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Backend vs Frontend


If you are new to web development, you might have heard about frontend and backend development, without maybe knowing what those two terms mean.

Well, allow me in this article to give you a brief knowledge about what those terms mean, the difference between them and the skills required to master each.


Frontend Development:

Think of your website as a brand new car being created.

Let’s start with defining frontend. It’s the interface the users or webpage visitors see and interact with, it’s what your whole website or application is to a user. The user experience is based on your frontend design and usability.

Now that you know what frontend is to the user, here’s what it is to developers. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery and some other scripting languages.

As a web developer you are probably familiar with some of those languages.

HTML short for Hyper Text Markup Language is the skeleton of your website.

CSS is all about the colors and styling added to your website.

JavaScript and jQuery are what gives your static website a breath of life so it becomes interactive and more user-friendly.

Other server-sided languages such as PHP could also be used in frontend development.

So basically this is what frontend is, your car’s interior and exterior design and beauty.


Backend development:

So far we have a well-designed and attractive car, but this car is going nowhere with no engine and under the hood components that runs all of its functionalities.

Now you might have figured out what backend is. Yes, it’s what lays under the hood of your website. To users this doesn’t matter, users don’t see or interact with your website’s backend in any direct way.

Backend is the lair of the web developer. It’s where all the control and monitoring happens.

It basically consists of a server, a database and an application. Backend developers use PHP, Python, Ruby, etc. languages for the functionalities, SQL to manage the database and usually a framework such as Ruby on Rails, Cake PHP and Code Igniter or a CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal to make the whole process easier. Also backend developers should have a basic knowledge of server architecture.

A developer could specialize in one of both fields or could do the whole work on solo and develop both front and back ends.

Now that we are done, our car is ready to hit the road.


To conclude this article, a well-built website should consist of both front and back ends. So as a new web developer you have tons of information to learn, but it all gets easy once you start rolling.

So enjoy your ride and Happy Coding!


<Jean El Khoury>