Jamstack stands for web dev architectural approach that emphasizes decoupling of the front and the backend, content pre-rendering (at least for most of the content), use of CDNs, and use of APIs and serverless functions for content enhancement.
With the Jamstack websites, the tangible assets are pre-rendered static files (like content from headless CMS or headless commerce, for example) deployed on CDN. At the same time, the dynamic side of things is handled with API calls at run time (dynamic content like forms, search, or authentication, for example).
In essence, this means all of your business logic and 3rd party services are handled with APIs in the backend.
JAMstack or Jamstack?
Technology and language around it evolved thanks to greater adoption and a larger ecosystem. We use the term Jamstack to differentiate today’s widespread meaning from the original concept mentioned above.
Performance, security, improved flexibility and scalability, and better developer experience. The fastest way to deliver web content to the end users is with static files. The Jamstack approach ensures exactly that, thanks to static files served via CDNs for unmatched page loading times.
Static assets and clear separation of services maintained by 3rd party providers (think of one service for the content, one for search, one for payment, etc.) make it much harder to find individual vulnerabilities.
This also allows developers to spend less time on maintenance issues and focus on building a compelling front-end user experience.
Finally, the ability to bring your own frontend and decide on backend solutions that best fit your use case, and with static files as main assets, easier scaling is guaranteed.
For most businesses, all of these benefits are easily translated into operational and development cost savings.
How to Jamstack?
“Jamstack is a buzzword that means HTML/JS/CSS on steroids, thanks to the ecosystem of tooling that makes it possible.”
Sébastien Morel, CTO at Crystallize.
The content is managed with headless CMS or headless commerce solutions, while the problems or specific website requests are handled with cloud services via an API (like forms, search, login, payment, etc.).
Finally, modern-day hosting and deployment platforms (like Vercel, Netlify, Cloudflare Pages, etc.) are there to provide you with a home for your project.
While one of the most significant benefits of using Jamstack is mixing and matching tools. However, the sheer volume of available tools in the space can be overwhelming at times.
Jamstack vs. Traditional Workflow
The traditional monolithic workflow is a method of building web applications that relies on a single codebase, which includes the frontend, backend, and database layers. In this approach, all the components of the application are tightly coupled, and changes to one component can impact the others. The codebase is deployed as a single unit to the server, and any updates or changes require redeploying the entire application.
With Jamstack, you separate the frontend, backend, and database layers. The front end is built using static site generators or frontend frameworks, while the backend and database are managed by third-party services or APIs. The resulting application is served as static files, which can be cached and served quickly.
Up until 2022, the Jamstack growth was equalized with SSG adoption i.e. many defined the Jamstack exclusively by the frameworks used.
Web Almanac 2022 report introduced the change where no longer frameworks are a part of the definition. Still, some of the earlier mentioned popular frameworks in Jamstack are widely used on Jamstack projects today as well.
Apparently, Next.js and Nuxt.js are two of the biggest frameworks in the Jamstack community (other React static site generators as well). What may surprise you is the appearance of ASP.NET or PHP, but this is due to a change in defining Jamstack as an architectural approach rather than a list of specific tech you need to use in order for a project to be Jamstack (something we always claimed on this page).
Dig more into 2022 Jamstack framework stats here.
Jamstack and eCommerce
For your customers, that means fast performance and better UX overall. For your business, that means higher click-through rates (revenue) and better search engine ranking.
Jamstack eCommerce Examples With Crystallize
To get you going more easily and faster with your business, we’ve made a couple of Jamstack ecommerce boilerplates here.