What Is The Difference In Front-End & Back-End Web Development?

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What Is The Difference In Front-end & Back-end Web Development?

Over the past few years, web development has shifted to focus more on creating interactive experiences that users can access via browser or mobile device. This is referred to as responsive or adaptive design.

As you probably know, not all browsers are created equal! Some browsers have better performance than others so it makes sense to make your site look best for the average person’s browser.  That is where advanced front-end (or interactive) web development comes into play.

Advanced front-end developers create sites that use modern JavaScript techniques and tools to improve performance. They may also opt to use HTML 5 markup instead of older versions.

Back-end developers program using one of the many popular open source PHP or Python programming languages. These languages are typically easier to pick up since they are built with beginner friendly features.

What is the difference between a back-end developer and a front-end developer? A back-end developer codes the code that runs the website while a front-end developer designs the user experience (UX).

This article will discuss some key differences and similarities between back-end and front-end web development. You will also learn about how both types of developers contribute to the overall project.

Front-end development


So what is front-end web development? That’s a great question! Luckily, there are some pretty clear definitions of this term. According to All About The Web, front-end developers “create interactive user experiences by designing and coding interfaces and applications for devices (e.g., laptops, smartphones, tablets) and platforms (e.g., desktop computers, mobile phones, tablet apps).”

That sounds about right, doesn’t it!? Definitely fits into the definition we gave earlier. To give you more specific examples, a front-end developer can create the design and layout of an app like Google Maps or Instagram, as well as code that controls how those elements function.

On top of that, they may also develop the software that connects all these different features together — which makes them very important!

As you probably know, not every business has their own website or at least one that isn’t totally outdated. This can be quite frustrating for customers who want to connect with your company or find out more information, so making sure everyone is able to access yours easily is a good thing to do. A front-end developer can work on things like creating intuitive navigation layouts, optimizing page load times, and even tweaking fonts and colors to make everything look better!

Front end development includes programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Back-end development

As mentioned before, back-end developers design applications that work with data. These apps are typically focused on gathering and organizing large chunks of information so that users can perform functions such as searching or finding patterns.

Back-end web development is definitely not limited to developing websites! You could be building an app for ecommerce, banking, health records, you name it!

The most common areas for backend development include things like PHP (Python and Java are similar languages), Python, NodeJS, Ruby, and ColdFusion. All of these are relatively language independent.  That means whether your developer works with PHP or JavaScript does not matter too much of the code they write. It also means that if one of those languages fades away, you don’t have to worry about it too much. That would depend more heavily on their company and what level of expertise they have though.

Popular front-end development frameworks

Recent developments in web design have shifted emphasis away from creating beautiful websites that people can easily navigate to access content or do business with you, to instead designing interactive applications that use technology like HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to function.  These software programs are referred to as front-end (or UI) web developers because they focus on how users interact with your website.  Some examples of this include using HTML5 tags to create page sections, CSS for color schemes and styles, and JavaScript for functionality.

Overall, these three areas make up the browser interface that users view when they visit your site.

Back-end developers typically work on programming languages such as PHP, Python, Java, or Ruby and then test their code by testing it in either an online compiler or through another person’s computer who has those tools installed.

They also may need to learn about servers, operating systems, and internet protocols to properly run and organize all of the coding that gets done.

With all of that out of the way, back-end developers get to focus more on organizational and technical aspects of the project rather than looking at the finished product.

Popular back-end development frameworks

When we talk about backend web development, what framework you use really doesn’t matter too much. It depends on which tools you like to use, and what kind of projects you want to build.

There are lots of great backend software that have gotten very popular, including: Python, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Node.js,.NET Core, and more. They all offer similar features such as content management systems (CMS), database administration tools, and interface design templates.

These types of applications are built using one or many of the following front-end technologies: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, Vue, React, etc. And while there is no “right way” to do things, most agree that JS is the universal language for building interactive apps.

That being said, some languages are better suited than others for certain tasks. For example, people who prefer Python tend to work with it more directly, writing their code up until deployment time… almost like they enjoy doing it!

On the other hand, those who prefer Javascript say that it’s just easier to pick up quickly, since everything else is already familiar to them. This makes developing faster and more efficient.

Examples of front-end development

Developing for the web has never been limited to just developing interactive, graphical pages that can be viewed through a browser. Or even creating websites! These are definitely important parts of what people call “web design” but they are not the only way to get creative with your website designs.

Interactive applications or apps are designed differently than normal sites because they require different software to run them. For example, instead of using a browser like Google Chrome to view their content, someone will use an app viewer program such as Google Play or Apple App Store to access their content.

These types of apps are very popular these days due to the wide availability of smart phones and tablet computers. People enjoy interacting with apps due to the ease of accessibility and convenience.

Apps also offer more functionality than normal sites do. Some apps allow you to make purchases online, have social media connections, search for information, etc. Companies create apps so that users can interact with their products or services easier.

There are many ways to develop apps including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other scripting languages. A lot of companies will specialise in one area over the others which is why some areas refer to themselves as a technology, for instance.

But no matter what language the developer uses, there is always something at least two components of the app that need to be coded.

Examples of back-end development

Developing for the backend is more focused on coding functions and algorithms to perform tasks such as creating accounts, logging into an existing account, or retrieving data from a source. These are usually done using programming languages like Python, Java, PHP, or similar scripting environments that have built-in modules for these functions.

One example of this is developing an online shopping site where you can add products, create categories, and run marketing strategies. All of these things require adding items to a database, organizing information about the product, and running advertisements or promotional material on social media sites.

Back-end developers typically work for software companies or web applications that offer their services to other organizations. Since most of these businesses already have a login system in place, they will hire the developer to extend it by adding extra features or fixing any errors in the code.

There are several websites people use to search for jobs including LinkedIn, Monster, and GitHub.

Who should do front-end development?

As we have seen, front-end developers are responsible for ensuring that users can access your website effectively and easily. This means designing user interfaces (UIs) and coding user experience (UX)-focused web pages or applications.

Front-end developers also develop the underlying technology — such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other frequently used scripting languages.

Back-end developers, on the other hand, take care of all the technical aspects of creating an online platform or application. They create software frameworks using PHP, Python, Ruby, or some similar programming language.

They may also include setting up databases and networks to launch new applications.

Who should do back-end development?

Choosing whether to be a front or backend developer is not an easy decision, but there are some fundamental differences between the two that make it clear which one makes more sense for you. If you’re already well versed in HTML, CSS, Javascript, and other fundamentals of web design then jumping into back end development may not make much sense.

That being said, doing only back-end work will limit your career opportunities. The field of back-end employment grows constantly, especially with companies investing heavily in software as a service (SaaS) products and cloud computing.

There are many types of back-end jobs beyond developing websites such as Software Engineers, Systems Architects, Developers, etc. Dependent upon what area of technology you are familiar with, these positions offer higher paying opportunities than designing sites directly.

Front-end developers typically earn less than back-end professionals due to the nature of their job. They take credit for creating looks and designs for websites and applications, making them eligible for raises that back-end developers usually don’t get.

Conclusion.  If you’re passionate about writing code and understanding how computers function, then becoming a back-end developer is a great way to advance in your career! Both generalists and specialists can find success working as a back-ender, so no matter what position you’re looking to climb up the ladder at, this is a good place to start.

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