Difference between Frontend and Backend

There always been a lot of buzz especially among the people who are novice to the field of programming stuff about the two terms Frontend and Backend. Although these two are the most fundamental and basic terms in the design and development world, people more often fail to understand the fine line between the two and yeah we can’t solely blame people for this.

If you too are beginner in the field, or eager to understand the difference between front-end and back-end in a much simpler way than ever before, then stay tuned with us through the article and we can ensure you getting a better and a clearer understanding of the terminologies. So yes, without investing much of our time buzzing, let’s get straight to the point.

Difference between Frontend and Backend

Image Source

The frontend is also termed as client-side and accounts for web design (not really- we’ll sort this out later), whereas the backend is considered to be server-side. No matter how much we say these two terms to be distinct and discrete, both are equally important and responsible for providing best experience and functionality to the web users. You can see them as two sides of the same coin, one is always incomplete without the other, they always need to be in conjugation to work effectively. In more common words, if frontend is the outer appearance of human body then backend is certainly the inner part which is not visible but supports the body in one way or the other.

We hope the illustrations above have portrayed a rough image of the two terms in your mind. We now start by explaining these terms in detail for your better understanding followed by a comparative study for more clear instinct.

What is Frontend?

Frontend is everything a web user see when visiting any website from fonts, buttons to dropdowns, forms, images and menus. Also referred to as client-side and consist of everything that a user see and experiences while visiting a website. Everything you see on a website from texts and images to dropdown and animations comprises of  HTML, CSS and Javascript which are controlled and displayed the way they are by the browsers.

Suppose you have a business of say restaurants, now you want to create an awareness among the people regarding your restaurant, you beautifully design a website, upload savouring photos of your dishes, list your menu, give information on where you are located along with your contact is all frontend as people can now interact with your site to collect information about your business. But remember people are still not be able to post a comment/query or order food from you as there is no such technology used to store the information provided by the customers as their name, address, credit card details etc. To accomplish this too via your website, the backend development comes into the picture.

The basic three technologies HTML, CSS and JavaScript are all responsible for a user friendly interface of the website. They are used for the purpose given below:

HTML: This is the backbone and the basic required markup language to create the contents that can be displayed to the users by the browsers. This mark-up language is meant for writing basic texts and some functionalities to the website.

CSS: This along with HTML is required for the styling of website so that the site looks pretty to its users. Subjects like font, color, graphics, etc. are taken cared by CSS scripts.

JavaScript: This adds a more to the beauty of any website and is well known for providing good looking modal windows, dropdowns and contact forms.

Bootstrap: This framework uses all three above mentioned technologies to make your website responsive. You can familiarize yourself with it in this Bootstrap tutorial.

There is a fine line between frontend and web designing

It is important to quote here that frontend and web designing are no way the same. People more often take these two as a whole but there is a fine line that needs to be taken into consideration when talking of the two, let’s see how.

Though the frontend development is known for handling the visual aspects of any website that is being displayed to the users but it is not the same as web-design. Think it in the way that if these two were the same then why would market ever required frontend developers and web designers as two different professionals.

A web designer is one who designs the layout and appearance of a website and decides the way it will be portrayed to the users. Whereas, the frontend developer is the one who brings this design to life, into an interactive website with the help of technologies discussed above.

What is Backend?

To understand this let’s go back to our example of restaurant business’s website, you have created a website showcasing your business now you want to add functionality that the customers should be able to order their food online. Now to accomplish this you will have to design your website in a way that it could be able to store the information provided by the customers and can interact with your customers as well. Here is the time when backend development comes into action, solution to all your needs to establish an interactive site.

Usually the websites without backend deployment are considered as static websites that can be used for the showcasing your business, while to make it interactive you are going to need the backend as well. A database is set behind the scene that is responsible for storing and retrieving the data as per the users need and request. The backend is equally responsible for a dynamic site as the frontend is.

The backend is also referred to as ‘server-side’, is the part of an interactive site which is not visible to the users or not visible to the client side. The backend is as we’ve discussed above is responsible for storing and retrieving data and supports the frontend or client-side for smooth functioning. In an interactive site, when a user stores information or fills out a form, the browser sends a request to the server asking for the required information, in response the information thus received from the server is interpreted by the browser and displayed to the user with the help of frontend. So yes, a website that remains the same throughout and is used for portraying some information only, do not need the involvement of the backend, on the other hand the sites which are interactive and changes its content in accordance with the database also deploys backend to work.

We hope this has given a clear understating of the terms to our users. Let us quickly now see a brief comparison of the two, what are the similarities and what are the differences among frontend and the backend are mentioned in the table below.

Frontend vs Backend – Difference between Frontend and Backend

Frontend Backend
Also referred to as Client-Side. Also referred to as Server-Side.
This is what visibly available to users. This is all that happens behind the scenes.
Users can experience and touch the contents. Inner portion or brain of the website.
Cannot used to store and retrieve. Is used to store and retrieve the information needed.
This is all portrayed by the browser. Requests are processed and passed on to the browser for interpretation by the databases.
Developer works together with a web designer to provide better results. Backend developer is sufficient for the task.
This includes design and testing. This consist of development and fabrication.
HTML, CSS and JavaScript are the basic foundations of a frontend development. The programming languages like Ruby, Python, Java, .Net, etc. are used for backend development.

That is all about the topic. We intended to impart a knowledge to help our readers to understand difference between Frontend and Backend. We hope we were able to make you guys understand. Any queries and suggestions are always welcomed at our end.

1 thought on “Difference between Frontend and Backend”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *