April 24, 2024

Front-End vs Back-End: What Is It In Simple Words

Nadya Bakhur

Researcher, Technical Writer


Front-end vs back-end

Nadya Bakhur

Researcher, Technical Writer


Front-end vs back-end

There are two types of web development – front-end and back-end. They are like bricks that help you to build any website you wish. They are not similar to each other and perform different tasks, but they work in close conjunction to help you get a well-functioning website with a clear interface.

In this article, we will compare back-end vs front-end, analyze how they differ, what tasks they impose, and what are the requirements for each development type.

What Is Front-End Development?

The front-end definition is rather simple – it is the creation of a user interface on the client’s side of a website or application. This is everything that the users observe when they open the web page and what they interact with: buttons, banners, and animations. The front end is connected with the business logic of the product (the client’s part constantly “communicates” with the server part), but this is the field for the back-end developers.

In the course of work, the front-end developer interacts with designers, back-end developers, and UX analysts.

To understand what a front-end is, open the page of any site – you will see the interface. Right-click on the page, select “View Page Source”, and you will see … the page’s source code.

This is an example of the work of a front-end developer. The browser runs code that describes colours, layout, fonts, and the location of graphic elements, and the front-end user interface becomes a real masterpiece.

Front-End Technologies and Components

The front end of a website or web application can be divided into three large parts:

  • HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is a document markup language that creates a page structure: headings, paragraphs, lists, etc.;
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language for describing and styling the appearance of a document. Thanks to the CSS code, the browser understands exactly how to display the elements. For example, CSS sets colours and font options and determines how to locate different blocks of the site. It also allows a front-end user to reproduce the document in different forms: for printing (plain or Braille), for display on the screen or for reading with a screen reader;
  • JavaScript is the language that brings web pages to life. Its task is to respond to user actions, and process mouse clicks, cursor movements, and keystrokes. It also sends requests to the server and loads data without reloading the page, allows you to enter messages and much more;
  • jQuery (JS framework). This is an archive that stores sets of ready-made functions to make it easier to write JavaScript code. Instead of writing everything again, a developer can take the corresponding element from the finished design.

What does a front-end developer do?

  • Brings to life a layout designed by a web designer. Makes up the service, fills the site with text, pictures, icons, pop-up windows and panels;
  • Makes pages interactive. This means that all buttons should lead to the correct pages, and internal links should work correctly;
  • Adapts the resource to different devices. A convenient and eye-pleasing interface that looks great both on a monitor and on a mobile phone screen is also a merit of front-end development;
  • Develops single-page apps (SPAs) or individual options. It is often required during product development. For example, if you want to create a service for buying flight tickets, it can be a cost calculator or an interactive route map.

So, your website has a catchy design, and there are animation elements, highlighted buttons, and thought-out fonts, but the question is, how does everything work from the inside?

What Is Back-End?

Back-end development is building a product's business logic (website or web application).

The website back-end is responsible for user interaction with internal data, which is then displayed by the front end. Simply put, this is what is hidden from the user’s eyes and takes place outside the browser and computer.


When drivers get into their cars, they see the “user interface” in front of them: the control panel, steering wheel, gas and brake pedals. When they press the gas pedal, the car starts to move forward. So, the front end is similar to these pedals: the driver knows what will happen when pressing them. And the back end is the internal process that occurs in the car after pressing the pedal. The user does not see how the engine starts and does not know how it works.

Now let’s see how the back end for the website works:

When you enter a query on a search engine page and press the Enter button, you move from the front-end area to the back-end area. The request is sent to the search engine server, where complex search algorithms are located, and all the “magic” happens there. As soon as the information you were looking for appears on the screen, you return to the front-end area.

In a broad sense, the server is the same computer, but remote and much more powerful. It stores data and responds to user requests.

Back-End Technologies and Components

The back-end developers use the tools that are available on the server. They have the right to choose any of the universal programming languages – for example, Ruby, PHP, Python or Java. It all depends on the specific project and the customer’s task.

Also for back-end development, database management systems are used:

  • MySQL;
  • PostgreSQL;
  • SQLite;
  • MongoDB.

The following download (deploy) tools are also used:

  • CI/CD;
  • Kubernetes (K8s);
  • Docker.

The back-end meaning is not only in writing code but also creating the architecture of the website or application. The architecture in development defines the structure and use of databases. It is important that the database interacts correctly with the application code and is continuously delivered to the server, and the back-end developer is responsible for this.

What does a back-end developer do?

The tasks of a back-end developer vary depending on the project. An experienced specialist can integrate databases, deal with security or configure a backup system.

  • CRUD development. The simplest tasks an application should be able to do are Create, Read, Update, and Delete. For example, if the site has a personal account, the backend developer ensures that it can be created, its information can be reached, updated, and deleted;
  • Working with databases, cache, and search indexing. The information that comes from the front needs to be properly stored and processed, after which it must be properly structured;
  • External integration. External resources, partner APIs, etc. are connected. To do this, you need to do some research: study the documents, and develop everything so that the application remains functioning even if the partner’s one crashes.


So what’s the difference between front-end and back-end? Front-end development is about visualization, graphic editors, and templates. Software back-end development is about simplifying modelling systems that show what the user can do on the site in the future.

As a rule, the responsibilities of the front-end vs back-end developers are different, so the requirements for specialists in this area differ as well. However, these are not at all mutually exclusive areas, and a front-end developer needs to at least roughly imagine the back-end systems as well, especially since both areas need technical and creative components.

If you don’t want to waste time searching for front-end and back-end developers separately, contact NEKLO. We provide a full range of web application development services, and our specialists will gladly consult you on any of the possible issues, be it front-end or back-end development. Just fill in the form on our website – and let’s partner up!