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Having recently started FindYourTrip, India's first trip aggregator with an aim to provide a platform for users to search, compare and book tours and trips from any trip organizer or travel and tour company in India. We wanted to give an overview of the journey in a blog post. How we managed to build complete tech for a startup in just 10$ per year. Furthermore, it has the freedom to extend and enhance our components and platforms.
A very good technological startup has three similarities. First, they have a talented and talented team. Second, they have an amazing idea. They also have the first ideal tech stack to use. It is impossible to emphasize the last point enough. World-class ideas will go in vain if founders choose to use sophisticated, complex, or outdated technology.
FYT Tech Stack:
- Frontend: NEXT JS, for hybrid static & server rendered react web pages
- Backend: NEXT JS, Node Server deployed on vercel
- DB: Postgres SQL, hosted on Heroku
- Hasura, a GraphQL API middleware hosted on Hasura cloud
- Material UI component library
- AWS S3 for storing static data
- ImakeKit CDN over S3 for fast and optimised images
Top Factors when selecting this Tech Stack
When selecting FYT’s tech stack, there are a few factors that are considered to take decisions.
How expensive the language or platform is was our number one consideration. However, we didn’t think of these expenses solely in terms of upfront licensing fees. Instead, what are the upfront costs in addition to the ongoing maintenance expenditures that a particular tech stack will use? Are there security or liability costs?
Time to market
The longer your project takes to come to market, the harder it will be for you to succeed. You might have a competitor get their idea out first, which means you'll have to play catch-up. Or, you might run out of money fighting a tech that takes frustratingly long to use.
Pick technology solutions that will empower your startup to achieve more. Don't choose technologies that will be a burden to your team and company. Pick tech that is easy to integrate and has plenty of third-party controls and support. These features will make it easy for you to use.
We plan for 1,000,000 users, not 10 users. Startup won't survive long if only ten people use your app or service, so you should be thinking about scalability from the start. Pick a technology that will scale as your startup grows.
There are a lot of horror stories of startups working night and day, only to have their product crash on the first day and receive significant negative press. Even big companies are susceptible to this, like Disney+, which crashed on launch day due to unanticipated demand.
We hosted next js website on vercel which is free till we decide to monetize the product. And also, it is quite inexpensive to scale the same site on vercel when we start to expect more traffic on the website. We can consider it to move to AWS as well with minimal effort if we start facing difficulties to scale with vercel.
Of course, onboarding people directly who know next js is not easy. Most people are aware of react and it is a fairly small learning curve to learn next js if you know react js. Things considered before choosing it: React, Gatsby
We went with, a well-known, Material UI and bought templates for MUI store which cost us 70$ but it accelerated the frontend development with premade components. And also ensured that ongoing maintenance and labor costs aren't sky-high. Things considered before choosing it: TailwindUI Kit, Chakra UI, Evergreen, DaisyUI
S3 has a free tier for 1 year which was sufficient for our use case as we majorly used to it store images and we minimized the read count and latency by using a CDN. Things considered before choosing it: Azure, Google Cloud
It has a fairly simple and most lenient free tier out of most of the CDN providers with almost all the key features like image and video optimization with decent performance. Free tier and cost for scaling were the two main factors to choose this. Things considered before choosing it: Bunny CDN, Cloudflare, KeyCDN, Google Cloud CDN, Amazon CloudFront
It was pretty straightforward as this is the best middleware if you want to reduce your time to market by a few months. Hasura provides a GraphQL API layer over are well loved postgres DB. We get row-level authorization and fairly simplified GraphQL endpoints to be used directly with the frontend. It is easy to set up and scale. You can use Hasura cloud initially to host it and also migration to AWS if you exceed free tier easily. You can use any GraphQL client like Apollo and Urql to connect to it, we chose urql but that is a story in itself. Things considered before choosing it: Making direct SQL calls, apollo and prisma GraphQL.