Difference Between Frontend and Backend Website Development

Difference Between Frontend and Backend

The two most popular terms used in the web industry are Frontend and Backend, but the difference between the two is very complex. They are the two most fundamental software engineering components that play an important role in the development of the web. A frontend is what you see and interact with and backend is how all of it works. The frontend can refer to the graphical user interface, while the backend is the part of the website with which you (the user) can not see or interact. The two terms are very crucial to web development, but they are very different from each other. Although they are definitely distinctive terms with their own role, they are like two sides of the same coin. The functionality of a website depends on each as a single unit interacting with each other. This article explains the difference between both the Frontend and Backend :-

What is Frontend?

The frontend is the part of the website that you can see and interact with directly in order to receive the backend capabilities of the system. It involves everything that the user can see, touch and experience. The role of a web designer has changed dramatically over the years but the core functions of website development remain the same. The frontend is all about the bells and whistles you see on the website like the graphical user interface including the flashy buttons, colorful images, navigation menus, etc.

The frontend is also referred to as “client-side” because the action takes place on the client side which in this case is the user. Typically, a client refers to the computer application such as the web browser that is viewing it. The frontend is mostly the web browser and everything the user sees and interacts with on the website is all part of the frontend development. Better user experience in terms of design and ease of use can be attributed to the frontend development and it’s the job of the web designer to well, design websites. A web designer doesn’t deal with the code. In fact, he is responsible for covering all aspects of building and redesigning websites that will feature both visually appealing elements and user-friendly design. The role of a frontend developer is to create an environment that the user can see and touch with the help of a combination of several tools including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

What is Backend?

Backend, also referred to as the “server-side”, is the part of the website which you cannot see and interact with. Basically, everything that happens behind the scenes can be attributed to backend web development. It is all about how the website works; it’s more like an indirect service provider for frontend development. It’s the part of the system that doesn’t come in direct contact with the users. Unlike frontend, it runs on the server side but communicates with the frontend to ensure everything works fine. In every application, there’s also a significant portion of non-user interface code that deals with all the complex systems that happen in the background. The people who deal with backend are usually programmers and developers.

The backend developers handle everything that doesn’t involve producing a user-interface such as writing APIs, creating libraries, or adding utilities to everything the web designer creates. They facilitate communication between the presentation layer and the business layer. They play a crucial role in web development and their role is highly collaborative as opposed to the frontend web designers. In short, backend web development is the combination of development and maintenance of core functional logic of a software application. In simple terms, backend developers write code to make sure everything works fine at the frontend. They tend to spend more time figuring out logic and implementing algorithms than web designers to ensure the website functions properly. It’s the brain of a website.

Summary of  Frontend vs Backend

While both frontend and backend form the basis of how a website works, they have their fair share of differences in terms of functionality. Despite everything, they are like two sides of the same coin. While the former is everything a user sees and interacts with, the latter is what a user cannot see. Front-end refers to the client-side, whereas backend refers to the server-side of the application. Both are crucial to web development, but their roles, responsibilities and the environments they work in are totally different. The frontend is basically what users see whereas backend is how everything works.

Should I pursue back-end or front-end development?

Correct answer is: Why not both?

You don’t necessarily need to be a CSS wizard to understand and use basic concepts. I mean, if you can grasp functional programming CSS shouldn’t be very hard to grasp either. You may not have the design aesthete of some UI designers, but there’s nothing that should stop you from being able to leverage some Javascript over some Java or Ruby or Python or PHP.

I think a lot of the hate, especially amongst older programmers, has to do with how rough Javascript has been over the past 12 years. It’s changed dramatically in that time, and the biggest criticism of it is that it was a loose, flabby language with a lot of power. Which is absolutely true. ES6 is helping reshape that, but, there’s a lot of nuances that happen that helps create more structured programs. It’s less just a library, a tool, and more a way to structure and piece applications together now, and to do that, requires reshaping and standardizing how to do it.

Can you learn both? Yep. I don’t think you should limit yourself if you can help it. Knowing more is never a bad thing. Being good at all, but not a master is an alright place to be in, because you can always dive deeper and learn more, because that is the way of software development.

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