Building a website is a collaborative experience. It requires a partnership between the client or business and the developer—or in some cases, multiple developers: front end and backend developers.

Websites are composed of both the client-side and the server-side. The client-side is the elements that you see when you interact with a website. The backend or server-side includes all of the functionality and data that make the website work. While some web developers have experience and can perform both front end and backend development, the two roles are unique and require different skills.

When it comes to building your website, you need both a front end and backend developer. In some cases, you can work with a web designer that can perform both functions. Here’s how the two roles compare and how to determine your web development needs.

Front End Web Development

Front end developers focus on user experience and user interface. They are responsible for the website’s appearance and design. When you look at a website, the way it appears, flows, and draws your eye to specific elements is all part of front end development.

In order to do their job effectively, front end developers need to understand the importance of human interaction and human behavior. What colors, design elements, and layout are most attractive to website users? These are the questions front end developers ask in order to do their job effectively. Their skills allow them to build sites that provide a great experience for the user.

When you hear discussions about whether or not a website is user-friendly, that is referring to the aspects of the site that a front end developer handles.

Front end developers also lean on different coding languages than backend web developers. A front end developer most often utilizes CSS, HTML, and Javascript for design and development. These languages allow developers to create visually appealing designs and websites.

Backend Web Development

Backend web developers are responsible for the functionality of the website that takes place behind the scenes. They create the platform and code that allows the front end design to work. Every time you interact with a website, what you see is front end development. But what you experience when you click or scroll is backend development.

The languages used by backend developers include Ruby and Python, among other query languages. These coding languages are used for functionality and communication between applications and databases.

Backend developers are less concerned with the appearance of a site and more concerned with security, database management, and how all of your website’s elements work together. They are critical thinkers and problem solvers who make sure web pages do what they are designed to do.

Which One Do You Need?

Building a website that stands out and helps your business grow requires both front end and backend development. In some cases, when you use certain website servers and platforms, backend development is already complete. Your web designer can build a beautiful site without involving a separate backend developer.

When you require custom development, however, it is important to hire a web developer that either does both front end and backend, or one who has a partnership with other developers.

While I specialize in front end development and web design, I also have extensive experience with backend development support and services. Even if your website is beautifully designed and optimized for user experience, I offer maintenance and security services to make sure your website continues functioning the way it should.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me and I’ll help you navigate whether you need a front end or backend developer, or a combination of the two.

Get the website your business needs in order to expand your audience and increase revenue. The best place to start is with an experienced web developer. Contact me to set up a free consultation today!