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The Difference Between Front-End and Back-End Web Developers

By Snap Agency September 11, 2023

You hear plenty of digital marketing buzzwords thrown out there without ever truly understanding them. But that’s okay because we do. Today, we’re going to talk about the difference between front-end and back-end development and how these technical terms factor into the creation of your website.

What Is Front-End Development?

Front-end developers are responsible for everything users directly experience. This includes images, text fonts and colors, the navigation bar, etc. It also deals with debugging potential issues and contributing to the overall design and aesthetic of the site.

Furthermore, front-end development deals with your website’s customer/client-side aspects, which are the parts that users can see and interact with. Having a proper plan for your front-end development is crucial because this is the aspect that will engage and activate your audience.

At their core, the goals of front-end development are to make your website as responsive and functional as possible. Giving your users a seamless and intuitive experience when they visit your website will guarantee they have a positive experience and a positive impression of your business

A lot of this may sound like the role of a web designer, but that role is different from front-end developers in a variety of ways. 

For example, a front-end developer is more concerned with the technical aspects of how a user interacts with a site, such as using programming languages to make the site interactive through a navigation bar. A web designer, on the other hand, focuses on the aesthetics of the navigation bar and is responsible for the text font, graphics, and overall layout.


Unless you’re an experienced coder, you may not realize the variety of programming languages needed to create a smooth front-end experience.

Front-end developers use a variety of languages in their line of work, including:

  • HTML: Hypertext Markup Language, known simply as HTML, combines Hypertext and Markup language. This is used to create the most basic elements of your website. Hypertext gives sites the ability to link to other web pages.
  • CSS: CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. This language is crucial for the flow and design of your website. CSS controls web pages’ visual design, layout, and responsiveness.
  • Javascript: Javascript is an important language for front-end development. It allows developers to create interactive web pages and enables sites to handle user interactions and communicate with servers, which leads to a more engaging and responsive site.

What Is Back-End Development?

Back-end developers are responsible for ensuring everything works smoothly, securely, and efficiently behind the scenes. Users have a seamless experience on your site without seeing any of the technical jargon that runs the show.

Here’s where you’ll see the difference between front-end vs. back-end development. 

While front-end developers focus on the client side of your site, back-end developers are working on the server side. On this side, developers deal with how the site stores and arranges data. They also ensure that everything on the client side of the site is working properly.

Back-end development deals with the aspects of the website that users can’t see or interact with. Of course, everything put in place by back-end developers users still access through the front-end, but it’s invisible to the user. 

On the back-end, developers write APIs, create libraries, and work with system components to ensure everything runs smoothly and data is transferred securely and efficiently between servers. 


Like front-end developers, those working on the back-end must be highly skilled in various programming languages and applications to create a functional and smooth website.

Here are some of the things back-end developers need to have a strong understanding of:

  • PHP: It’s a versatile language used to manage databases, create dynamic and interactive web pages, and perform server-side tasks.
  • C++: This language is necessary for websites that want to be competitive with speed and efficiency. It handles a range of server-side tasks, including developing web servers, database systems, and game servers.
  • Java: Java is an excellent language for creating robust and scalable server-side applications and services. It’s one of the most popular and common languages and platforms used in back-end development.
  • Python: Back-end developers use Python to build APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), web applications, and server-side software.

What Is Full Stack Development?

Now that we’ve discussed the difference between front-end vs. back-end development, let’s get into full-stack development. Much like Snap, a full-stack developer is essentially a jack-of-all-trades.

Full-stack developers deal with the entirety of the website, including the front and back end. They ensure that everything runs smoothly from the server to the client. They deal with the front-end, back-end, and database. They’re also responsible for debugging websites or web applications.


Since full-stack developers are responsible for every aspect of a website’s development, they need to be highly skilled in a wide variety of programming languages and frameworks. 

They should have a mastery of the common front-end languages, like HTML and CSS, as well as the necessary back-end languages, like C++ and Python. They’ll also need to have experience and skill with various libraries and frameworks, such as AngularJS, React.js, Bootstrap, jQuery, and SASS.

A skilled full-stack developer can take a basic idea for a website and turn it into a fully functional site that runs smoothly and actively engages users. 

Get Started On Your Next Website

If you want to build a new website or revamp an old one, we have the expertise and experience to help you craft your site. Our determined designers and developers helped put Snap on the map a few years ago, and we’re looking forward to doing the same with your business.