"Daddy, what's a floppy disk?" We can totally imagine today's kids asking this question. Dad puts the kid in a lap and explains all about floppy characteristics and how cool he was when he had a 1.44MB floppy disk. And while data storage is constantly developing, we can also think of other stories we could tell our curious kids. For example, Ajax, HTML, or even JAMstack (which is super popular now), can you imagine you and your kid roasting some marshmallows in a campfire, and you're explaining how content was evolved on the web? You'll talk about how HTML was a revolution and why static sites weren't cool at all. You'll brag how awesome you were because you used JAMstack in the peek of its popularity. Well, let's hope you're using it. Because now's the time JAMstack is getting more and more popular. If you have never heard of it or just are not sure what it means and does, read further.
What is JAMstack?
If this is the first time you hear about JAMstack, we believe the name must sound quite interesting. What does jam have to do with web development?
JAMstack’s advantage over monolithic architecture, aka. How does it work?
Monolithic architecture is today’s most common practice in web development. In those projects, the frontend is closely coupled with the server. Each page request must go through a server, which pulls data from the database, renders into HTML, and sends it across the network. The significant setback here is the constant pages build for each request, even when the page is identical.
What JAMstack does is generate the HTML once and serve it to all requests. It fetches HTML from CDN, where an HTML file has been pre-built and is ready to be downloaded. No server is involved in the process, and the API does all the heavy lifting.
Instead of having built and hosting coupled, they are now separated (decoupled). There is no need to interact with a database, backend code, server, browser, and layers of caching. The files are already compiled, and you can get them directly served to the browser from a CDN. Because of this, 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.
You might be interested: What is a headless CMS.
To put it differently, it looks like this:
Why do developers love JAMstack?
The main benefits of JAMstack are better performance, higher security, cheaper scaling, and better developer experience. All pretty valid reasons to start using JAMstack.
Higher security comes from the delegation of server-side and database operations.
The static content served via CDN makes the user experience extra speedy.
Less complex development reduces costs.
Automated builds, everything lives in a Git, making everyone’s life easier
Up to 10x faster websites
Cheaper maintenance, update, hosting
Better website performance
And while these pros are recognized by clients too, developers can find some extra value. Rather than taking care of the whole stack of the operating system, database, server, and UI when delivering content to the end-user, developers can now modularize each task. While they focus on UI development, the server or database connects to a proper API.
That’s the power of JAMstack.
Beware all future-proofed companies - JAMstack is here to stay.
JAMstack app isn’t one of those trends that just appear and go, leaving you with that FOMO feeling. Are you going to miss some good things? No, JAMstack is here to stay, and we think there is no way you’ll miss it (as a website developer). It will change your life or, in this case, your stack in the same way it changed web development. That’s why we think it will be a good campfire story one day. What’s unique about JAMstack is its maturity & accessibility. It’s not that new solution, and it has existed for quite some time now in which it improved and opened to less technical users too. We believe that trend will continue. If services and APIs in the ecosystem continue to prove viable and profitable, we’ll see more important players embracing the idea, increasing adoption even more.