In today's fast-paced digital world, the backbone of every successful website or application lies in its backend infrastructure—no matter how difficult it can be to understand for beginner website owners.
Whether you're a curious beginner or an aspiring developer, you don’t necessarily have to understand exactly how to write the complicated code that is presented, but understanding the fundamentals will help you in your journey to create a great website experience for your users.
Here, we’ll delve into what backend web development is and the core concepts and technologies that power the server side of the web. We hope to equip you with the knowledge and insights needed to create efficient and scalable backend systems.
What is Backend Web Development?
In simple terms, backend web development refers to the process of creating the server-side software of a website or web application for any given online business. Backend development deals with the behind-the-scenes functionality that makes a website work efficiently and smoothly for an optimal user experience.
As a backend developer, your main responsibilities will be to focus on tasks such as server configuration, database management, implementing solid security measures, and building APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that allow communication between the front-end and back-end systems.
If you view it like an iceberg, this will help you gauge the backend developer role. Your backend is the huge infrastructure underneath the water, ensuring that all the tipping points can be shown off in the most visually appealing manner—and the same applies to your website.
The Differences Between Front-End and Back-End Web Development
Before we dive deeper into the basics of backend web development, we believe it is important that you understand front-end development and back-end development. This way, you’ll be able to navigate your way around your website with ease and without confusion.
Front-end development hones in on the ‘client-side’ programming languages, meaning that everything that a front-end developer does can be viewed, interpreted, and interacted with, all within their overall website experience.
Whereas, if you compare this to backend web development, rather than being everything that the client or customer sees, it focuses on the server (on-site and in the cloud). Therefore, your customers will not see the work being done, but they will feel how well you’ve done it through the efficiency of your website.
What Are Some Common Backend Programming Languages?
Although this may start to sound more technical when trying to learn the basics of this topic, we’re going to try to simplify the day-to-day backend programming languages, making them easy to learn and implement with your team of current or future developers.
Within these languages and frameworks, be aware that some are made for more general-purpose programming languages (versatile web development languages that can be used for a wide range of applications beyond web development) and server-side scripting languages (specifically designed for web development and used to handle content generation, database interactions, and server-side logic).
Let’s dive into the main backend programming languages presented within both opposing yet necessary alternatives.
PHP is one of the server-side scripting languages and is commonly used for web development, allowing developers to create dynamic web pages and interact with databases that access, retrieve, modify, and update your current data records on your website to ensure that everything is stored in one area.
If you’re looking for the most productive and you use a Microsoft tech stack currently, this programming language is developed by Microsoft. It will not only help build a variety of applications and desktop software but can also generate web applications and games for all your personal needs.
If you’re just beginning to implement programming languages in the backend of your website and are new to trying to create functional and automated results via web development, Python is your go-to, user-friendly language to use for data analysis and artificial intelligence to their fullest potential.
Ruby is an object-oriented language—an instance of classes containing data and methods—that writes code to create readable syntax (statements in computer language). Full-stack developers love to use Ruby in their tech stack to create a web development experience worth talking about for website visitors.
This well-known programming language—due to it being powered by Java—is a general-purpose programming language that will assist you in creating predictable and maintainable code over a long period of time when interpreting data.
This sought-after, general-purpose programming language was developed by the great Larry Wall in the 1990s. It is known for having brilliant text processing capabilities, and its "there's more than one way to do it" philosophy allows developers to write expressive, creative, and concise code at all times.
What Are the Main Backend Programming Frameworks?
- Servers: A server is the difference between a URL being opened by the person searching for your business and a URL being closed. Without servers translating your URL into an IP address, they would not be able to view your site.
- Middleware: Similar to its name, the middleware is the ‘middle man’ in controlling all of the data passed between your application, server, and database.
- Databases: Databases store and organise large amounts of data within your site or web application, allowing for efficient data management and retrieval.
- APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are sets of rules that enable the different software applications that you use to communicate and interact with each other.
Partnering With the Right Backend Web Developer
Hopefully, we have simplified backend web development enough for you to break it down and potentially go ahead and make some additions to your website!
Yet, if you’re unsure of where to go next and want an experienced team of experts to help guide you through and give you a hands-off approach towards your web development tasks, meaning you can focus on the core front-end creativity of your business, Fuelius has you covered.
With over 25 years of experience in the digital marketing field and endless case studies with companies in multiple different industries, we’d love to hop on a call with you to see how we take this technical work off your hands and give you the freedom you deserve. Book a discovery session below to find out more!