What is JAMstack?

Andrew Zimmer

Andrew Zimmer

Director of Client Services

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⁠Before diving straight into what Jamstack is, let’s get some context.

In fact, Jamstack is nothing really new. It’s just a new brand name for the concept of static pages that are lightweight, fast, and thanks to that, they can also be really SEO friendly. And that has been here already for a while.

However, all the modern tools and inventions around Jamstack gave birth to many great improvements in the area of building static pages. And thanks to that, we can now use all the static page blessings (like performance, enhanced user experience, or SEO advantages) easier and more efficiently.

Coming to what is Jamstack, It is a web development architecture that enables you to build static pages and websites based on microservices methodology. It also gives you all static advantages, like great performance, high traffic resistance, fast load speed, safety, great SEO, etc.

Thanks to caching everything in a Content Delivery Network (CDN), Jamstack sites run smoothly every time.

For more info, refer to: https://pagepro.co/blog/what-is-jamstack

How does it compare to other web development tech stacks?

There are 3 main tech stacks that we can use to build websites. These are JAMstack, LAMP, MEAN.

Each one of them are best suited for different purposes.


JAMStack:

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JAMstack is your best bet if you’re looking to implement continuous delivery. Jamstack is focused on the front-end build and delivery, and promotes the use of third-party APIs for server-side functionality.

There are also a number of prebuilt themes and site generators. Additional benefits of JAMstack include cheap hosting, instant cache invalidation and increased security since databases, servers and APIs are managed by third-party cloud providers.

Jamstack also provides fast and cost-effective development and delivery. With this stack, your end user will always be looking at the latest content.

JAM shines best in implementations of rapid content delivery, or apps that make use of a lightweight API.

However, despite its ability to implement rapid content delivery, there are some limitations that you need to keep in mind. Jamstack is not so great for anything that requires heavy, dynamic features. It’s also highly dependent on third-party systems, so if they go down, you also go down.

Adding to that, for many of the SSGs, it will heavily rely on Markdown, which comes with a steep learning curve, which could lead to developers incurring a high total cost of ownership.

LAMP Stack:

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LAMP is described as a tried and true tech stack, given that it has been around for decades. And by implementing suitable preparation, it is highly secure.

LAMP is a solid tech stack for startup companies with limited budgets, and works well for dynamic web app development.

Another advantage is that it is entirely open source. With LAMP, there are no licensing fees required, and there are a lot of out-of-the-box options available.

Developers have a reliable starting point and it takes minimal time to get the application up and running.

Adding to that, the LAMP community is massive and users can readily access LAMP’s digital documentation.

The drawback with LAMP is that it has a learning curve. Getting all the LAMP components to work together right can present a learning curve. This can lead to performance issues on high-traffic sites and applications with simultaneous users, as well as security issues.

MEAN Stack:

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Since MEAN is primarily aimed at developing JavaScript applications, all of the components run on the same programming language, which is a significant benefit.

In MEAN, the developer can write both client and server-side code in JavaScript. MEAN is built on an MVC Architecture, and is built to scale.

If your company has a large, non-relational data set, you may want to get to know the MEAN stack.

However, if you are not familiar with JavaScript, then you will encounter a steep learning curve.

When choosing between MEAN and LAMP, since they are both open-source tech stacks, it is advised to brands that whichever stack you choose, it should depend on the data you have in your databases.

If you have high-traffic and/or high-volume databases with data that isn’t too relational, then MEAN could be a solid option for you,

For more info, refer to: https://www.cmswire.com/digital-experience/jamstack-vs-lamp-stack-vs-mean-vs-net-tech-stacks-compared/

What are its pluses & minuses?

Pros:

  • Focused on the front-end build and delivery: JAMStack is more focused on delivery and the front end of a web application. In plain English, this means it tries to limit the number of calls made to a database backend. Content like images are often already in the CDN and thus can be quickly loaded to the page. This web stack is the best option for you if you want consistent and continuous delivery. Moreover, it is known for promoting smooth running and the use of third-party APIs.
  • Multiple pre-built themes and site generators:The best part about JAMStack are its various prebuilt site generators and themes which allow you to find a layout that best fits your needs.
  • Security: Having no database or at least a limited need for a database means limited security issues as the website will rely on static web pages and get content from CDNs. This limits the plausible methods bad actors can attack your site.
  • Cheap Hosting And Maintenance:Along with various other benefits, JAMStack provides cheap hosting. Also, because there is less need for a DevOps developer, your team can save money by reducing the number of technical employees. This can save tens to even hundreds of thousands every year.
  • Instant Cache Invalidation:Its instant cache invalidation feature allows the users to view the latest content right when it is posted.
  • Reduction in costs:JAMStack is highly dependent on third-party systems thus eliminating the need to pay a costly in-house developer.

Cons:

  • Not great with heavy, dynamic features:One of the significant limitations of using JAMStack is that it does not deal well with more dynamic features like e-commerce purchasing and logging in. This is because these features require a database in order to manage the transactions.
  • Highly dependent on third-party systems:Moreover, it being highly dependent on third-party systems means that if they shut down, then so does JAMStack.

For more info, refer to: https://buttercms.com/blog/jamstack-vs-mean-vs-lamp-your-guide-to-picking-one

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