image of tausif akram By: Amby
15 Dec 2014

The difference between front-end and back-end web development

The differences that exist between online development and design constitute a discussion of back-end and front-end work. Perhaps the simplest way to differentiate between back-end and front-end development is to suggest that designers are more concerned with the front-end, in aspects such as typography, colors, and image, whereas programmers focus largely on back-end growth, through specific languages such as PHP and MySQL. Basically, the front-end of a website is what you see – the presentation, theatre production and actors, whereas the back-end is what goes on behind the curtains.

The Front-end

When someone refers to the “front-end” of a website, they are talking about the part of the online presence that users can visit and interact with. The front-end consists of the design and aesthetic aspects of a website that represents the brand and business on a visual and interactive level. Generally, when someone spoke of web development in the past, they were talking about the back-end of that development. However, throughout recent years, there has been an increased need to differentiate between designers who work towards the front of the website page and those that code in languages such as CSS and HTML.

Today, when someone discusses the topic of “web design”, they are talking about both the professionals who work with Photoshop and other visual programs to create the front of a website and the professionals who work with JavaScript and CSS to create the moving cogs that allow the website to work according to plan. Everything that you see when you browse the internet is a combination of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS that is being translated and controlled through your computer browser. This includes things like buttons, menus, fonts, sliders, contact forms, and transitions. However, the front-end is where you see all of these things come to fruition.

The Back-end

The back-end of web development consists of three essential parts:

  • The server
  • The application
  • The database

If you open a website and use that website to purchase concert tickets or book a holiday, then you are interacting with the front-end of the site. However, once your information has been entered into the various forms that you find at the front-end at the website, the application will store your information on a database that was created on a secure server. This information remains safely on the server so that when you return to log back into your account, the application will be able to find your tickets, your information, and the details regarding your purchase.

The person who builds this technology is called a back-end developer, and he or she will typically work using languages such as Ruby, Python, and PHP. Without a back-end developer, you could still have all of the visual aspects of the website, including the forms and images – however, the images would not do anything. Entering your information into a form would not lead to an application, which means that nothing would happen. Back-end development is what makes a website functional.

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