Side Project Tech Stack

I want to start this post by saying this is my preference on the frameworks and technologies that I use for most of my apps. Depending on your experience and goals you should experiment to see what works for you. For example, here’s a tweet from Pieter Levels that his site is running on a single PHP file and is making over $2,000 a day. He makes a good point that if your goal is to make money, the frameworks and libraries can get in the way of you making progress. It’s impressive what he is able to accomplish by keeping things simple.

When I’m starting a new project, I want to be able to quickly get a prototype up and running. I prefer a framework that is well documented and easy to learn. These requirements are what led me to Laravel as my go-to backend framework of choice. Laravel has quickly become one of the most popular web frameworks. As Taylor Otwell, the creator of Laravel said, “Who said PHP was dead? 🔥”

Laravel handles things that most web applications need such as authentication, database management, email, testing etc. Laravel also has tools like Valet and Forge that make development and deployments a breeze. Valet allows you to set up a development environment similar to a production server and have a site running in seconds with the ability to add SSL certificates and share your local site over the internet using ngrok. Forge is service that configures and manages your servers and automates deploys using git. I usually can get a new server up and running on Digital Ocean in minutes. The amount of open source packages from the community is also very helpful.

For the front end, I usually go with JQuery and VueJs. Laravel comes with a package called Mix that greatly simplifies building and bundling javascript and css.


If you are wanting to develop web applications I don’t think you can beat the combination of Laravel, Forge, and Digital Ocean.

Learning Resources

Leave a comment below on what frameworks and technologies you use when building your apps.

Thanks for reading. Make sure you follow me on Twitter to stay up to date on the progress of my side projects T.LYWeather Extension, and Link Shortener Extension. If you are interested in the tech I use daily, check out my uses page.  

2 thoughts to “Side Project Tech Stack”

  1. Hey! Really enjoyed the post 🙂

    We’ve been working on building a really easy to use database service to help people build their sideprojects faster: The product is really early but we’re looking for more feedback from people building sideprojects on what slows them down. Would love your thoughts!

    Also we don’t have a PHP sdk quite yet but it’s coming soon 🙂

    Anything you’re looking for that you think would make you 10x faster at building your sideprojects?

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