The Difference Between “Front End” & “Back End” On Your Website
The “front end” and “back end” aren’t just more subjective tech terms that’ll keep you from making heads or tails of your own website. In fact, they’re references that represent actionable parts of web design – the features of which impact site visitors and business owners alike.
In their simplest forms: frontends includes all parts of a website or app as the user sees it; backends concern admin-focused features such as content management tools. These parts come together in separate but complementary ways to provide a complete package in terms of design, user experience, and security.
Front End: This setup typically embodies the way users see traditional web design. When you key in a web address and visit a page, what you view in your browser is front end design. A standard organization generally includes a header (with a banner or logo and menu bar), the body content (perhaps the latest blog entry), and a footer (contact information and additional navigation options).
Of course, some modern website designs can appear more fluid than this otherwise standard setup. CSS and HTML5 have paved the way for innovative means to display information with features like parallax scrolling.
Back End: The design of this area depends mostly on platform; the backend or admin area of a website is often provided by the web host. In most cases, the design of this back end is fixed – save for a few organizational configurations and branding options.
However, if the website’s back end platform is open source (meaning it’s possible to build on and develop the platform’s code), there may be additional customization options available. WordPress and its developer site WordPress.org, for instance, lets coders modify the admin (or back end) area using themes, WordPress plugins, and other add-ons.
Front End: When a visitor lands on a website, how he or she interacts with the site’s features is part of what’s known as the user experience (UX). From a front end perspective, a user might have the ability to log into the site with an account name and password that affords the member the ability to post in forums, etc.
Online banking is a good example of an average front user experience. Customers can log on to their bank’s website and initiate transactions or review account summaries. These are user experiences based on front end features.
Back End: The back end user experience is that of an admin – typically one who owns the site or works for the owner and may alter the front end content of a site (a common admin privilege). An admin may have a back end account in addition to his or her front end account, which is often used for testing and viewing content changes.
An admin’s user experience may involve posting to a website’s blog or updating various pages, including the “About” section.
Front End: Since the front end is frequented by users who may exchange sensitive information via the site’s services, it’s important that various pages include security features. It’s common for a website to feature an SSL certificate or other encryption for user login gateways (authentication); however, security options are not limited to this area only.
Back End: Server side SSL options are often used for back end authentication, as well. As with front end SSL, back end encryption may need to be installed as an add-on. Although some web hosts include back end SSL as a standard since admin security is integral to a website’s overall protection.
Want to know more about setting up front and back end features for your site? Contact Oyova today to speak with a programming expert, and find out more about our front end and back end website and app development services.
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