Somewhere between 2014 and 2018 the web dev community collectively decided that it’s better to write a website with a js framework like react, ember or vue and a rest/graphql api on the backend than with a regular three tier architecture. You can blame facebook open sourcing react or you can blame a shift in mindshare caused by large companies blogging about their great success with js frameworks. Unfortunately js frameworks do more harm than good to indie hackers.
Supposedly three tier couldn’t scale to large team sizes or web apps with tons of traffic, and users (not customers) wanted a more app like feel from web apps. I’m not entirely sure how scientific that last one is, but last time I checked no one cares if a web app had to do full page refreshes or not. Don’t get me wrong, ajax has it’s place and I’m a huge fan of turbolinks, but abandoning
content-type: text / html is more trouble than it’s worth. Let’s go with large teams and scaling to millions of users. That might be legitimate, but what works for a huge megacorp, isn’t going to work for you. In fact, I’d argue that a solo founder can compete directly with a megacorp like facebook with three tier because it lets you move way faster.
Don’t listen to these large dev teams, indie hackers are much better off with a rails app (or a coast app 😉) than with some over engineered graphql/react app. If you have a tricky piece of ui, sure you might consider a front end framework for that one page, but you can move faster by just using regular, boring, mutable js DOM manipulation. The faster you can ship your projects, the less time there is to lose motivation, the more time you can spend talking about your projects and finding customers (not users).
Large companies have much, much different problems than you do. Your problem is making something people want to use, their problems… well I don’t even know what problems they have, I don’t care, and you shouldn’t either. The faster you can ship, the faster you can move on to the next thing that might get traction. Don’t let a js framework slow you down. Write code like it’s 2003, move fast and ship things.
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