Web Design Glossary #5 – Frontend, Backend and CMS

Web Design Glossary #5 Front-End, Back-End and CMS

For this week’s web design glossary, we will focus on three main terms front-end, back-end and Content Management System (CMS).  These terms are tossed out quite a bit during the process of creating a web site and many of our clients have a basic understanding of what they mean, but require clarification as we move along.  Again, it is our goal to have clients that are informed and educated so they can communicate better with their web developers.

Front End – This refers to the design of the site and the user interactivity.  The front end is what the user/customer sees and it is usually brand oriented.   In most professional web design firms, there are a team of front end devs (developers) who work closely with back devs.  It is helpful to have a specialized perspective in terms of how a site needs to look and function – front-end, as well as the building blocks required to support it – back-end.  If the two sides don’t work well together, the result could be a beautiful site that functions poorly or vice versa.

Back End – This refers to the management of a website including the database and administrative panel.  The backend is the engine of the front end so it holds the code and allows administrators to make updates to the content.  In the case of e-commerce web design, this would include the inventory.

CMS – For websites that contain a back end, this allows back-end users to edit and publish content.  Based on her experience working closely with web developers and coders, as well as being a liaison, our lead Project Manager, Kani Leung had this to say:

“CMS is a lifesaver, as far as long term online marketing strategy goes.   You can update your own content which saves time and money that you need to hand to your developer.  Secondly, who doesn’t like fresh content?  We know that customers and search engine do!   And, lastly, since a back-end of a website can be accessed from anywhere in the world, you can take your business with you even if you are on an island sipping a margarita.


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The work from the team at Skygate Media was clean, well executed, and creative. We are proud to have such a helpful, focused team of marketing professionals and website designers at hand

Michael C., Principal

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