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What is JAMstack and Why it's Taking Over Modern Web Development?

Can you believe that by the time you finish reading this article, approximately 200 new websites will have been created? 

With over 1.09 billion websites already in existence and 252,000 more added daily, the internet keeps growing.

So, it's not just about having a website anymore—businesses now have to consider making it fast, secure, and easy to maintain.

This is where JAMstack comes in - a modern web development approach that focuses on speed, security, and scalability.

What Does JAMstack Stand For?

JAMstack stands for JavaScript, APIs, and Markup

JAMstack isn't just a set of technologies; it's a modern development architecture focusing on decoupling a website or application's front and backend.

While traditional websites rely on server-side processing to generate HTML for each page request, JAMstack sites pre-render all the necessary HTML during build time.

This means that users who visit a JAMstack website get a fully formed page without waiting for server processing. This leads to faster load times, better performance, and improved user experience.

But the JAMstack philosophy goes beyond just speed and performance. It also prioritizes security, scalability, and ease of maintenance.

The idea behind JAMstack has been around for a while but was given a name in 2015 by Mathias Biilmann, the co-founder of Netlify.

He noticed a trend in web development toward decoupling the front end and back end, using APIs to provide dynamic functionality, and pre-rendering content for better performance.

With this in mind, he introduced the concept of JAMstack and its core principles:

  • JavaScript - use frameworks or libraries like React or Vue.js for client-side interactions and logic.
  • APIs - use serverless functions or headless CMSs to provide dynamic functionality and content.
  • Markup - use markup language like Markdown to format text and HTML.

These principles make JAMstack sites faster, more secure, and easier to scale than traditional server-side rendered sites. 

When should you use JAMstack?

So, is JAMstack the right approach for your project? Here are some scenarios where JAMstack can work best:

Static websites

Static websites, or sites that don't require frequent content updates, are among the best use cases for JAMstack. 

For example, a portfolio website or a company's informational site can be built using JAMstack architecture since they don't require dynamic content.  Gatsby, Jekyll, and Hugo are examples of the static site generators developers use to create the JAMstack website. 

Since static sites contain only assets, HTML, and JavaScript files, you can easily improve their performance by transforming them into a JAMstack site. You must use a CDN to improve the performance of the content generated from Markdown or frameworks like React. 

Web applications

If you have a web application that requires dynamic content or uses APIs for functionality, JAMstack can greatly benefit your project. With server-side rendering, you can improve performance and SEO while providing a dynamic user experience.

Additionally, using a headless CMS can greatly simplify content management and allow for easy updates to the layout of your pages without having to redeploy the entire site. With JAMstack, development time can be greatly reduced while providing a robust and feature-rich application.

Enterprise and e-commerce applications

Even complex projects such as enterprise or e-commerce applications can benefit from using JAMstack.

With serverless technology, developers can create complex applications without spending weeks on development.

This is because the content is still served the same way as static JAMstack sites but with added functionality and dynamic capabilities. This means that developers can focus on creating a powerful frontend that communicates with various APIs without worrying about complex backend infrastructure. 

What are the Main JAMstack Advantages?

With the JAMstack approach, developers can create faster, more secure, and easier-to-maintain websites.

Here are some of the main advantages of using JAMstack:

Faster loading times

When content is not generated dynamically on the server side, JAMstack sites can load significantly faster. All the content is pre-rendered using API and served directly from a CDN, with minimal processing required on the server side, utilizing servers geographically closer to the user.

The static part of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files can also be cached in the browser for faster subsequent page loads.

No matter how large your website is or how much traffic it receives, JAMstack allows for consistently fast loading times.

Improved security

JAMstack sites are inherently more secure than traditional websites. Since there is no server-side processing, potential hackers have a reduced attack surface.

The backend responsibilities are delegated to external services with security measures in place. This means developers can focus on creating a secure front end without worrying about complex backend infrastructure.

Simpler deployment process & increased developer’s productivity

JAMstack simplifies the development and deployment processes, often increasing developer productivity. 

While the site's output may seem simple, it's worth noting that the build process can become intricate, depending on the libraries and dependencies utilized. Nonetheless, compared to traditional approaches, JAMstack minimizes concerns about compatibility issues, especially with its reliance on static files. In the long term, despite potential complexities in the build process, the time efficiency gained from simplified development and deployment workflows remains a significant advantage.

The site can also be deployed with a simple push to a Git repository, a feature commonly available through modern server providers. This makes it easier for developers to collaborate and make changes without manual deployment, allowing for faster development and quicker updates to the site.

Great scalability

JAMstack sites are highly scalable, as they can easily handle increases in traffic without affecting performance. With CDNs and serverless technologies, there is no need to worry about server capacity or bottlenecks.

This makes JAMstack a great option for websites that experience high traffic volumes, such as enterprise or e-commerce applications. With the ability to handle large amounts of traffic, JAMstack sites provide a stable and reliable user experience.

Lower hosting costs

Since JAMstack sites are built with static files and served from a CDN, hosting costs are significantly reduced. There is no need to pay for server infrastructure or resources that may not always be used.

With serverless technologies, developers only pay for the resources they use when handling requests. This can result in cost savings for businesses, especially those with high-traffic websites.

Who Specializes in JAMstack?

Most individuals specializing in JAMstack hold the title of “engineer,” with 84% of respondents in the annual JAMstack survey identifying as such.

However, there has been a shift in job titles within the community, with more individuals now identifying as "full stack" (44%) compared to "front end" (33%). This may be due to changes in how the community views itself and the skills required for JAMstack development. 

One notable change in employment status was the addition of a new category, "self-employed", which saw an increase in respondents compared to last year. This may indicate that JAMstack development is becoming popular for freelancers and entrepreneurs.

