Front-end vs. Back-end: What is the difference

author avatar

Đorđe Stanišić

August 25, 2022

4 min read

Terms like front-end and back-end development may be confusing to someone who is new to the world of coding and software engineering. Let’s clear up some of the ambiguity around some of these technical phrases. We’ll explain the differences between the front-end and back-end.

Today, we’re addressing the following issues and demystifying the distinctions between development styles:

  • What is front-end development? 
  • What is back-end development? 
  • What differences exist between front-end and back-end development

Front-end development

Front-end developers create with the user in mind. Front-end development is a type of computer programming that focuses on the coding and building of website/app parts and functionality that will be visible to the user. It is focused on ensuring that the aesthetic parts of a mobile application are functioning. 

Back-end functionality in mobile apps can sometimes be stored locally rather than on the server. These programs are generally offline, which means they may be downloaded and used without an internet connection. In this case, mobile developers would be responsible for both the front-end and the back-end.

Consider the front-end to be the “client-side” of an application. Assume you’re a front-end developer. This implies that your job is to code and bring the visual parts of a mobile app to life. You’d be more concerned with what a person sees when they visit a website or utilize an app. You’d also want to make sure the user interface (UI) is simple to use and runs properly, and that the user experience (UX) is desirable.

These developers bring the visual concepts created by UX and UI designers to life, ensuring that the website or an app performs properly for the user.

Things front-end developers do:

  • Improving the user experience.
  • Creating mobile applications.
  • Bringing concepts to life with Android studio and Kotlin (for android apps), Xcode and Swift (for iOS apps), HTML, JavaScript, and CSS (for web).
  • Creating and updating the user interface.
  • Using design on mobile apps or websites.
  • Developing technologies to improve site interaction across browsers.
  • Managing the workflow of the software.
  • Following excellent SEO tactics.
  • Bug fixes and usability testing

Back-end development

Back-end development deals with the aspect of the website that visitors do not see. It is what allows a website to be interactive. The back-end of a website is sometimes known as the “server side.” 

Assume you own and operate a social networking platform. You’ll need a convenient location to save all of your users’ information. A database is a type of storage center, and some popular examples are Oracle, SQL Server, and MySQL. A database is managed by a server, which is effectively a remote computer. A back-end developer will assist in the management of this database and the site information stored on it. This guarantees that your social networking website’s front-end features continue to function properly when visitors view posted material and other user profiles.

​​While visitors do not directly contact the back-end of a website, they will interact with things that these developers are working on via a front-end application. Back-end development is concerned with storing and organizing data while also ensuring that the front-end works properly.

Things front-end developers do:

  • Database development, integration, and management
  • Frameworks for developing server-side software on the back-end
  • Technologies used in web servers
  • Integration of Cloud Computing
  • Server-side programming languages
  • System software
  • Development, deployment, and maintenance of content management systems
  • API interoperability
  • Cyber security.
  • Reporting entails the creation of analytics and data.
  • Technologies for backing up and restoring website files and databases

Front and back-end developers use different technologies

A programming language will be used while you code. These languages, like human languages, enable programmers to communicate with their computers using a set of symbols (referred to as code). Simply explained, it’s the same as giving your computer instructions. Front-end developers use programming languages such as XML, Kotlin, and Swift for mobile development, and HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for web development.

  • XML is an acronym for Extensible Markup Language.XML tags define data and are used to store and organize information. XML is utilized in Android to implement UI-related data, and it is a lightweight markup language that does not make the layout heavy.
  • Kotlin is a trendy, contemporary programming language. Kotlin may be used for server-side, client-side web, and Android programming.
  • Swift is an extremely powerful and user-friendly programming language for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Swift code is interactive and enjoyable to write, and the syntax is compact yet expressive.
  • HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is the most often used markup language for constructing web pages.
  • CSS is an acronym for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is used to provide style and flare to a webpage, whereas HTML is used to establish structure. It specifies the colors, fonts, and style of other site content.
  • JavaScript is a programming language that may be used to make a website dynamic and entertaining. For example, you might use it to host a game on your website.

Front-end developers use their own frameworks and libraries. A front-end developer could deal with the following frameworks and libraries:

  • Native Android
  • Native iOS
  • Non-Native mobile frameworks (Swiftic, Native Scripts, React Native, Xamarin, Flutter)
  • AngularJS
  • React.js
  • jQuery
  • Sass

PHP, C++, Java, Ruby, Python, JavaScript, and Node.js are some of the languages used by back-end developers. Here’s some more information about a handful of these languages:

  • PHP is a scripting language used on the server.
  • Java is a well-known platform and computer language.
  • Python is a multi-purpose programming language. It differs from some of the others described here in that it may be used for other types of software development as well as web development.

Back-end frameworks include the following:

  • Express
  • Django
  • Rails
  • Laravel
  • Spring

Summary

Front-end development is a branch of programming that focuses on the visual parts of a website or app with which a user would interact (the client side). Meanwhile, back-end development is concerned with the aspect of a website and app that visitors do not see (the server side). They collaborate to develop dynamic websites and apps that allow users to make purchases, use contact forms, and engage in any other interactive activities while perusing a site. Netflix, PayPal, Facebook, Youtube, etc. are all instances of dynamic websites/apps.

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