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‘Frontend’, ‘front‑end’ or ‘front end’?

Posted in Development

As a frontend developer, something has always bothered me. How do you spell ‘frontend’!? So at the weekend, I ran my first Twitter Poll, asking:

So is it ‘front-end’, ‘frontend’ or 'front end’?

I used to like the hyphen because:

  • ‘frontend’ isn’t an actual word
  • ‘front end’ felt too separate

Hyphenating was a nice middle ground.

I remember a conversation over a couple of beers with my friends Sam and Colin when we were first discussing starting a meet-up for frontend developers in the North East. We were going to call it Frontend NE, but should it be hyphenated? All one word? We all agreed it shouldn’t have a space, so that was something.

We decided to go with one word because:

  • it didn’t really matter
  • it would look a bit tidier when we came to design the logo

I had always used the hyphenated version for my own stuff and continued to do so. And that’s where it started to wear me down… Remembering when to write ‘front-end’ and when to write ‘frontend’ was (slightly) onerous. Whenever I referred to Frontend NE in my own writing, I was mixing it up: ‘front-end’ when referring to frontend development, and ‘Frontend’ when using the proper noun for Frontend NE. And when I wrote for Frontend NE, I had to remember never to use the hyphen.

So a couple of weeks ago I finally decided to make a change, and you’ve probably seen spoilers all through this post! I’m now all-in on ‘frontend’ and have changed all references on my website to that.

Back to the Twitter Poll, the results were in last night:

  • ‘frontend’ (all one word) wins with 59% of the vote
  • the hyphenated ‘front-end’ comes in second place with 33%
  • in last place, with only 8% of the vote, the space-separated ‘front end’

Not that I would have reverted the changes to my website, but I’m glad to see the majority agrees that ‘frontend’ is the correct spelling.

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