Backend refers to the system configuration area of an application such as a CMS. So, for WordPress for example, the WordPress backend is the administrator area of WordPress where you add content, users, and customize the CMS by installing plugins and themes. Another name for the WordPress admin area is “wp-admin”, thanks to the URL used for this section.
What can you do in the backend section of WordPress?
Logging in to the admin section in WordPress is simple – simply add “/wp-admin/” at the end of your domain name. You’ll find the following sections in the WordPress administrator area:
- Dashboards. In this section you get an overview of your site and what’s currently happening on it – it’s the first screen you see.
- Want to add content to your WP site? This is where you do it – this backend page lets you draft up, publish, edit and remove articles (pages) on your website.
- Some of your articles will require content – you upload this in the Media section, where you can also manage media – deleting, editing and searching for media assets.
- You might have some static pages on your WordPress site – this is where you add and edit these static pages.
- If you have enabled comments on your WordPress site you can use this page to approve or moderate comments.
- It’s easy to change the look and feel of your WordPress site – you do this in the appearance section, changing themes, managing the user menus on your site and adding WordPress widgets.
- WordPress is highly extensible and the plugins section is where you add software that extends your WordPress capabilities.
- It’s essential that you closely manage who is able to edit your WordPress site, the users section is where you do it – adding users, editing roles and removing users.
- Tools. In this section you’ll be able to efficiently do batch tasks like managing personal data and exporting or importing WordPress content.
- Settings. Finally, the settings backend page is where you edit the fundamental settings governing your site.
Note that because WordPress is so customisable you might also find that the WordPress backend may look very different from one instance of the CMS to another – you can find very different settings and options in the WordPress backend depending on how WordPress is configured.
Across the content in your site you will notice that we use the word “backend” as part of another phrase a lot – backend language, backend developer etc. We’ll now look at what these phrases mean.
What backend developer means
The tech that makes your site work efficiently and properly is developed by a backend developer. These developers are specialists in the use of databases, scripts, APIs and various other systems that all work together to make your website work.
Applications, databases and servers all have to communicate with each other – and the languages that facilitate this communication are called backend languages. Backend developers are able to use server-side application languages such as Java, .NET, PHP, Python and Ruby.
Understanding backend development projects
Websites often require extensive planning – and this planning is divided up into front-end planning, back-end planning and of course all the other elements such as design, SEO and content. The back-end planning looks at the nuts and bolts behind the website – setting up the website infrastructure.
Distinguishing between back-end and front-end
Your users will never see the back-end area of your website: in other words, it is at the back – working behind the scenes on your website. Only the people who manage your site will get access to the back-end, and perhaps some other registered users too. On the other hand the front-end of your site is the part of your site seen by the public: it’s the reason your site exists, to show content to the public.