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Jun 18, 2018   8min

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Velo by Wix offers developers a very different way to build web applications, one that is focused on rapid application development. If you are a developer coming from a more traditional role as either a frontend or backend developer, there are a few things you should know about the Velo platform to help you get started building web applications.


I think the first thing developers need to do, is to understand how they can use Velo and on what kinds of projects. Velo can be used to build robust, fully featured applications. But every developer is different and every tool is different, so it’s important to understand how Velo will fit into your workflow and what technologies or concepts you should be familiar with before you jump in.


When I speak to other developers about the merits of Velo by Wix, I always focus on one thing: rapid app development. This is the main problem we are trying to solve with Velo and that focus is built into the platform from the ground up.


Visual UI Builder


That focus on rapid app development is the reason that Velo is built around a visual UI builder. At a most basic level, this means you won’t spend the first few days working on your project fine tuning the HTML or CSS.


Now, I happen to enjoy using those technologies, but others might find it tedious. With Velo, on the other hand, you can simply choose from hundreds of UI elements that are ready to use, and add them to your application. They’re highly customizable—both in terms of their functionality and design—so it takes little time to build a UI that meets your needs and also looks the way you want it to.


Of course, with a new way to build UI comes a new way of thinking. For some, it can feel a bit unusual or foreign to start grabbing UI elements in code and adding specific events. If you are familiar with jQuery, you may have some familiarity with this concept, though it’s important to point out that they are not identical.


Write in JavaScript and Node.js


On a technical level, the most important technology you need to be familiar with to develop with Velo is JavaScript. JavaScript is of course one of the most widely adopted and supported languages in the industry, with a wealth of resources available to help developers. This helps us ensure that Velo is accessible to as many developers as possible.


If we drill down a little deeper into the platform, we see that Velo allows developers to write in JavaScript for both front-end and back-end functions, with the back-end running in Node.js. Since Velo is a serverless platform you also don’t need to spend time building the server itself.


This means Velo provides developers with a great deal of flexibility. For instance, you can call server-side code from the front-end, there’s no need to use fetch, setup headers, and more. Velo also supports the latest, modern JavaScript syntax released in ES6. This includes features such as arrow functions, destructuring assignment, and others.


What about React and Other JavaScript Frameworks?


Short answer; they’re great and very useful for a number of application types. If I we’re going to build a brand new social network to compete with Facebook, I would obviously look at React and other frameworks to help me build the UI.


However, if I need to build a number of applications quickly, Velo provides a powerful solution that allows developers to rapidly iterate and starting coding the functionality of their apps as quickly as possible. Using a visual, drag & drop editor is always going to be faster when you need to develop multiple projects where pace of development is a main factor.


Try it Yourself


Of course the best way to understand the platform is start using it.


You can register for Velo, or if you already have a Wix site, click on Dev Mode and click Enable Velo. I also recommend browsing through the Velo documentation to see code examples and tutorials that help you get started, or check out this quick reference guide to see all the resources available.

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