Frontend vs backend web development: Everything you need to know

If you want to learn what differentiates frontend development from backend web development, consider reading this blog post.

by Jessica Richards - Business Development Manager
Frontend vs backend web development: Everything you need to know

Frontend vs backend web development: Everything you need to know

If you’ve just started learning web development, chances are you have heard a lot about frontend and backend development. But what exactly do they mean? How relevant are they to each other? And most importantly, what’s the difference? Let’s dive deep into this blog post to find out the answers!

What is web development?

Web development is the process of building a website or application, ranging from building a simple single webpage to complex social network services. Web development includes different aspects like web designing, publishing, programming and database management. Frontend development and backend development are the two main categories of website development.

What is frontend development?

Frontend is the part of website development where the user interacts directly with a website. It manages everything that users can visually see in their browser or application. It is mostly focused on what people call the “client-side” of web development. In simpler terms, the frontend is responsible for the look and feel of a website.

Below are the most important technologies for frontend development:

HTML: HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is the programming language for the World Wide Web. It is known as the standard text formatting language for creating and displaying web pages on the internet.

CSS: CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a styling programming language. It is common in XHTML and simple enough for HTML elements.

JavaScript: JavaScript is an open-source, client-side scripting language supported by several web browsers. It is being used for enhancing the interaction of a website with the user.

What is backend development?

The backend is the ‘server side’ of a website, which users cannot see and interact with. It is like a portion of software that is not made accessible to the users. It stores and arranges data, content and other important components of a website.

Here are the technologies used by backend Melbourne web developers:

PHP: PHP is a server-side scripting language widely used by backend developers.

C++: It’s a general-purpose, object-oriented language, which is widely used as a backend programming language.

Java: Java is a class-based object-oriented language for developing web and desktop apps.

Python: Python is another object-oriented language that allows backend developers to work quickly and efficiently.

Node.js: Node.JS is a cross-platform runtime environment for server-side web development.

SASS: It is a robust CSS extension language used to extend the existing CSS functionality, including variables and inheritance.

Key differences between frontend and backend development

Now that you understand what frontend and backend development are, it’s time to unveil the key differences. Here are the differences explained by a leading web development agency in Melbourne.

1. While frontend development is responsible for implementing visual components on a website, backend development focuses on databases, scripting and website architecture.

2. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the most common frontend development languages. Whereas PHP, Java, and C++ are the backend programming languages.

3. Frontend development is done by taking the user’s inputs and modifying them through testing and tracking. On the other hand, backend development offers core capabilities like support, security and content management.

4. The frontend ensures that the website is accessible to all users and responsive on all mobile and desktop devices. The backend may need to create applications around the frontend.

5. Being a frontend developer means knowing how to effectively work on the design and UI/UX of a website. Whereas, backend developers must know how to implement algorithms and solve system-related problems.

6. The frontend is great not only visually, but also from a programming standpoint. You will spend hours writing logic for your website. However, if you want to spend time writing algorithms, working in the cloud and developing services and APIs, then backend development is for you.

7. With differences in capabilities and roles, there are also differences in pay. Mid-career backend developers get paid slightly higher than mid-career frontend developers.

8. Popular front-end tools are jQuery and HTML5. Whereas, MySQL and PHP are the most popular backend development tools.

9. Examples of backend roles include backend web developers, Java developers, full-stack developers and software engineers. Whereas, frontend web developers, web designers, SEO specialists and UI/UX designers are the frontend roles.

Wrapping up

By now, you know the differences between frontend and backend web development. Keep in mind that both frontend and backend development are important when it comes to developing dynamic websites. After all, they are the two different sides of the same coin. If you’re interested in learning more about frontend and backend, feel free to consult one of our Melbourne web developers.

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