Frontend vs Backend Development

Perhaps you have heard the frontend and backend development terms. But do you understand what each one means and what is the difference between them?

To better explain how all of this works, let’s use the example of a customer trying to purchase a plane ticket using a website. All customers see on the website is the frontend; once customers enter all their information, such as their name, billing address, or destination, the web application stores the information in a previously created database on the server where the website requests the information.


The web application creates, deletes, changes, or renames items in the database. For example, when a customer purchases a ticket, that makes an article in the database, but when they change their order or wish to cancel, change the database item.

A server is a computer accessed remotely that runs software to fulfill requests from clients in the simplest form. In our example, the server the customer’s browser is communicating with is where the database is stored and modified.

Then, in short, when a customer wants to buy a ticket, the backend operation is the web application communicating with the server to make a change in a database stored on said server. Technologies like PHP, Ruby, Python, and other’ backend programmers make this communication work smoothly, allowing the customer to purchase their ticket with ease.


These days, frontend development refers to the part that web users interact with. In the past, web development consisted of people who worked with Photoshop and those who could code HTML and CSS. Now, developers need a handle of programs like Photoshop and code in HTML and CSS and JavaScript or jQuery, a compiled library of JavaScript.

Most of everything you see on any website is a mixture of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, all controlled by the browser.

For example, if you’re using Google Chrome or Firefox, the browser translates all of the code in a manner for you to see and with which to interact, such as fonts, colors, drop-down menus, sliders, or forms. However, for all of this to work, there has to be something supporting the frontend. So that’s where the backend comes in.

In other words, everything that users of a website or platform see is the frontend, and everything that they do not see, but that allows them to make interactions is the backend.

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