Difference between Front-End Development and Back-End Development

When we develop websites, our work is usually divided in two parts: Front-End Development and Back-End Development. Many of our clients ask us about it when they hear us talk about it or see it on a proposal, and that is why we decided to define the difference between those two very different worlds of development.

picture of coding in IDE

Front-End Development

As the name states “Front-End” is the part of the code that is on the front of the application. It is usually visible to user in the form of an interface inviting to interact with user. The main purpose of the front-end code is to interact with user, as well as present the data in a well-defined style and matter.

Everything that your eye sees on the web is the mix of HTML, CSS and JavaScripts. Those are the main three languages used to present your website in the best way possible. HTML (or Hyper Text Markup Language) is responsible for creating a markup of your website and letting the browser read it and display it correctly. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is the place where we bring all the colors, backgrounds, font sizes etc. to life. JavaScript is the most advanced language of all three which enables us to interact with user in form of sliders, drop-down menus, quizzes, and many more interactive elements where sky is the limit.

The front-end developer is the bridge connecting the designer and back-end developer. The developer’s work is to take the final designs of an application from the designer, and code it into the front-end code so the back-end developer can understand it and build functionality of that app around it.

Besides main elements in front-end environment, we currently have many libraries and frameworks making our code and life easier. It all depends on the needs of the project and client if we are going to use jQuery (JavaScript library), Less (CSS library), Bootstrap (Front-End framework) or any of the different ones that are coming out every day.

Back-End Development

We call back-end code the brain of any app out there. The back-end development is a part of the application that is never visible to the user. It is built with use of server-side language and database. In simpler words, front-end code interacts with a user in real time while back-end code interacts with a server to return user ready results. Anything displayed on the website is because of the query performed on the server returned data to the front-end.

Operation of back-end code is a bit more complex. The developer builds an application (using server-side code like PHP, Ruby, Python, .Net etc.) which connects with a database (using MySQL, SQL, Access etc.) to look up, save or change data and return it back to the user in form of front-end code. This complicated structure helps us look for things, shop, interact socially and more in the modern world of the internet. If you think of any operation on your website like sending a contact form, signing up for a newsletter or editing page content, it is always a back-end code responsible for that operation.

The back-end developer usually takes ready front-end code and implements it into application where everything is displayed dynamically using data stored in a database. This developer works closely with proposed functionality specifications that end user want to achieve.

As in front-end environment, there are many libraries and frameworks used to make the coding of back-end code simpler and performance faster. The most popular that we are using on daily basis include Ruby on Rails, Code Igniter or Node.js. We are very careful choosing the frameworks that we want to build our apps around taking into consideration many factors such as performance, validation or style of the coding.


Both development parts are critical in creation of a new website or application. We don’t believe that digital agencies that push one platform can provide the optimal solution for every client and project. While we don’t expect clients to read or write code - it is important for them to choose a digital partner who has the knowledge and expertise to first select the best framework for your project and then work seamlessly to write good front-end and back-end code.

Quote : Adrian Koperski