Total Coding: From Front to Back

Posted on 10 September 2018

Front and Back End Development can transform a basic website or application into a powerful business tool!

Front and back end development is equivalent to static versus dynamic designs. In the physical world, it’s the difference between standing still and dancing. The first is a bit dull. The second is exhilarating.

It’s the same for websites and applications. Static versions of these digital platforms give businesses a place to provide general information on their product or service and display basic graphics. This may be fine for a company who deals mostly in physical sales. However, it’s not for one that relies on the digital world for revenue.

On the other hand, dynamic versions of these platforms provide detailed, sometimes interactive, information on a business’ product or service. They may have high-resolution graphics and animation along with fast-loading audio and video. Perhaps a robust search engine is included to find needed information. In addition, there may several layers of membership, which means login access and locked/unlocked material per pay level.

Most likely, a high-end site or application like this, with a well-designed interface and rapid processing, is developed with front end and back end coding.

What is the Difference Between Front End and Back End Coding?

The difference between front end and back end coding is visible versus invisible. Front end coding creates the look and feel of a website or application. The goal of developers is to produce a seamless and easy-to-operate User Interface (UI). This occurs through programming languages like HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and JavaScript.

Back end coding focuses on the operational guts that draw information from data collectors like databases and servers. It’s what makes the User Experience (UX) positive once a search term is entered or a button is clicked. Those who work on back end development have experience in programming languages to make a website or application dynamic. These include Java, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Python, and .Net.

Do I Need Front End or Back End Coding?

It depends on the type of website or application you desire. As an example, let’s take a digital platform which deals with currency conversions.

If the only thing provided is a list of currencies light in graphics and data compilation, you may only require front end development for purposes of organization. Conversely, a simply-designed website or app which performs real-time calculations needs powerful back end development to retrieve the necessary data.

However, what if you desire a platform that displays conversions and costs of food and clothing in various international cities through graphs and additional graphics? Then you will require aggressive front end and back end coding. If not, the most beautiful interface won’t draw the response needed due to lag time or incorrect calculations.

Can I Do My Own Coding?

Whether or not you do your own coding depends on your willingness to study and practice before you apply what you learn to production environments.

Should you desire to take up this task on your own, start with front end development for a warm up. Both HTML and CSS are straightforward, text-based codes which allow you to set a number of content features.

For instance, HTML determines font style, color, and size, sets spacing and paragraphs, establishes backlinks to other locations, and creates tables and columns. CSS gives you the opportunity to add all of the constant elements to an inline stylesheet at the document header to reduce the amount of HTML configuration needed.

Back end coding is not as straightforward. First, this is where data gathering and integration occur. Thus, you need to learn how to pull the right information from various database tables and put it together in a timely manner.

Second, different programming languages perform separate actions. For example, Ruby on Rails is a web framework language while PHP is for development of back end procedures. This can result in potential confusion as you jump from one section to another as you fine-tune processes.

Third, some back end languages aren’t as friendly as HTML or CSS. Therefore, if using a coding platform like Python, additional training may be needed to get up to speed before it is applied to your website or application.

It All Comes Down to Time

Whether or not you want to handle UI/UX development depends on your time frame. If you have several weeks or months to plan and test front end operations and back end mechanisms, then you may feel comfortable taking on the task.

The upside to doing your own development:  you create a website or application which matches your vision. In addition, you feel the pride of accomplishment that, in turn, can help boost your business.

The downside in doing your own development:  you create a website or application that doesn’t match your vision. Yet, you need to release it because you’ve run out of time. Plus, while spending all those hours learning how to code, you lose the momentum to build your business.

What to Look for in a Development Team

If you decide to outsource the creation of your website or application, consider looking at a development team with a mix of front and back end coders. These people will be Subject Matter Experts (SME) on their particular environment and probably know some additional tricks to enhance your platform.

Conversely, try to avoid teams staffed with only full stack developers. While knowledgeable with both front and back end codes, they may lack expertise on one or another. Think of them as utility players of the coding world.

When you’re ready to go with a development team so you can free up time to build your business, consider the staff at Time4 Digital. We have SMEs who will get together to determine how your vision can be turned into a dynamic and speedy reality for your website or application.

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