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Reasons why JAMstack is the new standard

Iñaki BarturenJuly 02, 2021

JAMstack is a new web and application development trend that promises deployment speed, security, efficiency, and scalability; it becomes an interesting promise with proper implementation.

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A known pain point

When simplifying the conventional web development scheme, we can exemplify with a site whose infrastructure will depend on a CMS such as WordPress, which will host the content in a MySQL database or other and will mediate the calls using a language such as PHP, delivering the content to be uploaded to our page and viewed.

Any error in this flow, be it syntax, server or data transfer, will involve an incomplete or null load, which translated into user behavior, implies: losing visitors, customers (sales) and even collaborators who will not be able to dedicate themselves to create content if they must be constantly troubleshooting infrastructure problems.

JAMstack emerges

If we live in a kingdom of technology, then it is likely that we share in various places of web development and innovation; and that we have found references to innovative ways of developing that are gaining ground thanks to their feats.

Perhaps this is too much of a story and little fact, so let us start this journey by defining the essential:

What is JAMstack?

It is a web development architecture based on deploying previously built static sites; this creates a complete paradigm shift in conventional development, focusing on the "mobile-first web" requirement. To put it another way, centering on load times, assuming that bandwidth is never guaranteed.

Its first three letters allude to the three pillars that sustain it;

  • J → JavaScript, known as the language of browsers. Its versatility allows it to link the interface with hooks or calls to APIs in an efficient and fast manner, with the front-end processing these requirements.
  • A → APIs, are part of the JAMstack philosophy by composing the site or application of multiple third-party microservices, which are already specialized in it, and offer ease of deployment. Using them in static sites overcomes the initial bias by creating an interactive and intuitive site.
  • M → Markup is the science behind the efficiency of JAMstack; thanks to the fact that the content is previously created, it can be called without having to link to a conventional database (such as MySQL or MongoDB) allows us to abstract the back-end related to our site. This allows for a surprising increase in the loading speeds of the sites.
    • Now it is worth asking yourself: Why focus on infrastructure if we can focus on content? And of course, the first answer will be another question; and where will the content be hosted?

      This is something that we can achieve thanks to this development methodology that frees up part of our workforce, enables deployment and feature decouples - this is essential - the presentation layer from the content layer.

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To implement a new standard we will initially need great motivation; we are facing a disruption to customs and that always generates resonance.

The basics

JAMstack emerging today as a development methodology alludes to how the deployment of this technology achieves exceptional results in large-scale projects. To effectively unleash this potential, several essential elements are used:

Automatic builds

Disregarding a conventional database, each time there is a new file or modification, the entire content; be it images, text and designs -among others- will be reflected on the production site, just as if it were a traditional "dynamic" website: the HTML will be automatically created again to show the updates.

Static sites

The fact that the site is static implies that the call to the URL will be unique, regardless of device and without the need to query a database, which provides greater response and loading speeds. The site will load thanks to the fact that it will be previously created using tools such as Gatsby, Hugo or Nuxt .

APIs

Using JavaScript will allow the front-end to do all the work traditionally done by the back-end. This is so because it will allow linking the content read from Git with third-party APIs offering specialized services, which provides the choice to customize, streamline and channel the requirements. Simple features for specific tasks.

In fact, we can even deploy forms without needing to link the site to a database using Netlify.

Headless CMS

It is a system that manages the content but whose infrastructure (back-end) works as a repository while the content itself will be available via API-Rest.

Because the content is pre-built, the required deployment is explicitly delivered without further loading anything after the full load of the website.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

In addition to the decoupling between the presentation layer and the content layer, JAMstack uses a Content Delivery Network (CDN), whose composition of various data access points allows calls to be made with greater geographic proximity, further improving loading times.

JAMstack is a new standard

The combination of the elements described above, added to an extensive list of tools, provides a promising and appealing scenario, regardless if you are a developer, a leader in your area, or a curious browser. Thus, JAMstack is consolidated by its extraordinary results that are translated into fantastic experiences.

  • Speed. The CDN and the efficiency provided by the proximity of the connection to the user's location and the direct response from the front in loading the content built on the static sites increase loading speeds. For visitors and the deployment of new content, a high-speed site is experienced (as it should be in these times).
  • Security. Dispensing with infrastructure frees us from having to anticipate potential threats. This responsibility becomes part of the concerns of the service provider. In addition, by composing the site of a private (and unique) repository and interacting with third-party APIs, the contact area is significantly reduced, so there are fewer "possible" vulnerabilities for external attacks.
  • Deployment & workflow. Working in this scheme refreshes the liking for content generation, for innovation and the search for user interaction. Collaborative work via Git allows maintaining strict version control, work simultaneously, and organize the created content for review and subsequent deployment.

    Are you ready for the new possibilities?

    To deploy a new standard, we will initially need great motivation; we face disruption to customs, which always creates resonance. But just as important, we need to have a partner, our squire, who will provide the appropriate support and advice when not finding answers in sight.
    • Reign is your Headless Agency Partner, a team with which you can experience what Headless is first-hand and what is essential when digitizing your idea and business.

      The community is under development; this standard is increasingly included and, with it, suppliers' supply, but be careful: you need to be aware of the facts for this; it is worth learning about our Reign.

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