Why JAMstack is Becoming so Popular

The New Web Stack Based on JavaScript, APIs, and Markup

Luca Spezzano
Oct 29, 2019 · 3 min read

Nowadays, the static site generators are becoming very common because they are straightforward to use and they are based on the most modern technologies and JavaScript frameworks like Vue.js or React.

Thanks to static site generators, modern browsers, CDNs, and APIs, we’re now seeing web developers transition from server-side to client-side applications.

With all this, Netlify came out with a new term JAMstack.

So let’s see what the JAMstack is and why it is becoming so popular.

What is JAMstack?

JAMstack is not a technology. Instead, JAMstack is a new way of building websites and apps. It is a modern web development architecture based on client-side and it doesn’t depend on a web server.

A definition that I have read on a blog and I like a lot is

The JAMstack is a static HTML site, rebuilt automatically every time you update the content, and deployed directly to a CDN.

I think that this definition makes better the idea!

JAM stands for JavaScript, APIs, MArkup

JavaScript: any dynamic programming during the request/response cycle is handled by JS, running entirely on the client. This could be any frontend framework or library, or even vanilla JavaScript.

APIs: all server-side processes or database actions are abstracted into reusable APIs, accessed over HTTPS with JavaScript. These can be custom-built or leverage third-party services.

Markup: templated markup should be prebuilt at deploy time, usually using a site generator for content sites, or a build tool for web apps.

The Benefits provided by the JAMstack

Some of the main benefits of using it are the following

It can generate new pages at deploy time and serve pre-built markup and assets over a CDN.

The lesser complexity of development reduces costs and also hosting of static files is cheap or even free.

With the delegation of the server-side and database operations, we don’t need to worry about vulnerabilities anymore.

Frontend developers can focus only on the frontend and debugging, the expanding selection of CMS options for site generators remove the need to maintain. This usually means quicker and more focused development.

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JAMstack workflow

Usually, when we visit a Wordpress website, we notice that it loads very slow. This happens because it makes a lot of requests to the database.
With JAMstack dynamic data can be fetched when needed, using separate API calls once the HTML is loaded.
This can make websites much faster and efficient.

Why is JAMstack so popular now?

I think that the main reasons are three:

  • The list of the benefits above
  • The opportunity to use Static Site Generators that help developers to build websites with the hottest JavaScript frameworks.
  • The incredible increase of Headless CMS that makes content accessible via APIs

Conclusion

The possibilities to use JAMstack are endless, from simple blogs or websites that need a content management system to e-commerce to more complex Web Apps.
In this article, we have seen the advantages of using it, and why it is so popular right now.
Anyway, I would strongly recommend learning more about it because it could meet your needs.

Some of the most popular Static Site Generators are Nuxt.js (Vue.js), Gridsome (Vue.js), Next.js (Next.js), Gatsby (React), Jekyll, Hugo.

Some of the most popular Headless CMS are Netlify, Contentful, Strapi, Ghost, Prismic.

Useful resources

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Luca Spezzano

Written by

Frontend developer focused on CSS architecture of scalable and maintainable large scale projects and the development of amazing user interfaces.

NotOnlyCSS

This publication includes original articles and tips about frontend technologies.

Luca Spezzano

Written by

Frontend developer focused on CSS architecture of scalable and maintainable large scale projects and the development of amazing user interfaces.

NotOnlyCSS

This publication includes original articles and tips about frontend technologies.