Frontend development refers to that area of web development that focuses on what the users see on their end. It involves transforming the code built by backend developers into a graphical interface, making sure that the data is presented in an easy-to-read and -understand format.

Without frontend development, all you would see on a website or web application are undecipherable codes (unless you’re a developer, too, of course). But because of frontend developers, people with no coding background can easily understand and use web applications and websites. Everything you see when you visit Google Apps, Canva, Facebook, and other web applications are products of backend and frontend developers work together.

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Aside from ensuring that users can understand and efficiently use the graphical interface of the web application, frontend developers also have other things on their plates. For one, frontend developers must see to it that the website or web application is usable across different devices. Take note that systems vary in screen size and operating system (OS). A user might own an Android mobile phone, a Windows tablet, and a MacBook. It is the frontend developer’s job to make sure that the websites or applications work, regardless of device type and OS.

Another thing frontend developers should consider is that users may prefer different web browsers. As such, frontend developers must carefully build a website that works on Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera. There are more web browsers, but these six are the most commonly used.

If you want to know about the fundamental differences between frontend and backend development, here is a comprehensive video by a full-stack developer who started as a frontend developer.

Web Technologies Involved in Frontend Development

Frontend developers use several web technologies to transform coded data into user-friendly interfaces. Among these are HyperText Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and JavaScript. Below are brief descriptions of the three technologies that frontend developers must be familiar with.


HTML is the building block of websites. It is the programming language used to describe and mark content, so a browser displays it correctly. For example, an image on a blog post would appear as an <img> in HTML code, so browsers will know that they need to display an image.

2. CSS

CSS looks more like a set of instructions that control a webpage’s style and structure than a programming language. It helps developers manage a website or web application’s formatting, presentation, and layout. While HTML defines elements on a page, CSS dictates how users see the content. For instance, it controls the size, border, and alignment of an image in a blog post.

3. JavaScript

Frontend developers can already create websites using HTML and CSS. In fact, it wasn’t until 1995 that JavaScript emerged. However, it is now difficult to imagine websites without JavaScript as it enables developers to make sites interactive. The programming language can change website content based on a user’s action. Techslang’s Weekly Poll, for example, was created using JavaScript. Selecting an answer and clicking “Vote” would display the total number of votes for each option.

How Much Do Frontend Developers Make?

Frontend development is no easy task, which is why frontend developers are among the highest-paid in the IT industry. A senior frontend developer can earn up to US$120,000 a year. In contrast, entry to mid-level developers can make between US$49,000 and US$99,000 a year.