When we talk about web application architecture, it is primarily based on the frontend and backend. The separation of both has been a topic of debate for over a while now; so, let’s lay it to rest.
Defining frontend and backend
A frontend is a section that a user interacts with while the backend is the infrastructure that supports this interaction. Frontend or client-side is basically everything that a user experiences; for instance, the text, images, navigation, menu, and whatnot. Now, the design of your website is one of the key factors when it comes to making or breaking the success of your website. According to research, 94% of first impressions are design-related.
Frontend and backend coupled
Developers siding with the coupling suggests there isn’t much difference between the roles of the two and that these should stay coupled. To provide a complete view of the situation, let’s look at the potential benefits of keeping them together.
To keep functional abstraction at bay, it becomes necessary to remove unwanted characteristics and lay the focus on core features. To stay in line with this, developers use similar concepts and syntax on both the front and backend.
Your user experience relies entirely upon the seamlessness of the communication between the two ends. The division of the two creates a communication gap that can prove fatal for the project. If both sides are uninformed or unclear of the changes being made on their respective ends, the communication between the two can suffer greatly, especially when research shows that 44% of visitors develop a negative image of companies with slow-loading websites.
Keeping the two coupled will remove this problem from the equation.
Optimal resource use
To keep the front and back coupled, we hire full-stack developers that can easily switch between parts of the application without any extra overhead. This can make your development team time-efficient and cost-effective.
Adequate for smaller projects
Coupling frontend and backend can be a good option for a smaller codebase as most tasks in the create, read, update, and delete operations will already be resolved. Since no extra inputs are required, a coupling approach will work just fine.
Coupling the frontend and backend will help protect API from numerous attacks. Since there is no way the API will be exposed, it will stay protected in such cases. The security perspective is a key advantage of keeping the ends coupled.
However, with all the benefits come some severe drawbacks that can impact not only your user experience but service offerings.
Inefficient for multiple content forms
According to Adobe’s research, 39% of people will stop interacting with a website if the image takes too long to load. Now, coupled frontend and backend can be a good option if your website is a simple one. Adding more web pages with a coupled front and backend will lead to inefficiency in loading various forms of content, including images and other elements.
Inefficient for multiple requests
With a coupled frontend and backend, the server processes the final delivery of content before making it available to the user. This can prove fatal in times of multiple user requests.
Lower scope of customizations
The scope of customizations of upgrades is significantly less since anything performed on the backend will relay to the frontend directly. This can hinder the scaling, and any developments in the system will take longer to go through.
Now we have established that coupling frontend and backend is not suitable for larger projects, and a full-stack developer will not be able to handle the entire project. So, let’s see what separation of frontend and backend has in store for us!
Separate frontend and backend
Powerful web browsers come with powerful processing. They can easily facilitate seamless functions of various web application models. Now, this is what births the need for a separate frontend and backend. So, let’s dive into the benefits without further ado.
Larger projects with extensive and elaborate websites require a mix of complex technologies. These technologies are hard to master by a single person. So, having a separate frontend and backend allows us to hire specialists for various technologies and integrate them together for a richer, faster, and more seamless experience. Now we know how fast our world is, and so should be your website. As per research, 83% of visitors expect the web pages to load in less than 3 seconds, and making that happen without the use of top-of-the-class is near to impossible.
Since there are separate modules in multi-tier development models, with a separate frontend and backend, it becomes easier to replace any modules. Another advantage is that the replacement or changes in the backend modules will not affect the frontend and vice versa. Hence, you can easily avoid any overwriting mess.
Since there are numerous teams working on the same project parallelly in coherence with each other, the development process progresses rapidly. This rapid development, in turn, leads to quicker deployment.
There are a plethora of devices, and each version code is needed to be managed with great care and detail. An API-based website makes the process quite simple for the developers. Since the APIs are managing the code, the developers have less code to deal with and can work on increasing their efficiency.
Upgrading the framework is a daunting task. With a separate frontend and backend, the chances of breaking the entire website are significantly low. It is also relatively easier to debug since it is clear from the start whether there is an issue in the frontend or backend. Upgrading your web applications makes them faster and reduces the risk of bounces. In fact, an increase in site speed from 8 to 2 seconds can increase your conversion rate by 74%.
Simpler to switch framework
Technology advances at a breakneck speed, and keeping up with the latest innovations will take a lot. If you wish to stay ahead of the curve, it is important to keep your web applications relevant and updated. However, these updates can be quite tricky. If it’s a small module change, it will be easy to switch, but bigger changes will require precision. Keeping your frontend and backend separate will make it simple for you to switch your framework.
Well, it is evident that separating frontend and backend can be a great option but does it apply to all? That depends on the particular situation. If you’re looking for a scalable solution that can accommodate your growing needs, separating the two will work best for you. However, if you are simply testing the waters with your new service, keeping them coupled may benefit you.
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