February 21, 2024 Read 3 Min

Back to Basics: Frontend and Backend Development

It takes two to tango, and for app development that’s frontend and backend development. With insights from our senior software developer, we’re simplifying the complexities of frontend and backend in this back-to-basics explanation.

Two sides of a coin. Two sides to a story. Yin and Yang. 

Just as with many things, websites and apps are made up of two parts at the core of it. Frontend and Backend. Simple.

But over the years, both frontend and backend development have gotten too complex. With the availability of new languages and frameworks being pushed to developers, it can easily overwhelm anyone considering creating web applications. Newcomers and businesses alike.

To bring clarity back to the matter, we’re breaking it down to the basics.

What is Frontend Development?

Often referred to as the “client-side”, frontend is the part of a website or app that we see and interact with as users. It’s the part where UI/UX design has a monumental role, making front-end development imperative. 

Frontend development is the development branch that focuses on the users directly. Developers work closely with UI/UX designers to ensure every feature on a browser display is visually appealing and functional.

From the graphics to the menus to the buttons we press, front-end development is the one that makes it work. A usable app might not even make it to the market without proper front-end development.

Frontend components

  1. Visual Elements
  2. Interactive Elements
  3. Feedback Mechanisms
  4. Accessibility Features

What is Backend Development?

For starters, the backend is the part that manages the functionality of an application as a whole. Identifiable as the “server-side”, it deals with databases, software architectures, APIs, and everything behind the scenes. 

As a result, developers with specialized technical expertise manage the complexity of backend. Not users.

Users primarily experience the effects of the backend through the frontend display. Any actions or processes initiated in the backend will ultimately reflect in the user’s browser display. 

As the engine that powers the application’s core functionality, backend development plays a critical role in ensuring seamless communication between the front end and the underlying infrastructure.

Ultimately, shaping the user’s interaction with the application.

How do they differ?

Knowing where you fall behind with your web application and directing focus to that can mean business growth and failure. Understanding the differences between frontend and backend is the first step. 

Grasping their key differences can help you make strategic choices surrounding your digital presence.

After consulting with our senior software developer, we’ve curated a comparison table of key differences between frontend and backend encompassing responsibilities, languages, and frameworks — all of which are actively utilized in Snappymob’s projects.

How do they come together?

The separation between frontend and backend development leads businesses to believe they are entirely distinct phases of the development process. In reality, they are co-dependent.

With a little help through APIs, the frontend sends user input to the backend; at the same time, the backend receives the relevant data and updates it back to the user through their displays i.e. the frontend. 

Let’s look at a real-life example, shall we?

Consider Grab, a ride-sharing app.

The frontend is responsible for presenting the user interface. Here, users can enter their ride details, view available drivers, and track their trips in real-time. All of the user’s requests are passed on to the backend to complete the logistics of the trip.

Meanwhile, the backend processes user requests and fetches the requests from the database. This can cover retrieving driver and location data, calculating the fare, coordinating the logistics of the ride, handling payment transactions, and presenting them back to the user using the front end.

One is not possible without the other. It’s the seamless integration of both -ends that ultimately drives the application.

What is Fullstack Development?

If cost-effectiveness is your main priority, full-stack development is the answer you’re looking for. Fullstack developers are like a Swiss army knife.

They’re all-rounded with comprehensive knowledge of both, frontend and backend. They understand the entire development lifecycle and are versatile enough to work on various system parts.

While fullstack development finds its place across the spectrum, it shines brightest in the realm of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Here, its benefits truly come to the fore. Fullstack development empowers SMEs to maximize resources while maintaining agility.

Navigate App Development With Confidence

Choosing the right developer for your project can seem daunting with the array of options available. We understand the challenge of finding the perfect fit. 

Using this article as a point of reference, we hope it has demystified your app development journey. Guiding you by streamlining your search process and decision-making process when hiring frontend or backend developers.

But, when in doubt, partnering with a mobile app development company can ease your problems tenfold.

At Snappymob, our developers are adept in end-to-end development. Frontend, backend, and fullstack, our team pledges personalized craftsmanship and technical prowess for every project under our care.