Backend (also: back-end or back end) is a term used to describe the administration interface of a CMS. Webmasters can add new website content or adjust and optimize metadata and templates via the backend. Changes to the website will be displayed in the frontend.

User control of the backend[edit]

Initially the administrator of the website has access to the backend. He can assign different access rights levels and roles to other users from the backend. For example, the editor for a content management system has the ability to create posts and, if necessary, modify them, but cannot access the basic system settings or template source code.

The backend of a website is usually accessed through a web interface that accessible from any browser. Authentication with a user name and password is required.

Functions of the backend[edit]

Web-based backend interfaces are usually administrator interfaces. In content management systems the following activities are performed in the backend:

  • Content updates
  • Administration of images and other media
  • Administration of comments
  • Design adjustments
  • Functionality extensions by installing plug-ins or add-ons
  • User administration
  • Data backups
  • Import and export of data
  • Various settings
  • Establishment of the navigation system

You can handle the administration of a variety of the tasks mentioned above through the backend of shop systems. Additionally, these systems offer features such as creating and maintaining products and categories. Furthermore, there are interfaces for the handling of payments or shipment of goods. A backend is required for the processing of orders in a shop system and to retrieve order details and customer data. Many shop systems are also connected to an ERP system, which simplifies the administration of product and customer data.

Function extension in the backend[edit]

Many web-based systems today have a modular structure, so that additional functionalities can be activated as required in the backend at any time. For example, share buttons for social media services can be integrated by installing plug-ins or add-ons, spam filtering can be enabled, image sliders can be built in, sitemaps created or loading times improved. The content management system, WordPress, for example, has more than 28,000 plug-ins available. Installation of such modules takes only a few seconds or minutes to complete in many systems and is fully automatic.


The backend provides comprehensive access to all central functions of a website. That is why webmasters must set up sufficient security for their logins. It is advisable to change passwords frequently and use complex values for encryption. Moreover, webmasters and administrators should handle issuance of important access levels responsibly and with care.

Importance for search engine optimization[edit]

The backend is the center for the implementation of on-page optimization. Metadata is entered, page errors analyzed, the keyword density of content is evaluated, content is added, snippets stored, sitemaps generated or internal linking regulated. The exact option available depend on the CMS or shop system used. For example, not every shop system available on the market supports search engine friendly URLs. Although many content management systems already have diverse optimization options, some on-page optimizations still have to be performed directly in the source code.