What's the Difference Between the Front-End and Back-End?
Two terms thrown around a lot in the web industry are front-end and back-end. It can be a little frustrating since the difference between the front-end and back-end isn't always perfectly clear. They're terms often used to describe aspects of the web industry. The front-end is also referred to as the client-side and is sometimes considered "web design". The back-end of the web industry is often called the server-side. Often when someone says they're a "web developer" they're saying they work on the back-end of sites. While that explanation seems simple, the line between the two is often blurry. Here are some basic guidelines to help tell the difference between the front-end and back-end or at least be able to begin to understand what someone does when they say they're a "front-end developer."
The back-end, or the "server-side", is basically how the site works, updates and changes. This refers to everything the user can't see in the browser, like databases and servers. Usually people who work on the back-end are called programmers or developers. Back-end developers are mostly worried about things like security, structure and content management. They usually know and can use languages like HTML and CSS, but that's definitely not their focus. Back-end developers, or at least back-end development, is required to create a dynamic site. A dynamic site is a site that's constantly changing and updated in real-time. Most sites are dynamic sites, as opposed to static sites. Facebook, Google Maps and this blog are all considered dynamic sites. Blogs are dynamic sites, since their content is constantly changing and updating. A dynamic site requires a database to work properly. All information, like user profiles or images they've uploaded, or blog posts, are stored in the database. Web developers work with programming languages like PHP or .Net, since they need to work with something the database understands. The code they write communicates with the server and then tells the browser what to use from the database.