for your project. However, it is worth being aware of what factors should be taken into account when choosing between different solutions - this way we will be better prepared for the changes in our online store.

What is a frontend? An eCommerce site that is visible by the customer

You go to any brand's website - what do you see? If you hit the homepage after typing a relevant phrase into Google, you're sure to immediately notice the header, navigation menu, search engine or graphics (depending on the specific project or industry). Perhaps you clicked on an ad you saw on social media and immediately came to a product card. Or maybe you only searched for contact information or a job offer from a particular company and only went to one subpage. Did you send a resume, buy a product, download an ebook? All these possibilities - both for browsing and interacting with the website - were provided to you by the frontend.

Thus, the frontend is one of the first points of contact between the customer and your brand - thus of great importance in designing a positive user experience. Why? Because it translates into expected results in the form of conversions (purchase, ebook download, newsletter sign-up, etc.). What are the reasons behind the fact that the graphical interface plays such a big role?

Why does the eCommerce frontend matter?

Everyone has once heard that mythical statement from psychological thought that "you can only make a first impression once." Just as in everyday life, when we go online, we immediately start making judgments. We need only a few seconds to conclude that we will catch a connection with a person (although, of course, there are also mistaken first impressions), that an activity will become our new hobby or that this particular eCommerce will provide us with exactly what we need and in a way that suits us (i.e. "fast, easy and fun").

For an online store to provide the right first impression, it is essential to design the frontend in a way that meets UX Design requirements. The graphical interface should be, among other things.

  • visually attractive - every user will pay attention to it,
  • intuitive - so that finding the necessary information is done in the shortest possible time,
  • functional - equipped with every necessary solution from the store level,
  • giving the ability to move smoothly from sub-page to sub-page - for the speed of individual activities.

However, these are just some of the features that make a user want to stay on a given eCommerce site and, consequently, make a conversion. It is for this reason (and also because of the extremely intense competition in eCommerce) that it is essential to take care of the positive experience of the store's visitors. It is thus important to avoid the worst mistakes such as loading too long, graphics not displaying properly or unfriendly design (e.g. in terms of color selection or content layout).

Choosing a frontend technology - the factors that count

Does the chosen technology have flexibility and scalability? Will it help design an online store using PWA technology? Will it provide smooth transitions between elements? These are just some of the questions you need to know the answer to before making a decision - because the features of the frontend technology affect the performance of your online store (in both desktop and mobile versions). However, this is only one side of the coin! On the other hand, the characteristics of the project affect what technology will be suitable for it. So, as you can see, all the elements intertwine and each one matters.

Unique needs and expectations - always first priority

The business perspective is undoubtedly of the utmost importance in choosing a frontend technology! After all, the solutions implemented by the developers must allow your goal to be achieved - and also transfer the design created by the graphic designers to the code in the best possible way. Properly presenting your requirements, needs and expectations to the team at the software house will make it easier to choose a tool. In this regard, among other things, the flexibility of the framework, giving the possibility of customization, will be extremely important.

Project characteristics - you can't do without their analysis

How big your online store will be, how many pages it will have, what solutions it will use, what actions it should allow the user to perform, and much, much more - the characteristics of the project are of great importance when choosing a frontend technology. Small, medium, large? You need to have these issues well thought out before you commission the first work on the project.

Technology features - details matter

  • Time required to write code

As with any other topic, frontend technologies can take a different amount of time to design depending on the tools you choose - for this reason, you should take this factor into account when making your decision. So think about how much time you have and whether it will be important for you to speed up the design and release process. Need a product in a few months? Choose a framework with ready-made solutions or decide to release an MVP to be developed later. Have more time on your hands? More advanced solutions will work well for you.

  • Development opportunities

In today's extremely dynamic times, it is a mistake to rely on a solution characterized by staticness. Every now and then there are new trends, changes in consumer behavior, simplifications and upgrades, and the technology stack chosen to create your online store must dutifully respond to them. Flexibility and scalability are two qualities that are already very important (and will probably be even more so), as the currently visible mobile-first trend perfectly demonstrates. Thus, this is another factor you should definitely take into account.

  • Security issues

You can't forget about them - especially living in the 21st century, where more and more activities (including those involving sensitive data) are being done over the Internet. You need to make sure that the technology used will provide the user with the required level of security.

Not only do the listed elements matter, but they are certainly extremely important when making a decision. You can also go further - consider what are the possibilities of gaining support in the future for a frontend made with the chosen technology. A large community that cares about the development of the product is a plus of great importance in any situation. Certainly, financial considerations also matter to you - whether the solution is available as open-source, or whether it is necessary to purchase a license.

factors worth taking into account

What frontend technologies do we use at Advox?

In our day-to-day operations, we use two technologies currently considered the most popular - ReactJS and Angular. Each of them has both its distinguishing features and limitations, but technically they are very similar and allow us to achieve a similar end result.

  • ReactJS

React is by far one of the most popular technology solutions used today, including by some of the biggest players in the market (including Netflix and Airbnb). It allows to create fully interactive graphical interfaces. It stands out for its simplicity, high flexibility and scalability, making it a perfect answer to the requirements of modern times. What's more, it works perfectly when designing stores built in PWA, supporting the mobile-first trend.

  • Angular

Angular is a framework used by Google and Microsoft on a daily basis, which in itself is a testament to its quality. Relatively more difficult to learn for novice developers, but it is perfect for creating one-page business web sites. Equipped with a number of features useful in the development process, such as component-based architecture, modularity and adaptation to a mobile-first approach (affecting performance). Thanks to its features, it allows to significantly speed up the development process.

  • Vue.js

The youngest of the listed technologies, whose popularity is still growing. It is characteristic for Vue to design online stores according to the model-view-viewmodel software architecture pattern. According to the assumptions, it was supposed to combine the best features of React and Angular through the use of virtual DOM. It is characterized by speed, functionality, simplicity, as well as noticeable flexibility, which helps a lot with complex projects. It is an open-source technology that is constantly being developed by an ever-growing community.

Frontend is not everything - you can outsource to us not only a complete redesign of your online store, but also a refresh, putting up a new one or migrating eCommerce to another sales platform. Outsourcing all activities to one software house will give you consistency and a sense of security. Choosing Advox, you are also assured that the frontend of your online store will be designed in accordance with UX Design guidelines and the latest trends seen in the industry. We constantly follow them, not wanting you to miss a technological innovation, improved tool or useful solution.

Frontend technology - how to choose the best one?

The question of which frontend technology is best cannot be answered unequivocally - it all depends on individual factors. However, you can try to choose the right solution for your needs. How to do this? The best way is to rely on the expertise and diverse experience of practitioners in this field, who know exactly what characteristics (both positive and negative) to pay attention to. It is also worth taking into account the elements we mentioned above: speed of coding, security, business needs or development opportunities.

Of course, it's not that your choice of frontend technology can't be undone - you can decide to redesign or refresh the GUI at any time. However, you need to keep in mind that often such a big change causes implementation difficulties (in terms of time or cost) and the loss of some customers who were used to the old look and will not give the new one a chance. In an age where customers buy with their eyes, it's worth making a fully informed choice at the outset - and betting on the flexibility and growth opportunities we've written about before.

Or maybe you have some advice on what to consider when choosing the best frontend technology for your eCommerce?

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