Is Web Server Front End or Back End?


Larry Thompson

Web servers are an essential component of the internet infrastructure, but have you ever wondered whether they belong to the front end or back end of web development? In this article, we will delve into this question and explore the role of web servers in both front-end and back-end development.

Front-End vs. Back-End Development

Before we can determine where web servers fit in, let’s briefly define front-end and back-end development.

  • Front-End Development:
  • Front-end development primarily deals with everything that users see and interact with on a website or web application. It involves writing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code to create the user interface and handle user interactions.

  • Back-End Development:
  • Back-end development focuses on the server-side of web applications. It involves writing code that runs on the server to handle tasks such as data storage, processing user requests, and managing databases.

The Role of Web Servers

Now that we understand the distinction between front-end and back-end development let’s discuss where web servers come into play.

A web server is a software application responsible for processing incoming requests from clients (usually web browsers) and delivering responses in the form of HTML pages, images, CSS files, or any other resources requested by the client.

Web servers act as intermediaries between clients (users’ devices) and back-end systems. They receive client requests through HTTP or HTTPS protocols, process these requests, retrieve data from databases or other sources if required, and then send back a response to be rendered by the client’s browser.

In this context, we can say that web servers primarily belong to the back end of web development because they handle server-side processes such as request handling and data retrieval.

Front-End Interaction with Web Servers

Although web servers are considered part of the back end, front-end developers often interact with them indirectly to retrieve data or perform other server-side tasks. This interaction is typically done using APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

Front-end developers can make AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) requests to the server using JavaScript code. These requests can be used to fetch data from a database, submit form data, or perform any other server-side operation.

Web servers respond to these requests by sending back JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) or XML data, which can be easily processed and displayed on the client-side using JavaScript or other front-end technologies.


In conclusion, web servers play a crucial role in both front-end and back-end development. While they are primarily categorized as part of the back end due to their responsibility for handling server-side processes, front-end developers often interact with them indirectly through APIs.

Understanding the roles and interactions between web servers, front-end development, and back-end development is vital for building efficient and robust web applications. By leveraging the power of web servers effectively, developers can create seamless user experiences while ensuring their applications run smoothly behind the scenes.

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