For those unfamiliar with the basics of web design, trying to figure out what separates frontend from backend web design can be a tricky process. They sound pretty similar, after all. Despite their differences, their main goal is the same: working to create an application or user experience for your customers and clients.
Simply put, frontend web design is about creating a display to interact with, while backend web design involves the nuts and bolts that makes the visual display of the frontend possible.
But let’s not stop there—let’s take a closer look at components of frontend vs. backend design:
Frontend Web Development
As we mentioned above, frontend web design involves creating the website interface you see and interact with. This could include text, images, drop down menus, link creation, and everything in between. Any online form you fill out, menu you select, or formatting option you choose is the result of stable frontend design. To create these features, developers will typically use:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Illustrator
Or other related tools to create displays and features to interact with. Developers with a frontend focus would be familiar with display and web design code that allows for simplicity and usability with a creative edge that appeals to their market.
Backend Web Development
Unlike frontend design, backend web design features the servers, applications, and databases that run behind the scenes. These applications and systems of servers store and process the data collected via your frontend interface. Think of the visual display as the conduit to get your information in the hands of the companies you do business with. Applications for backend design often include:
Amongst others. Developers who specialize in backend design work to optimize the process of data location and delivery. Where frontend design is consumer-facing and focuses more on functionality for the user experience, backend design is the complex system architecture that processes the wealth of data input by users.
The Recipe for Success
Great web design will require efficient development on both frontend and backend design. Like the two wings of a plane or two wheels on a bicycle, the system will only function when both sides are working properly.
To illustrate this, imagine trying to buy plane tickets online. You’ll interact with the company’s frontend design to login, choose your flight, location, and seats. This data will be transmitted and stored in the servers powered by the backend development, allowing the information to be retrieved the next time you or the company needs to access it. Pretty simple, right?
Now imagine trying to order those same tickets from an archaic frontend interface that is muddled with errors, illogical navigation, and inefficient design that prevents you from selecting the options you want. It doesn’t matter how efficient the backend design is at this point, does it?
Conversely, the visual interface could be as clear and streamlined as possible, but could be backed by an outdated server infrastructure that takes hours to retrieve data, or fails to retrieve it at all. How can a business expect to turn a profit without both wings of their plane functioning optimally?
This is why so many firms are turning to white label and outsourced web development to meet their needs. Great web design is as much of an art form as a science, and knowing what components make up an effective web development team is a critical part of meeting your business and customer experience goals.