The decision to build a website involves a detailed understanding of the ins and outs of web design and development. If you’re a website developer then you might be well familiar with the complexities attached to building the front-end as well as back-end functions of a web portal. In order to come up with an excellent back-end, it’s quite essential for you to dig deep into the business and goals of your client. With a clear insight on the kind of website your client is looking to build, you can conveniently choose an approach for implementing the website development project.
Today, you are going to learn some of the very interesting basics about back-end web development that would come handy every time you’re about to develop a website.
What exactly is back-end web development?
Back-end web development is basically a structure that allows information sharing across users and/or accounts. Also called the brain of an app/website, back-end is that part of the application/website that is never visible to the front-end user. It is being built with the help of server-side language and database. Just like the front-end interacts with the user in real time, in the same way, the back-end interacts with the server to return results for the users. In other words, everything that’s been displayed on the web pages is a result of the query that’s performed on the server.
Role of a back-end developer
The back-end developer works in close proximity with the functionality specifications that have been demanded by the end user/client. He/she usually fetches the ready-to-use front-end code and implements the same into an application where everything is being displayed dynamically using the data that’s already stored in the database.
Quite similar to the front-end web development environment, even the back-end web development environment comprises of several libraries and frameworks that are used for making the back-end coding more simpler for the back-end developer. Some of the most popular back-end libraries used and recommended by back-end development professionals include: Code Igniter, Ruby On Rails and many more.
Back-end web development- A brief on its operation
Dissimilar to front-end web development, back-end coding is a bit more complex. The back-end developer builds an application using a suitable server side language like PHP, Python, .Net etc. which is then connected with the database with the help of MySQL, Access, SQL etc. Doing this enables you to look up, modify and save data, followed by returning it to the user in the shape of front-end code. For example, every time you undertake an operation on your website like signing up a newsletter, editing a web page content or sending a contact form; it’s a back-end code that’s responsible for the same.
Let’s take an example to explain the working of back-end web development
The back-end comprises of three parts viz: server, application and database. Let’s take the example of a customer who’s trying to purchase a movie ticket using a site. Here, everything that’s been displayed on the website is the front-end. Once the user enters his/her credentials including: name, credit/debit card details, destination etc, the web application stores the same in a database that’s already been created on the server. All these details are stored in the database in the form of an item. In case the user wants to change his/her ticket details or wishes to cancel it, this particular item undergoes moderation.
Here, the server with which the customer’s browser is communicating is where all the database is stored and modified. To sum it all up, while the customer is following the steps to buy the desired movie ticket, all the back-end operation i.e. the communication between the web application and the server is what is termed as the work done by the back-end programmers. These coding experts use the very trendy languages such as Ruby, Python and PHP for making this communication work flawlessly, allowing the customer to purchase the ticket just within a span of few minutes.
Prioritizing efforts during back-end web development is crucial
Since back-end web development is a bit complex procedure, it is essential for you to work in a prioritized manner. Each time you receive a request for creating that highly complicated feature for a website, it’s the task prioritization that helps you sail smoothly. Here are two vital factors that need to be kept in mind for prioritizing your tasks during back-end web development activities:
- A deeper understanding of the technical aspects is a must
In order to ensure smooth execution of all stages that are involved during back-end web development, it is crucial to gather a brilliant insight into all the technical aspects such as: databases, web servers, internet infrastructure, browsers etc. Understanding the complexity of tasks before saying a ‘yes’ to your client is something you shouldn’t take for granted.
- Check whether the back-end development team can bear the massive number of web development requests
As you follow your regime of scheduling the back-end web development processes, make sure to check whether your team is willing to cater to the growing demands of the clients. For example, if you’ve received a back-end web development project that requires 12 hours of attention from a senior developer on a per week basis, then you can easily choose to automate certain portion of the project where a somewhat junior personnel can accomplish the tasks in a simple and efficient manner. This strategy can even enable you to gain redundancy because now more number of people would be working towards accomplishing the back-end coding tasks. Moreover, while you’ve started your journey of developing back-end functions, the complicated tasks would seem to be simplified, allowing even the novice and junior web developers to work on them with complete amount of ease and flexibility.
- Never hesitate in saying ‘No’ to tough back-end development requests
In order to assure complete success during back-end web development projects, do strike the right balance between the tasks and the amount of time that’s consumed in executing them. Before saying a ‘Yes’ for specific web development requests, do find answers to questions such as: How long will it take to automate the processes? Who the targeted audience is? Can some back-end development steps be skipped? Will the effort put in be worth the investment? Finding answers to all these questions would probably aid you in making the right decision of either saying a “Yes” or a “No” to the respective client.
Back-end web development is something that expects you to invest a great deal of time and efforts. I’m sure after gathering the best insights on how the process works, it would have become easier for you to start off with the development of back-end functions with a whole new zeal.