Frontend and Backend developer are two terms that have subtle but very clear distinction yet these are used interchangeably in common references. Frontend and backend both indicate their meanings in their terms - frontend is what comes to front whereas backend is what remains in the hindsight.
Website development services translate to development of two essential aspects of website, its UI, and the processing behind UI or backend. To explain the difference of these two common terms UI and backend, presentation and processing behind UI is sufficient, but only for those who are little bit more aware of development and development lifecycle, not for common men. Here are few criteria that separate these two terms and role and responsibilities of frontend and backend developer.
Frontend developer is trusted with design that faces the user. When you open any website the first page or home page, and other pages along with images, content and others like videos, banners etc are designed by frontend developer or as commonly called web designer. Frontend developer uses software and tools to create designs and give website a look and feel. He is the one which makes any website containing common information look like a pro site by his unique design and creativity.
Backend developer’s role starts when user starts using the website. Like if a user clicks on enquiry form and feeds information about him, how and where that information is going to go and get stored is backend developer’s job. Backend developer’s role is to add functionality to options given on any website. The work of backend developer does not come to forefront like web designer’s does. It remains in the hindsight, which is why it is backend.
Web designer or frontend developer of a website is the one who has placed those flashy buttons, meaningful pictures, graphical representations etc. over website. But he has just placed these. He may have picked these from somewhere else, or would have drawn these in his computer and later paste these over website page. To do his work today frontend developer would use tools like HTML, CSS, Photoshop etc. These tools are called web designing tools. Many frontend developers are well-versed in graphic designing tools like coreldraw, illustrator etc. as well. Frontend developer creates unique images with the help of these tools and pastes these over web page.
Backend developer possesses skills that provide functionality to website. When you use any ecommerce website the image, expanded image and other details are work of a designer but when you click to buy, information about availability of delivery in your area, stock availability, calculation of final price etc is work of backend developer. To carry out his tasks backend developer uses various languages like dotnet, node.js, Java, python, PHP etc. Web developer or backend developer deals with the functions related to server-side processes. Accessing database for fresh info, updating database according to user activity and carrying out complex processing on run-time are few works that are regular part of backend or web developer’s routine.
Frontend verses backend developer
Frontend developer is responsible for maintaining look and feel of website, presenting the static content and for providing and taking information from user. Backend developer writes code that supports work of frontend developer takes the information, and stores and provides it when needed through APIs. He also maintains database at server and writes procedures and routines for run-time processing.
Frontend developer needs creativity to make website look appealing and self-explanatory to a large extent. He should have knowledge and expertise of designing tools, writing HTML code and aesthetic qualities to make website attractive. Backend developer has nothing to do with cosmetics he strictly adheres to logic, processing and function. His job is to let website function and fulfill its objective flawlessly, securely and speedily.
Web development services
The best web development company would have a team of frontend developers or web designers, and a team of backend developer or web developers. Another term which is commonly used nowadays is full stack web development. This term means that company provides both the services, frontend and backend development. In other words the company provides complete web development services. You can expect company to design attractive and user-friendly frontend or user interface (UI) and also code for backend or server-side functions.
When any developer mentions full stack web development in his profile it means that person is well-versed with HTML coding and even designing tools to make UI and also knows server-side programming languages. This indicates that he is capable of delivering complete website on his own taking care of frontend and backend both.
UI/UX designers and backend developer
UI is user-interface and UX is user experience. Few years before these were skills of two types of designers – UI designer dealing with design and appearance of website and UX designer had knowledge of how people like to use any website. UX designer will place buttons and other call-to-action images etc to make website user-friendly. But now there are no separate UI or UX designers. Web designers or frontend developers are expected and should have knowledge and skills for UI and UX both.
Role of backend developer has not changed much and still their main skill is to keep website functional. Yes, there has been regular change in popular skills but almost all the languages for server-side programming are still in use and demand for backed developers those are experts in any particular language has been stable. In some backend or server-side programming languages use of open-source technologies keep surging up from time to time.
To describe conclusively frontend and backend developers are complementary skills needed for web development services. Frontend developers can create a website without backend developer which will be a static website. However backend developers cannot provide a website which a user can access without UI or frontend development. The full stack developers are experts in HTML and designing tools along with server-side programming languages, this means they possess complete range of skills to create a complete website.