Front-End vs. Back-End Development

Front-End vs. Back-End Development

There has been a lot of discussion on this topic: Back-End vs. Front-End. As a front end developer at Blueprint, who is trying to make the transition to back end, I realize that there are not a lot of good explanation on this topic. Lets start with front end.


Front end development consists of visual presentation and interaction by the user when they access your website. Front end development consists of two main process: the design and the development

When we think about web design we think about those who work with Photoshop and Fireworks. A designer is exceedingly skilled at making beautiful websites and applications, but does not have the experience to make the design functional. When the designer is finished, the role of the front end developer comes into play.

When the front end developer, like myself, gets the layout we start the slice the PSD to create the template. We use languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript or jQuery (it might be important to say that jQuery is a JavaScript library). What you see is a combination of those technologies being coordinated by your browser. This includes drop-down menus, slides, transitions, contact form etc. The browser helps you see the website interface, it cannot control the logic behind the website.


The back end the is the part behind the scenes. It usually consists of three parts: a server, an application and a database. When you buy something online, you open the website, and interact with the front-end development. Once you have inputed all of the necessary information to purchase the item, the application stores your information in the database on the server. You can think of the database as a huge Excel spreadsheet.

The server keeps your information and if you decide to buy something again from the same website, you do not need to add all of your information again because it is already there.

Back end developers use languages like PHP, Ruby, Python etc. Sometimes to save time and work many developers use frameworks that are already built by someone else and it might help the developer to jump ahead with the development process.


As one of my colleagues states ”WordPress is a powerfull CMS”. WordPress is a good e example of Back-End & Front-End working together. Designers build the website layout, front end developers create the user interface and the back end developers give functionality to the website.

By: Mihai