If you’ve had a website developed before, you probably heard the terms front-end and back-end development. These terms are pretty technical in the web development services world, but both are equally important in making your website functional and conversion-friendly.
Understanding front-end vs. back-end web development
Front-end development handles the surface interface of the website. This is user-facing or the components of the website that are visible to the client and users.
All the visible elements that users see are programmed during the front-end development. These are the elements that make a website functional and dynamic. Some of these are:
- Internal links
As such, front-end developers specialize in client-side requirements of website development. They must be adept at combining the surface-level elements into making a cohesive and highly usable website.
Front-end developers need to build a good rapport with web designers and back-end developers.
On the other hand, back-end development handles the website’s connection with servers and databases. So, this is in the background, developer or coder-facing.
While the work of the developers is in the server-side of website development, these are typically invisible to both the client and users. Nonetheless, the client may be given access to some back-end components such as:
- Back-end logic
- Database management
- Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
- Accessibility and security policy compliance
The back-end developers work with the front-end developers closely when creating and maintaining websites. Both developers ensure smooth integration between the elements and the databases and servers.
Understanding front-end and back-end development
A lot goes into developing a fully functional website. In addition, creating unique experiences that your users will appreciate is challenging. The most important thing to remember as the website owner is the seamless integration between these two broad development components because they affect the overall performance of your website.
It is impossible to develop a website without a functional program to take care of the back-end components since this is where the magic happens. This is more so for components that directly affect the user experience (UX).
As such, a website needs a robust back-end service, including the choice of the content management system (CMS). For e-commerce websites, your choices are Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce. For non-transactional websites, WordPress is highly recommended for its highly customizable nature.
Websites should be easy to navigate and not confusing to the users. Don’t expect the users to continue exploring your website if it is. The opposite is true–they will abandon your website and never return.
Furthermore, there are several web development principles to follow, such as the three-click rule and fixed start destination. Regardless of which is applied to your website, the navigation must make sense to the users.
A website that takes forever to load aggravates the users. And no user would want to subject themselves to this agony. Why wait when there are other websites to find the same information or buy products from? If your website can’t deliver in terms of speed, your competitors will.
Slow loading times can be fixed at both the front and back-end–even before the site is launched. However, you cannot skip this step. Also, website owners or developers must regularly check the website to ensure that the users find the information they want when they need it.
Code can make or break a website development project. Thusly, we cannot emphasize the need to write clean codes enough. Clean code means it is easy to understand and change if needed.
When developing a website–and this is true for both front and back-end, writing a clean code is also a form of communication between two developers handling your website. Your website will survive the developers hired by a web development agency. So it will be passed on from one developer to another. But with a clean code, the next developer could easily understand what is written.
Technology progresses, and at the very least, your website should be scalable. Scalability is defined as the ability of a system or network to cope despite the increased workload. A website that can only hold so much–features and functions-wise. There shouldn’t be any problems if it needs to add new features.
Another compatibility issue that can be fixed at the back-end and displayed at the front-end is device and browser compatibility. Users are multi-device, accessing a website on a desktop, laptop, smartphone, etc. Your website must be readily accessible regardless of which device is used. The same applies to disregarding what browser is used. Your site must load on various browsers, including the older versions of such.
About 55% of users use their smartphones to search for products and purchase them online, while 69.4% use a shopping app to buy things they need. These mobile marketing statistics require that your website should be mobile responsive. Not to mention, Google displays mobile-friendly websites first for queries performed through a mobile device.
So it only makes sense to make your website adaptable through a responsive design. If this is your first foray into developing a website, a responsive design can make the site adapt to any device. However, the website needs to be upgraded to make it mobile-friendly.
Security risks and threats are getting more sophisticated nowadays. Therefore, developers must build websites to withstand any security breach as possible on both the front and back-end.
Basic security features such as SSL certificates to combat browser-based security issues are critical. However, if your website collects personally identifiable information from users, it would be wise to add another security layer. This ensures the protection of customer information. These security features are added to the framework and design. They should be regularly reviewed too.
In a nutshell
All these point to the overall functionality of your website or basically what it can do for your target users and how. Functionality encompasses actions while on a particular page to interactions with dynamic content. Both front-end and back-end work to provide the right functionality and optimize it to enhance UX experience and website performance.
Speaking of UX, another fundamental aspect is overall usability. Ease of use means that the users should find the information they are looking for quickly and easily. It boils down to the efficiency of the website from the users’ perspective. So, if there’s a struggle on the part of the users, it means that your website is not efficient enough in its design.
Web design and development is one of the core services of Optimind. We have an in-house team of front-end and back-end developers. Our team can help you expedite business growth through a website that does what it should. Call us!