Front End vs Back End of Your Website: Everything You Need to Know
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Front End vs Back End of Your Website: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re beginning a journey into running your own website, you’ve probably heard of the front end vs back end. But you might be a little foggy on what the front end and back end matter in terms of performing admin functions. 

This is your easy-to-understand guide on everything you need to know about the front end vs back end of your website. In this article, you find out what the difference is between the front and back end of your website. And, more importantly, the aspects that are important for a website admin.   

Front End vs Back End: The Quick and Dirty

The front end vs back end of your website has to do with your level of interaction with the developers code. The frontend is everything on your website that has nothing to do with coding. Most often, “frontend” is used to describe the public-facing side of a website. It is the portion of the site which users interact with. 

But, as an admin, you also have to make changes and perform maintenance to the website, which you can’t do from the public-facing side of the frontend. Every Content Management System (CMS) has an admin dashboard that enables administrative functions. This dashboard is commonly referred to as the backend of the frontend. 

In general, the backend of your website is everything behind the digital curtain, or – in other words – the developers end. But, it get’s confusing when the term “backend” is used to describe the admin dashboard as well.

What’s a CMS?

A tool called a Content Management System (CMS) abstracts web development languages into a friendly interface. WordPress, Drupal, Wix, and Squarespace are the most popular CMS’s currently on the market. 

The dashboard looks different on each CMS, but they all allow administrative functionality without requiring the admin to know coding language. The coding of your website is the responsibility of your website development company. 

In fact, most marketing agencies build websites using one of these CMS platforms as a foundation. Developers either code on the front end, backend, or both. A web developer that can code on the front and backend of a CMS is called a Full-stack developer. 

Expanding on the front-end: 

There are many web development languages that are used for both the front-end and the back-end. The three primary front end languages in use are HTML, CSS, and Javascript. HTML provides the structure of the website, while CSS provides the visual look, and Javascript provides the interactivity. 

Think about a website as a restaurant: The HTML is the dining tables, silverware, and chairs; CSS would be the atmosphere, decorations, music, and paint; and, Javascript is the waitstaff.

Expanding on the back-end:

The most popular languages for the back-end are PHP, Ruby, Python, SQL, and Java. The purpose of these languages is to interact with the websites database. These languages are intended to store, retrieve, and change specific information stored in the data files. 

The kind of information held in the database can be anything from your username/password to account information about your website. In our restaurant metaphor, the back-end of your website is the kitchen. The kitchen staff receives the order from your waiter and delivers your request. This all happens out of sight of the client.

How Much Does an Admin Need to Know?

The fact of the matter is that your administrative functionality and ease-of-use are entirely dependent on the quality of your backend development. If you are having a hard time editing specific sections of content, widgets, or page elements it means the site is not robust on the backend. 

The trick to being able to manage your website effectively is to have it built by a full-stack developer. Full-stack developers are not only versed in CMSs but also can code in both front-end and back-end languages. So, you get a fully customizable website in the framework of your choice that can be as unique as your brand.

Often, this is the difference between a low-cost website and a professionally built website. The former is developed atop a pre-made template. They break easily, cannot be fixed easily, and all look similar. The latter is durable, fixable, and expandable.

Final Thoughts

As an admin of your new website, the only end that you should be interacting with is the frontend. At DOJO, every website is built by a full-stack developer to be easily maintained by you, regardless of your technical experience. In short – the frontend is for you and your customers – the back end is for the developers. 
Check out the blog for more easy-to-understand resources on website development and digital marketing. And, contact DOJO Creative to begin your digital journey and give your website a new-life.