5 Tools to Help you Understand Back End Website Development

For a website or a software program to work, it needs two major components – a front-end and a back-end. And while the consumer-facing front-end part of development is fairly straightforward and quite fun even, the back-end is where most people, both novices and intermediate developers, have a hard time understanding and masterfully wielding. Luckily, today’s developers have a range of tools within reach that they can use to build a strong server-side foundation. Here’s five tools that’s worth looking into if you want to learn back-end development:


It’s been more than 23 years since the inception of PHP, and yet it is still the most popular server-side framework used for managing data. PHP is a scripting language that comes pre-packaged on most web hosting platforms. It rose into popularity because of its simplicity and the amount of support you can get including extensive documentation and active developer forums. In addition, for over three decades, the development community behind PHP has created a strong selection of well-built frameworks including Laravel and Phalcon. While PHP is used mostly for server-side operations, the scripting language is flexible enough to render content in HTML.


Node.JS is a JavaScript library that’s designed as a platform for building apps. While JavaScript is a popular front-end language that gives your website functionality, Node allows you to write and run JavaScript syntax outside of your web browser, which means you can also use it to build full-scale desktop-based applications. There are various ways to start writing in Node.JS, one of which is by installing it with an NPM, a JavaScript package manager. Aside from Node, there are dozens of equally powerful and reusable code packages that you can install and use for building and managing specific parts of your server or database. Sequelize, for instance, is a module that allows you to interact with databases using JavaScript syntax.


Described as an agile minimalist web framework, Express is a JavaScript library that was created seven years back. Originally, it was designed to give developers a compact dynamic server to make testing routes and templates more efficient. Installing Express is similar to how you install Node. You need a package manager to save the module into your project folder as one of your project dependencies. If you have prior development experience, you’ll find Express to be similar with other frameworks in other programming languages, like Python and Ruby.


While Slack is a messaging platform that you can use for different business environments, it’s widely popular in the tech space. The robust messaging and collaboration app not only streamlines communication, but can also teach you a thing or two about back-end development, whether it’s server-side rendering, database management, local development environments, or load testing tools. If you are working on back-end with a group, Slack is definitely a tool that’s worth using. There’s other collaboration services you can try out, such as Asana and Jira, both of which are both well-rounded platforms in their own right.

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is a web application Ruby framework that bundles all the technologies you’ll need to build a web application with its own database. This highly efficient and agile framework helps launch sophisticated and demanding applications with quick turnaround, making it a very attractive framework of choice for small, resource-strapped tech startups and development teams. Rails simplifies the workload for back-end engineers with its rich library of gems, which are prepackaged pieces of reusable code. But what makes Rails an even more popular framework for developers is its ability to “do more with less”, Ruby’s philosophy when it comes to an elegant codebase.

Final Thoughts

There is a huge and constant demand for back-end developers who know their stuff. With these five tools teaching you how to configure your server, maintain a clean database, and test your features, you’ll avoid buggy production code that fellow developers and users hate.