Difference between Frontend and Backend

Are you planning to work for the web development project? Web development includes both frontend and backend. Frontend and backend of a web application are completely different and Understanding frontend and backend and their differences is very important. This helps you to choose one among them to become an expert in it. If you want to choose frontend you need to possess certain skills and if you want to choose backend, then you need to possess some other skills. In this blog let us understand what is front end and back end and understand how they differ.

What is frontend?

In web development, frontend refers to the user interface and the user experience of the web application. It focuses on the development of the visual aspects of the web application through which the users can interact like the functionality, design and the layout. The person involved in the frontend development of the website is called the front end developer.

What is Backend?

In web development, backend refers to the server side development of the web application. It focuses on building the application logics, databases and servers. It helps the developer to communicate with the database, save, retrieve and delete data. The person involved in the backend development of the website is called the backend developer.

Frontend and backend are very essential in web development. Users can see the frontend part of the website and can interact with it like design, texts, images, videos and navigation menu while the backend cannot be seen and cannot be interacted with. The primary difference between the frontend and backend is that the frontend indicates how a web page looks whereas the backend indicates how the website works. That is, the front end is the client side and the backend is the server side. Both of them would interact with each other and operate effectively as a single unit to enhance the functionality of the website.

Differences between front end and back end:

Skills required for Frontend web development:

Technical Skills: Front end developers need to possess skills in HTML, CSS and Javascript.

  • HTML: for building the structure of the webpage
  • CSS: for styling the web pages
  • Javascript: for adding the interactivity to the web pages

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Frameworks and Libraries: Front end developers must possess skills in anyone of the below frameworks and libraries.

Testing frameworks and methodologies: Frontend developers should have good knowledge on the testing frameworks and methodologies like Enzyme, Jest or Cypress to make sure that web pages are working correctly.
Version control system: They must have knowledge on version control systems such as Git to manage the code and coordinate with the other developers.

Frontend developers should also have a good understanding of responsive design principles that ensures the website is displayed correctly on distinct devices, Design skills for creating appealing and user friendly web pages, Idea on Cross browser compatibility to make sure that their web pages display and function correctly on various browsers, etc.

Skills required for Backend web development

Programming languages: Backend developer must have proficiency in any one of the server side programming languages like

  • Python
  • Node.js
  • PHP
  • Ruby on Rails

Databases: Backend developers should be proficient with the databases like

  • MySQL
  • MongoDB
  • PostgreSQL
  • And must have a good knowledge on data structures and algorithms.

Backend frameworks: Backend developer must have proficiency in any one of these frameworks like

  • Express.js
  • Django
  • Laravel
  • Flask

Testing frameworks and methodologies: Backend developers should have good knowledge on the testing frameworks and methodologies like

  • Pytest
  • Jest
  • Mocha
  • Backend developers must also have skills on API design and implementation to expose backend functionality to front-end applications, server administration and deployment skills to configure web servers, setup databases, and deploy databases, and also must be able to take steps to secure the backend application.

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Testing methodologies for frontend & backend

To make sure that the developed application is reliable, functional and secure, we need to use some testing methodologies in frontend as well as backend development. Although the skills required for frontend and backend development are different, the testing principles are the same.

  • Unit testing: In frontend development, for every individual component like menus, buttons, input fields unit testing is performed. Frameworks like Mocha/Jest are used in frontend development to automate and execute unit testing on codebase. Even in backend development, unit testing is used to test every function and the code component. Frameworks like JUnit, Mockito or PyTest are used in backend development to automate and execute unit testing on codebase.
  • Integration testing: In frontend development, Integration testing is used to verify the interaction between the components. Frameworks like Cypress or Selenium are used to test integration of components in frontend integration testing. Integration testing in backend development is used to test if the backend components like server and database work correctly together. Frameworks like Spring test/testNG are used in the backend integration testing.
  • In frontend development, we even perform performance testing to check whether the website is loading quickly and performing well. Tools like Google Lighthouse/Webpage Test are used for testing the website performance. Whereas in Backend development, security testing plays an important role in protecting the application from vulnerabilities. Tools like OWASP ZAP/Burp Suite are used to test the security vulnerabilities.

Collaboration Between Frontend and Backend Development Teams

To ensure that the website is developed efficiently, collaboration between the frontend and backend development team is very important. Although the responsibilities and expertise of both frontend and backend developers are different, they need to work together to create a seamless and secure experience for the users.

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Security concerns in front end and back end development

To ensure the security of the website or application, both frontend and backend developers are responsible. User inputs must be validated and sanitised by Frontend developers to prevent cross site scripting and various other attacks. They also need to implement secure authorization and authentication techniques to protect the user data. While the backend developers must ensure that server-side code is secure and is not vulnerable to the attacks like cross-site request forgery, SQL injection, etc. To protect the sensitive data, backend developers also need to implement secure data storage and transition.

Career prospects for frontend and backend development

As businesses are continuing to invest in the development of mobile and web applications, there is a huge demand for both frontend and backend developers. In India, a frontend developer’s salary ranges in between 3 Lakhs to 11.4 Lakhs per annum while the backend developer’s salary ranges in between 3.5 Lakhs to 17 Lakhs per annum.

Either you are willing to become a frontend developer or backend developer, you need to possess attention to detail, problem solving skills, and the ability to work in a team environment. As the developers seek the ways to create an efficient and seamless experience for the users, the future of web development is likely to get integration between frontend and backend technologies. Now Fullstack development frameworks like MERN/MEAN are used by developers for both frontend and backend development. Developers are also using serverless architectures to focus on writing code instead of managing infrastructures. Serverless architecture is used by both frontend and backend development to build microservices.

In this blog we have compared both frontend and backend development. Now we know the differences between frontend and backend, skills required for frontend and backend, their salaries and career prospects. We hope you found this information useful. For more blogs on various frontend and backend technologies, stay tuned!.

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Research Analyst
As a content writer at HKR trainings, I deliver content on various technologies. I hold my graduation degree in Information technology. I am passionate about helping people understand technology-related content through my easily digestible content. My writings include Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Python, Salesforce, Servicenow and etc.