What is Jamstack and why to use it.

Max Ikäheimo

What is Jamstack?

It's a modern architecture for building fast, secure, cost-efficient, and scalable websites. With Jamstack, we build static pages, where more complex functionality is integrated with APIs. We no longer talk about specific web servers or servers at all since we can abstract all the server stuff to third party services.

The word Jamstack comes from Javascript, APIs and Markup. Jamstack uses only Javascript, supporting APIs and markup to build wholesome websites and web applications.

Jamstack can be seen as a fancy word for a micro-service based architecture for web development. In fact, it is almost exactly like a micro-service architecture for software but the key thing that makes Jamstack unique are the technologies used in this stack.

Instead of integrating micro-services to a backend framework, we now integrate the services in a holistic kind of manner. There is no single backend but many supporting services and APIs that together form Jamstack.

Headless CMS, Gatby, CDN

Why use Jamstack for your website?

To put it simply - it's a modern way to develop websites. Compared to older stacks, it's faster, more secure, and scalable.

  1. Faster websites: With Jamstack it's possible to build up to 10x faster websites fairly easily. Jamstack sites are static, which enables lightning-fast performance.

  2. Security: Static Jamstack websites are more secure. It's really not possible to hack or alter static files in a similar way WordPress sites can be hacked.

  3. Scalability: It's very easy to scale Jamstack sites, even for millions of users. As Jamstack sites are static, we can increase our CDN volume to handle any increased traffic. Jamstack sites don't slow down if you get a traffic spike.

  4. Cost-efficiency: Jamstack sites are cost-efficient to develop and maintain thanks to modern tools and frameworks used in this stack. We can easily build complex features with React and Javascript, while still having a completely normal, SEO friendlty site.

  5. Future-proof: Jamstack uses very new, emerging technologies built on popular javascript frameworks like React. We can utilize modern tools and be sure that they work in the future.

  6. SEO: Faster and more optimized websites are more SEO friendly. Websites built on Jamstack can be easily optimized for top-notch Google Audit results - which will help you rank better in Google search results.

  7. Developer friendliness: Developers love to work with Jamstack because it offers them the best tools to work with. Happy developers produce better code and better code results in better digital products. Oh yeah, and Jamstack is way faster to work with, contributing to the cost-efficiency factor for Jamstack.

Jamstack performance stats

Jamstack gives you the freedom to use whatever technologies and services you want without worrying about technical debt piling up. This becomes really important on more complex projects where we need high attention to detail and optimized performance.

What are the technical benefits of Jamstack?

Technically speaking there are also countless benefits. To put it shortly, using Javascript to handle dynamic functionalities of websites and applications shifts the processing load from dedicated or virtual servers to the client and APIs.

Using Javascript for the client-side also enables us to use APIs for more complex functionality. Using markup to generate static files with static site generators such as Gatsby enables allow Jamstack site to be served from a global Content Delivery Networks (CDNs).

  • Modern tools: Developers can work with modern static site generators and frameworks such as Next.js or Gatsby. Developers are able to work much faster with modern tools - resulting in fast development. Modern tools are also future-proof.

  • Use microservices: Need a calendar for time reservations? There's an API for it. You can use and integrate many microservices more easily.

Jamstack traffic increase

How is Jamstack different from WordPress?

WordPress is built on the LAMP-stack (Linux, Apache, Mysql and PHP), while Jamstack is built on Javascript, APIs, and Markup. WordPress is a website platform, and Jamstack is an architecture combining many services to build websites. You can read more here.

Jamstack sites are not tightly coupled with a specific web server or technology. Instead of a single backend framework or platform Jamstack relies on multiple micro-services and APIs.

Jamstack build time

With Jamstack we can build static files ready to served by request. Every single file, asset, and resource is already pre-built and stored on a global CDN. By serving static files we no longer have to use tightly coupled web servers to deliver dynamically rendered content. We no longer need heavy backend frameworks like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla.

Manage your content with a Headless CMS

Jamstack makes it easier to use Headless CMSs to manage your content and reuse it wherever you need. Separating your content from your front end makes your content strategy more scalable, future-proof, and easy to maintain. Read more about why to use a Headless CMS.

Conclusion: Jamstack is an architecture for modern web development

Jamstack is a foundation for building modern websites. As more and more users are starting to use the web - we need a way to match the increasing volume. Jamstack gives developers the tools they need to build fast, scalable, and secure sites with modern tools.

Web almanac jamstack adoption

Courtesy of web almanac

While Jamstack is still a relatively new concept, it's popularity is rising fairly quickly. We're already seeing a large number of big companies using Jamstack to supercharge their web architecture - so why shouldn't you?

If you're unsure if Jamstack is the best option for your next project - we can help. Contact us and let's schedule a meeting to find out the best solution for your project.