Frontend vs Backend Development: Which One Is Right For You?

Coffee and code

Front End and Back End Development work can be confusing for some. In this article we will walk you through: the definition of Web Development, the difference Between Front End and Back End Development and how you (as a business) can avoid several losses by choosing the right web development agency.

What is Web Development?

In simple terms, website development refers to the work that goes into building a website for the internet. Web development generally refers to web markup and coding, the more non-design aspects of a website, to create features and functionality. This includes all related development tasks, such as: server-side scripting, client-side scripting, network and server security configuration, content management system (CMS) development and eCommerce development.

The people who work behind the scenes to make a website look pixel perfect, work fast and perform well with a seamless user experience are known as web developers, or ‘devs’.

What Is the Difference Between Front End and Back End Development?

The front end of a website is the part that users interact with. It’s everything that you see when you’re navigating around the internet or using an application, for example, fonts, colours, dropdown menus and sliders. Front end developers are responsible for the look and feel of a website and for implementing designs and concepts on the website.

Back end development makes the front end of the website possible by supplying a place for all of the data to be stored. The back end of a website comprises of a server, an application and a database. A back end developer builds and maintains the technology that powers those elements which, simultaneously, enable the user-facing side of the website to even exist in the first place.

What Programming Languages Does a Front End Developer Use?

Front end developers use a variety of coding languages, depending on the platforms on which they are working and the types of tasks they are performing. The most common languages and frameworks front end web developers use are:

Front End Development coding languages:

  • HTML
  • CCS
  • JavaScript

Front End Development frameworks:

  • React
  • Angular
  • Vuejs
  • Emberjs
  • Backbonejs
  • Semantic-UI
  • Foundation
  • Svelte

What Programming Languages Does a Back End Developer Use?

Similarly to front end developers, back end developers use a variety of coding languages, depending on the platforms on which they are working and the types of tasks they are performing. The most common languages and frameworks backend web developers use are:

Back End Development coding languages:

  • Java
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Go
  • Node.js

Back End Development frameworks:

  • Laravel
  • CodeIgniter
  • Symfony
  • CakePHP
  • Yii
  • Zend
  • Phalcon
  • FuelPHP
  • PHPixie

How Do I Know Which Type of Web Development Is Right for Me?

Remember: A front end dev takes care of layout, design and interactivity, while a back end dev works behind the scenes by building a place for all of the data to be stored. It’s important to note the differences between the two development types and assess their skills and services against your own business needs.

What Can a Front End Developer Do for My Business?

If you have your own designer who isn’t very comfortable coding, hiring a front end developer can take the pressure off and reduce the risk of endangering your websites accessibility, performance, and overall maintainability of the front end code.

What Can a Back End Developer Do for My Business?

The back end is a critical component of both your website and the company’s success. A back end dev is responsible for making web pages, applications and databases work and ensuring that the site transfers data safely and efficiently.

Hiring a back end developer or full-stack developer can help you to solve business problems, write algorithms, monitor how the site is working, work in the cloud, create services and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and make changes and updates to improve the behind-the-scenes functionality.

How to Choose the Right Web Development Agency

There are tens of thousands of website design and development agencies in the United Kingdom alone, so how do you know which is the right one for your business? Many marketers and companies don’t know where to start. When you hire a web development agency, you’re hiring a technology partner for a partner development website, so making sure to choose the right one will save you lots of time, money and headaches by eliminating long-lasting ramifications from bad dev work.

We suggest starting by asking yourself these questions first: What resources do we have internally? What type of website do we need? What’re our hosting needs? Have we factored in all of the costs? What’s the level of support we need to carry out our project? Are we going to need on-going support?

Building websites requires a wide variety of skills and making sure that you have access to the right skillset during your project is vital. You want to avoid disappointment and heartbreak.

How many experienced business owners do you know that if you asked them to describe their experience with the development of their website, you know they’re likely to reply with, “Which version?” accompanied with an angry scowl. When starting your web development project you’ll need to take into account the following skills:

  • Brand Strategy and Positioning
  • Content Strategy
  • Copywriting/ Content Creation
  • User Experience
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation
  • Designer
  • Front End Development
  • Back End Development
  • CMS Implementation (WordPress or Drupal)
  • Hosting/DevOps

Unless you have a £250K+ design and development budget for your project, you won’t be able to hire a specialist for each of these areas. In order to choose the right agency, it’s crucial to know exactly what type of work you need—and what you don’t. When building a website, there are three major skillsets required: strategy, design and development. Agencies generally lead in one or two of these areas and rarely specialise in all three.

At EHD, we’re a full-service agency that has in-house experts, meaning we don’t outsource web development, and can quickly get up to speed on the ins and outs of your business. Much of the value that you get by working with an agency is the ability to apply the lessons we’ve learned along the way – learning how to best set up the project to succeed for our clients.

We build and design websites for some of the world’s biggest brands: Upfield, Bayer, Rubix, Elanco, IMG, Imperial College London, Lending Works and Royal College of Physicians. If you have a WordPress or Drupal project that needs to take off? Tell us about it.

Get in touch with one of our development or design specialists

Still not sure on how to leverage this valuable information and turn it into a successful backend web development project? Tell us what your site needs.