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What Is Front-End Web Development?

Screenshot of workflow in Edge AnimateTwo 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 […]

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.”

Front-End

The front-end is everything involved with what the user sees, including design and some languages like HTML and CSS. Most of the web courses created at Digital-Tutors will be for the front-end and focused on design, but there are already a bunch of front-end specific courses available at as well.

There are a lot of different jobs associated with the front-end. Keep in mind that a lot of these titles are subjective, and while front-end developer may mean something at one company, it can mean something completely different at another company.

A common front-end job title is “web designer.” A web designer, you guessed it, designs websites. The job title of web designer is pretty broad, though. A web designer could just be someone who designs the sites in a program like Photoshop or Fireworks and will never touch the code. But in another location, a web designer could do all the design comps in Photoshop, and then be responsible for creating all the HTML and CSS (and sometimes even ) to go along with it.

A User Interface (UI) Designer is basically a visual designer and is generally focused on design. They’re not usually involved in the implementation of the design, but they might know light HTML and CSS so they can communicate their ideas more effectively to the developers.

A front-end designer or developer can create a site without any back-end development. The sites they would create without a web developer, or using the back-end, is a static site. A static site is something like a site for a restaurant or hair salon. It doesn’t require any information to be stored in a database. The pages will almost always stay the same, unless it’s time for a redesign.

Source: blog.digitaltutors.com
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