Front-end development is one of the crucial stages of the website development process because it defines its user-facing side and influences to a great extent how customers will interact with it. Moreover, the front-end side of a website is usually one of the first touchpoints in customer-brand interactions. Therefore, there can’t be any doubt that companies need to take special care of front-end development. 

This is why for us at Codete front-end excellence is of utmost importance. Our front-end designers and developers, together with UX designers, create not only visually attractive websites, but most importantly, functional solutions that are in line with the brand philosophy and business context.

Read our complete guide to front-end development to find out more!

Front-end development: the basic definition

Front-end development is the commonly used term that covers the area of developing the client-facing side of a website or a web application. This includes the graphical interface that allows users to interact with the website and consume its content. Front-end is everything that is visible to visitors when they enter a website from the browser, and the whole experience of using the elements of the webpage: filling forms, browsing image gallery, playing videos, clicking buttons, etc. All of that is possible thanks to the work of front-end developers who cooperate hand in hand with graphic designers and UX/UI designers in order to deliver an excellent user experience and a functional web solution.

Front-end vs. back-end development: what is the difference?

Front-end and back-end are both indispensable parts of website development, like two sides of the same coin. As we have said before, front-end defines the visual side of the project, while back-end development covers the invisible server-side part, and the users don’t have direct contact with it. Nevertheless, thanks to back-end, the website can function properly and all the features behind the visual layer work smoothly.

An interesting example of how these two worlds can come together is Node.js. It’s an environment that makes it possible to write server-side code in JavaScript, a language typically used in front-end development. Node.js can be used to create dynamic web page content for a more interactive and personalized user experience.

The final product: a website or an application?

It’s important to mention that the final product of web development can be either a website or a web application. So what is the difference?

A website’s content is normally static and is prepared for the user to consume it, not interact with. It may have some parts with dynamic content (for instance, a news site with a section that displays local news from your area – this part is dynamic, because it changes on the basis of the location of the visitor), but its essential function is to show the same data for everyone.

Meanwhile, a website application allows users to not only consume the content but also interact with it. There is a two-way communication: the user not only sees the visualized information sent from the server but also sends requests to the server or to other users of the application.

Therefore, you read this blog post on a static website, but when you decide to recommend it to someone and send the link via Gmail or share it on Facebook, you are using a web application.

Front-end development technologies and tools

The core technologies in every’s front-end developer tech stack are HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Their characteristics are the following:

  • HTML is often described as a spine of the website. It organizes the website content (such as headers, paragraphs, images, links, etc.) and introduces a structure. The latest specification used nowadays is HTML5.
  • CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is used to define the look and feel of the website. You can use CSS to determine the type, size, and color of the font, the style of the buttons, etc.
  • JavaScript is the third complement of the core front-end technology stack. This programming language allows developers to build dynamic, interactive, and responsive websites that can adapt to every device. 

 

For better and smoother performance of the website, we use tools such as Webpack to compile JavaScript modules. This includes features like treeshaking to remove dead code, and codesplitting to divide code into smaller parts that are loaded when needed. As a result, the website load time is reduced, which is important in terms of optimization and user experience.

Front-end development frameworks: which one is suitable for you?

Because of the reasons mentioned above, JavaScript is gaining popularity in the front-end development world. This is why more and more JavaScript framework appear. Some of the JavaScript open-source frameworks preferred by front-end developers, as well as by businesses, are:

  • React. A framework (or more precisely, a library) created by Facebook, used to develop user interface applications.
  • Angular. This framework makes it possible to develop dynamic single-page web applications. 
  • Vue.js. An increasingly popular framework that uses HTML syntax, helpful when developing single page web applications or user interfaces.

Which framework should you use in your specific project? It depends greatly on the type and purpose of the website, and moreover, what skills do you have in your front-end development team. If your developers are lacking the necessary skills, you might consider cooperating with dedicated front-end development teams, a service we offer at Codete.

frontend development codete frameworks

Front-end 2019 best practices and trends

Front-end development is undergoing constant changes, as new technologies, tools, trends and user experience standards appear all the time. In 2019, we have seen the rise of the following trends:

  • Offline web apps that use Service Workers and can work in challenging connection scenarios. Finally, no more problems with using your app when traveling through a tunnel or simply when the Wifi connection is not stable!
  • Webassembly, the set of web standards that lets execute native code in the browser in a safe, fast and efficient way, and brings better performance to web pages. 
  • In-browser machine learning. It seems machine learning is all over lately, and indeed, it has come to front-end as well. Now it’s possible to develop and train machine learning models in the browser thanks to tensorflow.js.
  • Functional vs object-oriented programming: the debate about these two ways of writing code was going on for ages. Now it seems that there is a growing interest in functional programming, and one of the reasons is the rise of big data and algorithms, that require functional programming.

Front-end developers: how to find skilled professionals?

In order to develop an excellent and highly functional front-end product, it’s necessary to form a competent team of professionals skilled in required technologies, tools, and frameworks. Front-end developers are not enough, as the team has to complemented with experienced web designers and UX/UI designers to deliver a complete solution. These professionals need to be not only skilled in technical terms, but also business-savvy to pick the right technologies and solutions that will fit the business goals of the project. This balance is often difficult to achieve. In many cases, forming such a team is an arduous task and companies choose to outsource front-end development to dedicated teams. We are one of the leading providers of the dedicated teams service and have worked with international clients like Porsche, Total and Leonardo Hotels. Learn more about why choosing Codete dedicated teams is a good choice.

 

What is your front-end development challenge? Let us know and we’ll show you how we can help!

 

agnieszka.krawczyk

Marketing Manager interested in modern technologies, e-commerce and fashion. Trend Researcher.