What is the Difference Between Frontend and Backend Web Development?

If you’re looking to get a website designed, you may have noticed that there’s something called “front-end” web development and also “back-end” web development. While both are critical for a website, they’re vastly different things. You’re going to need to understand the basics about both  if you want the best results.

What is Front-End Web Development?

The “front end” of a website is its appearance and how the user interacts with it. The images on a page, the menu, and the text copy are all “front end” elements. Ultimately, the front end is going to be about design, aesthetics, and usability. The better the front end is, the more willing a user will be to interact with it, and the more likely they are to make a purchase or other commitment.

Front end web development is extraordinarily important. It governs how users interact with the website, what information they see, and how easy it is for them to find the information they want. Quite a lot goes into user psychology; users need to be able to intuit how to use the website if they are to engage with a brand effectively.

What is Back-End Web Development?

The “back end” of a website is invisible to the customer, but it deals with data storage, manipulation, and analysis. When a user puts their contact information in a form, it is the back end of the website that saves that information and recalls it later. Whenever a page shows dynamic information, such as a filtered list of items, that’s the back end of the website hard at work. With front end web development alone, a website would need to be entirely static (and there are some static websites out there).

Back end web development is integrated into front end web development. The front end will collect information (such as a username and password) but the back end will manipulate it (determine whether the username and password is correct, allow the user to change their username and password, and so forth). Both systems need to be working together effectively for the website to work the way the user wants it to.

What is the Difference Between Frontend and Backend Web Development?

Neither front-end nor back-end development is more “difficult.” Rather, they are both critical for a professional, useful website. But, in addition to being focused on different areas of the website, frontend and backend web developers tend to be working with different technologies.

Frontend web developers will usually be using HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. Backend web developers will be using JavaScript, PHP, Perl, and MySQL. Frontend web developers will design page elements, using systems such as Adobe. Backend web developers will be working mostly in programming IDEs. A frontend web developer may work mostly with a GUI; a backend web developer will work directly in code.

What about “Full Stack” Web Development?

You may also come across the term “full stack” web development.

A full stack web developer is someone who can do both back-end and front-end design. When in reference to an agency or company, a full stack development firm would be able to develop a website from the ground up, including both back and front ends. Full stack indicates that someone is able to complete an entire website alone.

When it comes to Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, many developers are full stack. Many WordPress developers are able to modify not only the frontend (design) of the website but also the backend (plug-ins, extensions, and coding).

There are many advantages to working with full stack developers. The integration between the back end and front end is often more effective, the system is usually designed faster, and often it’s more elegant to maintain. But there are downsides, too; a full stack developer may be more expensive and issues with the back end or front end may not be discovered because only a single company or individual is working on the project.

What Do You Need to Know About the Difference Between Front and Back End Development?

Largely, you need to know that there is a difference and that both elements matter. When hiring a web development company, you need to know that they can handle both the design (front end) and functionality (back end) of your website.

Many companies are moving online or building up their web presence. But that requires a highly functional, attractive, and visible website. If you want to learn more about how a website can boost your brand (and what you need to do it), contact the experts at Website Design Kingston.

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