The survey also revealed that students comprise the second-largest group in the JAMstack community, accounting for 21% of respondents. This is a positive sign for the future growth of JAMstack, as it remains a popular choice for students learning web development.

Interestingly, there is a correlation between geographical diversity and the level of career experience within the community. As technology access continues to improve globally, more individuals outside North America and Europe have joined the JAMstack community. This promising trend may lead to greater diversity in other aspects.

Overall, the JAMstack community consists of diverse individuals with different backgrounds and expertise, united by their passion for the JAMstack approach to web development.

What is the Role of a Static Site Generator (SSG) in JAMstack Architecture?

A key component of JAMstack architecture is using a static site generator (SSG). Unlike conventional website builders, SSGs do not rely on a web server to generate pages on demand. Instead, they pre-generate all pages when there are changes to the site. This means that visitors do not have to wait for a page to be created before it can be loaded; instead, the page is ready as soon as the visitor lands on it.

This approach uses client-side processing and caching, resulting in faster website loading times. SSGs also use content delivery networks (CDNs) to optimize performance further. By removing the reliance on a server, SSGs contribute to the overall speed and efficiency of JAMstack websites. 

Scenario 1: Migrating Your Current Application to JAMstack

Let's explore how migrating your application to JAMstack can improve performance and efficiency.

Your current application may run on a traditional and costly stack, or you may simply want to improve its performance. In either case, transitioning to JAMstack can be a viable solution.

With JAMstack, you can use your backend servers or a content management system (CMS) to deliver content to your new site. CMS providers like Contentful and Prismic offer all the necessary tools to initiate and manage your content independently.

Additionally, you can seek out alternative solutions and contact our iRonin.IT JAMstack experts to help you. Migrating your current application to JAMstack can significantly improve speed, cost-effectiveness, and overall performance.

Scenario 2: Starting a New Application with JAMstack

When starting a new web application or building static websites, utilizing the JAMstack approach can simplify development and offer significant benefits. One of these is the ability to outsource key elements of your application, such as:

CMS (Content management system)

Traditionally, the responsibility of managing and accessing data to handle heavy traffic falls on backend servers. However, with JAMstack, there is no need for a backend. Instead, you can use a headless CMS that offers secure and efficient dynamic content delivery for your applications. This decoupled approach, where the frontend and backend are separated, allows for easier scalability and maintenance of your application.

CDN (Content delivery network)

Another key element that can be outsourced is the Content Delivery Network. CDNs allow for faster content delivery by caching it in various locations worldwide. This means that no matter where your users are located, they can access your website with minimal loading times. CDNs are compatible with static site generators and server-side rendering, making them a valuable asset for JAMstack websites.

APIs (Application programming interfaces)

In addition to a headless CMS, you can utilize serverless technology to implement additional features in your web application. With abundant ready-to-use components, developers can easily incorporate APIs into their JAMstack websites for added functionality. This approach eliminates the need for developers to create these components from scratch, saving time and resources.


Lastly, JAMstack allows flexible hosting options for your files and front-end applications. Many developers recommend using Netlify, as they coined the term JAMstack and have extensive experience with this architecture. Other options include using a serverless infrastructure or simply hosting your files on a traditional web server.

Is JAMstack the Right Choice for Me?

JAMstack can be the right choice for you if:

Your application requires high performance (especially for content-heavy or media-rich websites)

JAMstack's static site generation and CDNs allow lightning-fast loading times. This is particularly beneficial for websites that contain a lot of content or media, as it reduces the time needed to fetch and load these elements.

Your application experiences fluctuating traffic or needs to scale quickly

With JAMstack, your website's performance does not rely on server resources. This means that your website will remain quick and responsive even during peak traffic. Additionally, JAMstack's scalability allows for easy handling of sudden increases in traffic without additional servers or infrastructure.

You value long-term cost savings

By utilizing serverless technology and outsourcing key elements of your application, JAMstack can lead to significant cost savings in the long run. The workflow and architecture of JAMstack also result in simpler maintenance and updates, reducing ongoing costs.

Security is a top priority for your application

JAMstack's use of pre-built markup and APIs reduces the risk of security vulnerabilities. Additionally, decoupling the frontend and backend can provide an extra layer of security by limiting access to sensitive data.

You value developer experience and efficiency

With JAMstack, developers can focus on building and optimizing the frontend without worrying about server-side issues. This results in a more efficient development process and allows for easier collaboration among team members. JAMstack uses JavaScript and API, meaning you can work with more efficient languages that are easier to learn.

Your application involves frequent content updates

The decoupled nature of JAMstack allows for easy content updates without disrupting the frontend. This can be particularly useful for websites that require frequent updates, such as news sites or e-commerce platforms.

Your application's functionality is relatively straightforward

JAMstack is most suitable for applications with simple functionality and minimal user interactions. While it can support more complex features, the simplicity of its architecture makes it ideal for straightforward websites.

Your application needs to evolve and adapt to changing requirements and market demands

Using APIs and serverless technology in JAMstack allows for easy integration of new features and updates. The flexibility and scalability of JAMstack make it a great option for applications that need to evolve and adapt to changing market demands. The modular nature of JAMstack also allows for easier modifications and additions to the website.

Partner with JAMstack Experts and Entrust Your App in Safe Hands

By partnering with JAMstack experts, you can ensure your website is built and maintained using best practices and the latest technologies.

iRonin.IT specializes in JAMstack development and can help you create a high-performing, secure, scalable website. By entrusting your app to their safe hands, you can focus on your business while they handle the technical aspects of your website.

From initial planning and development to ongoing maintenance and updates, we can be your trusted partner in creating a successful JAMstack website.

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