What is JAMstack, and what can it do for you?

Premus Abraham
Jan 5, 2021 · 3 min read

One new ecosystem of tools is taking the web development world by storm. Based on reusable application program interfaces (APIs), prebuilt Markup, and client-side JavaScript, JAMstack leverages tools to create static websites that feel more like a dynamic site. Basically a swiss army knife that gives the ecosystem its effectiveness with a learning curve that’s less complicated than Elite Dangerous.

Creators Matt Biilmann and Chris Bach devised the name while focusing on modern web development capabilities and workflow efficiencies at Netlify. They discovered there was no easy process in conversation to refer to the architectural approach developers use in website creation. We have all faced that issue in one aspect or another. Think about the last time you had a great idea. We try to plan all the nuances and variables but unseen issues still occur. Or if we have a personal project we tend to think about what we want to accomplish instead of how we are going to accomplish it or what it will take to maintain it.

Enter JAMstack. Whether we are an OG Developer or someone starting out, JAMstack is a useful tool to add to the toolbox. Matt and Chis’s development stack embraces the existing fundamentals of web architectures but allows for greater flexibility. No one likes being railroaded when they have a great idea. They got the name from combining the first letter of JavaScript, APIs, and Markup.

Chris and Matt’s creation also allows for entire projects to live on a content delivery network. Developers can use modern build tools and create an automated build. They can use atomic deploys and instant cache invalidation in creating a website as well. Plus, everything lives on Git allowing greater collaboration on projects.

JAMstack also featured faster load times since there is no database querying. Those words are music to any infrastructure person’s ear. This feature enables a reduction in response time and server load due to pre-rendering HTML files on the server. Since the focus isn’t on backend development, it allows designers to focus on the user experience and leverage existing JavaScript and APIs to update a website’s dynamic content. All this happens after the site loads.

JAMstack is a perfect fit for eCommerce, blogs, and dynamic apps. With blogs, content management and editing become faster and easier. For apps, SEO needs are met with this framework and allow developers to use Next or Nuxt.js. By using a lean content management system, developers have the ability to enable solutions for the client’s eCommerce site that are completely customizable.

The specific features are what make this ecosystem of tools a vital part of modern website creation. While the flexibility of this toolset is relatively new in the web development world, it provides developers with the framework to build lightning-quick sites that require less technical expertise to run once built. This allows a developer to focus more on the idea than on how to get it up and it requires low maintenance. Many web developers are aware of this toolset and have worked with it to some degree in the past. In doing so they have created a thriving community supporting this architecture.

As we think more about a post-Covid world we see the value of having tools like JAMstack. There will probably be an uprise in restaurants, venues, and places people can go and hang out. All of which will need some kind of online presence. That being said the demand in developing websites for their customers will go up. The appeal of JAMstack is in the fact that it is easy to run and maintain. There are less moving parts so less things to break and generally lower cost. Smaller businesses love the sound of that. Leveraging the time we have now and learning about efficient tools like JAMstack will no doubt be an asset for future times to come.

By Premus Abraham

Motiv Labs

Your business should control its content — not the other way around.

Motiv Labs

Motiv is equipped with professional and savvy engineers who have decades of combined experience in architecting, building and supporting content-driven applications. Motiv can provide the proper resources for any size project.

Premus Abraham

Written by

Motiv Labs

Motiv is equipped with professional and savvy engineers who have decades of combined experience in architecting, building and supporting content-driven applications. Motiv can provide the proper resources for any size project.